United Nations urged to ensure open plant genomes

A plant scientist from The Australian National University (ANU) has called for the United Nations to guarantee free and open access to plant DNA sequences to enable scientists to continue work to sustainably intensify world food production. Dr Norman Warthmann, a plant

March 23, 2015

Can organic crops compete with industrial agriculture?

A systematic overview of more than 100 studies comparing organic and conventional farming finds that the crop yields of organic agriculture are higher than previously thought. The study, conducted by UC Berkeley researchers, also found that certain practices could furth

January 16, 2015

Agricultural practices play a big role in seasonal swings of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

New study from Boston University, the University of Michigan and other institutions identifies a new, direct fingerprint of human activity on Earth as agricultural crops play a big role in seasonal swings of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.Modern agricultural

November 25, 2014

World is losing 2 000 hectares of farm soil daily to salt damage

Salt-spoiled soils worldwide: 20% of all irrigated lands — an area equal to size of France. Extensive costs include $27 billion+ in lost crop value/year. UNU study identifies ways to reverse damage, says every hectare needed to feed world’s fast-growing popu

October 28, 2014

Open Source Seed Initiative aims to keep seeds free from patents

In a public ceremony on April 16, a coalition of farmers, scientists and sustainable food advocates launched the Open Source Seed Pledge, a parallel licensing system designed to keep seeds in the hands of the public and prevent them from being patented by private intere

May 04, 2014

Sri Lanka bans glyphosate herbicide to avoid kidney disease risk

Sri Lanka, the large island south of India, is home to more than 20 million people who are now saying "no" to Monsanto's Roundup. Sri Lanka's president has suddenly issued a ban on glyphosate herbicide, as new studies suggest that the chemical is a

March 18, 2014

Industrial agriculture has reached its 'peak,' say scientists; time for a return to small-scale organics

The era of large-scale monoculture, with all of its toxic pesticides and untested genetically modified organisms (GMOs), could finally be coming to an end. Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) discovered recently that yield expansion rates for most

January 24, 2014

Researcher says extensive use of antibiotics in agriculture creating public health crisis

University of Calgary's Aidan Hollis advocates user fees on non-human antibiotics use Citing an overabundance in the use of antibiotics by the agriculture and aquaculture industries that poses a threat to public health, economics professor Aidan Hollis has

December 30, 2013

Seed diversity has collapsed more than 12-fold since early 1900s

From the looks of an average produce section in a typical American supermarket, it might seem like modern society has access to basically every major type of fruit, vegetable and herb one could want. But a survey conducted by the U.S. National Seed Storage Laboratory

December 07, 2013

How vertical farming can change the world

If there weren’t any pesky practical limitations, what world-changing device would you invent? In the second installment of Babelgum and GOOD’s new Big Ideas competition, Columbia professor Dickson Despommier imagines filling New Yorks skyscrapers with

September 22, 2013

Is rocket fuel making truly organic farming impossible?

Perchlorate and the Post-Organic Era  Perchlorate is an environmental pollutant primarily associated with releases by defense contractors, military operations and aerospace programs, as it is a key ingredient in rocket fuel. It is now found in virtually

September 10, 2013

$300 underground greenhouse grows produce year-round, even in severe climates

With staggering food prices and shortages looming, there's no better time to grow your own produce. Sadly, most greenhouses are expensive to build and impractical to heat during cold, wintery conditions. Thankfully, a solution is found with the Walipini.

September 01, 2013

Demise of bees - number of bees drastically drops in 2012/2013

Nearly a third of managed honeybee colonies in America died out or disappeared over the past winter which is far worse than the previous winter. On average, U.S. beekeepers lost 45.1% of the colonies in their operation during the winter of 2012/2013 according

July 03, 2013

Food MythBusters: Do we really need industrial agriculture to feed the world?

The biggest players in the food industry - from pesticide pushers to fertilizer makers to food processors and manufacturers - spend billions of dollars every year not selling food, but selling the idea that we need their products to feed the world. But, do we really

June 24, 2013

Global food production isn’t increasing fast enough to support the world’s rapidly growing population

The world faces a looming and growing agricultural crisis. Our planet is experiencing rising demands for crop production by increasing human population, meat and dairy consumption from growing affluence, and biofuel consumption. New research by Deepak Ray and

June 24, 2013

Seed diversity under threat – Step closer to destruction of agricultural and horticultural seed diversity in Europe!

The EU directives on the marketing of seeds and plant propagating material are currently being reviewed in Brussels. The new regulation threatens rare varieties and farmers’ varieties. Non-commercial varieties are under particular threat of extinction, as the new

May 02, 2013

Smoke from India fires spreading into Bangladesh

Indian farmers often set fire to fields to clear them for planting. According to Indian agricultural practice, preparing for planting with fire has the benefit of clearing out some pests that eat crops and turning crop residues from the previous season into

November 23, 2012

Pesticides are making our children sick

From childhood cancers to learning disabilities and asthma, a wide range of childhood diseases and disorders linked to exposure to pesticides are on the rise.A new study from the Pesticide Action Network says that the more than 1 billion pounds of pesticides used in

November 23, 2012

Europe must not allow use of herbicide-tolerant genetically engineered crops!

