sustainable agriculture tagged posts

Vandana Shiva, The New Yorker, and cold hard facts: Debunking the myths behind GMO “debate”

Genetically modified cotton grown from Monsanto seeds.

For years, media coverage of genetically modified foods (GMOs) has been dominated by simplistic coverage that media watchdogs would fondly describe as “he said, she said” stories, or stories that quoted one person making a sensationalist claim of some sort (e.g. “The earth is flat”), and another person responding to it, and just leaving it at that. It’s no wonder that such journalism has left the world little wiser in in its understanding of GM seeds and foods.

The latest edition the ‘‘New Yorker’ magazine finally breaks the mould, with one of the most well researched and carefully analysed pieces of investigative journalism in years...

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Biodiversity and the role of agriculture

In light of the upcoming UN Seoul meeting on the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in October, the European Council has put forward a position paper stating that it will be supporting a number of conservation targets under the Biodiversity 2020 Strategy, including shaping the role of agriculture in the protection of the environment.

Since over half of the EU’s territory is managed by farmers (EU Biodiversity Strategy), member states have long upheld the view–reflected in the CAP and the Natura 2000 project–that a closer focus on rural development, including improving resource efficiency, limiting deforestation and imposing minimum mandatory spending on environmental measures in farms, will help restore biodiversity.

However, the problem is much more complex...

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Here we go again… Zombie Seralini study repackages discredited research

Two years ago, the global scientific community responded en masse to thoroughly reject and discredit a two-year rat feeding study led by Prof. Eric Giles-Seralini and published by Food and Chemical Toxicology.  Public scientific and medical societies worldwide found fault in almost every aspect of Mr. Seralini’s work and its claims about the health effect of genetically modified maize and the herbicide ingredient glyphosate on rats. Just a few examples:

The feedback...

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Interning for The Devil

Caroline (right) and a colleague at the Economist's Feeding the World conference in London in February.

Caroline (right) and a colleague at the Economist’s Feeding the World conference in London in February.

By Caroline Emde, Public Affairs Intern in Brussels, Belgium

Studying at the University of Missouri, I was quite familiar with the Monsanto name and reputation. I have watched documentaries such as “Food Inc.” and “The World According to Monsanto” that portray big agriculture as corrupt and evil.  However, when I was offered an internship with Monsanto in connection with my journalism and communication studies I gratefully accepted the opportunity...

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What is sustainable agriculture?

MONS09_1729 by Brandon Mitchener

What is sustainable agriculture? If you listen to certain organic groups, it is only agriculture that shuns all chemical pesticides and fertilizers. According to textbooks used in French high schools, sustainable agriculture (l’agriculture durable) is officially taught as something that stands in opposition to intensive agriculture (l’agriculture productiviste), which makes it sound as if anything efficient is by definition unsustainable.

Let’s do a reality-check. Would you consider agriculture more sustainable if it:

1.Needs less land, or more land, per unit of output?
2.Needs less water, or more?
3.Needs less energy, or more?
4.Needs less tillage (ploughing), or more?
5.Results in less waste, or more?
6.Results in more stable yields, or less stable yields?
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Monsanto – Myths & Facts

Monsanto_Myths_and_Facts_ENMonsanto gets lots of awards: for sustainability, innovation, corporate equality, cultural competence, corporate responsibility, top science employer— even for being a Great Place to Work.

At the same time, the Internet abounds with tales of another Monsanto of allegedly dark past and purpose. Many of these tales have been repeated so often, by so many people, that they have become lore, no matter how wrong they are.

Our new Monsanto Myths & Facts guide provides a set of factual statements about Monsanto as well as responses to the most common myths that you might encounter, especially online, where fact-checking seems to be in particularly short supply. It is for anyone who wants to learn more, and includes lots of links to additional sources of information...

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