Insecticides put world food supplies at risk, say scientists
Regulations on pesticides have failed to prevent poisoning of almost all habitats, international team of scientists concludes
The world’s most widely used insecticides have contaminated the environment across the planet so pervasively that global food production is at risk, according to a comprehensive scientific assessment of the chemicals’ impacts.
The researchers compare their impact with that reported in Silent Spring, the landmark 1962 book by Rachel Carson that revealed the decimation of birds and insects by the blanket use of DDT and other pesticides and led to the modern environmental movement.
US tobacco child labour criticised in report
Children have been farming US tobacco fields for generations. But a new report from Human Rights Watch says the practice is dangerous and in need of reform.
It may be later than usual because of the harsh winter, but just as they have done for generations, people are planting tobacco across the vast coastal plains of North Carolina.
The crop put this state on the economic map, but methods used to farm tobacco here have now drawn the gaze of an international human rights group.
“Usually we would wake up around four or five in the morning and get to the farm around six,” says Fernando Rodriguez.
“I would spend the whole day going up and down the rows of tobacco, topping the plants, cutting the flowers, collecting the leaf and all.”
Fernando is 13 years old.
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Phi Beta Iota: When — not if — marijuana replaces tobacco as the priimary cash crop of the South, this will bode well for children as well as human health.
Marijuana @ Phi Beta Iota
Stephan A. Schwartz
I think the evidence is now in, and it seems quite clear, as this story describes. The toxins produced by companies like Monsanto and Dow are literally putting the world’s food supply at risk. It is going to be very interesting to watch how the Obama Administration reacts. He has proven to be so disappointing in so many ways, but this is a clear and urgent da! nger. We are about to see whether Obama thinks profit for a few corporations is more important than the wellbeing of all humanity.
More Evidence Suggests Honeybees Are Dying en Masse Because of Pesticides
DANIELLE WIENER-BRONNER – The Wire
Honeybees exposed to a certain class of insecticide are more likely to die from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the name given to whatever is causing a mass decline in the bee population over the past six years, according to a new study.
Bees @ Phi Beta Iota
The Collapse of the Bees… And How To Save Them -Two new reports—one alarming and the focused on solutions—take focus on the deep crisis facing the world’s best, but most threatened, pollinators
Got Crowd? BE the Force!
Right thing, doing finally.
The Next Startup Craze: Food 2.0
Silicon Valley investors and startups are trying to improve our food. Do they bring anything to the table?
Hampton Creek Foods and other startups have big dreams of restructuring the food supply so that it uses less land, water, energy, and other resources. In doing so, they are taking on corporate giants such as ConAgra, General Mills, and Kraft that spend billions on research and technology development.
Such ambitions have run up against considerable challenges in industries such as clean tech. But those involved in the new food binge might prefer a different example. Hampton Creek’s CEO, Josh Tetrick, wants to do to the $60 billion egg industry what Apple did to the CD business. “If we were starting from scratch, would we get eggs from birds crammed into cages so small they can’t flap their wings, shitting all over each other, eating antibiotic-laden soy and corn to get them to lay 283 eggs per year?” asks the strapping former West Virginia University linebacker. While an egg farm uses large amounts of water and burns 39 calories of energy for every calorie of food produced, Tetrick says he can make plant-based versions on a fraction of the water and only two calories of energy per calorie of food — free of cholesterol, saturated fat, allergens, avian flu, and cruelty to animals. For half the price of an egg.
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