Tag Archives: Pesticides

Researchers create biosensor to detect pesticide

18By Elton Alisson

Agência FAPESP – Researchers at the Universidade de São Paulo’s São Carlos Physics Institute (IFSC-USP), in collaboration with colleagues from the Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso (UFMT), have created a biological sensor that detects the presence of a highly toxic pesticide in water, soil or food in just minutes. The pesticide in question is methamidophos, which is being banned in Brazil but is still used for several crops in the country.

Developed under the auspices of the National Institute of Science and Technology on Organic Electronics (INEO)—one of the National Institutes of Science and Technology (INCTs) funded by FAPESP and the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq)—the sensor could be adapted for the detection of other types of pesticides, according to the researchers. The basic principle behind the device has also led to the development of a rapid test to detect the dengue fever virus….>>Continue Reading<<

Source and Photo: Agência Fapesp, 11th September, 2013
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Genetically modified crops pass benefits to weeds

2By Jane Qiu
Nature – A genetic-modification technique used widely to make crops herbicide resistant has been shown to confer advantages on a weedy form of rice, even in the absence of the herbicide. The finding suggests that the effects of such modification have the potential to extend beyond farms and into the wild.
Several types of crops have been genetically modified to be resistant to glyphosate, an herbicide first marketed under the trade name Roundup. This glyphosate resistance enables farmers to wipe out most weeds from the fields without damaging their crops… Continue Reading
Source and Photo: Nature, August 16th, 2013
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Are weed killers linked to depression in farmers?

38By Kerry Grens
MSN News — Farmers who used weed killers were more than twice as likely to be treated for depression than farmers who didn’t use the chemicals in a new study from France.

Earlier research on depression and pesticides has focused on insecticides, particularly organophosphates, which are known to be toxic to nerve cells, said Marc Weisskopf, the study’s lead author and an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Weisskopf said results of the study “suggest we should not be ignoring herbicides just because they’re targeting plants.”

Monocrotophos, the insecticide that killed 23 school children in India this month, is an organophosphate, for example.

The use of pesticides has also been linked to Parkinson’s disease among farmers.

Click here to access the complete article at MSN News
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Pesticides have an impact on the agricultural frontier of Amazon

29By Elton Alisson
Agência FAPESP – Small producers along the Brazilian Amazon’s agricultural frontier are using pesticides in higher doses and at greater frequencies than are recommended, and in some cases, chemicals are being used that are inappropriate for the infestations that they are intended to control. The large soybean and sugarcane producers in the region follow more of the prevailing agronomical recommendations and even replace compounds that are more toxic to human health with other, less harmful inputs.
However, the study indicates that the risk of the adverse effects of pesticides on aquatic species, such as fish, has increased significantly. This is because, with the intensification of agriculture on the Amazon agricultural frontier, the pesticides are being applied at higher doses, and although they are less toxic for humans and other mammal species, they may be harmful to smaller organisms… >>Continue Reading<<

Source and Photos: Agência FAPESP, 10th July, 2013
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Red alert for oilseed rape as colour change curbs pests

14By Matt McGrath
BBC News – Researchers at Rothamsted found that changing the colour of the crop’s petals from yellow to red can be an environmentally friendly method of controlling pollen beetles. This insect is becoming increasingly resistant to chemical pesticides. The study has been published in the journal Arthropod-Plant Interactions…. >>Continue Reading<<

Source and Photo: BBC News, June 5th, 2013
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Transgenics: A new breed

36Nature – When the first genetically modified (GM) organisms were being developed for the farm, says Anastasia Bodnar, “we were promised rocket jet packs” — futuristic, ultra-nutritious crops that would bring exotic produce to the supermarket and help to feed a hungry world.

Yet so far, she says, the technology has bestowed most of its benefits on agribusiness — almost always through crops modified to withstand weed-killing chemicals or resist insect pests. This has allowed farmers to increase yields and spray less pesticide than they might have otherwise.

Click here to access the complete article at Nature
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European bees get a chance at sweeter, safer life

32By Charlie Dunmore

MSN News – The European Commission said on Monday it would go ahead and impose a temporary ban on three of the world’s most widely used pesticides because of fears they harm bees, despite European Union governments failing to agree on the issue.
In a vote on Monday, EU officials could not decide whether to impose a two-year ban — with some exceptions — on a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, produced mainly by Germany’s Bayer and Switzerland’s Syngenta.
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