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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No signs of resistance to GMO Bt corn in Europe after 16 years of use

No signs of resistance to GMO Bt corn in Europe after 16 years of use

The majority of Bt maize production in the European Union (EU) is concentrated in northeast Spain, which is Europe’s only hotspot where ...
Bangladesh releases high-yielding disease-resistant wheat variety to farmers

Bangladesh releases high-yielding disease-resistant wheat variety to farmers

As wheat farmers in Bangladesh struggle to recover from a 2016 outbreak of a mysterious disease called “wheat blast,” the country’s National ...
Gene silencing could control disease, contamination in wheat and other crops

Gene silencing could control disease, contamination in wheat and other crops

Fusarium graminearum is a major fungal pathogen of cereals worldwide, causing seedling, stem base and floral diseases, including Fusarium Head ...
Australia imports over 60 GMO food crops—but farmers can only grow one

Australia imports over 60 GMO food crops—but farmers can only grow one

Food derived from 60 genetically modified crops can be imported into Australia, but local growers can only grow one GM ...
Viewpoint: Anti-GMO activist Doug Gurian-Sherman's Food Evolution review misrepresents Uganda banana research

Viewpoint: Anti-GMO activist Doug Gurian-Sherman’s Food Evolution review misrepresents Uganda banana research

[Editor's note: Patricia Nanteza is a science communicator at Uganda's National Banana Research Program. The following is excerpted from her letter to ...
Two US Congressional committees ask IARC cancer agency to testify, citing 'scientific integrity' concerns

Two US Congressional committees ask IARC cancer agency to testify, citing ‘scientific integrity’ concerns

Two influential U.S. Congressmen have asked the World Health Organization’s cancer agency to get ready to testify about its work ...
GMO acceptance resistant to education, political and religious beliefs

GMO acceptance resistant to education, political and religious beliefs

A study examining the public's 2006 views on GMOs offers a glimpse into the evolution of the ongoing debate over ...
How one farmer stood up to anti-GMO activists and the Italian state—and won

How one farmer stood up to anti-GMO activists and the Italian state—and won

As chair of the local farmers federation [Giorgio Fidenato, a small-holder farmer growing corn, tomatoes and soybeans in Italy] pushes for ...
Video: How glyphosate herbicide enables no-till, environmentally friendly farming

Video: How glyphosate herbicide enables no-till, environmentally friendly farming

[Editor's note: Jake Freestone is the manager of an arable and sheep LEAF Demonstration Farm in Tewkesbury, England.] [N]o-till or zero-till, ...
Could we protect bees from neonicotinoid insecticides by planting trees?

Could we protect bees from neonicotinoid insecticides by planting trees?

[I]t's unlikely farmers will give up or limit pesticide use, so instead, a team of researchers at the University of ...
Disease-resistant GM potatoes that reduce pesticide use 'worked brilliantly' in UK field trial

Disease-resistant GM potatoes that reduce pesticide use ‘worked brilliantly’ in UK field trial

A genetically-modified (GM) potato designed to resist a devastating plant disease has worked “brilliantly” during the first year of field ...
Can any GMO documentary, pro or con, get the issue right?

Can any GMO documentary, pro or con, get the issue right?

Both films [Food Evolution and Island Earth] were fun to watch. They both also get a lot of the facts right. But ...
EU ban of globally used glyphosate would disrupt agricultural and food markets

EU ban of globally used glyphosate would disrupt agricultural and food markets

Some of Europe’s biggest trade partners fear a potential EU ban on glyphosate could hit exports of crops ranging from ...
Viewpoint: IARC glyphosate cancer advisor Christopher Portier's history of lying about conflicts of interest

Viewpoint: IARC glyphosate cancer advisor Christopher Portier’s history of lying about conflicts of interest

In a deposition last month for a court case pending against Monsanto for glyphosate “damages,” [Christopher Portier, the scientist who ...
EU votes on 5-year glyphosate extension November 9; France for shorter renewal

