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Constructing Facts: Bt Cotton Narratives in India

http://www.epw.in/special-articles/constructing-facts.html A group of researchers and industry writers have constructed a narrative of technological triumph for Bt  cotton in India, based on an empirical record of superior performance compared to conventional seed. Counterclaims of Bt cotton failure are attributed to mutually reinforcing interactions among non-governmental organisations which avoid rigorous comparisons. However, researchers and the biotechnology industry are also engaged in a similar authentication loop for generating, validating, and publicising such facts. With Bt cotton, the convention of routinely ignoring the effects of selection bias and cultivation bias benefits researchers, journals and the industry, but keeps us from drawing meaningful conclusions about the relative performance of the technology. But as poor as the case for isolating the technology impact of Bt cotton in India […]

Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize

Gilles-Eric Séralini a,⇑, Emilie Clair a, Robin Mesnage a, Steeve Gress a, Nicolas Defarge a, Manuela Malatesta b, Didier Hennequin c, Joël Spiroux de Vendômois a a University of Caen, Institute of Biology, CRIIGEN and Risk Pole, MRSH-CNRS, EA 2608, Esplanade de la Paix, Caen Cedex 14032, France b University of Verona, Department of Neurological, Neuropsychological, Morphological and Motor Sciences, Verona 37134, Italy c University of Caen, UR ABTE, EA 4651, Bd Maréchal Juin, Caen Cedex 14032, France http://www.marklynas.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/FCT-final-paper.pdf a b s t r a c t The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1 […]

A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPORTANCE OF SEEDLING AGE IN THE SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION (SRI) IN EASTERN INDIA

By DEBAL DEB†‡, JÖRG LÄSSIG§ and MARIUS KLOFT¶ †Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, Kolkata 700123, India, §Institute of Computational Science, University of Lugano, 6906 Lugano, Switzerland and ¶Machine Learning Laboratory, TU Berlin, 10587 Berlin, Germany (Accepted 19 January 2012; First published online 27 February 2012) SUMMARY A survey of the system of rice intensification (SRI)-related literature indicates that different authors have drawn conflicting inferences about rice yield performances under the SRI, chiefly because the SRI methodology has been variously advocated, interpreted and implemented in the field using different rice varieties, seedling ages at transplantation, cultivation seasons and nutrient management regimes. In particular, the SRI method of single-seedling transplantation (SST) has potential economic advantage due to reduced seed costs, […]

Impact of policies favouring organic inputs on small farms in Karnataka, India: a multicriteria approach

Interesting published paper from ATREE which uses a multi-criteria analysis to compare villages supported under an organic farming project/policy in Karnataka with those that are not, in terms of a variety of parameters on the economic, environmental and socio-cultural fronts. I am not too sure where I picked up the paper from, and might be circulating it back to a group from where I picked it up and my apologies for the same. Purushothaman et al 2012 mca ktaka(1) Seema Purushothaman • Sheetal Patil • Ierene Francis Received: 3 October 2011 / Accepted: 12 February 2012 Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012 Environ Dev Sustain DOI 10.1007/s10668-012-9340-1 The paper presents […]

Climate change and the South Asian summer monsoon

http://iprc.soest.hawaii.edu/news/press_releases/2012/monsoon_climate_change.pdf http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1495.html ‘South Asian monsoon variations hard to fathom’ T.V. Padma   4 July 2012 | EN Monsoon changes due to global warming still difficult to decipher, says a review Flickr/fbloeink [NEW DELHI] Understanding how the South Asian monsoon will change in response to global warming  and resolving the uncertainties in projected changes are ‘demanding tasks’ for climate science, a review says. Current state-of-the-art general circulation models have difficulty simulating the regional distribution of monsoon rainfall, the 24 June review in Nature Climate Change says. The vagaries of the monsoon on short- and long-term timescales impact the lives of more than a billion people in South Asia who depend on rainfall for agriculture, power […]

