GFM Network News

Proliferation of bird flu outbreaks raises pandemic risk

Reading Time: 4 minutes London | Reuters — The global spread of bird flu and the number of viral strains currently circulating and causing infections have reached unprecedented levels, raising the risk of a potential human outbreak, according to disease experts. Multiple outbreaks have been reported in poultry farms and wild flocks across Europe, Africa and Asia in the […] Read more

WHO cancer agency asked experts to withhold glyphosate documents

Reading Time: 4 minutes London | Reuters — The World Health Organization’s cancer agency — which is facing criticism over how it classifies carcinogens — advised academic experts on one of its review panels not to disclose documents they were asked to release under U.S. freedom of information laws. In a letter and an email seen by Reuters, officials […] Read more

Long-term U.K. study links neonics to wild bee declines

Reading Time: 2 minutes London | Reuters — Wild bees that forage from oilseed rape crops treated with insecticides known as neonicotinoids are more likely to undergo long-term population declines than bees that forage from other sources, according to the findings of an 18-year study. The new research covered 62 species of bee found in the wild in Britain […] Read more

Can coffee cause cancer? Only if it’s very hot, says WHO agency

Reading Time: 3 minutes London | Reuters — There is no conclusive evidence that drinking coffee causes cancer, the World Health Organization’s cancer agency said Wednesday, in a reverse of its previous warning, but it also said all “very hot” drinks are probably carcinogenic. The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) had previously rated coffee as “possibly […] Read more

U.N. experts find glyphosate unlikely to cause cancer

Reading Time: 2 minutes London | Reuters — The herbicide glyphosate, sold by Monsanto in its Roundup product and widely used in agriculture and by gardeners, is unlikely to cause cancer in people, according to a new safety review by United Nations health, agriculture and food experts. In a statement likely to intensify a row over its potential health […] Read more

In risks to bees, study finds not all neonics equal

Reading Time: 2 minutes London | Reuters — A group of chemical insecticides known as neonicotinoids that have been banned in Europe due to fears about potential harm to bees have been found in new research to have very differential risks for bumblebees. Scientists who conducted the research said their findings showed that at least one neonicotinoid in the […] Read more

Scientists take sides: Who’s right about glyphosate?

Reading Time: 3 minutes London | Reuters — The latest dispute to blow up around the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concerns glyphosate, an ingredient in one of the world’s most widely-used herbicides, Roundup, made by Monsanto. In March 2015, an IARC monograph concluded that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic.” Yet seven months later the European Food Safety […] Read more

U.K. review calls for urgent cuts to antibiotic use in livestock

Reading Time: 2 minutes London | Reuters –– Massive use of antibiotics in farming poses a critical threat to global public health and should be reduced dramatically to an internationally-agreed target, according to a British government-commissioned review. Agreeing and implementing a global target for agricultural antibiotic use won’t be easy, the review, led by former Goldman Sachs chief economist […] Read more

New ‘superbug’ gene found in animals, people in China

Reading Time: 2 minutes London | Reuters — A new gene that makes bacteria highly resistant to a last-resort class of antibiotics has been found in people and pigs in China — including in samples of bacteria with epidemic potential, researchers said Wednesday. The discovery was described as “alarming” by scientists, who called for urgent restrictions on the use […] Read more

Severe ‘food shocks’ seen more likely due to extreme weather

Reading Time: 2 minutes London | Reuters — Extreme weather such as intense storms, droughts and heatwaves will cause more frequent and severe food shortages as the global climate and food supply systems change, British and U.S. experts warned Friday. The pressure on the world’s food supplies is so great, and the increase in extreme weather events so rapid, […] Read more