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Is the way we farm animals and turn them into food part of the problem or the solution to the myriad of social and environmental issues we face today? 
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ARC2020 March Newsletter

Hello and welcome to our March Newsletter!
 
Welcome to long time readers and the significant numbers who have joined up in January and February. We've a new look to this newsletter and a new focus in our communications. 
 
For 2016, we've started to focus on generating deeper exchanges via debates. We'll still have plenty of one off articles focused on our core areas, but we are also really delving into topics in detail, with a number of apt contributions for each debate. Key organisations and informed individuals have already started to contribute. See later on in this newsletter for our first one, the #LivestockDebate. All our favorite topics areas - like CAP and Agroecology  - will provide fodder for this new approach to how we interact with our community.

Since our last newsletter we've been on the streets - at Wir Haben Es Satt 2016 (check out the audio!) and over at COP21 in Paris for the climate change talks. If you fancy a long read, one that really  opens up on what it was like to be on the ground in state-of-emergency France over those momentous days, try this for size! Storytelling with the full range of audio visual props.

Farmers have hit the streets too with the dairy crisis enduring and Commissioner Hogan under pressure: we've a dedicated series on this.

We noticed that soil has become a really regular topic for us in recent times - we just can't get enough of that mucky, dirty stuff of life! Hopefully you find it as enchanting and exciting as we do.

But that's not the only topic that reeled us in of late. Here's a selection of our favourites:
Do pop over to see some of the new sections on our website - our topics keep expanding, we've a dedicated video channel now, and you'll find every newsletter since 2011, plus a full article archive stretching back all the way to 2010. Its quite a compendium. And don't forget - our social media voice keeps getting louder and more engaged. So join us for a  chat there too, on twitter and facebook. We're there around the clock to help break as much news as we can for you via social media.

Enjoy! And why not get involved and active in making food, farming and the rural space better - if you have article or topic ideas, or if you'd like to contribute, do get in touch.

Dr. Oliver Moore and Luise Körner (Communications Team, ARC2020)
pesticides
soil
 
“The Ombudsman noted that the Commission admitted” specific pesticides in question were “approved at a time when relevant parts of the assessment could not be completed because the applicants had provided insufficient information (data gaps). EFSA [European Food Safety Authority] also pointed out several concerns as regards each of these substances. Even though it suggested mitigation measures at the level of the Member States, the Commission still granted approval. It did so even though it appeared to lack sufficient documentation in order to be able to take properly informed decisions…” Read more at arc2020.eu
Soil in the EU – Institution Inertia & People Progress
 
It is almost two years since the European Commission withdrew its proposal for a directive related to a Thematic Strategy on soil protection. The current European Commission plans no further action in this matter. Without a clear indication from the EU, Member States will continue to not taking care with soil. Yet the data of soil consumption and loss of soil fertility are appalling. In this context, civil society simply has to act. Twenty environmental groups wrote in May 2015 a letter to the European Commission asking it re-initiate a proposal for a directive on soil. Read more at arc2020.eu
Is the way we farm animals and turn them into food part of the problem or the solution to the myriad of social and environmental issues we face today? This is the core question we address in a livestock debate series on ARC2020. With contributions by Shefali Sharma, Sheldon Frith, Frank Armstrong, Olivier De Schutter, Hans Herren and Emile Frison. Join the debate here: www.arc2020.eu/livestockdebate
Events
Two More Meta Analysis find Organic to be Nutritionally Superior to Conventional
 
Two new studies show organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than non-organic.  In addition to organic milk and meat, the nutritional differences also apply to organic dairy like butter, cream, cheese and yoghurt. The research presented strong evidence that switching to food produced using organic standards can lead to increased intake of nutritionally desirable antioxidants, without increased calories, as well as a reduced intake of potentially harmful cadmium and pesticides. Read the full article at arc2020.eu
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