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Argentine and Brazilian doctors suspect mosquito insecticide as cause of microcephaly

Claire Robinson / GMWatch

10th February 2016

Since 2014, the insecticide Pyriproxyfen has been use to kill mosquitos in water tanks in Brazil. Water tank in Bahia state, northeast Brazil. Photo: Francois Le Minh via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). With the proposed connection between the Zika virus and Brazil's outbreak of microcephaly in new born babies looking increasingly tenuous, Latin American doctors are proposing another possible cause: Pyriproxyfen, a pesticide used in Brazil since 2014 to arrest the development of mosquito larvae in drinking water tanks. Might the 'cure' in fact be the poison? more...

National Park service finally stands up for Grizzlies - and for people!

Louisa Willcox

9th February 2016

Grizzly bear in Wyoming. Photo: Scott Taylor via Flickr (CC BY-ND). As the movement to 'delist' Grizzly bears from protection under the Endangered Species Act gathers pace in US states and the Fish & Wildlife Service, two National Park superintendents have spoken out for the bears', writes Louisa Willcox. The hunters and the FWS may be furious, but the change of approach enjoys strong support from a public who have come to love their local bears. more...

As flooding in Gaza worsens, the most basic of human rights are under threat

Vanessa Amaral-Rogers

9th February 2016

A Palestinian rides his trike through a flooded street following the heavy storms of 2013. Photo: AFP PHOTO  / MOHAMMED ABED via Flickr / Globovisión (CC BY-NC) The humanitarian crisis in Gaza has worsened after floods and purposeful destruction has taken its toll in recent months, writes Vanessa Amaral-Rogers. The eight year blockade by Israel and conflict with Egypt has already hit Palestinian families hard but now Gaza is at even greater risk as Egypt diverts seawater into life-line tunnels. more...

Radiating corruption? The frightening science and politics of cell phone safety

Gary Null

8th February 2016

Cell phone user in downtown Deland, Florida. Photo: austinhumphreys via Flickr (CC BY-ND). A growing body of scientific evidence show that cell phone users suffer a range of negative health impacts from infertility and brain tumors to hyperactivity and memory loss, writes Gary Null. Yet the Center for Disease Control has taken a weak and ambiguous stance on the issue, reflecting industry interests at the expense of citizens. We deserve - and must demand - better. more...

Disease may wipe out the world's bananas - unless we adopt agroecological solutions

Angelina Sanderson Bellamy, Cardiff University

7th February 2016

Banana plantation in Cienaga, Magdalena, Colombia. Photo: J. Stephen Conn via Flickr (CC BY-NC). Bananas are at the sharp end of industrial agriculture's chemical war on pests and pathogens, writes Angelina Sanderson Bellamy. But even 60 pesticide sprays a year isn't enough to keep the diseases at bay. It's time to seek new solutions with little or no use of chemicals, working with nature, growing diverse crops on the same land - and breaking the dominance of the banana multinationals. more...

Saying 'No!' A last chance for the world's forests

Bill Laurance, James Cook University

5th February 2016

Construction of the São Manoel Dam in the Brazilian Amazon. Photo: International Rivers via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Roads, mines, dams, power lines, pipelines and other infrastructure projects are fast eating into the world's 'core forests', writes Bill Laurance. These rare and precious places where wildlife and ecological processes can flourish undisturbed must come before the evanescent gains of 'development'. To save what's left, governments and funders must learn the word 'No!' more...

Promises be damned: TPP 'benefits' are strictly for the corporations

Pete Dolack

4th February 2016

The TPP is none too popular in New Zealand, where trade ministers are signing it today, either. No TPPA! march in Wellington, NZ, 31st March 2014. Photo: Peg Hunter via Flickr (CC BY-NC). Boosters of 'free trade' agreements - like the Trans Pacific Partnership that's being signed today - like to make big promises, writes Pete Dolack: trillions of dollars of economic gains, billions of dollars of investment, millions of new jobs. But there's only one certainty, and it's one they never mention: the permanent redistribution of power and income from working people to capital. more...

Turkey's war on Kurdish cities - clearing the way for 'urban regeneration'?