European Commission could go ahead with its plan to authorise the cultivation of so-called herbicide tolerant genetically engineered (HTGE) crops. The fact is that European agriculture will be irreparably damaged if HTGE is allowed to be cultivated. Many European

November 15, 2012

Monsanto found guilty of chemical poisoning in landmark case

A French farmer who can no longer perform his routine farming duties because of permanent pesticide injuries has had his day in court, literally, and the perpetrator of his injuries found guilty of chemical poisoning. The French court in Lyon ruled that Monsanto's

October 09, 2012

What the study forgot to mention: Organic food can save the world from devastating climate change

In the wake of the release of the infamous "Stanford study," which claims there is no substantial difference between organic food and conventional food, many with a deeper understanding of how organic food production works are speaking out against this ill-conceived

September 18, 2012

Access to water resources key for food security

Recurring droughts highlight need to better manage water resources and safeguard food security. Ongoing worldwide drought has hurt global grain production and contributed to food price spikes every other year since 2007.One of the key messages that FAO is

August 29, 2012

California is facing health concerns because of nitrate in drinking water

California is facing a hidden threat to its drinking water supply. Nitrate pollution is a problem for both cities and rural areas, and it could get worse as the state's population grows.Wells supplying drinking water to millions of Californians has been exposed to

August 18, 2012

Rise in global food prices - Food Price Index up 6 percent

As food prices creep up again for the third time in five years, concerns about global food security are also on the rise. The United Nations has reported a climb in global food prices after experiencing a decline over the past three months.Since many countries

August 12, 2012

Farmland contamination poses growing threat for China

Much of China's agricultural soil is contaminated by pollutants, including arsenic and heavy metals, that pose a threat to the country's food production, experts warn. Zhou Jianmin, director of the China Soil Association, estimates that 10% of China's farmland is

June 15, 2012

Semiarid regions of Texas and California could run out of groundwater in 30 years

More than one-third of US states in the southern Great Plains could run out of groundwater within the next 30 years according to a new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Study finds that the two most important aquifers

June 02, 2012

Drought hits Spain's wheat crop

Spain has faced the driest winter ever recorded. It has raised red flags in Spain, where farmers face the threat of extreme  drought. Grain crops in Spain are suffering after an unusually dry autumn and winter. The amount of rainfall has been just half of normal in

May 12, 2012

Drought hits Angola's farms

A drought is threatening Angola's already modest food production, in a setback for efforts to revive once-vibrant farmlands abandoned during decades of war. The dry season that normally lasts only about three weeks in December has stretched to three months in parts of

May 09, 2012

Seed diversity in need of help - Open letter for a better EU Seed Legislation

Open letterto the Members of the European Parliamentto John Dalli, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protectionto Dacian Ciolos, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Developmentto Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for the Environmentto László Andor,

May 07, 2012

Southeast Asia's cassava industry at high risk due to climate change

Severe outbreaks of new, invasive pests triggered by rising temperatures could threaten Southeast Asia's multi-billion dollar cassava industry, as well as the livelihoods of the hundreds of thousands of small farmers that rely on the crop for income, according to

April 26, 2012

USGS release: Insecticide contamination increases with urbanization

Contamination and toxicity in stream sediments caused by pyrethroid insecticides generally increased with the degree of urbanization in seven metropolitan areas across the U.S, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study. The study confirmed that pyrethroid

April 25, 2012

Millions are hungry while food supplies rot in India

India is struggling with too much wheat while the rest of the world is anticipating a shortage. Thanks to the virtual banning of exports since 2007, India is producing more wheat than it can properly store and now the Indian government does not know where to store

April 18, 2012

New study suggests pesticides may affect pregnancy length and birth weight

Exposure of pregnant women to organophosphate (OP) pesticides, a widely used class of pesticides in North American agriculture, may be associated with decreased gestational age and lower birth weight, according to a study published on Thursday. The new study,

April 09, 2012

Vanilla production seriously affected by weather conditions - ice cream could become even more expensive treat

You can taste vanilla in chocolate, custard, caramel, coffee, cakes, etc. The cosmetics industry uses vanilla to make perfume. A major use of vanilla is in flavoring ice cream. The most common flavor of ice cream

April 07, 2012

Nitrate in drinking water poses health risks for rural Californians

According to a report released by the University of California and comissioned by the California State Water Resources Control Board, one in 10 people living in California's most productive agricultural areas is at risk for harmful levels of nitrate contamination in

March 19, 2012