EU votes on 5-year glyphosate extension November 9; France for shorter renewal

The European Commission has proposed extending the license for weed-killer glyphosate by five years after its initial plan for a ...
Glyphosate herbicide ban won't save anyone from cancer, will harm environment

Glyphosate herbicide ban won’t save anyone from cancer, will harm environment

The widely used weedkiller glyphosate is available in every garden store, but now there are fears it can cause cancer ...
Talking Biotech: Former anti-GMO activist Mark Lynas on how resistance to crop biotechnology hurts small African farms

Talking Biotech: Former anti-GMO activist Mark Lynas on how resistance to crop biotechnology hurts small African farms

Mark Lynas, Cornell Alliance for Science: "Moral injustice" of NGOs preventing Africans from adopting GMO crops driven by "green ideology" ...
Viewpoint: Why GMO crops are planet's best ecological choice

Viewpoint: Why GMO crops are planet’s best ecological choice

Future crops will need to withstand conditions like climate change, low water availability, rising soil salinity, and attacks by pathogens ...
Genetic Literacy Project’s Top 6 Stories for the Week – Oct. 30, 2017

Genetic Literacy Project’s Top 6 Stories for the Week – Oct. 30, 2017

Glyphosate-gate: Policy and science implications of IARC’s ‘predetermined’ cancer finding | Geoffrey Kabat If you lose any of these 7 organs, ...
Neonicotinoid insecticides may hurt honey bee colony health by reducing genetic diversity

Neonicotinoid insecticides may hurt honey bee colony health by reducing genetic diversity

[Editor's note: The following is from a study published in the open-access mega-journal PLOS ONE.] Neonicotinoid insecticides can cause a ...
Illegal spraying of off-label dicamba herbicide main cause of crop damage, BASF says

Illegal spraying of off-label dicamba herbicide main cause of crop damage, BASF says

Illegal spraying of a volatile weedkiller may be the cause of unprecedented damage to crops earlier this year, especially for ...
Weed scientists criticize Monsanto for mishandling dicamba herbicide rollout, drift crisis

Weed scientists criticize Monsanto for mishandling dicamba herbicide rollout, drift crisis

Dicamba, an old weedkiller that's now being used in new ways, has thrust [Kevin Bradley, a professor of weed science ...
Video: Why organic and non-GMO labels don't matter when it comes to eating healthy

Video: Why organic and non-GMO labels don’t matter when it comes to eating healthy

[N]on-GMO labels do more than placate people concerned about scientists secretly tinkering with their food. They might persuade people to make ...
Glyphosate herbicide may negatively impact beneficial soil bacteria in certain situations, study finds

Glyphosate herbicide may negatively impact beneficial soil bacteria in certain situations, study finds

As farmers battle in their above-ground war on weeds, they may inadvertently create underground casualties – unintentionally attacking the beneficial ...
Viewpoint: Former US journalist Carey Gillam should stay out of Europe's glyphosate debate

Viewpoint: Former US journalist Carey Gillam should stay out of Europe’s glyphosate debate

A former agricultural reporter at Reuters, Gillam now presents herself as "the Rachel Carson of the GMO debate." Belgian-based risk ...
EU delays vote on glyphosate herbicide reauthorization; France 'ready to accept' 4-year extension

EU delays vote on glyphosate herbicide reauthorization; France ‘ready to accept’ 4-year extension

EU countries failed on Wednesday [October 25] to vote on a license extension for weedkiller glyphosate, delaying again a decision on ...
Non-GMO condoms? Label's proliferation confuses consumers

Non-GMO condoms? Label’s proliferation confuses consumers

The National Milk Producers Federation launched a “peel back the label” campaign this summer, aimed squarely at a growing list ...
Canada decides not to add further restrictions on dicamba herbicide, as US did

Canada decides not to add further restrictions on dicamba herbicide, as US did

Health Canada will not be further regulating the use of dicamba herbicide sprayed on growing crops, as has happened in ...