David Friedberg is a lifelong vegetarian. He was president of his high school’s “Healing Our Planet Earth” club. He’s a major investor in a restaurant chain that serves only bowls of quinoa. The 35-year-old software designer is also an unapologetic advocate of Monsanto, which bought his start-up, The Climate Corporation, in 2013 for a cool $1 billion.

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After almost four years of litigation led by farmers and allies, the Supreme Court of the Philippines has permanently stopped the field testing of Bt talong, an eggplant variety genetically engineered to produce its own toxin. 

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Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are once again in the news.  On November 19, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that a genetically modified animal, a breed of fast maturing salmon, had been approved for human consumption for the first time, sparking an uproar. China may be separated from the U.S. by the Pacific Ocean, but that hasn’t insulated it from GMO controversies. In the two years since a campaign to demand greater openness from China Ministry of Agriculture, three Chinese residents has brought a case against Ministry of Agriculture and third party: Monsanto Far East Ltd. 

This is an interview with Yan Hairong, a professor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a volunteer with People’s Food Sovereignty Network who is involve in the case.

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The real cattle class: cows fly to China on 747s

Angus Whitley - Bloomberg | 30 November 2015 | corporations | Australia, China

Next time you’re stuck on a long-haul flight in a packed, economy-class cabin, being ignored by a frazzled flight attendant, spare a thought for the passengers on a recent flight from Melbourne to Chongqing in China. They were cows. Destination: the abattoir.

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The International Union of food and farm workers, IUF, asks how come that food and farming is not on the agenda in Paris.

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A short movie about climate change and trade agreements by the Norway Social Forum

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Activists in both China and the United States have raised concerns about just two corporations having so much influence over the world food supply, with so little transparency. But these fears miss the larger point of what such companies represent: the intent of the U.S. government to use food as an ever-more powerful point of leverage to wield over large, increasingly hungry nations like China.

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The study's authors were unable to provide sufficient evidence either that the study has been reviewed by a local ethics committee in China or prove that all parents and children involved in the study were provided with the full consent form for the study. Opponents also pointed out that the research was done using meals that are high in fat that would favor positive results of the experiment.

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"Wilmar’s new plantations in Nigeria follow the same business model that has caused vast forest destruction and human rights abuse in Southeast Asia," says Friends of the Earth. "Aggressive government support for large scale plantations... has extracted wealth into the pockets of foreign business owners, leaving as little as possible in tax revenue; and has left communities landless, hungry, indebted, and in conflict."

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Lidl has received almost $1bn in public development funding

Claire Provost and Matt Kennard - The Guardian | 03 July 2015 | corporations | Germany, Poland, Romania

Supermarket chain owned by one of Germany’s wealthiest families, Lidl and its sister chain Kaufland have benefited from almost $900m (£576m) in public development money over the past decade through loan funding from the World Bank and from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as it expands into eastern Europe.

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