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Even in the 19th century, lead from Broken Hill smelters was polluting Antarctica. NSW Records Office, CC BY.

Lead pollution beat Amundsen and Scott to the South Pole - and it's still pouring down today

Joe McConnell

2nd August 2014

Ice core analysis shows that lead pollution in Antarctica took off in the 1880s as mining at Broken Hill, Australia, took off. Lead residues have fallen from their late 20th century peak, writes Joe McConnell - but they are still four times higher than in pre-industrial times. more...
A child leans against a wall made of USAID food aid containers in the flood-destroyed area of Bahere Tsege in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. Photo: Liz Lucas / Oxfam America.

Obama food aid ravages Third World farmers

James Bovard

27th July 2014

The US taxpayers who finance foreign food aid surely believe they are feeding starving people, writes James Bovard. But the truth is the reverse - it is undermining indigenous agriculture in recipient countries - creating famine and chronic malnutrition, while sabotaging self-sufficiency. more...
A mother badger with three cubs to feed looks for food in garden in rural Dorset. Photo: Lesley Docksey.

Carry on Culling - the fiasco continues

Lesley Docksey

28th July 2014

'We need to look at the best scientific evidence' on badgers and bovine TB, says Environment Secretary Liz Truss. But as Lesley Docksey writes, the 'best scientific evidence' appears to mean only that which supports the cull - and there's precious little of it! more...
These organic courgettes at Sandy Lane Farm in Oxfordshire are good for soil, water, wildlife - and you! Photo: Sandy Lane farm.

Organic farming boosts environment and nutrition

Pat Thomas

1st August 2014

How we farm matters, writes Pat Thomas - not just for water, insects, birds and the wider environment, which benefit from organic farming, but also the nutritional value of our food. It's time to value the quality of what we eat, instead of prizing quantity above all. more...
The social structure of badger families is perturbed by the loss of a single member, and this can cause the spread of any TB they may be harbouring. Photo: Tim Brookes via Flickr.

Badger Trust's High Court cull challenge

The Ecologist

21st July 2014

The Badger Trust will challenge the trial badger culls in the High Court next month, claiming that Environment Secretary Liz Truss and Natural England are acting unlawfully in failing to appoint an expert panel to oversee the experiment. more...
Stop the Killing - Safe Roads for People - a recent protest at the notoriously dangerous Elephant & Castle roundabout in South London. Photo: Andrew Reeves Hall via Stopthekilling.

The National Funeral for the Unknown Victim of Traffic Violence

Donnachadh McCarthy

29th July 2014

A major demonstration will take place in November to demand an end to the killing on Britain's roads, both direct and indirect, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. And now is the time to sign up, get involved, and build up the momentum for desperately needed change. more...
It's all very well painting cycle lanes onto roads - but we must do far, far more than that to make cycling a safe and pleasant transport option. Photo: Cian Ginty via Flickr.

To keep cyclists safe will need deep, radical change

Ian Walker

19th July 2014

The Commons Transport Committee has advised Government to budget £10 per head to create a safe cycling environment, writes Ian Walker. But that's grossly underestimating the challenge ahead - a major rethink of planning, health and transport policies is needed. more...
As a boy, the author pulls a big's tail on the family farm - around the time that Parliament, in 1953, allowed farmers to add antibiotics to animal feed.

Antibiotics saved me - now help me save them

Richard Young / Sustainable Food Trust

24th July 2014

As a youngster on a small farm, antibiotics saved Richard Young's life after a scratch on barbed wire led to septicemia. Now, he's campaigning to stop the routine, mass use of antibiotics on intensive farms, so that they can carry on saving human lives for many years to come ... more...
Zac Goldsmith opens the new milking parlour at Pierrepont Farm in Frensham, Surrey.