Organic tomatoes contain higher levels of antioxidants than conventional tomatoes

http://www.ub.edu/web/ub/en/menu_eines/noticies/2012/06/093.html Experts Alexander Medina Remón, Olga Jáuregui, Isidre Casals Ribes, Rosa M. Lamuela and Anna Vallverdú Queralt. 28/06/2012A study conducted at the University of Barcelona shows that organic tomatoes contain higher levels of phenolic compounds than conventional tomatoes. Phenolic compounds are organic molecules found in many vegetables with proven human health benefits. The UB’s Natural Antioxidant Group, headed by lecturer Rosa M. Lamuela, had previously proved that organic tomato juice and ketchup contain higher polyphenol content than juice and ketchup made from conventionally grown tomatoes. Lamuela points out that during the production process of ketchup and juice, there are lower levels of polyphenols; therefore it was necessary to verify that the […]

An Epidemiological Study on the Health Effects of Endosulfan Spraying on Cashew Plantations in Kasaragod District, Kerala, India

Asha Embrandiri, Rajeev P. Singh, Hakimi M. Ibrahim and Anisa B. Khan epidemological study on health effects of endosulfan download http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=aje.2012.22.31&org=11 ABSTRACT The study involved investigations of prevalence rates of health problems of residents in some affected regions of Kasaragod district, Kerala, India seven years after the official banning of the use of Endosulfan by the Plantation Corporation of Kerala (PCK) on their Cashew plantations. Thousand respondents were selected using simple random survey. It was observed that 0-30 year age group had recorded the highest cases of mental retardation with 74.5% male and 74.1% female. Also in the 0-14 years age group 46% males and 42.5% females had Congenital anomalies whereas in the 15-30 years […]

Soil carbon sequestration and agronomic productivity of an Alfisol for a groundnut-based system in a semiarid environment in southern India

SOM in alfisols download – CH Srinivasa Rao et al., ——————————————————— ABSTRACT  Soil organic carbon (SOC) is a strong determinant of soil quality and agronomic productivity especially under harsh arid and semiarid environments of the tropics. Thus, a 20-year experiment was used to assess the impact of rainfed groundnut (Arachis hypogeae) monocropping, fertilization and manuring on soil quality, SOC sequestration, and crop yield sustainability on an Alfisol in southern India. Five treatments with 4 replications were: (1) control (no fertilizer or manure), (2) 100% recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF, 20:40:40 kg ha−1 of N:P2O5:K2O), (3) 50% RDF + 4Mg ha−1 of groundnut shells (GNS), (4) 50% RDF + 4Mg ha−1 of farmyard manure (FYM) and (5) 5Mg ha−1 of FYM. The […]

Brain anomalies in children exposed prenatally to a common organophosphate pesticide

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/04/25/1203396109.abstract http://www.sciencecodex.com/prenatal_exposure_to_insecticide_chlorpyrifos_linked_to_alterations_in_brain_structure_and_cognition-90672 Even low to moderate levels of exposure to the insecticide chlorpyrifos during pregnancy may lead to long-term, potentially irreversible changes in the brain structure of the child, according to a new brain imaging study by researchers from the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health, Duke University Medical Center, Emory University, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. The changes in brain structure are consistent with cognitive deficits found in children exposed to this chemical. Results of the study appear online in the April 30 PNAS. The new study is the first to use MRI to identify the structural evidence for these cognitive […]

Effect of Bt-Transgenic Cotton on Soil Biological Health

http://www.indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:abr&volume=14&issue=1&article=002 Tarafdar Jagadish C.*, Rathore Indira, Shiva Vandana1 Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, Rajasthan-342 003 (India)  1Navadanya, A-60, Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110 016, India  *email: jctarafdar@yahoo.in; tarafdar@cazri.res.in Bt cotton are plants that have been genetically modified to express the insecticidal proteins Cry 1 Acfrom subspecies of the bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bt), to control bollworm pest that feed on cotton. There is a persistent environmental concern that transgenic Bt-crops carry genes that have indirect undesirable effect to natural and agroecosystem function. We investigated the effect of Bt-cotton (with Cry 1 Ac gene) on several microbial and biochemical indicators in fields under sub-humid tropical condition. Twenty five fields were selected in the Vidarbha region, […]

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