Grassroots campaign wins ban on bee killing pesticides

In a win for people power, the EU have decided to ban outdoor use of three neonicotinoids, a pesticide notorious for killing pollinating insects – bees in particular. Originally introduced in the 1980’s as a replacement for older, more toxic chemicals, an ever-growing body of research has helped to underline and highlight their harmful effects on the environment. The fight will now be taken to other countries around the world alongside continuing calls for a ban on the use of glyphosate-based weed killers. Further work is now needed more than ever to encourage a shift away from industrial agriculture in favour of diversified agricultural systems, an approach fully supported by ANH-Intl.

Autism rates rise, fears confirmed

Two reports from the US and Canada have confirmed a continued increase in rates of autism in their respective countries. Based on 2014 data from 11 of 44 states, the US Centers for Disease Control reports a rate of 1:59 children - a rise of 15% from 1:68 in 2012. As well as the restricted data collection, estimates have been further confused after the diagnostic criteria was changed. Far more boys than girls continue to be diagnosed with autism, with 4 times more boys shown to be affected. In tandem, the Canadian findings estimate a rate of 1:66 based on reports from seven of the 13 provinces with the greatest increase seen in children aged 1-4 years.

In related news, a Canadian health practitioner has noticed an interesting association between areas of high rates of autism with areas where vaccine coverage is highest based on a 2013 survey. This seemingly parallels recent studies linking the use of aluminium adjuvants in vaccines to autism, the newest of which demonstrated impaired social interaction in mice injected with aluminium hydroxide. As authorities continue to assert that the rise in prevalence is down to improved diagnosis, the true impact of the problem remains masked, whilst the number of diagnoses continue to rise. For more information on vaccination choice and why governments should not be able to class vaccines as ‘safe’, please visit ANH-Intl’s Vaccine Choice campaign page.

EU to dampen trade of ‘organic’ hydroponics

As greater demand for organic produce increases, there has been a surge in hydroponic agriculture with little information being given to consumers about how their food is being produced. The EU has announced this week that by 2021, “As organic plant production is based on nourishing the plants primarily through the soil ecosystem, plants should be produced on and in living soil in connection with the subsoil and bedrock. Consequently, hydroponic production should not be allowed, nor growing plants in containers, bags or beds where the roots are not in contact with the living soil. ” This follows on from the publication of standards in Singapore for organic indoor and urban agriculture. ANH-Intl has always strongly supported soil based organic cultivation and welcomes the proposed regulations. Having already approved organic certification of non-soil based agriculture, we shall be watching closely to see if the USDA and other countries around the globe will follow suit.


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