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Ants play an effective role in counteracting plant pests. Photo: Abdulmominbd Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)Abdulmominbd Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Ants better than pesticides in protecting soil health and increasing agricultural yields

According to a research ants provide crucial services for crops such as decreasing pest activity and plant damage while leading to higher yields
Contaminated land in Verdun, northern France. The effects of soil contamination in World War I battlefields are still clear more than a century later. This a precedent that scares Ukraine and global agriculture. Photo: public domainpublic domain

Ukraine will have to deal with war damages to agriculture for a century (at least)

Ukraine farmland could suffer the same consequences as the soils of northern France, which are still contaminated with the munitions waste from World War I. A severe problem for the global food supply chain
Already approved by the lower house, the new pesticide law is now being examined by the Brazilian Federal Senate. Photo: Agência Senado Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)Agência Senado Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

UN experts ask Brazil not to approve ‘poison package’ on pesticides

UN asks Brazilian Senate to reject controversial rule which would undermine pesticide regulation. Substances pose serious risks to human health and the environment, experts say. During Bolsonaro's presidency, 1,500 pesticides have already been approved (562 in 2021)
Centella asiatica is one of the tropical plants that have proven most effective in natural remediation practices for contaminated soils. Photo: Rejin Narayanan Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)Rejin Narayanan Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Tropical plants provide a solution for heavy metal-contaminated soils

According to a study by NTU Singapore twelve plants proven effective in phytoremediation of soils contaminated with cadmium, arsenic, lead and chromium. The findings confirm the potential of nature-based -interventions
Soil health issue at the center of the #Soils4Nutrition photo contest, launched by FAO as part of the Global Symposium on Soils for Nutrition in July. Photo: CC0 Public Domain Free for personal and commercial use No attribution required CC0 Public Domain Free for personal and commercial use No attribution required

FAO is launching a photo contest dedicated to soil issues

Soil value is the focus of #Soils4Nutrition, the new photo contest launched by FAO. From war consequences to the micronutrient challenge, food security is increasingly in the spotlight. Submission closes on July 10
In EU, annual per capita expenditure on organic products has reached 102 euros. Photo: Myfruit.it Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Myfruit.it Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

European organic farming keeps growing as market sets record high

Organic land in Europe covers more than 17 million hectares, with a 5.3% increase year on year. But the biggest surge comes from consumers: in the midst of the pandemic, sales mark the highest growth of the decade.
According to a Chinese-British research, the low presence of some elements in the soil seems to be correlated to a higher mortality rate in Covid-19 cases. Photo: pxhere CC0 Public Domain Free for personal and commercial use No attribution requiredpxhere CC0 Public Domain Free for personal and commercial use No attribution required

Soil health and Covid-19 immune response could be linked, scientists say

A Chinese-British research identifies a statistical correlation between the concentration of zinc, iron, copper and selenium in soil and the outcome of Covid-19 cases: the lower the concentration, the higher the fatality rate. The investigation suggests a link between the two events. But further studies will be needed
The resolution passed on Wednesday, March 2 in Nairobi aims to drastically reduce plastic production and consumption worldwide. Photo: UNEP Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)UNEP Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

UN agrees to introduce a legally binding agreement on plastic in 2024

A new committee will work toward global regulation of plastic industry. By the end of 2024, countries will have to commit to implementing new manufacturing and design solutions based on circular economy principles
The U.S. crop feed industry uses more than 100,000 tons of pesticides annually. Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture Public Domain Mark 1.0 U.S. Department of Agriculture Public Domain Mark 1.0

The hidden cost of U.S. meat? 107K tons of pesticides, says The Independent

Negli Stati Uniti l’industria dei mangimi continua a fare ampio uso di pesticidi nelle colture di soia e grano per l’alimentazione animale. Nel mirino, rileva il quotidiano britannico, l’atrazina e il glifosato. Sostanze pericolose per l’uomo, gli animali e il suolo
The banned pesticides have been exported to 20 countries. Photo: Hamish John Appleby (IWMI) Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Photo: Hamish John Appleby (IWMI) Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

UK exported seven home-banned pesticides

British authorities have banned several hazardous pesticides. However, a loophole allows companies to sell them abroad, a Greenpeace report has revealed. The list features herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. Including a neonicotinoid causing large-scale adverse effects on bees.