Category Archives: Agriculture

How to prevent a Brexit food crisis? Dig deep for fair pay on farms | Felicity Lawrence

All the value in agriculture is being sucked up by supermarkets. But some small producers have shown there is a better way

Bear with me while I tell you about the price of potatoes, for it is in such humble roots that some of the blights of capitalism are revealed. It is in the food system, too, that the Brexit fault lines over immigration are opening into alarming chasms.

Related: Farmers tell Gove: lack of migrant workers now ‘mission critical’

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Source: gad

How afraid of human cloning should we be? | Philip Ball

The creation of two monkeys brings the science of human cloning closer to reality. But that doesn’t mean it will happen

The cloning of macaque monkeys in China makes human reproductive cloning more conceivable. At the same time, it confirms how difficult it would be to clone a random adult – Adolf Hitler, say – from a piece of their tissue. And it changes nothing in the debate about whether such human cloning should ever happen.

Since the cloning of Dolly the sheep by scientists in Scotland in 1996, several other mammals have been cloned, including dogs, cats and pigs. But the same methods didn’t work so well for primates – like monkeys, and us. That’s why this latest step is significant. It shows that, with a bit of modification, the technique used for Dolly can create cloned, apparently healthy baby monkeys. The pair made this way by scientists at the Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai have been christened Hua Hua and Zhong Zhong.

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Source: gad

'I used to see them as a bunch of rioters': Brazil's radical farmers | Ignacio Amigo

Landless workers who occupied disused and degraded farmland were finally given plots – and have transformed them into fields of bounty through agroforestry

Photographs by Ignacio Amigo

One day in 2005 Zaqueu Miguel was driving his bus through the outskirts of the city of Ribeirão Preto, in south-east Brazil, when he noticed a group of people camped near a rural property.

He discovered that the camp was called Mario Lago, and that the people there were demanding the expropriation of the land – vacant and degraded – in order to use it for farming. Miguel, who had grown up on a farm and had dreamed ever since of having his own piece of land, didn’t think twice. He packed some basics and joined them, keeping his job and family in the city but spending nights in a shack at the camp.

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Source: gad