Chemicals & Pesticides

Pesticides are substances that prevent, destroy, repel, or reduce the severity of pests. Pests are living things that occur where they are not wanted or that cause damage to humans, crops, or animals. Pests can be insects, rodents, unwanted plants, bacteria, viruses, or different types of fungus. Pesticides can vary in how toxic they are to humans and the environment. Some are persistent in the environment, animals, and birds, lasting for years; others break down soon after they are released. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants licenses, or registrations, to pesticides that it has found do not pose unreasonable risks to human health and the environment; it has registered at least 865 pesticides, which are used in thousands of pesticide products.

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France to vote against 5-year EU renewal of glyphosate herbicide

France to vote against 5-year EU renewal of glyphosate herbicide

France will vote against a five-year extension of the license for weed-killer glyphosate that the European Commission will propose on ...
Genetic Literacy Project’s Top 6 Stories for the Week – Nov. 27, 2017

Genetic Literacy Project’s Top 6 Stories for the Week – Nov. 27, 2017

CRISPR breathing new life into crop breeding—can it avoid GMO controversy? | Andrew Porterfield Viewpoint: Genetic engineering’s benefits extend far beyond ...
Bee friendly insecticides? Scientists unlock genetic key to kill crop pests, sparing beneficial insects

Bee friendly insecticides? Scientists unlock genetic key to kill crop pests, sparing beneficial insects

Researchers at Michigan State University’s entomology department have unlocked a key to maintain the insecticide’s effectiveness in eliminating pests without ...
Promising GMO and gene-edited wheat varieties hindered by costly regulations, consumer concerns

Promising GMO and gene-edited wheat varieties hindered by costly regulations, consumer concerns

“Everything that my lab has produced is down in the basement.” That is how Peggy G. Lemaux, Ph.D., described the ...
Myth busting: Are natural pesticides really safer than synthetic ones?

Myth busting: Are natural pesticides really safer than synthetic ones?

Both organic and conventional farmers use pesticides, but these chemicals are rampant in nature and many natural ones are more ...
GMO supporters and critics weigh in on FDA's biotech education initiative

GMO supporters and critics weigh in on FDA’s biotech education initiative

[Editor's note: Karl Haro von Mogel is a geneticist with a PhD in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from UW-Madison with ...
Glyphosate, other herbicides may contribute to antibiotic resistance, study finds

Glyphosate, other herbicides may contribute to antibiotic resistance, study finds

New Zealand researchers have found the active ingredients in commonly-used weed killers can cause bacteria to be less susceptible to ...
Neonicotinoid insecticide has 'no adverse effects' on honeybee colony health, meta-analysis finds

Neonicotinoid insecticide has ‘no adverse effects’ on honeybee colony health, meta-analysis finds

A quantitative weight of evidence (QWoE) methodology was used to assess higher-tier studies on the effects of imidacloprid (IMI) on ...
Viewpoint: FDA should crack down on food safety misinformation

Viewpoint: FDA should crack down on food safety misinformation

[Editor's note: Val Giddings is a senior fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. The following is part of a letter ...
EU reauthorizes glyphosate herbicide-resistant GMO sugar beets for import, but not cultivation

EU reauthorizes glyphosate herbicide-resistant GMO sugar beets for import, but not cultivation

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) scientists have cleared a genetically modified sugar beet developed by Monsanto and KWS for reauthorisation ...
Ecuador activist group plans nationwide strike to protest country's loosening of GMO restrictions

Ecuador activist group plans nationwide strike to protest country’s loosening of GMO restrictions

Burning soy seeds lit up the city streets of Guayaquil, Ecuador, last May as dozens of farmers, activists and indigenous ...
Would switching to 100% organic farming help the environment? 'Absolutely not'

Would switching to 100% organic farming help the environment? ‘Absolutely not’

Should the world’s farms go 100 percent organic to protect the environment? Absolutely not. One huge problem is that organic ...
Designer fruit is the future: Genetic engineering adds 'tangible benefits' for consumers

Designer fruit is the future: Genetic engineering adds ‘tangible benefits’ for consumers

Consumers have shown a great deal of resistance to GMO food over the years, but the Golden Arctic apple, which ...
USDA expects quick approval for genetically engineered virus to combat citrus greening disease in Florida

