press review - may 12/18, 2018


WHO calls for trans fats to be eliminated by 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared that eliminating industrially-produced trans fats would prevent 500,000 deaths per year from cardiovascular disease. Trans fats can be found in fried, baked and snack foods because they extend the shelf life of food, but they are bad for consumers, considering the fact that they increase heart disease risk by 21 percent and deaths by 28 percent.

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Insurance companies can help farming and tackle climate change

A new type of insurance dedicated to small farmers is now all the rage. Index insurance is linked to extreme weather events, and it can protect farmers in the case of climate variability. Insurance companies do not have to send people into the field, but they can determine the payouts using specific variables, in partnership with universities and research centers such as the CGIAR.

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Morning Star

Beyond Meat ready for the international market

The American company is among the leaders in the production of plant-based burgers, and it has announced it is ready to expand its global presence. Following the success and doubled sales in 2017, its plant-based protein-packed patties are ready to travel over the US borders. Last year, the company sold more than 13 million of its plant-based burgers in nearly 15,000 restaurants and grocery stores across the U.S. 

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International Food Policy Research Institute

Global Report on Food Crises: rising food insecurity in 2018

In 2017, an estimated 124 million people faced food insecurity, up from 108 million in 2016. This rise has been driven by ongoing conflict and persistent drought, two trends that are expected to continue in 2018. These were the findings of the recent 2018 Global Report on Food Crises, produced by 12 leading global and regional organizations and released by the Food Security Information Network (FSIN). The report emphasized that the number of people facing acute food crises will likely continue to rise.

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CO2 levels are at their highest in 800,000 years

For the first time in recorded history, the average monthly level of CO2 in the atmosphere has exceeded 410 parts per million (ppm). This occurred in April, according to observations made at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. In our 800,000-year record, the concentration of greenhouse gases has never been this high, and you would need to go back 50 million years to find levels above 400 ppm, when the planet was quite different from what it is today.

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Washington Post

Noise pollution is comparable to passive smoking

New York University has a five-year study underway to monitor noise in New York. Indeed, complaints of rising decibels in the Big Apple are on the rise. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that noise below an average of 70 decibels over 24 hours is safe, whereas the level in Europe remains below 50 decibels.

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Food safety metrics: an overview of existing tools for researchers, policymakers and practitioners

The safety of food is a matter of growing concern, especially following the recent publication of the first ever global study on the burden of foodborne diseases by the World Health Organization (WHO) over nearly a decade. The study estimated that the global burden of foodborne diseases was comparable to that of HIV/AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis, with low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) bearing 98% of this burden. Yet despite this, food safety system performance and related disease outcomes are predominantly measured in high income countries (HICs).

In order better to understand how this gap can be closed, the Food Safety Group has produced two reports - a technical brief and an extended working paper - that synthesize the range of metrics available for measuring and monitoring food safety, with a focus on LMIC-contexts.


United Nations

Mothers and children lacking basic nutrition in North Korea: alarm raised by UN food aid chief

The head of the United Nations food relief agency declared that many mothers and young children in North Korea are still relying on humanitarian aid to meet their nutritional needs.


Mother Jones

Drinking water? Bats know where to find it

Bats could even help municipalities detect changes in the quality of their water. These are the findings of research conducted in Namibia.

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United Nations

Youth and civil society are 'change agents' for restoring forests

It’s up to young people and civil society groups to reverse the long-term trend of deforestation around the world.

That’s the view of Hiroto Mitsugi, Assistant Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Forestry Department, discussing how deforestation can be stopped worldwide, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal target date of 2020.