Food and Ag in 2 Minutes

Food and Ag in 2 Minutes

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      Food and Agriculture in 2 Minutes

 

Food and Agriculture in 2 Minutes

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This is Food and Ag in 2.

Chlorpyrifos

The Environmental Protection Agency recently denied a petition looking to ban chlorpyrifos, a common pesticide used on fruits and other crops. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt claims that this is the right step in making decisions based on scientific reasoning rather than assumptions. However, environmental groups claim recent studies prove the pesticide can interfere with brain development in children. Dow AgroSciences asserts its product offers wide margins of protection for human health and safety.

Phosphate

Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered a key genetic switch that helps soil bacteria living in plant’s roots harvest phosphate, a vital nutrient that is commonly found in fertilizer. Published in the journal Nature, their work proposes the possibility of microbe treatments for plants to increase their efficient use of phosphate. This could prevent phosphate runoff into waterways, which can adversely affect aquatic ecosystems and water quality.

EU farm subsidies

Former secretary general of the United Nations Kofi Annan criticized the European Union’s farming subsidies at an ag and environment event in Brussels. He notes that farming subsidies in wealthier nations pose a challenge to Africa, pressuring it to import rather than farm food. He asserts that science and technology, such as GMOs, have the potential to increase agriculture productivity and decrease hunger, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Organic cotton

Writing for Genetic Literacy Project, farmer Michelle Miller discusses the impact of celebrities embracing organic cotton for sustainability. Miller notes that since cotton is a very finicky crop to grow, farming it organically is extremely tedious and heavily depends on tillage, tractor passes, and rotary hoes, resulting in a higher carbon footprint. She argues that GMOs are the more efficient and sustainable option, and urges celebrities to use their platform to promote scientifically-based campaigns.

I’m Maya Menon with v-Fluence, a global provider of food and ag intelligence.

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