Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Insecticides/pesticides

Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 20130712-AMS-LSC-0415, Flickr, CC by 2.0
13 November 2017

This paper presents the findings of a food systems model that considers how specific agronomic characteristics of organic agriculture could be harnessed so as to enable it to play a greater role in sustainable food systems.

Photo: djfrantic, Bees on our Boysenberries, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
12 April 2017

This paper in Biological Conservation argues that the role of pesticides in driving biodiversity loss deserves renewed emphasis, quantification and amelioration. The authors present their views on how conservationists should support integrated approaches, for sustainable agriculture and rural development planning, that simultaneously address food security, pesticide use and biodiversity conservation.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Pesticide Spraying, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0.
15 March 2017

This Nature Plants paper by researchers from agroecological and agronomical research institutions in France used a statistical modelling approach to predict the effects of reducing pesticide use on the productivity and profitability of French arable farms.

Photo: Ano Lobb, Flickr creative commons license 2.0
31 August 2016

A new study published in the journal Nature Communications provides additional evidence that a specific group of controversial pesticides, neonicotinoids, affects wild bees negatively. The work was funded by the UK government and related data of wild bee distributions over time to the introduction of the pesticides in British fields. It is the first to link the pesticides to the decline of many bee species in real-world conditions.

Victor Camilo, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
8 August 2016

The DNA of Pseudocercospora fijiensis, the fungus that causes the black Sigatoka disease in bananas, has been sequenced and assembled in an attempt to find means of disease control. The black Sigatoka disease occurs across the tropics and is responsible for huge banana yield losses. In addition, it can cause the fruit to ripen prematurely, which stops exports of the crop. The Cavendish banana, the clonal type of bananas most consumers in the west eat is especially vulnerable to the black Sigatoka fungi.

1 April 2016

More than three-quarters of the world's food crops are at least partly dependent on pollination and in many regions over 40 percent of the bees and the butterflies are threatened with extinction, according to a new report entitled Thematic Assessment of Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production.

30 September 2015

This report by the UK’s Soil Association on cotton and climate change argues that switching to organic cotton could reduce the global warming impact of cotton production by 46% compared to non-organic cotton. Cotton has been called the world’s dirtiest agricultural commodity, owing to its heavy use of insecticides and water, high GHG emissions, and land use.

18 February 2015

This paper presented in EHP (Environmental Health Perspectives) claims to be the largest study to look at organophosphate exposure in humans.  It specifically compares pesticide exposure from eating organic food as compared with conventionally farmed food. The question of whether organic foods are better relate both to a food’s nutrient values and to its pesticide exposure; this paper examines whether the belief that organic produce contains less pesticide holds true.

3 December 2014

The booklet The susDISH analysis method – Sustainability in the catering industry, taking account of both nutritional and environmental aspects in recipe planning is published by the Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences of the Halle-Wittenberg University.

1 July 2014

The Worldwide Integrated Assessment (WIA) report on insecticides will shortly be published as a special issue of Environmental Science and Pollution Research.  In the report, the global group of researchers in the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides argue that insecticide use may already have caused severe harm to global food production through its  impacts on the environment.  The researchers look at the impacts and risks associated with neonicotinoids use. They argue that rather than protecting food production, the use of the insecticide is threatening the productivity of our natural and farmed environment.

13 June 2014

An international panel of scientists is calling for an evidence-driven debate over whether a widely used type of insecticide is to blame for declines in bees and other insect pollinators.

6 February 2014

Farmagaddeon describes the effects of livestock intensification (“factory farming”) around the world. It makes the case against industrialised agriculture arguing that it affects not only the welfare of farmed animals but also increasingly our countryside, health and the quality of our food all around the world.