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World’s Largest Protected Marine Zone Threatened By Trump Order – May 18, 2017

Papahānaumokuākea Marine Monument is the largest fully protected marine zone in the world

When Donald Trump called for a review of some of America’s most spectacular land and seascapes last month, he clearly intended to toss out their protected status and tap them for their oil, gas, and minerals.

The president ordered the Department of Interior to review as many as 27 large national monuments created over the past two decades under the Antiquities Act by presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Trump’s action could open up almost 1.2 million square miles of land and sea for development.

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National MonumentPhoto by kris krüg The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is the… more

by: Paul Koberstein

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Pruitt’s Rejection of Chlorpyrifos Ban Seems Based on Alternative Facts – April 5, 2017

EPA chief fails to explain what data prompted his decision to allow continued use of the toxic pesticide, environmental groups file suit

The US Environmental Protection Agency under President Trump may have stepped into the brave new world of alternative facts.

Last November, after several years of study, the EPA had announced that the insecticide chlorpyrifos poses an unacceptable risk to humans, especially children, when its residue is found in fruits, vegetables, and drinking water.

photo of California farmPhoto by Malcolm Carlaw The EPA has reversed its decision to ban chlorpyrifos, the most heavily used insecticide in the US, despite evidence that it is dangerous to human health.

The finding cited a 2014 Columbia University study and other research showing that young… more

by: Paul Koberstein

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When it Comes to GMOs, the Devil is in the Details – July 21, 2016

Unresolved safety questions about gene-editing technologies underscore need for caution

While expressing support for the watered-down GMO labeling bill, which was passed by Congress last week and is now awaiting President Obama’s signature, White House spokeswoman Katie Hill told Bloomberg News: "While there is broad consensus that foods from genetically engineered crops are safe, (emphasis added) we appreciate the bipartisan effort to address consumers' interest in knowing more about their food…."

Making these kinds of broad statements about all genetically modified foods being “safe” seem to be a common quirk among even among science journalists who write about  GMOs. There is a tendency to describe genetically engineered crops as though they are just one thing. True, GMOs have many traits in… more

by: Paul Koberstein

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EPA Mulls Ban on Nation’s Most Heavily Used Insecticide – January 21, 2016

Numerous studies have shown that Chlorpyrifos causes serious harm to children and farmworkers

Scott Krogstad grows soybeans and sugar beets in the heart of the Red River Valley near Grand Forks, North Dakota. Like most sugar beet farmers in the Midwest, he wages a difficult war with the unpredictable infestations of the sugar beet root maggot. The maggot, the larva of a small two-winged fly, can completely sever the roots from a beet with its hooked mouth.

Photo of Farm Workers in CaliforniaPhoto by Dan Long Farm workers cut and pack celery in Salinas Valley, California. Many farmers view the insecticide chlorpyrifos as indespensable in their battles with bugs.

Meanwhile, a thousand miles away in fruit orchards… more

by: Paul Koberstein

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A Very Different Kind of GMO is Headed to Supermarket Shelves – August 17, 2015

Little is known about the environmental and public health impacts of crops using a new technology called RNAi

Soon, maybe within a year, Americans could be eating two new varieties of apple that won’t turn brown after slicing. To make these new transgenic apples, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc., a Canadian company, turned to an advanced biotechnology called RNA interference (RNAi). Okanagan insists its modified Granny Smith and Golden Delicious varieties— called Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny — are safe to eat. “By the time Arctic apples reach your market, they will be one of the most researched and tested foods on the planet,” the company says on its website. Despite this assurance, a number of disturbing questions remain about how RNAi technology might affect human health.

supermarket… <a href=more

by: Paul Koberstein

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