Independent Science News has just published “What Happened to Obama’s Promise to Restore Scientific Integrity?” by Jonathan Latham, PhD.
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 return enlightenment values to government. Thus, in his inauguration speech the new President proposed to “restore science” to its rightful position. In his own words, it was “a key campaign promise.”
The President duly ordered measures to turn his promise into a reality. For a while, the resulting policy developments were closely watched, but press interest faded. However, the latest (i.e. slowest) agency to adopt the President’s scientific integrity regime is arguably the most important and certainly is the most interesting. In 2013 the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) appointed Francesca Grifo as its Officer of Scientific Integrity. Dr Grifo joined EPA from the Union of Concerned Scientists where she headed its scientific integrity program. Her first report has just been published. This illuminating report shows Grifo has ducked the challenge of bringing scientific integrity to the EPA.
To read the full article with complete references go to: http://www.independentsciencenews.org/news/what-happened-to-obamas-promise-to-restore-scientific-integrity/
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
“(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
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
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
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.”
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.
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
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
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.
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.