Archives – January, 2018

Why is UK Research on Neonics being Transferred to a Private Company?

Summary

 An external audit of the internal peer review of the UK studies instrumental in its support of a ban on neonicotinoids demonstrates that the position of the peer reviewers clashed sharply with the one sided statements made by Defra and its scientific agent— the NERC Center for Ecology and Hydrology. In addition the peer reviewers concluded that the NERC Center for Ecology and Hydrology violated established standards for conducting scientific studies.

 In lieu of addressing the conduct of its scientific agent, the UK has decided to transfer the institution which conducted the studies to a private company.

Leave a Comment January 14, 2018

The greenwashing of Theresa May

From: Politico (Europe)

UK prime minister’s environment speech is part of a concerted push to lure young voters with new eco-friendly policies.

By

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The Tory fear of appearing “un-green” and uncaring about animal welfare and wildlife (both matters close to the hearts of British voters) was palpable. Now Gove, a leading figure in the campaign to leave the EU, is working overtime to assert the party’s green credentials all over again — an effort that Downing Street hopes will not only help woo younger voters, but also demonstrate a significant upside to Brexit.

Leave a Comment January 11, 2018

Health Canada Continues to Work with US EPA and State of California on Neonicotinoid Assessments

From: Manitoba Co-Operator

Health Canada proposes some neonic restrictions

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Health Canada is proposing some restrictions on the use of three neonic pesticides for horticultural production but they would still be registered for use on field crops such as corn and soybeans.

Meanwhile the department will continue working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State of California on the impact of the pesticides on pollinators and insects, Health Canada announced Dec. 21.

Read Complete Article

Leave a Comment January 10, 2018

Scientists versus Activists: Who Will Prove More Influential?

From: Genetic Literacy Project

Rethinking the pesticides–neonicotinoids–bee health crisis narrative: Why the media get it wrong

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Bee health is a genuine concern. After all they are trucked around from farm to farm as insect livestock. And entomologists and the USDA say that Varroa destructor mites have been infesting bee hives at an accelerating rate over the past few decades, and present a serious and on-going threat. Pesticides rank low as a likely cause of bee health problems, contend most entomologists, but that’s not the way the issue has played out in the media and online.

Leave a Comment January 9, 2018

“populism and political polarisation are endangering the acceptance of modern science”

From: Fruitnet.com

Bayer steps up insecticide game

Group inaugurates new greenhouse for insecticide research in North Rhine-Westphalia

Carl Collen

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Backhaus stressed the need for societal support for industrial research. “We are living in times in which populism and political polarisation are endangering the acceptance of modern science,” said Backhaus, citing recent emotionally charged campaigns such as the one against important insecticidal substance classes like the neonicotinoids, the debate surrounding the reauthorisation of glyphosate and the media response to reports on the decline in insect populations in some parts of Germany.

Leave a Comment January 8, 2018

Michael Gove’s Changing Positions on Agriculture Policy Continue to Change

From: Left Foot Forward

Michael Gove is trying to face both ways on farming – but soon he’ll have to decide

The Environment Secretary talked the talk at a grassroots farming conference this week. Just up the road however, he was giving very different signals to the industry.

Natalie Bennett

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Then he spoke about the need to respect the Earth and nature in our farming practices. About the hidden costs of ‘cheap’ food. About being an ‘instinctive supporter’ of small mixed farms. About the EU being right on neonicotinoids, the pesticides that have been harming bees and other pollinators.

Leave a Comment January 5, 2018

UK Consumers and Landholders to Pay the Price for the Government’s New Opposition to Neonicotinoids

From: FarmingUK

Gove announces plans to change farm subsidies in ‘green Brexit’ overhaul

Farmers will receive money to make improvements to the environment under a new system of subsidies, Defra Secretary Michael Gove has announced.

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During this transition period, the government will propose to first reduce the largest BPS payments in England. It could do this through a straight cap at a maximum level or through a sliding scale of reductions, to the largest payments first.

He set out plans to scrap the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which he has previously said ‘environmentally damaging and socially unjust‘.

Leave a Comment January 4, 2018

New research aims to give producers a better idea of where the bees are

From: The Northern Daily Leader

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The work is being conducted as part of the four-year project ‘Assessing honey bee colony densities at landscape scales’, supported by AgriFutures Australia, though funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit programme, as well as Hort Innovation.

The project is being led by the University of Sydney with further support from Almond Board of Australia, Lucerne Australia, Costa Berries, and Raspberries and Blackberries Australia.

Read Complete Article

Leave a Comment January 3, 2018

Boulder County, Colorado Declares War on Science, Goes Medieval on Agriculture

Editor’s Note: Neonicotinoids and genetically improved crops are the joint targets of a consequences-be-damned decision by Boulder County Commissioners. The county’s decision ignores the environmental devastation be wrought by the European Union’s neonicotinoid restrictions as the EU shifts toward medieval agricultural practices to feed its people.

From: EcoWatch

GMO Crops, Bee-Killing Insecticides to Be Banned on Boulder County-Owned Land

Boulder County, Colorado will completely phase out genetically modified (GMO) corn and sugar beets, and neonicotinoid insecticides on county-owned land.

Leave a Comment January 2, 2018


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