Archive for the ‘Numbers’ Category


The most recent estimate of the global economic benefit of pollination amounts to some €265bn, assessed as the value of crops dependent on natural pollination. This is not a “real” value of course, as it hides the fact that, should natural pollination be severely compromised or end, it might prove impossible to replace – effectively making its true value infinitely high.

Bees and other pollinating insects play an essential role in ecosystems and the world could not survive a total bee collapse. But over the past decade, beekeepers worldwide have consistently reported a decline in bees with yearly bee colony losses of 20-50%

In a world without bees who would pollinate our essential crop and wild plants? Most plants and a third of our food depends on pollination by bees.

The bee collapse is a challenge to mankind on the scale of global warming, ocean acidification or nuclear devastation.

helpsCast your vote

Clicking the link below will take you to the SlowFood.com website where you can read more about the Public Eye Awards, the competition that puts the spotlight on corporations with a dismal record of social and environmental responsibility. Online voting started on November 26.

Commonly referred to as “The Awards of Shame”, the initiative was launched by Greenpeace International and the Berne Declaration to highlight irresponsible business practices and provide a platform to publicly criticize cases of human and labour rights violations, environmental destruction or corruption.

Among the nominations for this year’s award, submitted by various NGOs, are Syngenta, Bayer, and BASF, producers of those chemical pesticides known to pose the most serious threat to the existence of pollinators.

The Public Eye Awards are deliberately set to coincide with the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to provide a critical counterpoint to the annual meeting in Davos: Many CEOs of nominated companies are present at the WEF. Previous winners of the People’s Award include Shell in 2013 and Nestle Oil in 2012.

The Award of Shame: Vote to Save the Bees! | Focus on | Slow Europe – Our Idea of Europe.


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The number of varieties of rice that Dr Debal Deb, a pioneering ecologist committed to working with traditional farmers in eastern India to conserve indigenous seed diversity has managed to save. This short film follows the construction of a new seed bank premises in Odisha, a venture that provides a potent symbol of Debal’s values.

Small-scale traditional farmers and their rich diversity of locally adapted seed varieties are being written out of the story of seed. They are the victims of an aggressive global lobbying effort, designed to convince a world terrified about food security that the corporatization of the global food system, involving transgenic seeds, is the only way to feed the world.

In Debal’s work there is no sense of the superiority of either science or traditional knowledge – the two are seen as mutually beneficial, a complementary pairing.

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Nine 9

Agrochemical crop spraying in Argentina has increased ninefold, from 9 million gallons in 1990 to 84 million gallons today. Yet the South American nation has a hodgepodge of widely ignored regulations that leave people dangerously exposed, and chemicals contaminate homes, classrooms, and drinking water. Doctors and scientists are warning that uncontrolled spraying could be causing health problems across the nation.


Residents gather to speak on health concerns they have about agrochemicals in the main square of Alvear, in Santa Fe province, Argentina on March 9. In the heart of Argentina’s soybean business, house-to-house surveys of 65,000 people in farming communities found cancer rates two to four times higher than the national average, as well as higher rates of hypothyroidism and chronic respiratory illnesses. (Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press)

See the original article here:  Potential effects of agrochemicals in Argentina      (17 photos)

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Things you should know about Glyphosate

1. It is the best-selling herbicide in the world and the most widely used in Europe. Some 650,000 tonnes of glyphosate products were used globally in 2011.

2. The global market for glyphosate was worth US$6.5 billion in 2008

3. Glyphosate is toxic to all plants – unless they have been genetically modified to resist it.

4. Independent studies of glyphosate have suggested that the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) should be 12 times lower than the level in force in the EU.

5. Studies have shown that glyphosate may be linked to changes in the human hormone system, birth defects and cancer.

6. Glyphosate is combined with other chemicals in weed killer – and these alter the toxicity of the final product, making it as much as 150 times more toxic.

7. The evidence used in the glyphosate approval process in 2002 relied entirely on studies paid for by the pesticides industry, many of which have not been published. Indeed the industry has asked that 130 studies be kept secret.

8. In some parts of Europe (eg UK), glyphosate is sprayed on to crops before they are harvested – to dry the crop out and make it easier to harvest.

9. There are 14 applications for GM glyphosate tolerant crops currently awaiting approval in the European Union. Glyphosate use is predicted to increase by as much as 800% by 2025 if GM glyphosate-tolerant sugar beet, maize and soybean are grown in the EU.

10. Industry studies focus almost exclusively on short-term, high dose animal trials – but real life exposure occurs over the long-term, at low or fluctuating doses.

11. Monsanto produced more than half of the world’s glyphosate in 2012.

12. Maximum Residue Levels in food and feed have been steadily increased – not because of scientific evidence, but because of the growing use of glyphosate in agriculture.

Source: Friends of the Earth, Europe  June 2013

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In one single year, 2006, 96.7 million pounds of glyphosate (Roundup)was sprayed on soybeans alone in the US.

Despite industry claims to the contrary glyphosate herbicides have long been linked to health problems in humans.

This scientific study, first published in 2003 and available on the Science Direct website on the effects of Roundup and other glyphosate based products on humans (and other living things) indicates a clear link between the use of glyphosate-based herbicides and pesticides and cell-cycle dysregulation, a hallmark of tumor cells and human cancers: Glyphosate-based pesticides affect cell cycle regulation

See also: Friends of the Earth EuropeGlyphosate briefings: reason for concern

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the approximate percentage of soy in the US genetically engineered to resist Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup.

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The number of acres of farmland estimated to be affected by herbicide resistant “superweeds” in the US.


The Pesticide Action Network is an international organization of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) promoting sustainable alternatives to pesticides. The organization works to replace hazardous chemical pesticides with sustainable and equitable alternatives in agriculture, urban areas, homes and gardens. They seek change in policy and practices at home and overseas, and support projects bringing real economic, health and environmental benefits to the developing world.

bannerhome1Pesticide Action Network Europe

Pesticide Action Network UK

Pesticide Action Network North America

Pesticide Action Network International

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