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Editing Evolution

Gene drive is a revolutionary new genetic technology that could help eradicate diseases and save species. But is it risk-free?

No point in the incorporated United States is farther south than Palmyra Atoll, a four-square-mile speck of an island located near the equator about 1,000 miles south of Hawaiʻi. One of the world’s 180,000 tiny islands, Palmyra is home of the Pisonia forest, one of the best remaining examples of a tropical coastal strand forest. It has a rich diversity of birds, wildlife and – until about three years ago – a…
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by: Paul Koberstein – Spring 2017

When it Comes to GMOs, the Devil is in the Details

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…
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by: Paul Koberstein – July 21, 2016

EPA Mulls Ban on Nation’s Most Heavily Used Insecticide

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…
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by: Paul Koberstein – January 21, 2016

A Very Different Kind of GMO is Headed to Supermarket Shelves

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).…
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by: Paul Koberstein – August 17, 2015

Bill Clinton’s Visionary Northwest Forest Plan Is On the Chopping Block

Feds proposal to revise forest management plan that safeguards old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest could lead to increased logging

Twenty years ago, the Clinton administration adopted the Northwest Forest Plan to safeguard what little remained of the region’s heavily logged old-growth forests, as well as protect its imperiled wildlife. The plan limited the timber industry’s access to federal timber in Oregon,…
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by: Paul Koberstein – February 11, 2015

Pesticide Exposure Linked to Depression Among Ag Workers, Says Report

It is not clear if farmer suicides are linked to pesticide use, says coauthor of study that’s being cited in news reports connecting the two

Is routine exposure to pesticides responsible for the global outbreak of suicides on farms? One might think so after reading a recent report that was published in several popular science and environment magazines and websites that suggested researchers have linked pesticide exposure…
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by: Paul Koberstein – November 19, 2014

The Ghost in the GMO Machine

Independent research shows that Chlorpyrifos, an insecticide used in Kaua‘i's GMO fields, can cause significant harm to children, but Dow Chemical is intent on convincing the EPA otherwise

The bodies and minds of children living on the Hawaiian island of Kaua‘i are being threatened by exposure to chlorpyrifos, a synthetic insecticide that is heavily sprayed on fields located near their homes and schools. For decades, researchers have been publishing reports…
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by: Paul Koberstein – October 7, 2014

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