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  • "Our mission is to provide the highest quality scientific information and analysis to enable a healthy food system and a healthy world"

Project News and Views

New Research Links Neonicotinoid Pesticides to Monarch Butterfly Declines

Independent Science News has just published: New Research Links Neonicotinoid Pesticides to Monarch Butterfly Declines by Jonathan Latham, PhD

Article synopsis: New research has identified the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin as a likely contributor to monarch butterfly declines in North America. The research, published on April 3rd 2015, identifies concentrations of clothianidin as low as 1 part per billion as harmful to monarch butterfly caterpillars. These concentrations of clothianidin were found on naturally growing milkweeds sampled by the researchers. The research was conducted in near maize fields in Brookings, South Dakota

Previously, no research had been done on neonicotinoids and butterflies and therefore this is the first published report of neonicotinoids affecting monarchs or any other butterflies. It was published in the journal Science and Nature (Springer).

Read the full article at: http://www.independentsciencenews.org/news/new-research-links-neonicotinoid-pesticides-to-monarch-butterfly-declines/

References:

Pencenka JR and JG Lundgren (2015) Non-target effects of clothianidin on monarch butterflies Sci Nat 102:19.

Access to research demonstrating harmful effects of neonicotinoids on various beneficial insects: http://www.entomology.umn.edu/faculty-staff/vera-krischik

 

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Food Sovereignty — best bet for food and environmental security

“(P)romoting self-sufficiency and food sovereignty does not compromise global food security and environmental quality. On the contrary, it is the best option for feeding humans and safeguarding the planet. ”

Published today in Independent Science News: Will Food Sovereignty Starve the Poor and Punish the Planet? by Gilles Billen, Luis Lassaletta and Josette Garnier

Summary: There exists a forceful global people’s movement which has begun to positively assert the rights of small producers and individual consumers over the food system. This food sovereignty movement presents an explicit challenge to the corporate domination of food and agriculture found in many areas of the globe.
The practicality of food sovereignty has nevertheless been challenged by various economists who believe that long distance trade is crucial to environmental sustainability and for cheap food. These economists allege that food sovereignty will “starve the poor.” Using modelling approaches that focus on nitrogen flows in the global food system, and also case studies from Europe, the authors of this article summarize a series of their academic papers that conclude regional and local food sovereignty should enhance sustainability and not decrease it. “One can think globally and eat locally!”

The authors are at UPMC (University Pierre and Marie Curie)/CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research), Paris, France.

The full Independent Science News article can be read at:
http://www.independentsciencenews.org/environment/will-food-sovereignty-starve-the-poor-and-punish-the-planet/

Many of the scientific papers written by these authors can be downloaded for free: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gilles_Billen/publications

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Agroecology Declaration Outlines Food Sovereignty Vision and Rejects Co-option by Industrial Agriculture

The recent Declaration of the International Forum for Agroecology, Nyéléni, Mali (27 February 2015) represents “diverse organizations and international movements of small-scale food producers and consumers, including peasants, indigenous peoples and communities (together with hunter and gatherers), family farmers, rural workers, herders and pastoralists, fisherfolk and urban people.” According to the declaration, the peoples and organizations represented “produce some 70% of the food consumed by humanity. They are the primary global investors in agriculture, as well as the primary providers of jobs and livelihoods in the world.”

The declaration outlines the integral role that agroecology must play in creating equitable and healthy food systems while at the same time stabilizing, mitigating and allowing adaptation to climate change. As explained in Read More »

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Beyond the Ban Event Success

Well over 100 people attended last Thursday’s Beyond the Ban held at Ithaca’s Unitarian Church. The Bioscience Resource Project hosted and introduced the event. First to speak were veterinarian Michelle Bamberger and Cornell professor of molecular medicine Robert Oswald, authors of “The Real Cost of Fracking,” who updated the public on fracking’s documented harmful health effects on humans and animals. They discussed their original findings, new results from follow-up studies, and the implications of fracking for the food supply. They also pointed out the many risks facing NY State from current and intended fracking infrastructure — risks that do not disappear even if drilling itself is banned. Links to information about their book and to copies of all their published papers are available: Bamberger and Oswald Fracking Publications.

After their joint presentation, Sandra Steingraber (author of “Raising Elijah” and “Living Downstream,” and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College) spoke about the plans of Texas-based company Crestwood Midstream to store highly pressurized and explosive natural gas in salt caverns near Seneca Lake. Read More »

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No Scientific Consensus on GMO Safety Affirm 300+ Scientists

Environmental Science Europe just published a joint statement that concludes “the scarcity and contradictory nature of the scientific evidence published to date prevents conclusive claims of safety, or of lack of safety, of GMOs.” Developed and signed by “a broad community of independent reseachers” the paper states “Published results are contradictory, in part due to the range of different research methods employed, an inadequacy of available procedures, and differences in the analysis and interpretation of data.” It also asserts that “Rigorous assessment of GMO safety has been hampered by the lack of funding independent of proprietary interests. Research for the public good has been further constrained by property rights issues, and by denial of access to research material for researchers unwilling to sign contractual agreements with the developers, which confer unacceptable control over publication to the proprietary interests.”

