Posts Tagged ‘genetic engineering’

This Happy Hour, How About Pesticide Cocktails?

A recent blog post by Tom Philpott pointed to growing evidence that neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments of corn are harming bees. There is new evidence that combining several common insecticides, a “pesticide cocktail” in the jargon, may increase harm. Read More

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Rachel Carson’s Nightmare: Herbicide-Tolerant Weeds

It is ironic that a new scientific paper documenting U.S.agriculture’s mounting dependence on chemical pesticides should appear only weeks after the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Read More

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Monsanto Improves its Bottom Line…But Not Agriculture

The Monsanto Company is raking it in—last week they reported third quarter profits of $937 million. Yes, you read that right: Monsanto’s profit for the three-month period ending May 31 amounted to nearly a billion dollars, up a whopping 35% from the same quarter last year. That raging river of cash flowing in must make it easy for the company to finance a flurry of advertising and lobbying extolling the virtues its products. According to Monsanto’s PR, the company is feeding a growing population, protecting natural resources, and promoting biodiversity.

But the truth is decidedly less impressive, and now UCS is setting the record straight with an ad campaign of our own. Read More

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The Trojan Horse of Biotechnology

I am sitting at my desk looking at a slim report published in March 1990 at the dawn of the crop biotechnology era. On the matte blue cover are pictures of a then-new commercial equation: a small corn plant enclosed in a chemistry flask and a big barrel of herbicide. The report, “Biotechnology’s Bitter Harvest: Herbicide Tolerant Crops and the Threat to Sustainable Agriculture,” * asked whether herbicide-tolerant crops (HTCs) are a wise use of this powerful new technology. Read More

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Resistant Weeds According to Monsanto—Less than Half the Story

The harm to agriculture from pests that have developed resistance to the premier products of the biotech industry—crops containing Bt insect toxins or immune to the herbicide Roundup (containing glyphosate)—has been receiving well justified attention recently. Read More

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Surviving in a Thirsty World

Clean, fresh water is an increasingly scare resource in many parts of the world—and that will get worse with climate change. A recent research article reminds us that agriculture is by far the biggest user of fresh water, and calculates that it is responsible for about 92 percent of human water use. Read More

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Biodiversity: It’s Not Just about Pandas and Polar Bears

As I slogged into my garden, soaked by recent tropical storms and hurricane Irene, and pushed back the leaves of my zucchini plants, the wild bumblebee emerging from one of the flowers reminded me that I wasn’t doing all of the work in this plot of vegetables. Read More

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Engineered Pest Problems

Genetically engineered crops contain combinations of two widely successful types of genes—glyphosate herbicide resistance that allows spraying the weed killer onto crops without harming them, and toxins, collectively called Bt, that kill some insect pests. Read More

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Will Genetic Engineering Divert Us from Essential Food Production Science?

Climate change, increasing population, greater demand for animal products, and the un-sustainability of current food production: All will challenge our ability to produce enough food in coming decades. Read More

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