Is Greenpeace bad for the environment?

With many environmental NGO’s calling for global adoption of organic-only agriculture and complete abandonment of agricultural biotechnology, let us ask: Are the agricultural reforms touted by major environmental organisations a threat to global sustainability?

photo Venex_jpb @ flickr

photo Venex_jpb @ flickr

Why ask this question?

This blog does not aim to argue which agricultural practices are most sustainable or best, instead it focuses on answering two specific questions:

  • Can we use current evidence to predict how Earth Systems would be affected if we enacted Greenpeace’s (GP) agricultural reforms globally?
  • What are the issues and opportunities surrounding GPs involvement in global environmental governance?

After studying consumer perception on Organic and Genetically Modified (GM) food I realised that GP were not promoting policies that lined up with the science as I understood it. Given the centrality of evidence to the enormous challenge of living sustainably on Earth and GPs influence, I wanted to examine their position on agricultural policy and role in decision making. This analyses might also extend to other environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs).

This blog presents a personal view and aims to highlight a failure of governance measures to foster scientific responsibility, using GP as an example, and the impact that this might be having on sustainability efforts.

I have created this page as I feel the issue is important to all parties who encounter Greenpeace and their ideas in one way or another and also to those dealing with science in policy issues. This could be policy makers; Farmers; Environmentally concerned citizens; donors or consumers.

The threat of global agriculture

Agricultural Land Use ©  All Rights Reserved by André Bonacin

Agricultural Land Use ©
All Rights Reserved by André Bonacin

Leicestershire, where I live, is 80% agricultural land1. I only have to glance on GoogleMap to see the harrowing footprint of agriculture stamped into the land. Where species rich, wild habitats once stood for thousands of years now lay flattened fields; ploughed and grazed. But veiled beneath our attractive rural views is an environmental threat that is as large in scope and as imminent as Climate Change.

“In most countries agriculture is the main user of land resources, and changes in agricultural land use is one of the major driving forces in global as well as local environmental change.” – FAO2

“The agricultural sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, second only to the energy sector” –UNEP3

ENGOs agree: The WWF, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth have all acknowledged the severity of the threat from agriculture. Land use (tied to deforestation and species extinction) and nitrogen pollution are among the most urgent challenges4,5. Projections for the future of agriculture are more worrying as demand for food is expected to rise by 70-100% by 20506. Feeding everybody without compromising ecosystems is one of the major challenges that our global community has to resolve.

Some impacts of agriculture are listed in Table 2.1

Table 2.1 Current Impact of global agriculutre
GHGs 25%–30% of total global GHG emissions7 (including contributions from deforestation)
Methane 50% of global Methane emissions8
Nitrogen 60% of global N20 emissions8
Deforestation 75% of worldwide deforestation is for agriculture9
Land Use 37% of the earth’s terrestrial surface10
Land Clearing 80% of the new agricultural land comes from replacing forests11
Water use 70% of worlds freshwater12

What does Greenpeace want for agriculture?

Greenpeace volunteers cordon off a plantation of Bt corn and mark it as a hot-zone in Mindoro, the Philippines © Thanhnien News

Greenpeace volunteers cordon off a plantation of Bt corn and mark it as a hot-zone in Mindoro, the Philippines © Thanhnien News

Greenpeace state that their aims are to: “Defend the natural world and promote peace by investigating, exposing and confronting environmental abuse, and championing environmentally responsible solutions”1. They have been described as the most influential environmental organisation in the world2.

Scattered articles, briefings and statements make a clear account of want GP want difficult, but in general they refer to Organic Agriculture (OA) or Ecological Farming (EF), the latter being a more extreme version of the former.Greenpeace actively campaign for:

  • Zero deforestation, globally, by 20203
  • A ban on GM and a phase-out of industrial farming methods4
  • A conversion to 100% organic ag5,6

It’s not just Greenpeace, these views are common among hundreds of environmental organisations, but not so common among environmental scientists. We will see that the first goal is not compatible with the second two. Just let that sink in… if you want deforestation to end then by definition you cannot simultaneously support a world of 100% organic agriculture.

FAQ – Defining organic agriculture?

Contrary to the views of the IFOAM7, Organic agriculture is not best defined by it’s philosophies or innovations. The principles of stewardship, care and responsibility appeal to farmers across the globe irrespective of the system they employ. OA is best defined by its rulebook8 and ideology9 which is the most significant difference from other agricultural practices and which defines its place within the market. Organic certification requirements indiscriminately and incomprehensibly prohibit the use of synthetic chemicals, GM and industrial methods generally10.

Is Organic Agriculture even scientific?

