Friday, February 17, 2017

Harvard Public Health Alternative Facts Debunked, Organic Food, and Neonics

Apparently Harvard School of Public Health is not immune to alternative facts-when it comes to one associated researcher's influence on recommendations about organic food vs conventional: HT -Kevin Folta: 

Are there yield differences between organic and conventional crops?  Research in 2012 asks some important questions with findings realted to this: 

More recently from PNAS:

We get a synopses of this from the GLP:

"Recent meta-analyses of plot-scale studies suggest organic yield penalties of 20–25% on average, although possibly as low as 8%. Farmer surveys, on the other hand, report organic grain yield penalties of 27–34%."

Jayson Lusk recently pointed out that making large scale organic work (i.e. read if we want more access to organic food that means 'large scale') we need large scale conventional producers:

"Indeed, if one wants large scale organic, it almost certainly implies (given the current population) the need for large scale non-organic.  All that life-supporting nitrogen has to come from somewhere.  Until we find a better way, right now it is coming from Haber and Bosch and is smuggled into organic agriculture via animal manure. "

So organic thrives on positive externalities related to N use in conventional production. 

Let's not forget the positive externalities of biotech traits....which not only help conventional producers use fewer pesticides but also help organic producers get by without sytnthetics:

Positive Externalities of Biotech Bt Traits on Non-Biotech Crops and Non Target Insects 

On another note From the WSJ, Why the EU should revoke neonicotinoid pesticide ban.

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