Defne Kadıoğlu Polat

3rd February 2016

View from Diyarbakir hotel window, with bullet hole. Photo: William John Gauthier via Flickr (CC BY-SA). Erdogan's horrific 'war on terror' in the Kurdish cities of Eastern Turkey may have a silver lining, writes Defne Kadıoğlu Polat - at least for property developers and ruling party insiders. Plans are already under way for 'urban renewal' projects that will see the valuable real estate cleansed of buildings and people by the war developed into luxury apartments and shopping malls. more...

Brussels biotech lobby's last push for 'GM 2.0' technologies to escape regulation

Nina Holland

2nd February 2016

Biofuel production is just one of the applications of the new 'GMO 2.0' technologies. Photo: biofuel facility in La Jolla, CA, by Steve Jurvetson via Flickr (CC BY). Biotech corporations have invested billions in a range of new 'GM 2.0' technologies designed to redesign the world's germplasm and create new generations of super-GMOs, writes Nina Holland. And powerful investors have no intention of letting tedious EU regulations get in the way of the profits they are now poised to reap - no matter what the laws actually say. more...

Pandora's box: how GM mosquitos could have caused Brazil's microcephaly disaster

Oliver Tickell

1st February 2016

Aedes Aegypti mosquito feeding on human blood. Photo: James Gathany via jentavery on Flickr (CC BY). In Brazil's microcephaly epidemic, one vital question remains unanswered: how did the Zika virus suddenly learn how to disrupt the development of human embryos? The answer may lie in a sequence of 'jumping DNA' used to engineer the virus's mosquito vector - and released into the wild four years ago in the precise area of Brazil where the microcephaly crisis is most acute. more...

Nuclear renaissance? Failing industry is running flat out to stand still

Dr Jim Green

30th January 2016

Another Chernobyl? The Centrale Nucléaire de Tihange in Belgium was closed down a year ago after the discovery of 16,000 cracks in its reactor vessel. Now the government wants to start it up again. Photo: grotevriendelijkereus via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Despite the endless rhetoric about a 'nuclear renaissance', there are fewer power reactors today than there were a decade ago, writes Jim Green. The one country with a really big nuclear build program is China, but no one expects it to meet its targets. And with over 200 reactor shut-downs due by 2040, the industry will have to run very hard indeed just to stay put. more...

'No Pasaran!' After two years, Argentina's Monsanto blockade is fighting on

Ciara Low / GMWatch

29th January 2016

Protestors in Rosario, Argentina, comes out in support of the Monsanto blockade at Malvinas Argentinas, tth January 2016. Photo: Fernando Der Meguerditchian / Cooperativa de Comunicación La Brújula via Facebook. Protesters have now blocked a Monsanto seed factory in Córdoba, Argentina for over two years, writes Ciara Low. Another eviction attempt is now imminent, and campaigners are calling for a big mobilization this Sunday to fortify the blockade and send out a strong message to Monsanto and its acolytes: 'No Pasaran!' - 'They shall not pass!' more...

Ditch coal now! The global destruction caused by the UK's coal power generation

Anne Harris

28th January 2016

The Cerrejón coal mine in Colombia, which supplies coal to UK power statins including Drax in Yorkshire. Photo: Hour.poing. The UK's coal burn is not just having a huge impact on climate, writes Anne Harris. It's also devastating communities in the UK, Russia, Colombia and other nations that supply our coal power stations. Those impacted are doing their best to resist the mining companies that are destroying their land, stealing their homes and polluting their air and water. But they need our help! more...

Uganda: Save Kafuga Forest and gorillas from tea plantations

Richard Sadler

27th January 2016

An Eastern Mountain Gorilla forages on a hillside just outside of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. A large deforested buffer zone of inedible tea plants has been constructed in order to keep the gorillas from leaving the park and disrupting loca Mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest are at risk from tea plantations that would obliterate the adjacent Kafuga Forest, a vital buffer zone for local people, writes Richard Sadler. Deprived of foods, herbs, medicines and clean water from the forest, human pressure on the gorillas would inevitably increase, and expose them to potentially lethal diseases. more...

