December 1, 2013 |
We're not exactly sure why two Los Angeles councilmen are proposing a ban on growing genetically engineered crops or selling the seeds in the city. Maybe that's because they don't seem all that clear on the matter themselves. So far as anyone knows, there are no plants grown in the city whose DNA was tinkered with in a laboratory, according to spokesmen for the two council members, Paul Koretz and Mitch O'Farrell. Nor does anyone have plans to grow them. Bioengineered seeds are generally sold to large agricultural operations, the type that an urban center doesn't have.
August 30, 2013 |
Americans might soon need to get used to apple or grape juice as their breakfast drink of choice - unless, that is, they're willing to pay exorbitant prices for orange juice. Or maybe scientists, plant breeders and farmers will manage to save the day, using two critical but often-disparaged technologies: chemical pesticides in the short run and genetic engineering in the longer term. The pestilence that is devastating Florida citrus is a disease called citrus greening. It is caused by a bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus , which is spread by small insects called psyllids.
July 24, 2013 |
Pesticides sprayed on crops could be making honey bees susceptible to a fatal parasite and contributing to recent declines in bee populations, according to a study. Researchers found 35 pesticides, some at lethal levels, in the pollen collected from bees servicing major food crops in five states, including California, according to the study published online Wednesday in the journal PLOS One. Levels for two chemicals were above the dose that would kill half a population within two days, according to the report.
July 24, 2013 |
NEW DELHI - The principal at an Indian elementary school where 23 children died last week after eating free lunches contaminated with pesticide was arrested Wednesday on murder and criminal conspiracy charges after eight days on the run. Principal Meena Devi, 35, was caught in Chhapra, the city where the tragedy occurred in India's impoverished northern state of Bihar. On July 16, about 50 children - most younger than 10 - attending Dharmasati Gandaman Primary School complained of feeling sick after eating their lunch, which was provided free under a national government program that feeds an estimated 120 million children.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 30, 2013 |
The illegal marijuana-growing operations that have proliferated in remote areas of the Sierra Nevada appear to be taking a toll on the fisher, a forest animal whose numbers are dangerously low. Researchers studying fishers in the Sierra National Forest in the southern Sierra found that mortality rates were significantly higher for females living in areas with a number of marijuana-growing sites. Liberal amounts of pesticides and anticoagulant rodent poison are commonly used at the operations, tainting small prey the fisher eats.
June 27, 2013 |
State officials in Oregon are temporarily restricting the use of more than a dozen pesticide products following the deaths of an estimated 50,000 bumblebees in the Portland area this month. The measure, effective immediately, will last for 180 days while the Oregon State Agricultural Department investigates incidents of a mass bee die-off in the Portland suburb of Wilsonville , and a much smaller die-off in neighboring Hillsboro. Eighteen pesticide products containing the active ingredient dinotefuran and used for ornamental, turf and agricultural applications have been banned for now. “I have directed the agency to take this step in an effort to minimize any potential for additional incidents involving bee deaths connected to pesticide products with this active ingredient until such time as our investigation is completed and we have more information,” the agency's director, Katy Coba, said in a statement released Thursday.