Hollywood stars are squealing mad over Walmart’s treatment of pigs after Mercy For Animal’s (MFA’s) undercover investigation exposed rampant cruelty to animals at a factory farm supplying pork to the retails giant. MFA’s investigation found pregnant pigs locked in tiny, filthy crates so small they couldn’t turn around, walk, or lie down comfortably, pigs suffering from bloody open wounds, and workers castrating and cutting off the tails of conscious piglets without painkillers and bashing in the skulls of sick piglets by slamming them headfirst into the concrete. A letter was sent to Walmart’s CEO, on behalf of Mercy for Animals and a number of celebrities asking Walmart to help end the needless suffering of these animals, to stop selling products from the producers who abuse them. It’s time for Walmart to quit dragging its feet and help put an end to one of the cruelest factory farming practices. As the largest retailer in the world, Walmart has the power and the ethical responsibility to ensure that the pork sold in its stores is not the product of egregious animal abuse.
This really makes me mad! The Cornucopia Institute, a not-for-profit policy research organizations based in Wisconsin, filed a formal legal complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) against several infant formula manufacturers that are adding two synthetic preservatives to certified organic infant formula. The Organic Food Production Act, passed by Congress in 1990, explicitly bans synthetic preservatives in organic food. According to the Cornucopia Institute, there have been more than a dozen unapproved synthetic ingredients that have been added to organic infant formula over the past five years. While the USDA has admitted publicly that these synthetics were added to organics due to an erroneous interpretation by previous USDA leadership, the agency, after being pressured by industry, has refused to take enforcement action and pull the suspect products from store shelves. Consumers should be able to trust that the organic label represents foods that are free from unnecessary synthetic ingredients, and they rely on third-party certification by USDA-accredited certifying agents.
The University of Vermont Farmer Training Program is now accepting applications for the 2013 term! This is a 6-month intensive program (May 2 – October 31, 2013) for aspiring farmers and food system advocates that provides a hands-on, skill-based education in sustainable agriculture. This full-time program offers participants the unique opportunity to manage their own growing site, take classes from professors and expert farmers, and rotate as workers and learners on successful, diverse farms in the Burlington area.
CT NOFA (Connecticut Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association) is now accepting applications for the 2012-2013 Beginning Women Farmer program.The training begins in mid-October and consists of 10 all-day Saturday sessions. The first six are throughout the winter at Goodwin College in East Hartford, CT and the four remaining sessions are on on-farm at different locations throughout the state.