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Posted On: Wednesday, 11/06/2013 4:07 pm
A: Earthworms, along with other soil macroorganisms, provide essential ecosystem services. In the most important book written on earthworms in the last 100 years, Edwards and Bohlen (Biology and Ecology of Earthworms, 1996) examined the potential impact of many agricultural products on earthworms. The authors rank the toxicity of active ingredients to earthworms using a scale of 0 (relatively nontoxic) to 3 (extremely toxic). Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup formulations, is ranked 0... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Friday, 8/02/2013 1:14 pm
A: Humans have been manipulating their own environment and that of other species closely related to them for thousands of years. These changes have given rise to domesticated and human-dependent animal species, such as cows and sheep, as well as the many varieties of dogs and cats. In the same manner, most agricultural food crops are very different from their “wild” ancestors because of human intervention. Intervention in the domestication of food crops has given rise to higher-yield, less toxic... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Monday, 6/02/2014 7:17 pm
A: All plants genetically modified to be insect resistant or herbicide tolerant undergo a risk assessment, which includes evaluating potential adverse impacts on nontarget arthropods (insects and related animals). Major groups tested include pollinators (e.g., honey bees and bumble bees), predators (e.g., lady beetles and green lacewings) and parasites (e.g., Diaeretiella rapae, an aphid parasite). In addition, soil-dwelling animals, like earthworms, isopods, Collembola, nematodes and protozoa,... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Tuesday, 7/08/2014 5:02 pm
A: When my children were little, I had to watch them suffer through chicken pox. It was very difficult. When I was a child, my parents almost lost me to a severe case of the measles. I share this because advancements in medicine have reduced health issues tremendously. If vaccinated, kids don’t need to experience these diseases anymore. The same goes for biotechnology and the remarkable advancements it has introduced to farming through the generations. Using pesticides and herbicides has always... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Saturday, 3/01/2014 2:35 pm
A: Thank you for posting your question concerning pollination restrictions and the effects on GMOs in the U.S. Farmers can grow organic, GM and conventional crops in the same area, and in fact, many growers use all three of these types of farming practices on the same farm and do grow organic corn next to GM corn. In order to minimize pollen flow between these crops, growers utilize many management practices. For example, farmers may plant at recommended separation distances, time their... Continue Reading