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Viewpoint: No, wild bees haven’t been decimated by neonicotinoids, glyphosate

September 20th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Bees and pesticides (and not just insecticides) have been the focus of activists and scientists alike, particularly since a 2006-2008 wave of Colony Collapse Disorder, during which millions of domestic honeybees disappeared.
For a few years, environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council claimed that insecticides, particularly …

Counterfeit pesticides cost farmers Sh120bn

August 10th, 2018 / The Star, Kenya

The country is losing at least Sh120 billion in revenue to unregistered agro-chemicals dealers and counterfeit pesticides, according to Agrochemicals Association of Kenya (AAK) chairperson Patrick Amayunzu.
AAK said counterfeits account for 15 to 20 per cent of agrochemicals being distributed in the country, posing a threat to farmers and the …

GM potato can help cut pesticide use by up to 90%

May 23rd, 2018 / ISAAA, US

A new study conducted by a team of scientists from Wageningen University & Research and Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority reveals that a potato variety genetically engineered to resist potato blight can help reduce the use of chemical fungicides by up to 90 percent. The approach uses …

Scientists hail European ban on bee-harming pesticides

May 1st, 2018 / Nature, UK

In a long-awaited decision, the European Union today voted to ban the use of three controversial neonicotinoid insecticides on all crops grown outdoors.
The vote ends years of bitter wrangling between those in favour of a ban, including environmental groups and many scientists, and opponents of further restrictions, including neonicotinoid manufacturers. …

Scientists want to replace pesticides with bacteria

April 19th, 2018 / Bloomberg, US

Fresh snow coats the sidewalks outside Indigo Ag Inc.’s Boston offices, but inside the temperature is calibrated to mimic spring in the Midwest. Hundreds of almost identical soy seedlings sit beneath high-intensity arc lamps, basking in the artificially sunny 60F weather.
The plants aren’t destined to stay identical for long. “We …

Crop protection companies making strides in Africa

April 18th, 2018 / IEG Policy

Africa is making steady progress towards agricultural transformation. Over the past decade there has been a dramatic change in different countries and various localities. There is a noticeable upward shift in expenditure on agriculture by national governments in African countries.
Many countries have reaffirmed their commitment to prioritizing agriculture in their …

Resistance to the usual pesticides makes armyworm more dangerous

April 16th, 2018 / The Star, Kenya

Agriculture is grappling with many pests already, and as USAid’s Regina Eddy says, the armyworm is unique in that it is resistant to many conventional pesticides. Eddy is the coordinator of Fall Armyworm Task Force at the USAid Bureau of Food Security.
She said the pest also has a voracious appetite …

Hybrid swarm of ‘mega-pests’ threatens crops worldwide, warn scientists

April 9th, 2018 / The Independent, UK

A pair of major agricultural pests have combined to produce a “mega-pest” that could threaten crops around the world.
Losses from the original pest species, cotton bollworms and corn earworms, already amounts to billions of dollars worth of food.
But a hybrid of the two, shows signs of rapidly developing …

Disease-resistant GMO crops can reduce pesticide use

March 19th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Recently, University of Florida plant geneticists Zhonglin Mou and Kevin Folta, along with their team of graduate students, announced a new method to fight common diseases in fruit plants. Their discovery could drastically reduce the use of fungicides if widely implemented by growers!
Unfortunately, their methods may never be put to …

Bt Corn associated with higher yields, less insecticide use in neighboring fields

March 16th, 2018 / The Scientist, Canada

In 1996, scientists introduced a type of transgenic maize with built-in protection against pests, such as the European corn borer, using genes derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis that code for proteins toxic to some insects but harmless to humans. Since then, a host of studies have quantified the benefits—in …