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Australia’s reputation for strict farming standards helped its beef industry weather the BSE crisis. Malcolm Paterson/CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

Australia shouldn’t sacrifice food safety standards for free trade

Ten years on from the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, Australia is entering another round of negotiations towards the new and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. In this Free Trade Scorecard series…
Eating an organic diet for a week can significantly reduce pesticide levels. Daniel Parks/Flickr

Eating organic food significantly lowers pesticide exposure: study

Eating an organic diet for a week can cause pesticide levels to drop by almost 90% in adults, research from RMIT University…
A far-from-mellow yellow. Owen Humphreys/PA

Revealed: the chemical blitz bees face in fields

Perhaps I was naive, but when I discovered the extent of the chemical soup applied to typical fields I was astonished. As part of our ongoing investigations into the impact of pesticides on bees, we looked…

Pesticide shrinking worker bees

Exposure to a widely used pesticide stunts growth in worker bumblebees, researchers from the University of London have found…
I’m just a sprayer, the pest manager does the thinking. ricephotos

Pest management – it isn’t just about the killing

To most people pest management brings up images of rats, cockroaches and chemical spraying. Poisoning vermin and insect is only one minor, albeit important, aspect of pest management. Few people know about…
Bees are dying, but scientists and beekeepers are at loggerheads over what to do about it. Nick Ansell/PA

Sometimes science can’t see the wood for the bees

The EU banned the use of neonicotinoid pesticides for two years in April, after a sustained campaign by beekeepers, green groups and environmental organisations across Europe. These groups are convinced…
Pesticide levels considered ‘environmentally protective’ are still having a catastrophic effect on insect invertebrates like dragonflies, the study showed. http://www.flickr.com/photos/21644167@N04/3755575059

Even ‘environmentally protective’ levels of pesticide devastate insect biodiversity

Pesticide levels considered environmentally friendly in Europe and Australia are, in fact, having a devastating effect on…
Honeybees aren’t the only species pollinating plants in Australia; we have little idea how pesticides are affecting native pollinators. Howard Rawson

Neonicotinoid ban eases the stress on bees

News that the European Union (EU) has restricted the use of neonicotinoid insecticides was welcomed by scientists, farmers, beekeepers and politicians around the world. But the limitations of the restriction…
Many Australian crops rely on pollination by bees: we should think about following the EU’s lead on banning pesticides that affect them. djfrantic/Flickr

The buzz on bee pesticides: Australia should consider a ban

The European Union has just banned three pesticides thought to affect the learning behaviour of bees. The two-year ban, which takes effect in December, is in response to a dramatic drop in bee numbers…
Studies find organic food is no better for you, but it is 30% less likely to be contaminated with pesticides. AAP

Organic food no better for you: study

Organic food may come with less pesticides but there’s little evidence it’s better for you, say researchers from Stanford…
Samples of Lipton teas in China contained up to 13 pesticides, including banned substances. Paul Watson

Storm in a teacup: China’s Lipton contamination scare

Anyone care for a cup of Methomyl? A recent investigation by Greenpeace East Asia has uncovered a catalog of banned and highly dangerous pesticides in Lipton tea products sold on Beijing supermarket shelves…
Genetically modified crops have allowed pesticide spraying to be reduced by almost half a million kilograms in the last 15 years. Eric Constantineau

Genetically modified crops shrink farming’s pesticide footprint

Recent news reports claim one in ten Australians believe the world will end on December 21, 2012, based largely on internet gossip about the meaning of ancient stone carvings from the Mayans of Central…

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