Category Archives: Food and agriculture

The future of farming

Last week, the crop protection industry suffered a significant but not unexpected blow. A typical headline was EU member states support near-total neonicotinoids ban. In 2013, the use of this popular class of insecticides on flowering crops was banned temporarily, … Continue reading

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Hype and reality

It’s not often that I get an opportunity to quote Private Eye, but here goes. In a column by ‘Old Sparky’ (issue 1462), under the headline ‘Real food for thought’ is a critique of the biomethane industry in general and … Continue reading

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Farming and the environment

Farming often gets a bad press. In the developed world it is, for example, a protected sector enjoying relatively high levels of subsidy which, at least in the UK, goes disproportionately to larger landowners. More generally, farmers are often held … Continue reading

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What has science ever done for us?

With apologies to Monty Python, this seems like as good a title as any for what I have to say this week, prompted by an essay on the BBC website by Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, current president of the Royal Society … Continue reading

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Acceptable opinions

Last week, I wrote about the apparent lack of balance in the present EU review of the ubiquitous weedkiller, glyphosate (Double standards in safety assessments). On one hand, MEPs showed themselves only too willing to be swayed by what they … Continue reading

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Double standards in safety assessments

Two years ago, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an advisory body to the World Health Agency, published an apparently damning report on glyphosate, one of the most widely-used herbicides around the world, and marketed by Monsanto under … Continue reading

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Feeding Africa

With so many other issues vying for our attention, it’s easy to forget the critical importance of food security. Food, water and shelter come at the base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and, without fulfilling these, other needs barely register. … Continue reading

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