Articles on Pesticides

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Suspected infestation of Macrophomina phaseolina, a “novel” soil pathogen, in the non-fumigated buffer zone of a strawberry field. Julie Guthman

Healthy to eat, unhealthy to grow: Strawberries embody the contradictions of California agriculture

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?
A U.S. agency has warned the public about the dangers of flame retardants known as organohalogens that are found in baby toys, mattresses, furniture and electronics. (Pexels)

These chemicals are bad for babies and whales: Why haven’t they been banned in Canada?

The U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission has recommended a wide-spread ban on an entire class of flame retardants. Here's how Canada could follow suit.
Mosquitoes are the main vectors for dengue and zika. Insecticides are our best weapon against them. Anja Jonsson/Flickr

Mozzies are evolving to beat insecticides – except in Australia

Australian mosquitoes, unlike their Asian and American counterparts, can still be controlled by insecticides like pyrethroids. What lessons are there for managing pesticide resistance in insects?
Critics fear the merger of agricultural giants Bayer and Monsanto will drive an increase in use of pesticides. AgriLife Today/flickr

Growing food in the post-truth era

The global food system has been operating in post-truth mode for decades.
Two papers published today report that neonicotinoids have negative effects on honey bees and wild bees in realistic field experiments. from

Common pesticides can harm bees, but the jury is still out on a global ban

Two large-scale studies confirm that neonicotinoid pesticides can harm bees. But the effects vary widely in different countries, suggesting that calls for a world ban would be premature.
Roll-your-own tobacco contains more additives than factory made cigarettes. So let’s not kid ourselves it’s safer. from

Busting the myth that roll-your-own tobacco has fewer additives

Roll-your-own tobacco contains additives to stop it from drying out. So, it's hardly a "natural" or "healthier" alternative to factory made cigarettes.
Soccer player on artificial turf. From

Why artificial turf may truly be bad for kids

Artificial turf has become popular for kids' sports as well as for professional players. The little black crumbs that help support the blades of fake grass may not be so harmless.
Gardening in Australia requires, to varying degrees depending where in the country you are, pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers. from

Are common garden chemicals a health risk?

When working with garden chemicals, always make sure you are wearing gloves. Apply sprays and dusts downwind and wear goggles if necessary. Always follow the directions.
The threat of chemical weapon attacks is on the rise globally. Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

Assessing the risk from Africa as Libya loses its chemical weapons

Governments often have limited knowledge of chemical production as it is the preserve of the private sector. Often these facilities are not as well secured as government facilities.
Field tests of flood-tolerant ‘scuba rice.’ International Rice Research Institute/Flickr

Moving beyond pro/con debates over genetically engineered crops

Advocates have argued for years about whether genetically engineered crops are safe to grow and eat. Plant pathologist and geneticist Pamela Ronald calls for a more nuanced discussion.

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