A guide to the battle for the future of farming.
Bottles of Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer in the United Kingdom, relabelled by activists to highlight the World Health Organization’s judgment that its main ingredient is a probable carcinogen.
Global Justice Now
Thousands of people are suing Monsanto, claiming that its Roundup herbicide gave them cancer. A California judge has reduced the first damage award but let the verdict against Monsanto stand.
The science isn’t clear on whether organic foods can lower your risk of cancer. But eating plenty of fruit and veg – however it’s grown – can reduce your risk.
The participants who chose more organically grown foods over 4.5 years had slightly lower rates of cancer. But it doesn't necessarily mean one thing caused the other.
A water bridge over the Klip River in Gauteng, South Africa.
Harmful pesticides have been found in the widely consumed sharptooth catfish found in a river that runs through Johannesburg.
Evidence shows that outright bans save lives.
Activists protest against the acquisition of the U.S. agrochemical company Monsanto by the German Bayer company in Bonn, Germany, Friday, May 25, 2018.
(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Bayer, the new owner of Monsanto, will need to up its PR efforts, in the wake of last week's legal ruling on glyphosate weedkillers.
More than 3.9 billion people live in regions where the Aedes aegypti mosquito is present. This species transmits Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever.
For several billion people mosquitoes are more than a nuisance -- they transmit deadly diseases. Now genetic modification may prove the most effective defense against the mosquito, preventing disease.
Plaintiff Dewayne Johnson reacts after hearing the verdict in his case against Monsanto at the Superior Court of California in San Francisco, Aug. 10, 2018.
Josh Edelson/Pool Photo via AP
A jury concluded on Aug. 10 that exposure to the herbicide Roundup caused Dewayne Johnson's cancer and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages. Thousands more claims are pending.
Guilty or innocent?
Hundreds of lawsuits against Monsanto contend that its popular Roundup weed killer gave users cancer. But proving this kind of connection is challenging in both science and law.
Plant hackers at work: microscopic oomycete spores infiltrating a plant root.
Oomycete spores hack into plants to get what they need, causing agricultural disease. Can researchers figure out how to close plants' security loopholes and create more resilient crops?
President Donald Trump shakes the hand of EPA chief Scott Pruitt after he announcing the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate agreement on June 1, 2017. Pruitt submitted his resignation in July 2018 after a series of scandals.
Conservatives have long tried to attack regulators such as the EPA with “weaponized transparency”. Coupled with the inflation of uncertainty, the intent is to make regulations impossible.
Soybean seeds treated with neonicotinoids (blue) and treated corn seeds (red) versus untreated seeds.
Ian Grettenberger/PennState University
US farmers are planting more and more acres with seeds coated with neonicotinoid pesticides. An ecologist explains why this approach is overkill and may be doing more harm than good.
Protesters at a rally on the state of the EPA organized by the American Federation of Government Employees union, April 25, 2018, in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Government agencies are supposed to listen to the industries they regulate, but what if they tune out everyone else? Scholars call this regulatory capture, and some staffers see it happening at EPA.
‘Silent Spring’ author Rachel Carson testifies before a Senate Government Operations Subcommittee in Washington, D.C. on June 4, 1963. Carson urged Congress to curb the sale of chemical pesticides and aerial spraying.
Did Rachel Carson catalyze the organic farming movement, as many advocates claim? Or would she reject their ban on synthetic fertilizer and see organic as an inefficient way to feed the world?
Chemical companies touted synthetic insecticides and herbicides as miracle products in the 1940s and 1950s. But farmers and cropdusting pilots didn't always buy the sales pitch.
Lacewings are fantastic predators and are easy to rear and release.
Dan Papacek & Tony Meredith (Bugs for Bugs)
Not all bugs are bad! Put down the pesticides and get to know the predators and parasites hidden around you.
The Fall armyworm will remain in Africa for a long time unless concerted action is taken.
Insects are constantly adapting to methods used to control them.
Farmers needs a way to manage harmful insects without destroying the ecological balance.
Banning certain pesticides in Australia isn’t a panacea for bees.
Australian bees have so far avoided the 'colony collapse' devastating hives around the world, but there's growing pressure for a ban on certain insecticides blamed for bee deaths.
Suspected infestation of Macrophomina phaseolina, a “novel” soil pathogen, in the non-fumigated buffer zone of a strawberry field.
California produces 90 percent of the US strawberry crop, but growers face curbs on toxic chemicals that have helped their industry expand. Can a system centered on mass production become more sustainable?