GFM Network News

(Stephen Ausmus photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Risk of human spread of H5N8 bird flu deemed low

Seven people infected but asymptomatic, WHO says

Reading Time: < 1 minute Geneva | Reuters — The risk of human-to-human spread of the H5N8 strain of bird flu appears low after it was identified for the first time worldwide in farm workers in Russia, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. A separate influenza strain, H1N1, that emerged from pigs and spread rapidly worldwide among humans […] Read more

File photo of a bridge over the Yalu River boundary between China and North Korea. (Tarzan9280/iStock/Getty Images)

U.N. expert says ‘some are starving’ in North Korea

Estimated 40 per cent of North Koreans need humanitarian aid, WFP says

Reading Time: 2 minutes Geneva | Reuters — A United Nations human rights expert voiced alarm on Tuesday at “widespread food shortages and malnutrition” in North Korea, made worse by a nearly five-month border closure with China and strict quarantine measures against COVID-19. Tomas Ojea Quintana, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, […] Read more

A slide is pictured behind members of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) during a news conference on the Special Report on Climate Change and Land after IPCC’s 50th session in Geneva on Aug. 8, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Denis Balibouse)

UN flags need to reduce meat consumption to curb land use impact on global warming

Reading Time: 3 minutes London/Geneva | Reuters — Global meat consumption must fall to curb global warming, reduce growing strains on land and water and improve food security, health and biodiversity, a United Nations report on the effects of climate change concluded. Although the report stopped short of explicitly advocating going meat-free, it called for big changes to farming […] Read more

(Peggy Greb photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

China reports more severe form of bird flu, threat to poultry

Reading Time: 2 minutes Geneva/Beijing | Reuters — China is working to assess the prevalence of a new strain of H7N9 bird flu, state radio reported Wednesday, after global health authorities said the strain had evolved into a more severe form in birds. So far the variant strain has only been detected in Guangdong province, but given the wide […] Read more

Temple ruins at Palmyra in central Syria. (

Food production in Syria reported at all-time low

Reading Time: 2 minutes Geneva | Reuters — Food production has dropped to an all-time low in Syria where millions of hungry civilians are struggling through their sixth winter in a war zone, United Nations agencies said Tuesday. Many farmers have had to abandon their land, unable to afford the soaring cost of seeds, fertilizers and tractor fuel, the […] Read more

Fighters target vital water facilities across Middle East

Reading Time: 2 minutes Geneva | Reuters –– Fighters are increasingly targetting water and sanitation facilities across the Middle East, exacerbating severe shortages for agriculture and households, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Wednesday. Consumption of water in the volatile region with rising populations was already at unsustainable levels in many areas hit by record-low […] Read more

WHO issues first guidelines on sodium intake for children

Reading Time: 2 minutes The World Health Organization (WHO) has for the first time recommended limits on children’s daily consumption of sodium, which it hoped would help in the global fight against diet-related diseases becoming chronic among all populations. In advice to its 194 member states on Thursday, the United Nations agency noted high sodium levels were a factor […] Read more