Sustainability Science
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Sustainability Science
How might we keep the lights on, water flowing, and natural world vaguely intact? It starts with grabbing innovative ideas/examples to help kick down our limits and inspire a more sustainable world. We implement with rigorous science backed by hard data.
Curated by PIRatE Lab
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Rescooped by PIRatE Lab from Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating?
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Contaminated food from China now entering the U.S. under the 'organic' label

Contaminated food from China now entering the U.S. under the 'organic' label | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Contaminated food from China now entering the U.S. under the 'organic' label

Via Mariaschnee, pdeppisch
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Without transparency and trust, you can get some crazy things...like "organic" food coming from China.
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CRISPR is coming to agriculture — with big implications for food, farmers, consumers and nature

CRISPR is coming to agriculture — with big implications for food, farmers, consumers and nature | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
It’s a curious vision of sustainable agriculture, though, that sees overcoming resistance to agrochemicals as progress. Should we really be enabling farmers to spray more glyphosate into their fields when the World Health Organization has found the chemical to be a “probable” carcinogen and when it’s been associated with collapsing populations of monarch butterflies? And using gene drives to snuff out wild organisms because they carry diseases or nibble on crops could have serious unintended consequences, such as destabilizing food webs and facilitating invasions by other species.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

It’s a curious vision of sustainable agriculture, though, that sees overcoming resistance to agrochemicals as progress. Should we really be enabling farmers to spray more glyphosate into their fields when the World Health Organization has found the chemical to be a “probable” carcinogen and when it’s been associated with collapsing populations of monarch butterflies? And using gene drives to snuff out wild organisms because they carry diseases or nibble on crops could have serious unintended consequences, such as destabilizing food webs and facilitating invasions by other species.

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Inside Monsanto, America's Third-Most-Hated Company

Inside Monsanto, America's Third-Most-Hated Company | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
What's the genetically modified seed factory up to? Making high-tech plans to feed a growing world
PIRatE Lab's insight:

An interesting, well reported article about our massive agri/food science megacorporation.  Check out the interesting radio discussion prompted by the article:

 

http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/07/08/gmo-labeling-vermont-oregon-monsanto

 

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Kroger, Safeway say no to GM salmon | Undercurrent News

Kroger, Safeway say no to GM salmon | Undercurrent News | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

US retail chains Kroger and Safeway have reportedly made up their minds not to sell Aquabounty salmon, regardless of a pending decision by the US Food and Drug Administration, reported Food Safety News.

 

The decision was released by a coalition of food safety, consumer, health and fishing groups.

 

The two grocery chains are now part of more than 9,000 stores across the country that have rejected carrying Aquabounty’s genetically modified Aquadvantage salmon — regardless of whether the FDA approves it for public consumption, which it has not yet officially done.

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PIRatE Lab's curator insight, March 10, 2014 12:36 PM

More pushback on GMO salmon.

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Monsanto Develops Hardier Strain Of Corn That Yields 4 Times Normal Litigation

Monsanto Develops Hardier Strain Of Corn That Yields 4 Times Normal Litigation | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
ST. LOUIS—Agricultural biotech giant Monsanto unveiled its latest strain of genetically modified corn Wednesday, claiming that the new, hardier seed yields 400 percent more litigation against small independent farms than the company’s previous...
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Nice!

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How to Persuade Anti-GMO Activists These Crops Can Share Their Values

How to Persuade Anti-GMO Activists These Crops Can Share Their Values | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Crops that aid humanitarian causes may soften opposition to genetic ­modification, says Mark Lynas.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

A major issue here is the concept of transgenic crops.  It is not so much that people are making GMO organisms.  Rather the issues come into play with folks creating (in essence) new species with traits that are often designed to facilitate pesticide use, reduce short-term costs to the producer, create a legally patentable seed which farmers MUST buy each year, etc., etc.

 

Yes we have all heard how nice "golden" rice is.  But to be honest here, we must discuss the entire geography of the crops being created and how they are being utilized in the real world.  Lets not get hung up on "what could be" or "wouldn't it be nice if" arguments.

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Scientists apply to grow omega-3 enhanced GM crops in UK

Scientists apply to grow omega-3 enhanced GM crops in UK | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

Researchers in the UK have applied for permission to grow the first genetically modified plants designed to produce high yields of the same omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, reported the Independent.

The trial project is funded by the...


Via Konstantinos KOKOSIS, PIRatE Lab
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PIRatE Lab's curator insight, February 3, 2014 12:01 AM

Nothing can possibly go wrong with this.

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GM purple tomatoes heading for shops

GM purple tomatoes heading for shops | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

The prospect of genetically modified purple tomatoes reaching the shelves has come a step closer.

Their dark pigment is intended to give tomatoes the same potential health benefits as fruit such as blueberries.

Developed in Britain, large-scale production is now under way in Canada with the first 1,200 litres of purple tomato juice ready for shipping.

The pigment, known as anthocyanin, is an antioxidant which studies on animals show could help fight cancer.

