press review - may 5/11, 2018


WHO recommends eating less saturated and trans fats

This is the latest recommendation from the World Health Organization, which is shining a light on excessive consumption of saturated and trans fats by adults and children. Foods like meat, butter, eggs, and cow milk should account for no more than 10 per cent of daily calories in order to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Each year, 70 per cent of the 54 million premature deaths are caused by cardiovascular disease. 

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Soil pollution puts our health at risk

A recent report from the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization presented at the Global Symposium on Soil Pollution in Rome, advises that soil pollution is a worrying threat for the productivity of agriculture, food safety and human health. Already a third of soils is degraded, but not much data is available today, especially regarding developing countries. Intensive farming, industrial production and growing urbanization appear to be the main causes. 

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Malawi News Agency - AllAfrica

The 'Better' project will help 26,000 farmers in Malawi

Launched last year, the project improved food security for small farmers in Malawi's Chiradzulu district and is implemented by Action Aid, among others. Better (Better Extension Training Transforming Economic Returns), promotes sustainable farming practices through training and the use of the right small scale irrigation technologies, thus improving the resilience of local farmers. 

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Fipronil, 1 in 7 samples exceeds legal thresholds

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) stated that more than one in seven samples of eggs and chicken from Member States showed traces of Fipronil, a wide spectrum insecticide, above the legal limit. Most of these came from the Netherlands. The substance should not be found in meat and eggs for human consumption, and it indicates environmental contamination. Monitoring began last year, after millions of eggs from Belgium and Holland were recalled because of contamination. Fipronil is considered “moderately toxic”, if consumed in high amounts. 

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The Guardian

What is the real cost of meat in our diet?

In a long article, Guardian journalist Bibi van der Zee looks at how meat consumption has been key to the development of our society. And how today the meat industry is one of the main culprits for water pollution, deforestation and soil degradation. Is veganism the only possible way out? Or could a low animal protein diet provide a solution? 

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In Myanmar the first Climate smart villages

The International Institute For Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) launched the CSV (Climate Smart Village) program in Myanmar last April. Co-run with CGIAR, the project supplies local farmers with the tools to adapt to the new conditions dictated by climate change. This Asian country is already experiencing its effects, which affect the agricultural industry in particular: extreme weather and long droughts are testing the nation's food security. 

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Commissione Europea

European Budget for the Future

The European Commission published an infographics showing how 25 per cent of its 2021-2027 expenditure will contribute towards achieving the sustainability goals, environmental protection and the fight against climate change. This is a 20 per cent increase compared to the amounts budgeted for 2014-2020.

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Air quality database update from the World Health Organization

More than 80 per cent of the urban population is exposed to air that exceeds the pollution limits set by WHO. 97 per cent of cities above 100,000 inhabitants in low and medium income countries do not comply with the standards, while the figure for high income countries is 49 per cent.

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Science Advances

A climate model that can forecast the increase in temperature variability in poor countries

Some of the most challenging aspects of climate change are extreme events such as heat waves. Climate models keep forecasting an increase in temperature variability in tropical countries in the next decades. During the sunniest season, temperature variability increases by nearly 15 per cent in the Amazon and Southern Africa, and up to 10 per cent in Sahel, India and South East Asia. 

The countries that least contributed to climate change and are most vulnerable to extreme events, are likely to be the ones to experience the biggest increases in variability.  

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