The blatant disregard over the use of these substances by regulatory agencies around the world is apparent.
If we care about the quality and security of our food sources — and the species and ecosystems they rely on — the time for neonics is over.
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The devastating impacts on soil are increasingly clear to see. And what are these biocides doing to us as humans?
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Those monarchs travel thousands of kilometres, many from summer breeding grounds in Canada that once stretched from southern Saskatchewan to the Maritimes. As a child growing up in southwestern Ontario, I collected insects. Monarchs were abundant everywhere. The mass exodus through Point Pelee at summer's end was mesmerizing.
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Canada's well-financed medical marijuana LPs boast that they're pioneering the very best industry standards in the world. Now this claim to fame has been besmirched.
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Two decades of studies have failed to produce any smoking guns. It's now time that we all accept the scientific consensus -- GM foods are probably as safe to eat as non-GMO. But that doesn't lessen my opposition to genetic modification one bit.
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It's not so much the Bayer-Monsanto deal is a move in the wrong direction (which it is), but increasing consolidation is to be expected given the trend in many key sectors toward monopoly capitalism or just plain cartelism, whichever way you choose to look at it.
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Urban agriculture won't resolve all food production and distribution problems, but it could help take pressure off rural land while providing other advantages. From balcony, backyard, rooftop, indoor and community gardens to city beehives and chicken coops to larger urban farms and farmers markets, growing and distributing local food in or near cities is a healthy way to help the environment.
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A combination of propaganda disseminated by industry front groups and conflicts of interest effectively allow dangerous chemicals and GMOs into the food chain and serve to keep the public in the dark about what is taking place and the impacts on their health. Certain individuals, like journalist Rosemary Mason, are working to shine a light on this.
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Anything that enters our bodies through direct contact with our mucosal membranes, inhaled into our lungs or touches our skin for long periods of time has the highest chance of entering our blood stream and influencing our health, for good or bad.
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A small Mississauga-based agri-tech company called Bee Vector Technologies (BVT) has created an environmentally friendly alternative to spraying crops with toxic pesticides. It also provides farmers with meaningful cost savings, especially over the long-term -- savings that can be passed on to consumers.
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Poor enforcement of environmental laws doesn't just hurt our environment, and communities that depend on that environment. It also hurts law-abiding businesses -- businesses that find themselves having to compete against counterparts who flout the law. But don't take my word for it; here's what a law-abiding businessperson had to say on that very topic.
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Eating local produce is a great idea to help support your local farmers and the economy. But is it realistic to choose local fruits and vegetables all winter long in Canada? As a dietitian, I also en...
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While governments attempt to find the right balance between agriculture and human health, researchers have turned to our microbial counterparts in the hope of finding species capable of breaking down chlorpyrifos. The goal has been primarily to find beneficial candidates with little concern for public health. After all, it's rare that one can get the best of both worlds. Yet this indeed may be the case.
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Public attention in Canada has largely focused on domesticated European honeybees, but research indicates the honeybee crisis is part of a wider problem affecting hundreds of lesser-known but crucially important wild bee species.
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Normally, when an outbreak or epidemic is found, the first order of business is to confirm a situation is actually happening. Once that is confirmed, the next step is to identify the cause. In the case of Zika virus, both these steps happened without much concern. Unfortunately, the rest of the epidemiological investigation has been anything but a matter of routine. The reason stems from our rather rudimentary understanding of the Zika virus. While we have known about its existence for decades, only a few studies on its effect on humans have ever been conducted. This means we're learning new things every day as new studies are ordered. What this does NOT mean, however, is that we are all victims of a vast conspiracy. So let's keep that in mind as we look at what we do know so far.
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I've spoken to thousands of environmental and community activists during many years of meeting with Canadians across this country. I've heard too many stories of people being harassed, ostracized, sued for standing up to large corporations and even fired from jobs because of their environmental advocacy. Canadians must continue to speak out for our water, land, air and wildlife, for justice for Indigenous Peoples, and for a clean energy future -- without fear of harassment, intimidation and hatred.
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The flourishing organic farm movement in North America proves that we can grow food economically and sustainably without resorting to an accelerating chemical arms race. Systemic pesticides are causing harm to our environment on a massive scale. We don't need them. There is no conclusive evidence that systemics are harmful to humans, but we've been consuming a cocktail of different systemic chemicals for decades now, and there's been virtually no study of what that might mean for our long-term health.
On Mother's Day, I look at my kids and think how blessed I am. Not just because I've had a chance to raise them, with all of the love, pride and fun that brings to my life. But because doing so has been a joyful experience. I've been able to nourish them, keep them warm, and send them off to school in the morning.
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After my meeting with the Health Minister Rona Ambrose in November, 2014, I was under the impression that labelling genetically modified foods was up to the scientists at Health Canada. But when I asked two of Health Canada's senior officials about it, I was told that it's not a health and safety issue; therefore it is not within their mandate. Shouldn't the Ministry of Health and Health Canada be looking for conclusive proof that GMOs are safe? I think that is a better way to look out for the health of Canadians.
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Apart from the immediate and lethal effects on bees, neonics represent a more subtle threat to a wide range of species. The 2014 Worldwide Integrated Assessment of the Impacts of Systemic Pesticides, the most comprehensive review of the scientific literature on neonics, pointed to effects on smell and memory, reproduction, feeding behaviour, flight and ability to fight disease.
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Have you heard of flupyradifurone? Probably not, unless you work for the federal government agency poised to approve this new pesticide for use in Canada. But take note: This new "F" word is bad news for bees.
If we've learned anything from past experience, it's that although we can speculate about the benefits of new technologies, reality doesn't always match speculation, and a lack of knowledge can lead to nasty surprises down the road.
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Bees may be small, but they play a big role in human health and survival. Some experts say one of every three bites of food we eat depends on them. The insects pollinate everything from apples and zucchini to blueberries and almonds. If bees and other pollinators are at risk, entire terrestrial ecosystems are at risk, and so are we.
Serious question: Does produce with thick and hard skin need to be washed? We may sometimes forget to wash our fruits and veggies before consumption, but let's be honest — we may skip washing things l...
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While catastrophic food-borne outbreaks have also occurred with conventional products over the years, this case raises the question: Is organic food safe? Contamination in organic foods is a concern since organic practices revolve around cycling nutrients.
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For the fourth year in a row, apples have topped the list of most pesticide-laden produce in the U.S. In the Environmental Working Group’s annual Dirty Dozen list, 99 per cent of apple samples tested...
Monarch butterflies are in trouble, their numbers drastically reduced. Experts and others are calling on citizen scientists -- and politicians -- to help. We can only hope our leaders live up to their commitment,. But we can also become citizen scientists to help monarchs survive.
Pete Seeger, who died January 27 at the age of 94, inspired generations of political and environmental activists with songs. Like me, he was inspired by Rachel Carson's 1962 book Silent Spring to become a strong defender of the environment as well as human rights.
Ah, organic foods. Mysterious and pretentious. Some people swear by organic foods to avoid the "hidden dangers" of conventional products, whereas others completely ignore anything organic, equating the term organic with expensive. But what does "organic" even mean, and is eating organic better for you?
If you thought our global food crisis can't get any worse, guess who's winning this year's Nobel Prize of Agriculture? Robert T Fraley, Executive VP of Monsanto is one of the recipients of this prestigious award (equivalent to the Oscars) on World Food Day October 16 for creating genetically modified organism (GMO).
We focus on charismatic species like whales, pandas, cedar trees and seals as poster children for conservation. But the small things that keep the biosphere going for creatures like us are probably more threatened because we ignore them. If we spend time studying them, they have much to teach us.