Hello, readers! I was asked to give a talk to some parents at my kid's school, so I thought I'd share this with you, too. I've broken it down into 5 Scary Reasons and 5 Fun Reasons because the truth is both fun and scary. And because unless we are willing to stare our fears down and face them, it's almost impossible to have fun!
A study published this week by Washington State University research professor Charles Benbrook finds that the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops — cotton, soybeans and corn — has actually increased. This counterintuitive finding is based on an exhaustive analysis of publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service. Benbrook’s analysis is the first peer-reviewed, published estimate of the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant (HT) crops on pesticide use.
Polls show Prop 37 to be overwhelmingly popular: roughly 65 percent for to 20 percent against, with 15 percent undecided. Nationally, on the broader issue of labeling, in answer to the question of whether the Food and Drug Administration should require that “foods which have been genetically engineered or containing genetically engineered ingredients be labeled to indicate that,” a whopping 91 percent of voters say yes and 5 percent say no. This is as nonpartisan as an issue gets, and the polls haven’t changed much in the last couple of years.
onya Lunder, a senior analyst with EWG said to HealthPop that the organization disagreed with the way that the study was put together, and that people should pay closer attention to the information.
"We think the difference is much more important than they prove," she said.
The Stanford study did reveal that organic produce is 30 percent less likely to be contaminated with pesticides than conventional fruits and vegetables but also pointed out that organic foods aren't necessarily 100 percent free of pesticides. But Lunder believes that what people should be focusing on is the two studies on children consuming organic foods that were included in the research. They revealed that there were lower levels of pesticide residues in the urine of children on organic diets, though both organic and conventional diet levels of urinary pesticides were in the allowable safety limits.
Organic Valley, a cooperative of organic farmers, says its organic milk shows omega-3 levels that are 79 percent higher than those in conventional milk, as well as much lower levels of omega-6.
A world where one billion people are malnourished and two billion are overweight is the result of inefficient economic systems, author and activist Raj Patel, said Saturday.
Patel was one of three keynote speakers at the Kickapoo Country Fair in La Farge.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has selected Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm and Zea Sonnabend of CCOF to receive its prestigious Organic Leadership Awards for 2012. The awards, presented annually since 1997 during OTA’s Awards Gala, recognize outstanding individuals who have shown leadership and vision in furthering the goals of the organic movement.
Now that you've browsed the finalists in our fourth annual roundup of promising social entrepreneurs, vote for the business you think holds the most promise.
Scientists are observing with increasing alarm that some very common hormone-mimicking chemicals can have grotesque effects.
These days there is also growing evidence linking this class of chemicals to problems in humans. These include breast cancer, infertility, low sperm counts, genital deformities, early menstruation and even diabetes and obesity.
Philip Landrigan, a professor of pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, says that a congenital defect called hypospadias — a misplacement of the urethra — is now twice as common among newborn boys as it used to be. He suspects endocrine disruptors, so called because they can wreak havoc with the endocrine system that governs hormones.
“The leaves had curled and the plants were kind of twisting rather than growing straight,” Mr. Herr said of the 2009 incident on his vegetable farm in Lowell, Ind. He is convinced the chemical, as well as another herbicide called dicamba, had wafted through the air from farms nearly two miles away.
Mr. Herr recalled the incident because he is concerned that the Dow Chemical company is on the verge of winning regulatory approval for corn that is genetically engineered to be immune to 2,4-D, allowing farmers to spray the chemical to kill weeds without harming the corn stalks.