EDF's Hinkley C decision 'on a knife edge' as problems crowd in

Oliver Tickell

26th January 2016

Now many members of EDF's board and most employees are agreed with this protestor in wanting EDF to drop its doomed Hinkley C project. Site blockade in October 2012. Photo: GLOBAL 2000 via Flickr (CC BY-ND). The EDF board is meeting tomorrow to reach its 'final investment decision' on Hinkley C. It was meant to be a rubber stamp but now it's anything but, as EDF's share price sinks to a new low, unions and employee directors harden their opposition to the project, and projects in France, Finland and China run way over time and cost with severe technical problems and safety concerns. more...

Polish government backs small farmers' and food sovereignty

Julian Rose / ICPPC

25th January 2016

Ducks by their pond on a small farm near Ostróda, Northern Poland. Photo: Leszek Kozlowski via Flickr (CC BY). Since Poland's new government was elected last October it has moved to protect the country's 1.3 million small farmers, writes Julian Rose. First it freed those arrested for protesting corporate land grabs, now it is seeking to lighten oppressive hygiene regulations, and next it may support a new Food Act that would ban GMOs, and legislate for national food security and food sovereignty. more...

The Davos solution to inequality? Another corporate power grab

David Sogge & Nick Buxton

23rd January 2016

'Committed to Improving the State of the World' - of course they are! Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks with Mr. Klaus Schwab at WEF16 at Davos, Switzerland, 22nd January. Photo: US Army Sgt. 1st Class Clydell Kinchen / DoD via Flickr (CC BY). Inequality is on the agenda at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year, write David Sogge & Nick Buxton. A good thing, right? But look at the proposed 'solutions': ramp up the neoliberal 'development' model; lighten business regulation; pursue globalisation with greater vigor ... Yes, you got it. They would all accelerate the transfer the world's wealth upwards to corporate elites. more...

Why is Cornell University hosting a GMO propaganda campaign?

Stacy Malkan

22nd January 2016

Here lie the bones of academic freedom and scientific objectivity. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Photo: Katrina Koger via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Cornell, one of the world's leading academic institutions, has abandoned scientific objectivity, writes Stacy Malkan - and instead made itself a global hub for the promotion of GM crops and food. Working with selected journalists and industry-supported academics, Cornell's so-called 'Alliance for Science' is an aggressive propaganda tool for corporate biotech and agribusiness. more...

Gates Foundation is spearheading the neoliberal plunder of African agriculture

Colin Todhunter

21st January 2016

Bill and Melinda Gates, 18th March 2014. Photo: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr (CC BY). The Gates Foundation - widely assumed to be 'doing good', is imposing a neoliberal model of development and corporate domination that's opening up Africa's agriculture to land and seed-grabbing global agribusiness, writes Colin Todhunter. In the process it is foreclosing on the real solutions - enhancing food security, food sovereignty and the move to agroecological farming. more...

Mother Nature's 'invisible hand' strikes back against the carbon economy

JP Sottile / Truthout

20th January 2016

The aftermath of a tornado in Bridge Creek, Oklahoma, 7th May 2015. Photo: Dave Malkoff via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). According to classical economics Adam Smith's 'invisible' hand' of free markets produces the greatest good for us all, writes JP Sottile. But what happens when rip-roaring 'external costs' are left out of the equations? Wars, repression, pollution, resource destruction and climate change. And because that invisible hand is connected to Mother Nature, it's coming back to strike us. more...

Oceans running out of fish as undeclared catches add a third to official figures

Christopher Pala

19th January 2016

Frozen tuna at the early morning fish auction at the Tokyo Fish Market. Many of the tuna sold here are of endangered species such as bluefin and bigeye. Photo: Scott Lenger via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). The global catch of fish and seafood is falling at three times the rate reported by the United Nations and urgently needs to be slowed to avoid a crash, reports Christopher Pala. The finding comes in a new study for Nature which quantifies the huge illegal industrial fish pillaging taking place around the world, together with artisanal catches, which in 2010 added over 50% to UN estimates. more...

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