GMOs and Herbicide Use: It’s Complicated

April 9, 2018 Marc Brazeau 0

There is strong evidence that herbicide use has indeed increased in GMO crops (corn, soybean, and cotton), much as the critics have suggested. However, the evidence also suggest that herbicide use has increased even faster in the non-GMO crops rice and wheat. This suggests that there is an overall trend for increasing herbicide use in all crops, irrespective of whether GMO varieties are available. It is even plausible, based on these data, that GMO crops have slowed the increase in herbicide use (though it is impossible to say for sure).

Does Genetically Engineered Cotton Lead to Farmer Suicide in India?

April 9, 2018 Guest Authors 0

The balance of evidence favours the argument that adopting Bt cotton has increased yields in all cotton-growing states except Punjab, and has reduced pesticide costs so that the crop has become more profitable for farmers. So it’s reasonable to suppose that these farmers have reduced their debts and, to the extent that suicide has an economic component, are less at risk of committing suicide.

Salt, Vinegar, and Glyphosate

April 5, 2017 Josh Tasman 11

GUEST AUTHOR: Andrew Kniss
I’ve been asked quite a few times over the last several years about a “homemade” herbicide recipe that is floating around the web. Many of you have probably seen it posted to Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest, or on your favourite home gardening site. One of my favourite descriptions calls it a “magical, natural, weed killing potion.” The recipe is largely the same regardless of the source. There are a pretty wide variety of claims about its safety, effectiveness, and “naturalness” depending on the website. One site even says it is “an alternative to chemical weed killers.” [Spoiler: it contains chemicals.]

17 of 17 – Can Glyphosate Research Be Trusted?

March 28, 2017 Josh Tasman 0

GUEST AUTHOR: Iida Ruishalme
In my series 17 Questions about Glyphosate, last but not least comes a post about the integrity of research, how funding may influence research results, and what corporate involvement with scientists may entail. And if scientists mostly are not influenced by industry, why are there so many conflicting study results?

7-12 of 17 – Glyphosate in Wind, Rain; Down the Drain?

March 17, 2017 Josh Tasman 0

Guest Author: Iida Ruishalme
Series 17 Questions about Glyphosate! In questions 7-11 I go through the evidence for whether glyphosate can be detected, and if so then in which quantities, in each of the following: air and rainwater, urine, breastmilk, wine, and wheat. I have also added extra sections on glyphosate in honey, vaccines, and tampons.

Question 12. delves into the common verbal images of farmers ‘drenching’ their fields in pesticides, and how much farmers actually use.

5 of 17 – Could Glyphosate be another case like DDT or Thalidomide?

March 13, 2017 Josh Tasman 18

GUEST AUTHOR: Iida Ruishalme
Hearing science-speak conclusions like “failure to show adverse effects”, or “no correlation found”, or “not likely to pose risk” often leaves a layman out cold in the mists of the inherent scientific uncertainty. For our everyday logic, there is a threshold of such little perceived risk, where we simply declare something safe. But science holds fast to the humble intellectual honesty of saying “despite all our best efforts, there is still a very slim chance of an effect that could become evident in some unknown context in the future”. That may make our everyday brains feel uneasy.

4 of 17 – Does Glyphosate Harm Gut Bacteria?

March 10, 2017 Josh Tasman 0

GUEST AUTHOR: Iida Ruishalme
In my series 17 Questions about Glyphosate, question 4. looks at glyphosate and its potential to affect our gut bacteria. This is one of the favourite returning points for many who find the newness of the field of microbiome research a reason be extra cautious, and in the process, sometimes jump into some rather hasty conclusions.

“I don’t want to eat food that makes insects stomachs explode! / I don’t want to eat food that’s been bred to withstand being drenched in toxic herbicides”

December 14, 2016 Marc Brazeau 1

How often have you heard some version of:

“I don’t want to eat food that makes insects stomachs explode! / I don’t want to eat food that’s been bred to withstand being drenched in toxic herbicides”

This may be the most common misconception out there. Let’s try to reconnect it with reality a little bit.

“I don’t want to eat a tomato that has fish DNA. Breeding in a laboratory is not the same as breeding that happens in nature over hundreds of years.”

December 12, 2016 Marc Brazeau 0

One of the most common objections to biotech crops that comes up on the internet is some variation on this theme:
“I don’t want to eat a tomato that has fish DNA. Breeding in a laboratory is not the same as breeding that happens in nature over hundreds of years.”

There’s a lot of misunderstanding packed into those two sentences