Antibiotics: British lives must come before factory farm profits

Zac Goldsmith

24th July 2014

The UK's massive use of antibiotics on farms is breeding lethal drug resistance into bacteria, writes Zac Goldsmith. Although we use five times more antibiotics per animal than Scandinavian countries, Cameron is mysteriously reluctant to clamp down on abuses. more...
Smoke from Russian forest fires obscures the Sun in 2010. Photo: Ximonic, Simo Räsänen via Wikimedia Commons.

Climate inaction could cost Europe 200,000 lives a year

Tim Radford

16th July 2014

A failure to act to reduce the impacts of climate change could cost Europe almost €200 billion and 200,000 lives a year, writes Tim Radford. These 'conservative estimates' are published in a new European Commission study. more...
Happy days: children of Gaza play on a water slide during UNRWA Summer Fun Weeks, 2013. Photo: United Nations Photo via Flickr.

Gaza: Israel bombs water and sewage systems

Mohammed Omer

16th July 2014

Israel's armed forces have destroyed vital water and sewage infrastructure in their bombing campaign of the besieged territory, writes Mohammed Omer. This constitutes a severe breach of the 1977 Protocol to the 1949 Geneva Conventions on the part of Israel and all those conceiving, planning, ordering and perpetrating the attacks. more...
Some 90 miles off the Sao Paulo coast, Ilha da Queimada Grande looks very pretty from far away. But up close, it's terrifying. Photo: Prefeitura Municipal Itanhaém.

Great snakes! Football fans, explore at your peril

Natasha Geiling

15th July 2014

Brazil's Ilha de Queimada Grande is the only home of one of the world's deadliest, and most endangered, snakes, writes Natasha Geiling. Just the place for Brazil's disgraced football team to escape the wrath of furious fans, if they can only get a permit ... more...

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Even if they survive the war, these children in Homs face a toxic future for many years to come from the release of industrial toxins and residues from munitions, propellants and explosives. Photo: Freedom House via Flickr.

Syria - the toxic footprint of war

Pieter Both & Wim Zwijnenburg

13th July 2014

The devastating human impact of Syria's civil war may persist for decades to come as heavy metals and carcinogens in munitions end up in the environment, along with chemicals from destroyed industrial plants and stores. A long-term public health crisis is in the making. more...
French dairy farmers Sandrine Lizaga milking her organic ewes.

EU outlaws animal use of herbal remedies on organic farms

Sandra Saadi

11th July 2014

New EU regulations forbid the use of herbal remedies and plant essences to maintain animal health instead of antibiotics, reports Sandra Saadi. An organic ewe breeder in France has already been threatened with the loss of EU farm support payments. more...
Model's prediction vs recorded data of (a) reactor (infected) cattle, shaded region shows 95% credibility from 5,000 simulations, and (b) distribution density of infected cattle. Image: Brooks-Pollock, Roberts, Keeling / Nature.

Culling badgers is no way to stop the spread of bovine TB

Matt Keeling

3rd July 2014

Published in Nature today, a new cattle herd model shows how bTB infects cattle and how to halt its spread, writes Matt Keeling. Most effective is the slaughter of entire herds with even a single TB infection detected. Culling badgers has very little impact. more...
A clean energy campaigner shields his face in front of the Kosovo B coal power station, which is doing much to destroy the small nation's health. Photo: Sierra Club.

US and World Bank must stop funding overseas coal

Michael Brune

2nd July 2014

The World Bank is still deciding how to respond to Kosovo's request for funds to build a new 600MW power station burning filthy 'brown coal', writes Michael Brune. It's time for the World Bank, with strong US backing, to give the project a firm 'no way'! more...
Mickey: 'On the third day I came out of it. There were no withdrawals. I was able to start sleeping straight away and I felt there was no rhyme or reason to take junk.' Photo from Iboga Nights.

