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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

Neoliberal Ebola: The Agroeconomic Origins of the Ebola Outbreak

Neoliberal Ebola: The Agroeconomic Origins of the Ebola Outbreak by Rob Wallace, PhD has just been published on Independent Science News.

Synopsis: The West African Ebola virus outbreak of 2014/2015 killed over 11,000 people. The outbreak has been assumed in the Western media and elsewhere to be caused by a novel Ebola virus strain. The scientific evidence, however, does not suggest the strain responsible is in anyway unusual. So, if not the virus itself, what else might explain the outbreak?

The regions affected by Ebola are undergoing environmental disruption, social upheaval and often impoverishment as a result of land use changes and “investment.” Funded by European and other international sources, large parts of West Africa are being transformed by landgrabbing, systematic plunder and forest decimation. However, this agroeconomic story has been lost from most media accounts. This is profoundly unfortunate. Not only is it an important story in its own right, it is also a better explanation of the origins of the Ebola outbreak. Equally crucially, it has implications for agriculture and the prevention of future disease outbreaks worldwide.

The author Dr. Rob Wallace is an evolutionary biologist and public health phylogeographer currently visiting the Institute of Global Studies at the University of Minnesota.

Read this important article at: http://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/neoliberal-ebola-the-agroeconomic-origins-of-the-ebola-outbreak/

For more on the topic see https://farmingpathogens.wordpress.com/

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From DDT to Roundup by Evaggelos Vallianatos

On July 17, 2015, Independent Science News published “Ruthless Power and Deleterious Politics: From DDT to Roundup” a new article by former EPA analyst Evaggelos Vallianatos.

Synopsis: The modern controversy over Roundup (glyphosate) and the
documentation of its effects on humans, animals and soils, has much in common
with that over DDT fifty years ago. In particular, Monsanto recycles standard
industry tactics in its attempts to sideline critics while Read More »

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Monsanto’s Worst Fear May Be Coming True

Independent Science News has just published “Monsanto’s Worst Fear May Be Coming True,” an important new article by Jonathan Latham of the Bioscience Resource Project.

Synopsis: The decision of the restaurant chain Chipotle to go GMO-free is potentially a huge blow to the agbiotech industry. The decision opens up a crack in the previously solid front offered by the food industry in support of GMOs. Two factors are at work that will widen that crack: the growing unpopularity of GMOs and Read More »

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Anthropocene Boosters and the Attack on Wilderness Conservation

Independent Science News has just published: Anthropocene Boosters and the Attack on Wilderness Conservation an important new article by George Wuerthner, the Ecological Projects Director of the Foundation for Deep Ecology. While the Anthropocene booster agenda opposes wilderness conservation, it is also an attack on public health as well as social and environmental justice movements — including the food movement.

Synopsis: Conservation is under attack. The attack comes from individuals and institutions (described in this article as Anthropocene Boosters, but sometimes referred to as “Neo-greens,” the “New Conservationists,” the “New Environmentalism,” etc.) whose intention is to undermine traditional wildlife conservation Read More »

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What Happened to Obama’s Promise to Restore Scientific Integrity?

Independent Science News has just published “What Happened to Obama’s Promise to Restore Scientific Integrity?” by Jonathan Latham, PhD.

Brief summary:

For plenty of people, including many outside academia, President Obama was elected as a champion of rationality and integrity. In the standard narrative, after the corruption of the Bush era, President Obama would Read More »

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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. Read More »

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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. Read More »

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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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    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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