Cite: Hilbeck, Angelika, et al. “No scientific consensus on GMO safety.” Environmental Sciences Europe 27.1 (2015): 4.

PDF File of the published Statement “No Scientific Consensus on GMO Safety.”

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Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA

Independent Science News has just published Carol Van Strum’s review of: Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA (Bloomsbury Press 2014), a new book by Evaggelos Vallianatos (with McKay Jenkins).

Summary: What goes on inside the US Environmental Protection Agency is no longer a mystery. Evaggelos Vallianatos had a twenty five year career as a staff officer in EPA’s Pesticides Division. Now that he no longer works there Vallianatos calls its activities “The Big Business of Fraudulent Science” and in Poison Spring he documents multitudinous ways in which, while he was there, EPA ignored and dismissed scientific evidence of harm for numerous synthetic chemicals. This downplaying of risk by the EPA is not based in ignorance; rather, it is a function of calculated collusion with polluters and “independent” testing organizations. The result is a complex and elaborate illusion of governmental precaution and rigor that ultimately gives the petrochemical industries and agribusiness free reign. Poison Spring is an essential guide to understanding – and rolling back – industrial and agricultural pollution.

To read Carol Van Strum’s review of this important book click on: Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA.

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Press Release: Beyond the Ban Event on Thursday February 26

IMPORTANT VENUE CHANGE: Due to Frozen Pipes at original venue the Beyond the Ban event is now at the Sanctuary at The First Unitarian Church of Ithaca, 306 N. Aurora St., Corner of Buffalo St. and N. Aurora St., Entrances on Aurora. Nothing else has changed. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to see you at the event.

Contact: Allison Wilson, Science Director of The Bioscience Resource Project

Scientist-Authors,
Sandra Steingraber, Michelle Bamberger and Robert Oswald
To Speak at “Beyond the Ban” Event in Ithaca
on Thursday, February 26, 2015 from 7 – 9 pm

Event Title: Beyond the Ban: Fracking, Health & Infrastructure in New York State from Port Ambrose to Seneca Lake

Time and Place: Thursday, February 26, 2015 from 7 – 9 pm, in the Sanctuary at The First Unitarian Church of Ithaca, 306 N. Aurora St. on the Corner of Buffalo St. and N. Aurora St., Entrances on Aurora St., Doors open at 6:45 pm.

Speakers: Sandra Steingraber (author of “Raising Elijah” and “Living Downstream”, and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College) will join veterinarian Michelle Bamberger and Cornell professor of molecular medicine Robert Oswald, authors of “The Real Cost of Fracking.” Read More »

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Dismantling The Big Lie About GMOs: Radio Interview

On Tuesday, 27 January, 2015, Food Integrity Now spoke with co-founder and executive director of the Bioscience Resource Project, Dr. Jonathan Latham.

We were intrigued by an article he recently wrote entitled “How the Great Food War Will be Won“. Dr. Latham’s spoke with me today about what he thinks is the answer to winning the food war–dismantling this lie that we need GMOs to feed the world.

Interviewer Carol Grieve wrote a blog post about the interview: Dismantling The Big Lie About GMOs. The radio interview can be heard at: http://media.blubrry.com/foodintegritynow/p/content.blubrry.com/foodintegritynow/FIN-2015-01-29-E136.mp3.

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SHORT COURSE — Genetic Engineering: Science, Technology and Politics

Would you like to know more about GMOs and why there is no scientific consensus on GMO safety? The upcoming Ithaca Freeskool course on Genetic Engineering: Science, Technology and Politics [held on 3 Sundays from 2-4pm (on 2/8, 2/22 and 3/8)] will give you a better understanding of the ongoing controversy over their use in agriculture and the food system. The course is FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Reading material will be provided. Students should bring their questions and curiosity about GMO technology. You can attend any or all of the days.

Instructor: Dr. Allison Wilson, Science Director of The Bioscience Resource Project, has nearly 30 years of experience (in and out of the lab)

PRE-REGISTRATION ESSENTIAL: For more information and to sign up for the course here. Put Ithaca Freeskool GMO Course as the subject.

Read More »

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Ithaca Event: Beyond the Ban: Fracking, Health and Infrastructure in NY State

BioResourceEventsteingraberbambergeroswaldbsr

IMPORTANT VENUE CHANGE: Due to Frozen Pipes at the original venue the Beyond the Ban event is now at the Sanctuary at The First Unitarian Church of Ithaca, 306 N. Aurora St., Corner of Buffalo St. and N. Aurora St., Entrances on Aurora. Nothing else has changed. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to see you at the event.

For more information see: http://www.bioscienceresource.org/2015/01/steingraber-bamberger-oswald-beyond-the-ban/

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    The Bioscience Resource Project provides scientific and intellectual resources for a healthy future. It publishes Independent Science News, a media service devoted to food and agriculture, and their impacts on health and the environment. It also offers resources for scientists and educators and internships and training for students. Through its innovative scientific journalism and original biosafety review articles, the project provides unique and revealing perspectives on issues that are fundamental to the survival of people and the planet. The project does not accept advertising or corporate funding and is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. It is completely dependent on individual donations.

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