Viewpoint: ‘Anti-insecticide crusade’ threatens food security of 20 million people as locusts swarm across East Africa

locustskenya
A locust swarm in Kenya. Credit: AP

A plague of locusts has hit Africa. Massive swarms are devouring crops and other vegetation in their path, imperiling millions and setting the stage for a humanitarian disaster. On his recent visit to three African countries, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo committed a welcome $8 million to aid in locust control. If the U.S. really wants to help, it would stand firm against the radical anti-insecticide agenda.

The desert locust, which the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization describes as “the most destructive migratory pest in the world,” can fly as far as 120 miles a day …. The U.N. says that more than 20 million people in East Africa are facing food shortages.

Related article:  Microbes living in plant roots fight off fungal infection, cutting need for pesticides, study shows

The best way to stop the locusts is to spray insecticide from the air …. The radical environmental movement, which seeks to ban fenitrothion and other safe and effective chemicals, has made Kenyan authorities’ work more difficult.

Since last September, European Union-funded nongovernmental organizations in Kenya have been petitioning the Kenyan Parliament to ban more than 250 registered agricultural insecticides …. The chemicals the Greens seek to ban are essential for controlling not only locusts but also common agricultural pests, weeds and fungi. Even as locusts devastate Kenyan crops, NGO lobbyists continue their anti-insecticide crusade.

Read the original post (Behind paywall)

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend