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Agriculture

Feds plan to limit uses of ‘neonic’ pesticides, but outright ban still likely

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OTTAWA — Federal scientists are finalizing restrictions on a much-used class of pesticides to try to protect bees.

The recommendations could be moot in less than a year, however, if the same agency upholds an existing decision to ban most uses of the same products to protect other types of insects.

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Health Canada has spent the last seven years reviewing the approvals of nicotine-based pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, that are popular among farmers, backyard green-thumbs and lawn aficionados.

The long review process was made even more complicated by the fact that the agency held separate reviews on the same products — one looking at the impact on pollinators such as bees and one for aquatic insects.

While Health Canada found bees are only harmed by certain uses of the products, its concern about the rising concentrations in ground and surface water led it to decide last year that it needed to phase out most outdoor uses of the pesticides over the next three to five years.

It won’t actually finalize that decision until January 2020 however, so for now the decision is to bar the products from being sprayed on some fruit crops, and limit the frequency with which they can be used on others, starting in 2021.

The Canadian Press

Agriculture

Is the Meat Industry Equipped to Handle a Pandemic?

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Is the Meat Industry Equipped to Handle a Pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted industries across the world. One of the main sectors that’s concerning experts is the meat and agriculture industry. This concern intensifies in Western Canada since much of the land there is farmland. The imbalance of supply and demand is affecting present-day agricultural production. However, farmers and industry leaders are focused on what is still to come in the future.

From labour shortages to potential outbreaks during production, the future of the meat industry is unclear. The outcome will depend on several factors: government aid, the spread of the virus and COVID-19’s behaviour — which is often unpredictable. Ultimately, the present handling of the meat industry may impact its future and relationship with consumers.

Current Standing

The Government of Canada recently decided to assist farms across the country with federal funding. These farms rely on the production and exportation of meats like beef, pork and chicken to reach supply and demand needs. However, as the virus continues spreading, farmworkers need to maintain physical distance and increase sanitation practices. The government’s funding will compensate workers during this time.

For Canada, part of the stress on the industry comes from the exportation needs. While farmers need to meet country-wide demands, Canada is also an international exporter, especially for the United States.

While the industry is currently suffering from labour shortages, production remains relatively stable. Farmers are adapting to meet new supply and demand requirements. For instance, since restaurants are closing, demands for certain foods, like cheese, will decrease. As workers fall ill and farms need to enforce social distancing, though, production is slowing down.

The funding from Canada’s federal government is supposed to help workers, especially those who are newly arriving. Migrants from Mexico and the Caribbean make up a large portion of Canada’s agricultural workforce. However, whether this funding will be enough is yet to come to light. Additionally, ensuring the even distribution of that money to migrant workers is another issue.

The Industry’s Future

Many experts are focusing on the road ahead. While the current path is fluctuating, the future may hold a more dangerous outcome for the industry. If the virus continues spreading at its current rate, farms may see more issues than ever before.

One of the main factors is the labour shortage. Currently, Canada’s farming labour force is lacking. Production is slow, and workers don’t have the resources and help they need to meet demands. In the future, this could worsen as fewer employees are available. For instance, the poultry sector faces significant demands every day. Part of the process of raising chickens includes weeks of tending to them. If there aren’t enough people to do this job, consumers will see the availability of chicken drop.

The issue of perishables will also present itself. As meat processing must be quick, slower production means more goods will go to waste. Meeting supply and demand requires healthy workers to keep the chain going.

The other major factor that will affect the industry is the spread of the virus. That depends on how the Canadian government handles COVID-19 and how efficiently people practice social distancing. Federal funding will aid production, but if the virus remains present, it will continue spreading. If it reaches processing plants, contamination will become a more serious issue than it already is.

Next Steps

To increase resources and support for farmers and migrant workers, the government will need to provide more emergency funding. This step allows the agriculture industry to invest in more tools, sanitation products, financial support and benefits for all workers. Monitoring the spread of the virus is also crucial. If the government can properly track and isolate cases, COVID-19 will dwindle in its effects. Then, meat industry workers will not have to worry about contracting or spreading the coronavirus.

Canadian Federal Government Taking Measures to Reduce Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

 

 

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Agriculture

This will help you understand “Why We Fear The Food We Eat”

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Why We Fear The Food We Eat

Welcome to The Food Fear Series. Our intention with this series is that you will fear less, and enjoy more, the food you eat.

This first video tackles the way our brains sift through the dizzying array of messages we see in food marketing. Our brains have built-in shortcuts that help us navigate a complex world, but sometimes these mental shortcuts can cause problems too. Welcome to the world of heuristics and cognitive bias.

Why We Fear The Food We Eat

Welcome to The Food Fear Series. Our intention with this series is that you will fear less, and enjoy more, the food you eat. This first video tackles the way our brains sift through the dizzying array of messages we see in food marketing. Our brains have built-in shortcuts that help us navigate a complex world, but sometimes these mental shortcuts can cause problems too. Welcome to the world of heuristics and cognitive bias.The Food Fear Series is a collaboration between Know Ideas Media and Futurity Food, and is based on the work of Jack Bobo. Jack is an internationally recognized food futurist and speaker. He was named by Scientific American as one of the 100 most influential people in biotechnology. Jack does an excellent job of presenting complicated information in a way we can all understand, and the team at Know Ideas Media couldn't be happier to collaborating with Jack and Futurity Food. This video is based on the article Why We Fear The Food We Eat (Or, Why You Shouldn't Trust Your Brain), which is available here: https://futurityfood.com/2020/03/10/why-we-fear-the-food-we-eat/Also checkout Jack's website: https://futurityfood.com/Know Ideas Media is on Facebook and Twitter too! @Know Ideas Media

Posted by KNOW IDEAS MEDIA on Friday, April 17, 2020

The Food Fear Series is a collaboration between Know Ideas Media and Futurity Food, and is based on the work of Jack Bobo. Jack is an internationally recognized food futurist and speaker. He was named by Scientific American as one of the 100 most influential people in biotechnology. Jack does an excellent job of presenting complicated information in a way we can all understand, and the team at Know Ideas Media couldn’t be happier to collaborating with Jack and Futurity Food.

This video is based on the article Why We Fear The Food We Eat (Or, Why You Shouldn’t Trust Your Brain), which is available here: https://futurityfood.com/…/…/10/why-we-fear-the-food-we-eat/

Also checkout Jack’s website: https://futurityfood.com/

Know Ideas Media is on Facebook and Twitter too!
@Know Ideas Media

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