The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

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As Societies Urbanize Food Importation Increases

This is a phenomenon I’m finding in article after article all over the world.  As societies urbanize, they become more and more dependent on food imports.  In his piece “Do You Remember How Real Organic Food Looks and Tastes Like?” Vladimir Stoiljkovic documents how many Serbian villages are now populated mainly by the elderly as young people leave to find work in cities like Belgrade, Novi Sad and Nis.  As a result of this migration:

…only elderly remain to work the land and tend the cattle. However, due to the age limit and all it brings, they are not capable to work the land anymore like they used to, so more and more households in Serbia are abandoned and left to waste.
As a result of this and strong import lobby, the supply of domestic agricultural products from Serbia in shops and markets is decreasing.Serbia, once a country with respectable agriculture and livestock, has in a relatively short time become dependent of food imports. The citizens of Serbia have come to a situation where, instead of Serbian, they every day eat potatoes from China, beans from Tajikistan and apples from Italy, because there is no alternative, especially not in larger supermarkets of the known distribution chains in Serbia, which are, by the way, owned by foreign companies.



Monsanto Feeling Pressure from the Public

Mandy Adwell at The 9 Billion blog notes that “it has been a rough year for Monsanto, especially in Europe.”

After several countries banned the use of genetically modified seeds and several others banned the use of certain pesticides, the company has announced it will withdraw all pending approval requests for new genetically modified crops in the European Union, due to a lack of prospects for cultivation.
In an interview with Reuters, Monsanto president Jose Manuel Madero cited this as a strategic business move, saying it will allow the company to focus more on conventional seeds such as maize, soybeans, and sugar beets in Europe. It will also maintain the application to renew the approval of MON810 maize, the only GMO crop that is commercially cultivated in parts of Europe. France, Italy, and Germany have all passednational bans on the crop, even though it is still approved by the EU.
Despite recent bans and widespread public opposition to genetically modified crops, the company’s seed business still accounts for more than 98% of its $1.72 billion turnover in Europe.
While this isn’t a drastically huge move that will forever change the food industry, it’s still a sign of the possibility that Monsanto is feeling pressure from the public to change its ways or get out. It will be a long time before we see a positive shift in how it is incorporated into the food industry – if that ever happens – but small steps in our favor are always good news. Maybe the March Against Monsanto back in May did send them a loud message.

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Catholic law and federal law collide over Crimen Sollictationas

The Latin expression crimen sollicitationis refers to a sexual advance made before, during or immediately after administration of the sacrament .

Hunt Henion in the Examiner brings news of the, “slowly emerging conflict between Catholic law and federal law[that] hit the fan today when Catholic clergy were ordered to refuse to enforce the church law called Crimen Sollicitationas.”

“Thousands of Catholic clergy and officials are being issued an Order to Comply with child protection laws this week, which requires that they publicly vow to uphold those laws and not collude in or enforce the criminal church statute known as Crimen Sollicitationas.”

This Order is being translated and distributed to clergy in twenty one countries, including Italy and the Vatican. Priests and other church officials have ten days, until Sunday, July 7, to comply with the Order or face banishment as public enemies and participants in crimes against children.

If you are wondering what Crimen Sollicitationis is and why Catholic clergy must refuse to enforce it, the Wikepdia definition is as follows.  I’m going to assume the problem stems from the confidentiality of the documents.

Crimen sollicitationis (Latincrime of solicitation) is the title of a 1962 document (“Instruction”) of the Holy Office codifying procedures to be followed in cases of priests or bishops of theCatholic Church accused of having used the sacrament of Penance to make sexual advances to penitents.

The 1962 document, approved by Pope John XXIII and signed by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, Secretary of the Holy Office, was addressed to “all PatriarchsArchbishopsBishops and other Local Ordinaries, including those of Eastern Rite“. It gave specific instructions on how to carry out the rules in the Code of Canon Law:[5] on dealing with such cases, and directed that the same procedures be used when dealing with denunciations of homosexual, pedophile or zoophile behaviour by clerics. Dioceses were to use the instruction for their own guidance and keep it in their archives for confidential documents;[6] they were not to publish the instruction nor produce commentaries on it.