April 29, 2013 |
The European Commission will tightly restrict for two years the use of pesticides suspected of harming bees, despite opposition from some of the 27 countries that make up the European Union. The European Commission, the EU's governing body, announced the decision Monday after member countries deadlocked on whether to impose a ban. Starting in December, three kinds of pesticides will be largely off limits for crops that are attractive to bees. The bee population in Western Europe and North America has dwindled over the last decade, causing alarm about the potential ecological and economic fallout if crops and wild plants are not pollinated.
March 21, 2013 |
The plight of bees is headed to a courtroom. A coalition of beekeepers, environmentalists and consumer groups filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency this week, contending the agency has not done enough to protect bees from pesticides, which they say are linked to the increasing bee-colony collapse problem. The suit, filed by the Center for Food Safety, says the class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids are improperly regulated. The group calls for halting the use of the pesticide until more is known about the effects on bees and other pollinators.
October 26, 2012 |
I thought I'd be first in line to vote yes on Proposition 37, which would require labels on (most) food that contains genetically modified ingredients. But the closer we get to election day, the more conflicted I feel. Of course transparency matters. If I had my choice, there would be labels on everything, starting with canned food . To say that it's outrageous that we live in a country where food that has been soaked in pesticides or pumped full of antibiotics and hormones is allowed to be sold to consumers would be an understatement.
October 24, 2012 |
To the naked eye, the white puffs of cotton growing on shrubs, the yellow flowers on canola plants and the towering tassels on cornstalks look just like those on any other plants. But inside their cells, where their DNA contains instructions for how these crops should grow, there are a few genes that were put there not by Mother Nature but by scientists in a lab. Some of the genes are from a soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis that makes proteins lethal to flies, moths and other insects.
September 4, 2012 |
A Stanford University study, published Tuesday in Annals of Internal Medicine , that analyzed organic and conventional produce is already generating quite a bit of comment from all sides. Though no single study can ever be regarded as conclusive, this one raises some very interesting points (you need a subscription to read beyond the summary). The main points, as related in our sister blog Booster Shots , are: 1) Organic produce does not seem to be significantly higher in nutrients than conventionally grown.
August 16, 2012 |
HOUSTON -- In a move to stop a deadly outbreak of the West Nile virus carried by mosquitoes, aerial pesticide spraying was set to begin Thursday night over wide swaths of Dallas County, prompting debate among some residents about safety. The decision to arm small planes with a pesticide that officials said posed no health risks came as Texas grappled with 465 West Nile infections and 17 deaths. The outbreak led officials in Dallas city and county, the hardest hit region in the state, to recently declare a state of emergency.