USDA expects quick approval for genetically engineered virus to combat citrus greening disease in Florida

The Agriculture Department is expected to allow Florida citrus growers to start using a genetically engineered virus to protect trees ...
Genetic Literacy Project’s Top 6 Stories for the Week – Nov. 20, 2017

Genetic Literacy Project’s Top 6 Stories for the Week – Nov. 20, 2017

Viewpoint: From Non-GMO to gluten-free, ‘fake transparency’ in food labeling offers little but higher prices | Brandon McFadden Fighting antibiotic ‘superbugs’—DNA ...
Talking Biotech: Soil-worm resistant GMO crops in Africa hindered by politics, public fears

Talking Biotech: Soil-worm resistant GMO crops in Africa hindered by politics, public fears

IITA scientists: GMOs could help fend off nematode crop pests in Africa, but educating policymakers and public about the benefits ...
Claims that glyphosate herbicide causes chronic diseases 'not supported by scientific evidence'

Claims that glyphosate herbicide causes chronic diseases ‘not supported by scientific evidence’

[Editor's note: Robin Mesnage was a coauthor of the retracted study led by anti-GMO activist scientist Gilles-Eric Séralini (GLP profile here) ...
Viewpoint: Organic food fight over hydroponics about money—and that's how farming should be

Viewpoint: Organic food fight over hydroponics about money—and that’s how farming should be

Sustainable farming can’t actually be sustainable if farmers can’t make money doing it. So there’s a certain irony in the organic ...
Fungicides may be to blame for US bumblebee declines, study finds

Fungicides may be to blame for US bumblebee declines, study finds

When a Cornell-led team of scientists analyzed two dozen environmental factors to understand bumblebee population declines and range contractions, they ...
What's a 'GMO' food?

What’s a ‘GMO’ food?

[W]hat exactly is a GMO? The initialism stands for "genetically modified organism," but it's a term lacking scientific precision. Moreover, ...
Monsanto, farmers groups sue California claiming glyphosate cancer warning would be 'false speech'

Monsanto, farmers groups sue California claiming glyphosate cancer warning would be ‘false speech’

Monsanto Co and U.S. farm groups sued California on Wednesday [Nov. 15] to stop the state from requiring cancer warnings ...
Disease-resistant GMO bananas could save $12 billion Cavendish global industry

Disease-resistant GMO bananas could save $12 billion Cavendish global industry

A billion dollar banana industry at risk of a deadly disease could be saved by a scientific breakthrough from a ...
Nanotechnology might help farmers fight climate change, pests and disease–and boost yields

Nanotechnology might help farmers fight climate change, pests and disease–and boost yields

Researchers are exploring the impact of using nanoscale nutrients––including copper––on eggplants and other crops. While early results have shown substantial ...
Viewpoint: Blame activist social media for Europe's anti-science crusade against glyphosate

Viewpoint: Blame activist social media for Europe’s anti-science crusade against glyphosate

[Editor's note: Richard Hackett is an Agronomist based in North County Dublin, Ireland.] [A]ccess to abundant food has led to complacency ...
What's next in the long, heated battle over bees and neonicotinoid insecticides?

What’s next in the long, heated battle over bees and neonicotinoid insecticides?

[S]tudies showing real-world evidence of harm from pesticides in the field have been mounting — and environmental organizations have demanded ...
Viewpoint: From Non-GMO to gluten-free, 'fake transparency’ in food labeling offers little but higher prices

Viewpoint: From Non-GMO to gluten-free, ‘fake transparency’ in food labeling offers little but higher prices

At what point does food labeling become less about transparency and more about marketing strategy? A new federal law mandating ...
GMO stigma: The challenge of growing virus-resistant papaya in Hawaii

GMO stigma: The challenge of growing virus-resistant papaya in Hawaii

[Michael] Kamiya is a strong supporter of agricultural technology, which he credits for saving his family’s farm. He has childhood ...
European farmers: Finding replacement for glyphosate is no easy task

European farmers: Finding replacement for glyphosate is no easy task

As European politicians move toward blocking the use of glyphosate, farmers there are facing the prospect of using less-effective replacements ...