Project News and Views
A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved Its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement
Published Monday 19th February 2018 in Independent Science News:
A book review by Allison Wilson, PhD, Science Director, The Bioscience Resource Project
Synopsis: The Tyrolean commercial apple industry had begun to expand into the mountain community of Mals, Italy. Two experimental orchards had already been planted to test which varieties best suited the area. More ominously, pesticide drift from its industrial apple farms had been detected at high levels in the area’s schoolyards and on the produce of organic farms. The citizens of Mals realized they needed to act fast if they wanted to pursue their vision of a diversified and sustainable local economy. The story of Mals and its subsequent historic referendum to ban all pesticides in the municipality, and therefore bar “Big Apple”, is the perfect counterpoint to the unfolding drama of the Dicamba drift catastrophe in the U.S. midwest. Philip Ackerman-Leist’s important new book could not have come at a better time.
Mals stands out as a community that decided to create toxic-free food and agriculture systems through real democracy, democracy based on the active participation of citizens. Read the story of Mals to get inspired. And act.
~Dr. Vandana Shiva (Foreward to A Precautionary Tale).
To read the full book review go to: https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/a-precautionary-tale-how-one-small-town-banned-pesticides/
Published Tuesday Dec. 12th, 2017, by Independent Science News: “How the Once Tiny Waste Management Industry Captured EPA and Became VERY BIG“ was written by William Sanjour.
Synopsis: One of the consistently most popular articles on Independent Science News is “Designed to Fail: Why Regulatory Agencies Don’t Work” by EPA whistleblower William Sanjour. “Designed to Fail” details the internal workings of EPA and how “concentrating all legislative, executive and judiciary authority in one regulatory agency just makes it easier for it to be corrupted by the industries it regulates.” Agencies organised in such a way fail to fulfill their mandates of protecting the public and the environment, even when little or no apparent pressure is applied by industry or politicians, because their incapacities are internalised and hidden. “DtF” is vital reading for anyone who wants to understand chemical pollution and regulatory failure more generally in the United States and elsewhere. In this follow-up article, which he calls a prequel, Sanjour tells the story of waste disposal in the United States and how one branch of EPA let waste be turned into an enormous polluting profit centre at public expense.
Published today, Monday Dec. 4th 2017 by Independent Science News:
“Gates Foundation Hired PR Firm to Manipulate UN Over Gene Drives,” was written
by Jonathan Latham, PhD.
Synopsis: Dec 5th is the opening day of a UN meeting in Montreal whose purpose is to help governments protect biodiversity. That meeting may decide the fate of gene drives, a technology in which the Gates Foundation is heavily invested, especially through its Target Malaria project. Gene drives are an experimental genetic technology intended to cause population extinctions. Freedom of Information act emails obtained from the University of North Carolina and released today, however, show that, in advance of that meeting, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has for months been seeking to secretly influence its outcome in favour of gene drive use. The Foundation has hired a PR consultancy which then recruited large numbers of academics and has been guiding their participation to sway an online forum organised to prepare for the Montreal meeting. This preparation has been coordinated with the insider help of three of the main participants of that upcoming UN meeting.
The entire set of Gene Drive FOIA emails can be accessed here: http://www.pricklyresearch.com/AutoIndex/index.php?dir=genedrivefiles/
Published today, Tuesday, Nov 14th, in Independent Science News, the English translation of “Years Before Vietnam, the Chemical Industry Knew About Dioxins” was first published in German by Petra Sorge in BuzzFeed.
Synopsis: Decades before the herbicide 2,4,5-T was pulled from the US market for containing dioxins, the global chemical giants Dow, BASF, Monsanto, and others, had extensive discussions amongst themselves of whether to sell dioxin-contaminated chemicals. These discussions ranged from chemical analysis of each other’s products to comments on their safety and whether to inform governments that their products contained contaminants of “extraordinary danger”.
This article is a translation from the German. The internal discussions reported in it are now available to the public for the first time thanks to The Poison Papers Project (www.poisonpapers.org). Released in July 2017, by The Bioscience Resource Project and the Center for Media and Democracy, the Poison Papers represent 3.5 tons, over 20,000 documents, showing unprecedented concealment by industry and regulators of chemical hazards stretching back to the 1920s. Most of these documents were obtained and preserved by Carol Van Strum, an Oregon mother and activist.
Jonathan Latham, Executive Director of the Bioscience Resource Project talks about his background and experience in science. He also answers questions about the food movement and what makes it different from other environmental or social justice movements. In this far-ranging interview Latham discusses why people should be in the countryside and how social movements get co-opted. He shows that the “virtuous circles” created by agroecology can provide us with a “free lunch” and suggests how to get more people involved in growing food and caring for the land.
“However, it’s important to understand that if you have a biologically based economy in which people are growing food and looking after the land, it takes a lot of people to do that. People have been brought to the cities under false pretenses. What we need to do is to make the countryside a more attractive and convivial place. And also make land available for people to look after themselves. Half the reason people all over the world are going to cities is that they are being kicked off the land. Then they become isolated from the countryside and can no longer go back again. But the countryside in many ways is the place where most people should be, and if we want to stop industrial agriculture we’ll need more labor in the countryside.”
Read the entire interview at: http://jonathanlatham.net/acresusa-interview/
Published today in Independent Science News: “Gates Foundation Grants Additional $6.4 million to Cornell’s Controversial Alliance for Science“, a new article written by Jonathan Latham, PhD.
Synopsis: A new grant means that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has now given $12 million dollars to the Cornell Alliance for Science. But according to Claire Robinson of British group GMWatch, the Alliance “is a propaganda machine for the GMO and agrochemical industry”.
Read the full article at: https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/goodbye-golden-rice-gm-trait-leads-to-drastic-yield-loss/
The Bioscience Resource Project provides scientific and intellectual resources for a healthy future. It publishes Independent Science News, a media service devoted to food and agriculture, and their impacts on health and the environment. It also offers resources for scientists and educators and internships and training for students. Through its innovative scientific journalism and original biosafety review articles, the project provides unique and revealing perspectives on issues that are fundamental to the survival of people and the planet. The project does not accept advertising or corporate funding and is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. It is completely dependent on individual donations.
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