The Ecologist


Pesticides: 25/50 of 152
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The principle that we have a right to know what we are eating is admirably straightforward. That's why the biotech and agrochemical industries have to spin so hard to convince us that ignorance is bliss. Photo: Daniel Lobo via Flickr (CC BY).

Bill Gates: can we have an honest conversation about GMOs?

Stacy Malkan / US Right to Know

8th March 2016

Some of the world's most powerful figures tout the benefits of GMOs, writes Stacy Malkan, but what's the real story? Facts on the ground expose the PR spin, half truths and outright propaganda that has come to dominate a public conversation that is not so much about engineering genes, but engineering truth for the benefit of multinational corporations. more...
A new study shows that 996 out of every 1,000 Germans have measurable levels of the herbicide glyphosate in their blood. Skaters on the Nymphenburg Kanal. Neuhausen, Germany. Photo: Christian Mönnig via Flickr (CC NY-C-SA).

Almost all Germans contaminated with glyphosate

Nicole Sagener /

8th March 2016

A new study shows that 99.6% of Germans are contaminated with the herbicide glyphosate, writes Nicole Sagener. The news comes as the EU puts off a crucial decision on whether to re-authorise the chemical, described by IARC as 'probably carcinogenic', until 2031. more...
Farm machinery spraying glyphosate to oilseed rape. Photo: Chafer Machinery via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

European Union - stop glyphosate reauthorisation!

Molly Scott Cato MEP

3rd March 2016

Next week, EU governments will vote on whether to re-authorise the weedkiller glyphosate, judged by IARC to be a probable human carcinogen, writes Molly Scott Cato. The disgraceful shenanigans of the Commission and the European Food Safety Agency to date provide a clear example of the EU and member states conspiring with corporations, against citizens. more...
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).

Argentine and Brazilian doctors suspect mosquito insecticide as cause of microcephaly

Claire Robinson / GMWatch

10th February 2016

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...
A regular sight in rural areas - pesticides being applied to crops. Photo: Billy Ridgers.

Pesticides can cause cancer - so why does CRUK ignore them?

Georgina Downs

3rd April 2014

Cancer Research UK's slogan is 'Let's beat cancer sooner'. But Georgina Downs wonders why it ignores the role of pesticides sprayed on crop fields - which is a recognised cause of cancer - and why it has spent over £750 million since 2007 on paying its employees. more...
Emmanuel Giboulot.

Organic winemaker risks prison for not using pesticide

Sandra Saadi

28th March 2013

An organic farmer in France's Cote d'Or has been prosecuted for refusing to spray insecticide on his vineyard - and is anxiously awaiting the verdict, due on 7th April. He faces 6 months in prison and a €30,000 fine. more...
'If we had less pesticide use in the environment we wouldn't have such a problem.' Photo: C.G.P. Grey via

Death by pest or pesticide? Antibiotic dangers trap bees in a Catch 22

Matthew Thompson

2nd February 2014

Antibiotics used to protect them from bacterial illnesses ravaging hives are making them die from commonly used pesticides, some of which are used to ward-off bee-killing parasites. Matthew Thompson reports. more...
Crop spraying near Harvington, Worcestershire, England. Photo: muffinn via

Revealed: the chemical blitz of pesticides in our fields

Dave Goulson

30th January 2014

An ordinary arable field in Sussex is sprayed with pesticides 22 times over a single growing season. Dave Goulson wonders how the bees can survive this toxic onslaught - and exactly who benefits. more...
'DDT is good for me!' - detail of Penn Salt chemicals advertisement in Time magazine June 30, 1947. Photo: Crossett Library via

DDT link to Alzheimers

Sophie Morlin-Yron

29th January 2014

A new study shows a strong link between exposure to the pesticide DDT and Alzheimer's dementia. Sophie Morlin-Yron reports. more...
Warburtons 'Toastie'. Graphic by Hwa Young Jung via

Harmful weedkiller in your bread and cereal bars

Andrew Wasley

31st December, 2013

Jordans cereal bars and Warburtons bread have been found to contain traces of glyphosate - a controversial herbicide that campaigners say poses a risk to human health. Andrew Wasley reports ... more...
Spraying pesticides - somewhere near you? Photo: Meg Wallace Photography / Shutterstock.

