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Biodiversity / Biodevastation

Stories about Biodiversity and Biodevastation.

The GE American Chestnut – Restoration of a Beloved Species or Trojan Horse for Tree Biotechnology?

By: 
Rachel Smolker and Anne Petermann

About a century ago the American chestnut tree was attacked by the introduced fungal pathogen (Cryphonectria parasitica). This fungus drove the chestnut to functional extinction. Now, scientists at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) claim to have created, through biotechnology, a resistant American chestnut variety. They aim to petition the required regulatory agencies (USDA, FDA, EPA) for deregulation of their genetically engineered chestnut in the near future, with the stated goal of “restoring” the species to nature.

Post-Brexit Farming, Glyphosate and GMOs in the UK

By: 
Rosemary Mason and Colin Todhunter

An Open Letter to Hon Michael Gove Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

It seems likely that a post-Brexit trade deal with the US could mean more of the same and lead to the introduction of GM crops in the UK alongside the lowering of standards for the use of biocides in agriculture. Sainsbury Laboratory already has plans for a new open air field trial of GM potatoes on farms in Suffolk and Cambridge.

“Get Your Endangered Species Off My Bombing Range!”

By: 
Joan Roelofs

At Fort Benning, Georgia, home of the “Maneuver School of Excellence,” (as well as the notorious School of the Americas, now renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), live-fire and other training was threatened by threatened species and their habitats. Now the base and its partners are restoring habitat and offering contiguous land for buyers who would use the land for recreation. Among the partners are the Georgia Land Trust, The Conservation Fund, the Alabama Land Trust, and the Nature Conservancy (TNC).

How trees could save the climate

By: 
ETH Zurich

"We all knew that restoring forests could play a part in tackling climate change, but we didn't really know how big the impact would be. Our study shows clearly that forest restoration is the best climate change solution available today. But we must act quickly, as new forests will take decades to mature and achieve their full potential as a source of natural carbon storage."

The Hydroponic Threat to Organic Food

By: 
Dave Chapman

Over the last seven years large scale industrial food producers have insinuated themselves into US organic certification. The recent inclusion of hydroponics in organic standards is not an example of innovation and improvement. It is an example of conquest and colonization. It is simply a hostile takeover of organic production in contravention of the law and of international norms.

Human wellbeing threatened by ‘unprecedented’ rate of biodiversity loss

By: 
Mike Shanahan

Nature loss is accelerating worldwide at an unprecedented rate, with grave impacts for human wellbeing, according to a major report approved by more than 130 of the world’s governments.

The report, launched in Paris, France on Monday, says fundamental changes are needed to everything from farming and fishing to private investment and governance to ensure the benefits continue to flow.

While such warnings have been heard before, this is the most comprehensive assessment to date, and the first that governments have come together to endorse. The findings are set to influence world leaders who are meeting in China next year, aiming to reach a new global agreement on biodiversity.

Metal and Rubber with Your Chicken? No Problem Says Tyson

By: 
Martha Rosenberg

Rubber and metal are some of the recent surprise “ingredients” found in Tyson chicken. In January, 36,420 pounds of Tyson chicken nuggets were recalled due to rubber contamination. In March, a recall for possible metal contamination of ready-to-eat Tyson chicken strip products began which continues–now encompassing 12 million pounds. Tyson Foods is the world’s second largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, operating the Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Sara Lee, Ball Park and other well known brands.

How indigenous genocide contributed to climate change

By: 
Gerardo Honty

Those who deny climate change caused by mankind tend to cite the so-called “Little Ice Age” as one of their arguments to defend the hypothesis of the natural origin of climate changes. The Little Ice Age, as it is known, to distinguish it from the great ice ages, covers a period from 1350 to 1850 approximately, when there was a significant lowering of the global average temperature with respect to the five previous centuries. ... Nevertheless, a few days ago, an investigation was published by the University College of London[1] that explains that the Little Ice Age was also the result of human activity. And one more ruthless than the combustion of fossils or deforestation.

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