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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Restoring soil health: Synthetic fertilizer use could be cut, nutrients restores with GMO bacteria

Restoring soil health: Synthetic fertilizer use could be cut, nutrients restores with GMO bacteria

[A recent study] shows how genetically modified soil micro-organisms can help restore nutrients in the soil to increase crop yield ...
Combating climate change: Glyphosate herbicide ban would hurt no-till farming, conservation agriculture

Combating climate change: Glyphosate herbicide ban would hurt no-till farming, conservation agriculture

[Editor's note: Pedro Vigneau is president of the Argentine Association of Producers in Direct Sowing (Aapresid), a farmers organization in Argentina.] ...
EU may vote on complete ban of neonicotinoid insecticides this week

EU may vote on complete ban of neonicotinoid insecticides this week

EU countries are poised to vote on a proposal to introduce tougher restrictions on three neonicotinoids in the coming days ...
Monsanto rolls out cash incentive for farmers who use controversial dicamba herbicide

Monsanto rolls out cash incentive for farmers who use controversial dicamba herbicide

Monsanto Co will give cash back to U.S. farmers who buy a weed killer that has been linked to widespread ...
Talking Biotech: How will dicamba herbicide-resistant GMO crops fare after contamination fiasco?

Talking Biotech: How will dicamba herbicide-resistant GMO crops fare after contamination fiasco?

Agronomist Karen Corrigan: Companies, farmers, and weed scientists should focus more on solutions to dicamba drift issues and less on ...
Organic food helps you get pregnant? Media outlets fall for 'activist science'

Organic food helps you get pregnant? Media outlets fall for ‘activist science’

[Editor's note: Terence Bradshaw is a research associate at the University of Vermont. He has a PhD in plant & soil science.] ...
insect-drones 12/7/17

Fighting Zika with drones and genetically engineered mosquitoes

At Rutgers University ... engineers are developing “skeetercopters” that can detect and map mosquito-infested sites from the air — and douse ...
Viewpoint: 'Radical change' needed to make global food system sustainable

Viewpoint: ‘Radical change’ needed to make global food system sustainable

The Green Revolution of the post-World War II era has rightly been hailed as a huge achievement for humankind. Transformation ...
Would switching to organic farming cut greenhouse gas emissions?

Would switching to organic farming cut greenhouse gas emissions?

A new study, led by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, gives the impression that a large-scale shift to organic farming ...
Quantity vs quality: Burkina Faso's problems with Monsanto's insect-resistant GMO Bt cotton

Quantity vs quality: Burkina Faso’s problems with Monsanto’s insect-resistant GMO Bt cotton

In 2000, farmers in Burkina Faso, Africa’s top cotton grower, were desperate. Their cotton fetched top prices because its high-quality ...
US House science committee warns IARC it 'may reconsider taxpayer funding'

US House science committee warns IARC it ‘may reconsider taxpayer funding’

U.S. congressional committee members warned on Friday [Dec. 8] that Washington’s funding of the World Health Organization’s cancer research agency ...
Organic movement schism? Fight over hydroponics puts $50 billion industry in limbo

Organic movement schism? Fight over hydroponics puts $50 billion industry in limbo

The USDA's ruling that crops grown using hydroponics and aquaculture can be labeled organic set off a heated debate over ...
Top 5 most ridiculous types of Non-GMO Project labeled products

Top 5 most ridiculous types of Non-GMO Project labeled products

The stuff with no G to M It would stand to reason that any Non-GMO Project certified item would have ...
Women in science: Geneticist Pamela Ronald, developer of GMO flood-resistant rice

Women in science: Geneticist Pamela Ronald, developer of GMO flood-resistant rice

[T]he breakthrough that finally created rice seeds strong enough to stand up to blight and flood came when Pamela Ronald ...
'Roundup Facing the Judges': Documentary promotes glyphosate conspiracy theories, pseudoscience

‘Roundup Facing the Judges’: Documentary promotes glyphosate conspiracy theories, pseudoscience

[Editor's note: Øystein Heggdal is a Norwegian agronomist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and natural resources. He is ...
Viewpoint: EU's glyphosate herbicide fight reveals limits of Europe-wide governance

Viewpoint: EU’s glyphosate herbicide fight reveals limits of Europe-wide governance

Glyphosate, the ubiquitous herbicide, may not really be poison, but it could well be the most politicized substance in Europe. In ...
Neonicotinoid seed treatments 'best option' for soil pests, but should be used judiciously, study says

Neonicotinoid seed treatments ‘best option’ for soil pests, but should be used judiciously, study says

The topic of neonicotinoid seed treatments (NSTs) continues to keep researchers searching for answers. A study from the University of ...
Anti-GMO group March Against Monsanto promotes, profits from anti-vaccine ads

Anti-GMO group March Against Monsanto promotes, profits from anti-vaccine ads

Visit the March Against Monsanto website and you'll see a strange ad peppering the pages, among the usual dubious stories about ...
Should organic farming embrace new plant breeding techniques like CRISPR?

Should organic farming embrace new plant breeding techniques like CRISPR?

Over the last few years, new tools have rapidly created possibilities in plant breeding. These New Plant Breeding Techniques (NPBTs) ...
Viewpoint: Anti-GMO scare tactics show need for scientific literacy

Viewpoint: Anti-GMO scare tactics show need for scientific literacy

Many of the arguments made by organic supporters and GMO critics aren't supported by science. That combination can have harmful ...
French farmers: 3 years too short to develop viable replacement for glyphosate herbicide

French farmers: 3 years too short to develop viable replacement for glyphosate herbicide

President Emmanuel Macron’s promise to rid France of controversial weedkiller glyphosate within three years has left some farmers in the ...
What can other African countries learn from South Africa's experience with GMO crops?

What can other African countries learn from South Africa’s experience with GMO crops?

Despite promotion of GM crops, adoption has been slow across the continent. South Africa began using the technology in the ...
Leaked draft of EU report reveals mixed findings on neonicotinoids and bees

Leaked draft of EU report reveals mixed findings on neonicotinoids and bees

Draft findings from the European Food Safety Authority feed into a long-running, heated and so far inconclusive debate into why Europe’s ...
USDA again probes National Organic Program's 'weak' import controls, putting label's integrity at risk

USDA again probes National Organic Program’s ‘weak’ import controls, putting label’s integrity at risk

The USDA’s National Organic Program completed more complaint reviews and investigations that it received in 2017.  It finished work on ...
Viewpoint: 12 ways organic activists mislead consumers

Viewpoint: 12 ways organic activists mislead consumers

Does the organic food industry use deceptive marketing practices to scare wealthy customers away from conventional agriculture and GMOs? The ...
Viewpoint: Why it's time to start talking about a glyphosate herbicide replacement

Viewpoint: Why it’s time to start talking about a glyphosate herbicide replacement

Don’t get me wrong. I fully recognise the current need for Irish tillage and grassland farmers to use the herbicide ...
Activist groups plan to sue Germany, EU over glyphosate herbicide re-approval

Activist groups plan to sue Germany, EU over glyphosate herbicide re-approval

Environmentalist groups said on Monday [Dec. 4] that Germany and the European Union had broken the rules when assessing the ...
Viewpoint: Non-GMO Project label offers nothing for consumers

Viewpoint: Non-GMO Project label offers nothing for consumers

The presence of a Non-GMO Project seal of approval doesn't really tell consumers anything about their food. And it's questionable ...