Iboga Nights: 'last chance saloon' for desperate addicts

Michael Goldin

5th November 2014

The West African iboga root is a mind-transforming psychedelic, writes Michael Goldin, capable of cleansing people of even the most serious addictions. Those seeing this film will surely emerge convinced that iboga should be made available, in therapeutic settings, to those seeking to overcome the terrible disease that is drug addiction. more...
The front cover of Poisoned Planet by Julian Cribb, published by Allen & Unwin.

Poisoned Planet - the chemical attack on our Earth

Tony McMichael

15th August 2014

An invisible cloud of man-made chemical toxins is sweeping the globe, writes Tony McMichael - disrupting ecosystems, damaging human health and shortening our lives. Our response so far has been utterly inadequate, as Julian Cribb reveals in his new book. But there are solutions - and it's up to us to get them implemented. more...
A corn field in North Dakota - almost certainly growing GMP maize. Photo: Matt Dente via Flickr.

Biosafety and the 'Seralini affair' - scientific and regulatory reform are essential

Gilles-Eric Séralini, Robin Mesnage, Nicolas Defarge & Joël Spiroux de...

25th June 2014

The forced retraction of a study that identified serious harm to rats fed on GMO maize and Monsanto's 'Roundup' reveals a deep and systemic corruption of science and regulation, writes Gilles-Eric Séralini. Urgent and far reaching reforms must now take place. more...
Examples of female mammary tumors observed. Mammary tumors are evidenced (A, D, H, representative adenocarcinoma, from the same rat in a GMO group) and in Roundup and GMO + Roundup groups, two representative rats (B, C, E, F, I, J fibroadenomas) are compa

Seralini republished: Roundup-ready GMO maize causes serious health damage

Oliver Tickell

25th June 2014

A scientific study that identified serious health impacts on rats fed on 'Roundup ready' GMO maize has been republished following its controversial retraction under strong commercial pressure. Now regulators must respond and review GMO and agro-chemical licenses, and licensing procedures. more...
Anne Power surrounded by police at an anti-fracking protest at Barton Moss, December 2013. Photo: Steven Speed / SalfordStar.com.

Fracking - you are not important

Paul Mobbs

24th June 2014

Why does the fracking lobby refuse to engage in open, public debate? Because, writes Paul Mobbs, it has already got its way, with the uncritical support of all the 'mainstream' media and political parties. You and I simply do not matter. So what are we going to do about that? more...
A palm oil plantation in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo: Rainforest Action Network.

The Big Ten food companies must join the climate fight

Julia Wright

20th June 2014

Oxfam's report 'Standing on the Sidelines' lays down a challenge to the 'Big 10' of the global food industry, writes Julia Wright. They must cut their huge carbon emissions, campaign to protect global climate, and rethink their entire mission to encompass health and wellbeing. more...
These cows on the Kerry Ridgeway in Wales are subject to annual TB testing - key to halving TB incidence over 5 years. Photo: John Clift via Flickr.

Bovine TB - biosecurity works, new Defra figures show

Lesley Docksey

18th June 2014

With the 6th International Conference on Bovine TB under way today in Cardiff, Lesley Docksey reports on Defra's latest statistics. BTB in England is falling - and it's falling fastest where the strongest biosecurity measures are in place, confirming the experience of Wales and Scotland. more...
Unit 4 of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr.

Fukushima - the continuing catastrophe

Harvey Wasserman

11th June 2014

Fukushima has largely disappeared from the mainstream news, writes Harvey Wasserman. After all, who wants to read about children with cancer, continuing huge radiation leaks, and the very real possibility of another catastrophe as big as Chernobyl? more...
Flame retardants are frequently found in mattresses and other soft furnishings, including those for use by children. Photo: © Copyright Aaron Moraes / Greh Fox via Flickr.

Flame retardants are the new lead - our children must be protected

Pat Thomas

13th June 2014

Flame retardant chemicals lower children's IQs, disrupt hormone function and cause a host of other health problems, writes Pat Thomas. Yet they are ubiquitous in homes and offices, even in bedding and accessories for babies and young children. more...

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