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Growing use of soy products causes malnutrition in Latin America

Our infatuation with soy is exacerbating certain health consequences, such as hunger and undernutrition, that small-scale farming communities face in Latin America, as agricultural operations seize their farmsteads. Some of our “healthy” food alternatives are uprooting indigenous communities, their cultures, traditions, food security and health. A land grab refers to a sort of land acquisition that displaces people from their lands and resources.

White-nose syndrome in hibernating bats has been detected in Texas

The fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in hibernating bats has been detected on three species in the Texas counties of Childress, Collingsworth, Cottle, Hardeman, King and Scurry. The fungus was found in samples collected by a team from Texas A&M University's Institute of Renewable Natural Resources and wildlife and fisheries sciences department, along with Bat Conservation International. The tested samples showed the fungus was present on tri-colored, cave myotis and Townsend's big-eared bats.

Is it time to reassess current safety standards for glyphosate-based herbicides?

Use of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) increased ∼100-fold from 1974 to 2014. Additional increases are expected due to widespread emergence of glyphosate-resistant weeds, increased application of GBHs, and preharvest uses of GBHs as desiccants. Current safety assessments rely heavily on studies conducted over 30 years ago. We have considered information on GBH use, exposures, mechanisms of action, toxicity and epidemiology. Human exposures to glyphosate are rising, and a number of in vitro and in vivo studies challenge the basis for the current safety assessment of glyphosate and GBHs.

New European Report Shows Glyphosate Producers are “Buying Science”

Monsanto and other glyphosate manufacturers appear to have distorted scientific evidence on the public health impacts of glyphosate in order to keep the controversial substance on the market, according to a new report released today by GLOBAL 2000 (Friends of the Earth Austria) with the support of Avaaz, BUND, Campact, CEO, GMWatch, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe, PAN Germany, and Umweltinstitut München.

Europe poised for total ban on neonicotinoids - given their persistence still a mighty close call for ecosystem integrity

The world’s most widely used insecticides would be banned from all fields across Europe under draft regulations from the European commission, seen by the Guardian. The documents are the first indication that the powerful commission wants a complete ban and cite “high acute risks to bees”. A ban could be in place this year if the proposals are approved by a majority of EU member states. Bees and other pollinators are vital for many food crops but have been declining for decades due to habitat loss, disease and pesticide use.

Hundreds of Native Bee Species in North America and Hawaii Are Sliding Toward Extinction

In the first comprehensive review of the more than 4,000 native bee species in North America and Hawaii, the Center for Biological Diversity has found that more than half the species with sufficient data to assess are declining. Nearly 1 in 4 is imperiled and at increasing risk of extinction. The new analysis, "Pollinators in Peril: A systematic status review of North American and Hawaiian native bees", revealed that more than 700 species are in trouble from a range of serious threats, including severe habitat loss and escalating pesticide use.

The yellow-crested cockatoo is on the brink of extinction

Habitat loss has pushed the critically endangered yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua Sulphurea), a native bird of Sulawesi and East Nusa Tenggara, toward the brink of extinction, as the number currently living in the wild continues to decline. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the bird among 20 bird species that are on the brink of extinction, said Tri Endang, head of the Forest Ecosystem Control unit at the West Nusa Tenggara Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA). “The IUCN has listed the Yellow-Crested cockatoo as critically endangered.

Insecticide Usage on Oilseed Rape Continued to Increase After Introduction of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments

Since the early 1990s, pesticide usage on oil seed rape (OSR) has increased significantly in terms of the number of times treated, weight per hectare applied and number of active substances. Although Budge et al (2015) established that neonicotinoid seed coatings enabled farmers to reduce the number of insecticide sprays on OSR, this is not evident from the survey data after 2000 when neonicotinoid seed treatments were introduced.

The Numeniini bird family faces extinction

For Numeniini, a family of birds that includes Curlews and Godwits, new research indicates that these birds are at risk. A recent study by Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds (BirdLife in the UK), British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), and the International Wader Study Group suggests they could actually be one of the most threatened families of birds on earth. The study consulted over 100 experts who assessed the threats to Numeniini throughout their migratory regions and found that seven of the thirteen species are threatened with extinction.

Where have the sparrows gone?

Where have all those chirpy little sparrows gone? Once a common sight, hopping away on the verandahs and chirping joyously from tree branches, the sight of a sparrow (Passer domesticus) has over the years become a rarity.The tentacles of development spreading with fast paced concretisation of the city have ended in choking away one of mankind’s oldest associate. As the city prepares to join the World Sparrow Day on March 20, it is left to a few individuals concerned at the fast decline in sparrow population, to bring them into focus.