Phosphorus, an element in fertilizer, is essential to the growth of plant food. But the mineral is also harmful when overused. When it gets into surface water, it can lead to excessive plant growth in lakes and rivers and proliferation of toxic algae, harmful to human and animal health.
A project funded by a research agency of the US Department of Defense is now giving rise to concerns about being possibly misused for the purpose of biological warfare. The programme called 'Insect Allies' intends for insects to be used for dispersing genetically modified viruses to agricultural plants in fields.
Previous studies have found an association between two commonly used agrochemicals (paraquat and maneb) and Parkinson's disease. Now a study has determined that low-level exposure to the pesticides disrupts cells in a way that mimics the effects of mutations known to cause Parkinson's disease.
The surging price of vanilla on global markets is connected to village crime and forest destruction. A more-than-tenfold surge in the value of the spice over the past five years has aroused dangerous passions.
Spain’s soaring pig population is a key factor in making livestock the fourth-largest generator of greenhouse gas emissions after transport, electricity generation and industry. Pig farming also consumes vast quantities of water in a country frequently affected by drought
The production of eggs, like other intensive farming activities, generates negative effects in nature, such as the emission of greenhouse gases or the contamination of soil and water.
Dairy farms depend on female cows to produce milk, so when male calves are born, they are surplus to requirements and farmers are currently faced with few options.
Bird populations across the French countryside have fallen by a third over the last decade and a half, researchers have said. The primary culprit, researchers speculate, is the intensive use of pesticides on vast tracts of monoculture crops, especially wheat and corn.
Rivers in England are contaminated with powerful insecticides, new testing has revealed, increasing concerns over the impact of the toxic chemicals on fish and birds.
Dairy farms in the Netherlands are producing so much dung they can’t get rid of it safely.
Shocking hygiene failings have been discovered in some of the US’s biggest meat plants, as a new analysis reveals that as many as 15% (one in seven) of the US population suffers from foodborne illnesses annually.
Livestock raised for food in the US are dosed with five times as much antibiotic medicine as farm animals in the UK. The difference in rates of dosage rises to at least nine times as much in the case of cattle raised for beef, and may be as high as 16 times the rate of dosage per cow in the UK. There is currently a ban on imports of American beef throughout Europe, owing mainly to the free use of growth hormones in the US.
Fungicides are found to be the strongest factor linked to steep bumblebee declines, surprising scientists and adding to the threats to vital pollinators.
The US farmer suicide crisis echoes a much larger farmer suicide crisis happening globally: an Australian farmer dies by suicide every four days; in the UK, one farmer a week takes his or her own life; in France, one farmer dies by suicide every two days; in India, more than 270,000 farmers have died by suicide since 1995.
I have been told that no research is being done in Britain to establish whether there is a causal factor between eating chicken and declining male sperm counts, writes Baroness Jean Corston.
Glyphosate, the key ingredient in the world’s bestselling weedkiller, has won a new five-year lease in Europe, closing the most bitterly fought pesticide relicensing battle of recent times.
Attorneys and activists have accused Monsanto of manipulating the science around glyphosate’s health impacts—in essence, of following the playbook written by Big Tobacco. Documents revealed in the federal case also suggest a cozy relationship between the company and regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency.
The amount of antimicrobials given to animals destined for human consumption is expected to rise by a staggering 52% and reach 200,000 tonnes by 2030 unless policies are implemented to limit their use, according to new research.
Cuba’s slow shift toward organic farming owes much of its inspiration and technical knowhow to one family, the Funes clan of Havana. Fernando Funes Aguilar and his wife Marta Monzote, who died in 2007, spoke and wrote passionately about the damage that indiscriminate use of chemical inputs and the sugar monoculture were doing to Cuba’s ecology and food supply.
The chocolate industry works mainly as follows: small-scale farmers grow cocoa on plantations, many of which are illegal as they are in national parks or protected forests. They sell it to middlemen with motorbikes known as ‘pisteurs’, or direct to buyers in local towns. These supply traders, which are often multimillion-dollar companies, which in turn sell to big chocolatiers. There are so many transactions in the supply chains that big brands sourcing from implicated traders cannot be sure their product is not contaminated.