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Global consensus finds neonicotinoids not driving honeybee health problems. Why is Europe determined to ban them?

November 4th, 2019

One of the more intriguing subplots in the melodramatic debate over neonicotinoids and the ‘future of bees’ is the apparent divergence of viewpoints by risk and regulatory agencies on the potential threat to pollinators posed by the insecticide.

There is no question that the health of bees is an issue––mostly, entomologists say, because of bee …

As weeds outsmart the latest weedkillers, farmers are running out of easy options

April 15th, 2019 / The Salt

There was a moment, about 20 years ago, when farmers thought that they’d finally defeated weeds forever.

Biotech companies had given them a new weapon: genetically engineered crops that could tolerate doses of the herbicide glyphosate, also known by its trade name, Roundup. Farmers could spray this chemical right over their …

Soil pollution comes under scrutiny

June 27th, 2017 / FAO, Italy

Soil pollution, due mostly to human activities that leave excess chemicals in soils used to grow food, took centre stage at the 5th Global Soil Partnership (GSP) Plenary Assembly held at FAO headquarters this week.
Excess nitrogen and trace metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury can impair plant metabolism …

RNA clay offers green alternative to plant pesticides

January 27th, 2017 /, UK

A nano-sized bio-degradable clay-comprising double stranded ribonucleic acid (dsRNA) could offer a cost-effective, clean and green alternative to chemical-based plant pesticides.
Australian researchers from the University of Queensland have successfully used a gene-silencing spray, named BioClay, a combination of biomolecules and clay, to protect tobacco plants from a virus for 20 …

Addressing GMO concerns (2): are agricultural chemicals hazardous, overused?

January 20th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

This is the second article in a three-part series exploring some common concerns heard about GMOs.
The use of herbicides and pesticides in modern farming may be the most misunderstood issue out there. Let’s try to reconnect it with reality a little bit. There are currently two major traits that GE …

Reduce the use of herbicides in yam production, caution scientists

July 29th, 2016 /

B4FA Fellow, Noah Nash reports from Ghana: A Yam breeder with the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI, Dr. Emmanuel Chambas has urged yam growers in the northern region to minimise the use of chemical in the production of yam set for the export market. See …

Experts to seek remedies for post-harvest losses

June 16th, 2016 /

There is an urgent need to improve large-scale grain and produce storage in Africa to reduce food losses to protect consumers from the serious health consequences of high aflatoxin levels, experts have said. Philippe Villers, the president of GrainPro, a US-based green “not-only-for-profit” company, said proper drying of grains …

Farmer of the year advocates a ‘Third Way’

January 20th, 2016 / Seedstock, US

Farmer of the Year, Amy Hepworth, says, “the organic movement is wonderful. It got us off the worst chemicals, and we’ve never gone back. Right now we have the most abundant and safest food supply in human history. We need to continue to employ applied science to improve and heal …