GFM Network News


chick and eggs

Determining the sex of a chick while in the egg could make a Canadian technology a global hit

Incubating only female eggs would virtually double the 
efficiency of hatcheries and eliminate animal welfare issues


A new system to sex eggs before they hatch funded by the Ontario Poultry Industry Council (OPIC) could change the way egg hatcheries operate around the world. The machine is being commercialized by an unnamed Brockville, Ont. company and is set to enter the final testing phase later this year, said Harry Pelissero, general manager

NuVal label

Cap’n Crunch and chocolate chip cookies don’t score well

Researchers find that Canadian and U.S. labelling systems 
make little difference

Canadian and U.S. nutrition labelling systems aren’t helpful in helping consumers make wise food choices, say McGill University researchers. In a study published in the December issue of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, the researchers compared four different labelling systems and found that the Nutrition Facts label currently required on most


truck being filled with grain

Conflicting ideologies cloud debate on farm chemicals

Chemical farmers view the notion that organic is more profitable as just plain wrong

Anti-organic: Why do some farmers resist profitable change? Why do some farmers who use farm chemicals resist a conversion to organic methods even when it can be more profitable? A new study in the Journal of Marketing suggests it may be because making that change feels like switching belief systems. “The ideological map of American

Cattle on pasture in Argentina.  Photo: Laureano Gherardi

Sometimes cattle don’t displace trees — the trees displace cattle

New non-cattle-ranching owners of U.S. rangeland are one reason for brush encroachment

Half of the Earth’s land mass is made up of rangelands, which include grasslands and savannas, yet they are being transformed at an alarming rate. Woody plants, such as trees and shrubs, are moving in and taking over, leading to a loss of critical habitat and causing a drastic change in the ability of ecosystems

Car exhaust muffler

Odds slim to none that global warming natural

It doesn’t matter how you cut the numbers, 
human activity is behind it

An analysis of temperature data since 1500 all but rules out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is just a natural fluctuation in the Earth’s climate, according to a new study by McGill University physics professor, Shaun Lovejoy. The study, published online April 6 in the journal Climate Dynamics, represents a new


Joint study sheds light on debate over organic versus conventional agriculture

Researchers at McGill and the University of Minnesota are calling for combining best of both approaches

Can organic agriculture feed the world? Although organic techniques may not be able to do the job alone, they do have an important role to play in feeding a growing global population while minimizing environmental damage, according to researchers at McGill University and the University of Minnesota. A new study published in Nature concludes that

Brewers And Maltsters Fund Barley Research

he Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute (BMBRI) has announced a total of $92,000 in funding for five projects this year. BMBRI represents brewing and malting companies from Canada and across North America. We recognize that barley acreage has fallen over the past several years, and our members want to contribute to research what will

The Ambassador’s Cheerios

David Jacobson, U.S. ambassador to Canada, gave this year’s Fulbright Lecture at McGill University on Canada-U. S. relations. He used the occasion to argue that the two countries should sit down together and negotiate greater regulatory harmonization, especially in areas such as food standards. He illustrated his point by making fun of the “unnecessary” differences


In Brief… – for Apr. 21, 2011

Food safety chair:Is our food safe to eat? A new Chair in Food Safety the first of its kind in Canada puts McGill University at the head of the table in seeking answers to that question. The chair will undertake collaborative research, offer undergraduate and graduate teaching programs, and provide the independent, third-party expertise on

Climate Change A Mixed Bag For Farming On The Prairies

In an 1860 report to the British government, Captain John Palliser recommended against settling the southern Canadian Prairies because he considered the area too arid and poorly suited for farming. Now, a century and a half later, his words may be prescient. The Palliser Triangle, a 200,000-square-km area named after the 19th century explorer and