Pesticides - the Government must protect us!

Georgina Downs

17th December 2013

Campaigner Georgina Downs has scored a significant victory in her 12 year battle against the UK Government. But DEFRA Ministers have still failed to secure protection from pesticides for people in the countryside. more...

Are you eating ‘pesticide plants’?

by Pat Thomas

After a week of events throughout the UK aimed at highlighting the health risks of eating genetically modified foods, Pat Thomas highlights a key health message that many of us have missed..... more...

Pesticides: 25/50 of 152
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Bees with Alzheimer’s – the price of pesticides

April 8th, 2013

by Pat Thomas

Pat Thomas on why me must continue to fight against excessive pesticide use, for the sake of both humans and bees....... more...
Raising Resistance

Paraguay's small farmers defend livelihoods against industrial soya production

Grace Philip

8th May, 2012

A new film, Raising Resistance, gives a telling account of how Paraguay's small farmers are suffering social and environmental ills from the country's meteoric rise in soya farming more...
Soya: how one super crop lost its way

The dark side of soya: how one super crop lost its way

Amy Hall

1st May, 2012

A decade ago, soya was being hailed as a superfood but in recent years, numerous issues surrounding deforestation and its impact on health have come to light more...

Six reasons to become an urban beekeeper

Zion Lights

19th April, 2012

Urban beekeeping will help boost the UK's declining bee population. Here are six reasons to get involved more...

Grave threat of pesticides to bees' billion-pound bonanza is now clear

Damian Carrington, Guardian Head of Environment

April 2012

Replacing the pollination of food crops that the UK's bees perform for free would cost £1.8bn. With hard data now linking pesticides to bees' rapid decline, there is no excuse for inaction, says Damian Carrington more...
Honey bees

TAKE ACTION: Support Friends of the Earth's National Bee Action Plan

Mark Briggs

11th April, 2012

In China, pear trees have had to be pollinated by hand after bees were wiped out by industrial farming. Now FOE have launched a petition to get the UK government to help halt the decline in Britain's own bee population more...
Jeans and ethical fashion

Why jeans buck the fast-fashion phenomenon

Sophie Woodward

28th March, 2012

Denim has been in fashion since the early 19th century, which is why it is in the ultimate 'slow fashion' statement. Wear yours worn and ragged, and the older the better argues Sophie Woodward more...
katharine hamnett

The Ecologist meets…Katherine Hamnett

Ruth Styles

13th March, 2012

It’s 27 years since fashion’s enfant terrible made headlines by arriving at Downing Street in a protest t-shirt but, as she tells Ruth Styles, Katharine Hamnett is as ready to stand up for the planet as ever more...

How Dow and Monsanto teamed up over 'Agent Orange' herbicide

Richard Schiffman

24th February, 2012

In a match some would say was made in hell, two of the world's leading producers of agro-chemicals have joined forces in a partnership to reintroduce the herbicide 2, 4-D, - one-half of the infamous defoliant Agent Orange more...

Which chemicals are making us fat?


12th January, 2012

In her book 'The 21st Century is Making you Fat' former Ecologist Editor Pat Thomas details the full range of industrial and everyday chemicals known to encourage us to get fat more...

Revealed: the child victims of pesticide poisoning in India

Peter Caton and Beatriz Lopez

4th January, 2012

Endosulfan is the pesticide of choice for farmers in rural India trying to control insects threatening cashew nut and other crops - but the chemical can have devastating health impacts more...
Grasslands Trust

Can the common agricultural policy save England's green and pleasant land?

Matilda Lee

11th October, 2011

As reform of the EU's agriculture policy gets underway, Miles King of the Grassland Trust tells Matilda Lee how intensive farming has all but destroyed England's 'rainforests' and why it's time we started asking for more from our farmers more...

Toxic fallout as activists challenge strawberry industry's pesticide use

Rosie Spinks

10th October, 2011

Faced with the potential use of a dangerous pesticide methyl iodide to spray crops in their backyards, a group of Californian teenagers decided to stand up to the might of industrial agribusiness. Rosie Spinks reports more...


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