National Geographic weighs in on (several) inconvenient truths and (several different sides) of the ‘beef debate’
Animal Feeding / Animal Health / Animal Production / Article / Cattle / Consumption / Environment / Farming Systems / Intensification / Livestock Systems / North America / USA

National Geographic weighs in on (several) inconvenient truths and (several different sides) of the ‘beef debate’

There’s a new feature article in National Geographic this month titled: Carnivore’s Dilemma. Written by Robert Kunzig and photographed by Brian Finke, the feature asks, and attempts to answer, the question: ‘Is America’s appetite for meat bad for the planet?’ Continue reading

Agriculture / Article / Asia / Biotechnology / Environment / Genetics / ILRI / India / North America / Seeds / USA

‘Nature’ takes a hard look at the ‘messy middle ground’ — the ‘difficult adolescence’ — of GM crops

Cover of a special issue of ‘Nature’ on GMOs, 2 May 2013. The leading British science journal Nature has published a special issue on GM crops: Promise and reality  (2 May 2013). This hub of updated science-based information on GM crops includes feature news stories, commentaries, a podcast and more. ‘Foreign genes were successfully introduced into … Continue reading

A4NH / Agri-Health / Agriculture / Animal Diseases / Bird flu / Emerging Diseases / ILRI / North America / Pigs / Poultry / Zoonotic Diseases

The looming danger of diseases spread from farm animals to people–CNN

A CNN report this week on ‘The looming zoonotic danger’ makes use of some astounding figures developed by veterinary epidemiologist Delia Grace and her team at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), based in Kenya. ‘We’ve seen an unprecedented rise in infectious diseases in recent decades, 75 percent of which are “zoonotic,” meaning they come … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Diseases / ASF / Asia / Disease Control / Emerging Diseases / Europe / Event / ILRI / North America / Pigs / Vaccines

African swine fever is growing threat to poor and rich countries alike

Participants of an African swine fever workshop held in July 2011 at ILRI’s Nairobi headquarters: (From left) Raymond Rowland (Kansas State University), David Odongo (ILRI), Richard Bishop (ILRI), Maria-Jesus Munoz (Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal-Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrarias) and Jose-Manuel Vizcaino (head of the World Animal Health Organisation’s African Swine Fever World Reference … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Diseases / CBPP / Disease Control / ILRI / Launch / North America / Research / USA / Vaccines

US National Science Foundation’s BREAD funds Craig Venter and ILRI to battle cattle pneumonia in Africa

Dinner with philanthropist Bill Gates at the home of genome-czar J Craig Venter in La Jolla, California, in 2008 (photo by jurvetson on Flickr). ‘Gates asked the most astute and detailed questions about microbiology’, JCVI reports, and said, ‘DNA is the most interesting software there is.’ The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates … Continue reading

Drought / Food Security / Kenya / North America / USA

Improve US food aid by adding animal-source protein–Oxfam

An undernourished child in Kenya drinks store-bought ‘maziwa lala’ (sour milk) (photo credit: ILRI/Elsworth). Eric Muñoz, a policy adviser for Oxfam America, blogs in the Guardian about a new report that takes a hard look at the commodities the US uses to respond to disaster and food insecurity, such as is unfolding in the Horn of … Continue reading

Animal Breeding / Biotechnology / Canada / Environment / Fish / Food Security / North America / Pigs / Research

Eco-friendly GM pigs under development in Ontario

Min piglets at the experimental station at the Institute for Animal Science, in Beijing, China (photo credit: ILRI/Mann). Jeremy Cooke of the BBC reports in this video on a genetically modified pig, dubbed ‘Enviro-Pig’, being developed in Ontario that may be among the first of GM farm animals developed for human consumption. (Salmon genetically modified … Continue reading

CCAFS / Climate Change / North America / Research

Climate scientists take their arguments to their skeptics

Climate scientists gather at a meeting of the Challenge Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in Nairobi, Kenya in May 2010 (photo credit CCAFS). The Los Angeles Times reported on 8 November 2010 that climate scientists in the US are joining forces and taking their arguments to groups of global warming skeptics. … Continue reading

Animal Feeding / Animal Production / Crop-Livestock / Livestock Systems / North America / USA

How to save the grasslands: Bring in more cattle

To many, the Western grasslands still reflect the essence of this country: the vast plains that begin with prairie and bump up against the Rockies, home to herds of cattle and the cowboys that run them. Yet this indelible image belies the facts, as much of the nation’s rangeland has been degraded by overgrazing. Land … Continue reading