Scientists say the new tomatoes could improve the nutritional value of everything from ketchup to pizza topping.

PIRatE Lab's insight:

Here they come.  For some reason I can't get the "Attack of the Killer Tomato" theme song out of my head.

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A Green-Movement Website Shakes Up The Debate Over GMOs

A Green-Movement Website Shakes Up The Debate Over GMOs | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Instead of preaching to the green choir, Grist's in-depth look at GMO foods questioned its faith.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

It is interesting how hostile folks get when they think you are in their camp and then "betray" them...even if you have come to your conclusion honestly.

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Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability News: GMO-free Cheerios and the impact of Social Media

Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability News: GMO-free Cheerios and the impact of Social Media | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability News

Via Anita Woodruff
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Emy Baker's Original's curator insight, January 5, 2014 4:18 PM

Sometimes subtle pressure is all that is needed as a guarantee that a food source is indeed GMO-free.  While this is music to the ears of cereal consumers, what about the widely popular off-brands?

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The future of agriculture

The future of agriculture | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The Economist offers authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
This well-researched article totally ignores issues of nutrition, soil health, water supply, food justice, etc.  This is an interesting read to be sure, but at times most closely tracks with big Pharma and the Monsanto-esque approach to food production that is firmly in the driver seat of our food policy these days.  Biotech approaches are truly impressive and are clearly part of the mix now and in the future.  But there are many more layers of the onion here than "simple" technofixes and whiz-bang things that appear to "solve" the hard choices and difficult decisions that are necessitated by a world of perhaps 9 billion very hungry humans.

Thanks to Rachel Langley for flagging this piece.
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The Post-GMO Economy

The Post-GMO Economy | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
One mainstream farmer is returning to conventional seed — and he’s not alone
PIRatE Lab's insight:

The question with GMO seeds that often goes unanswered is the long-term viability.  Not of the genetic packet, but of the institution that needs to "recoup" its costs.  The typical deal is one that shifts the farmer into long-term dependency upon the GMO seed supplier, something fundamentally different (at least theoretically) from the tradition of farming for more than 10,000 years.  It is certainly of note that (at least some) modern farmers have done the math and simply don't see the upside over the long view.

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GMOs, Silver Bullets and the Trap of Reductionist Thinking

GMOs, Silver Bullets and the Trap of Reductionist Thinking | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The biggest problem with GMOs isn’t technology. It’s when technology is used as a silver bullet, without considering the broader food, social and…
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Spot on.

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Biotech ethical and legal challenges topic of CSUCI series

A monthly series that begins Thursday at CSU Channel Islands will explore the ethical dilemmas and legal considerations in the biotechnology industry.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

I'm a panelist on the May 1 discussion of genetically engineered salmon.

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Despite Majority Opposition, GMO Corn Gets Green Light in Europe

Despite Majority Opposition, GMO Corn Gets Green Light in Europe | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

Corporations, backed by influential lobbyists and western governments, dealt major blows this month against activists who are fighting to limit the cultivation of genetically modified organisms(GMOs).

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Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically Modified Seeds

Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically Modified Seeds | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

Bill talks to scientist and philosopher Vandana Shiva, who’s become a rock star in the global battle over genetically modified seeds. These seeds — considered “intellectual property” by the big companies who own the patents — are globally marketed to monopolize food production and profits. Opponents challenge the safety of genetically modified seeds, claiming they also harm the environment, are more costly, and leave local farmers deep in debt as well as dependent on suppliers. Shiva, who founded a movement in India to promote native seeds, links genetic tinkering to problems in our ecology, economy, and humanity, and sees this as the latest battleground in the war on Planet Earth.

 
Vandana Shiva describes the latest battleground in the war on Planet Earth.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Vandana Shiva describes the latest battleground in the war on Planet Earth.

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GMO plight of the butterflies

GMO plight of the butterflies | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The news keeps getting worse on the catastrophic decline of Monarch butterflies, now approaching a potential point of no return. The decline has been blamed on several factors, including drought, d...
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Ojai Chautauqua: GMO Panel

Ojai Chautauqua: GMO Panel | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
This Ojai Chautauqua is expected to draw experts and audiences from the broad California community. It will provide knowledge and insight to the public on food production, nutrition, agricultural issues and future options.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Feb 1 in Ojai

Looks like there is a $25 registration fee.

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GMO primer: How genetically modified foods are used, regulated, labeled and ...

GMO primer: How genetically modified foods are used, regulated, labeled and ... | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
CNNMoney
GMO primer: How genetically modified foods are used, regulated, labeled and ...
Chicago Tribune
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered.

Via Ishtarmuz
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Whole Foods Will Stop Selling Chobani Yogurt Next Year

Whole Foods Will Stop Selling Chobani Yogurt Next Year | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
"Chobani markets its Greek yogurt as containing only natural ingredients, but it has received complaints from consumer advocacy groups for its use of milk that comes from dairy cows fed with GMO animal feed," WSJ writes.  Underwear Company Highlights...
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Continued GMO backlash.

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