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Social, environmental and economic issues surrounding GM foods, and the latest news


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What agricultural regulation can learn from pharma

Medicine has moved from old wives’ tales to a discipline founded on evidence, but agriculture and conservation haven’t completely caught up. A new paper by Defra’s chief scientific advisor and a collaborator argues that insights from pharmaceutical science can inform pesticide regulation and monitoring.

During the early stages of discovery and testing, pharmaceuticals and pesticides are regulated in a similar way. However, this changes in the later stages of testing and after approval, when pesticide monitoring lags far behind. Continue reading

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Farming post-Brexit: the fate of agri-environment schemes

With the plans for a post-EU Britain still unclear, farmers and conservationists are in the dark about how their income will be affected by the loss of EU subsidies. There has been some welcome news from the Chancellor: funding is guaranteed for all agri-environment schemes drawn up until the UK leaves the EU.

For three decades EU agri-environment schemes have been compensating farmers for loss of income associated with measures that aim to benefit the environment or biodiversity. It’s not clear whether spending on these will be maintained by the UK government, or what new schemes would look like if there are any.  Continue reading