Seed World

Year in Review: the Risk Corner

David Zaruk, AKA the Risk Monger, has served as an EU risk and science communications specialist since 2000. He’s active in EU policy events and promotes evidence-based decision making when it comes to environmental health matters.

Zaruk also serves as a columnist for European Seed. Check out his four most recent columns below.

Defining Organic: 50 Shades of Green

When the “Risk-Monger’s Dirty Dozen” list of pesticides used in organic farming was published, I had broken a taboo. Before that 2015 article, most people assumed ‘organic’ meant completely ‘pesticide-free’… Read more here.

Towards a Concept of “Better Farming”

Due to successful fear-based marketing campaigns, the demand for organic food in many affluent countries is rising far faster than yield capacity, dangerously stressing global food security and land use practices. We need a rethink: away from this binary organic vs conventional/good vs evil dichotomy and towards holistically promoting better farming practices.

Towards an Integrated Food Chain

Have you ever noticed how most food decisions are made in isolation? Retailers make product commitments based on marketing advice; farmers develop cover crop approaches with old technologies; scientists propose solutions the brands are not interested in; and the European Commission launched a Farm2Fork strategy aiming to phase out most crop protection tools … without consulting farmers.

Time to Pull the Plug on the Precautionary Principle

Since 2001 and the European Environment Agency’s publication, Late Lessons from Early Warnings, the European Commission has applied an activist interpretation of the precautionary principle. In that time, there has been a constant exodus of scientists from the European Union, innovative technologies have been restricted and trust in science has declined.