“Most people in all kinds of areas, including scientists, researchers, extension workers and politicians strongly believe that organic agriculture is not a feasible option to improve food security” – FAO1

OA has been likened to homeopathy2 for being similarly rooted in scientifically unsupportable concepts (in fact EU regulations for Organic Certification state that homeopathic treatments must be tried before conventional veterinary medicine thereby extending the suffering of sick animals by wasting time on occult nonsense). For example, dividing chemicals and processes into natural vs synthetic is a non-sequitur for matters of safety and risk 3,4,5. Consumer chemophobia is currently being addressed in an awareness campaign by the UK charity Sense About Science6.

A key environmental concern arises from this: some safe and advantageous practices will be prohibited simply because they are ‘unnatural’, and dangerous one’s will be allowed because they are not. This is already happening in OA as many modern pesticides are prohibited while older more toxic pesticides are allowed7,8

Comparing Organic Agriculture with other farming systems

A picture of the sustainability potential of the OA rulebook can be built by looking at research comparing OA against other agricultural practices. The full body of scientific literature has been summarised elsewhere1,2,3. Table 6.1 gives a summary. The information is tabled similarly to a 2003 Defra analysis4 but is updated to reflect more recent sources.

Table 6.1Comparing Organic Agriculture with other farming systems
Ecosystem
Biodiversity mixed Usually better in OA at the farm scale, but not always4,5,2. Tied to lower yields6 rather than management. Also see Understanding a 100% Organic World, below
Soil Quality
Organic Matter Content smile Generally higher on Organic Farms1,3 but not in colder temperatures7
Biology mixed Mixed, with general benefits for organic4 but this may be tied to manure application and applicable to conventional farms8
Erosion Susceptibility sad Organic alone not enough to prevent erosion8 Wind erosion reduced 31% by conservation tillage practices in GM farms9
Water Quality
Nitrate Leaching sad 49% higher in organic farms1
Phosphorous Loss mixed 1% lower from organic1
Pesticides mixed Pesticide use typically less in OA4 however more harmful pesticides are used in OA due to regulations banning modern synthetics10
Air Quality
Ammonia sad 11% higher in organic systems1
Nitrous Oxide sad 8% higher in organic systems1
Methane sad Not system specific for rice11, higher for organic dairy farms4,1
Carbon Dioxide mixed Generally higher for conventional systems12 however, see Understanding a 100% Organic World|land use (below)
Energy Use
Energy Efficiency smile Generally better in OA, but with very high variation1
Key:smile = Organic is better than alternatives; mixed = No difference between Organic and alternatives; sad = Organic is worse than alternatives

Most results showed a high degree of nuance and many beneficial practices are system independent. Expert opinion is that truly sustainable agriculture is integrated and will use the best of all the tools available13,14,15,1 For example organic land management techniques could be combined with the best high yielding, drought tolerant or biofortified GM crops. A rigid organic system does not maximise benefits, not even close.

Understanding a 100% Organic World

Forests burning visible from space. photocredit: NASA

Forests burning visible from space. photocredit: NASA

Land use, the nail in the coffin?

“We now face a global crisis in land use and agriculture that could undermine the health, security, and sustainability of our civilization.” – Johnathan Foley1

One of the caveats from Table 6.1 is that many of the cases where there was an environmental benefit from OA they were at the cost lower yields2 which means more land is required to meet food demand. The rest of this section looks at trade-offs between yield and land use. GP state that OA/EF can in fact achieve better yields than other systems3 however, it has been pointed out that even the evidence GP cite shows lower yields4. The independent evidence that OA produces less food per acre is very strong with yields typically between 5%-30% less 5,6,7,8.

One way to understand what the world would look like under 100% organic would be to imagine a world in which the Green Revolution never took place. The Green Revolution heavily relied on synthetic chemicals and industrial processes to increase productivity, which GP oppose.

The IFPRI9 point out that one of the key savings was in land use. For example, China managed to double it’s rice yeilds while only increasing land use by 4% effectively sparing an area twice the size of France. In a study looking at global impacts, Ausebel et al10 note 300% production increases accompanied by only a 12% growth in the area of farmed land. The amount of land spared was approximately the size of two South Americas. Simply put, without the Green Revolution, we may have lost the entire Amazon and more. Burnely et al11 model scenarios excluding modern synthetic technologies and estimate around 161 GtC were spared from entering the atmosphere since 1961, largely as a result of preventing deforestation.

Modelling forward

In addition to looking back at the Green Revolution others have used yield data to model various agricultural outcomes including the amount of land required today if we shifted to OA. Robert Parlberg12 points out that shifting to organic fertilizer would require an area the size of most of the USA, and that if Europe tried to farm it’s field crops organically it would require 28 million more hectares, equal to “all the remaining forest cover of France, Britain, Germany and Denmark combined”. A 2010 study showed that butterflies would not benefit from a complete shift to OA6.

Why does land use matter so much?

Our current best agricultural techniques are unsustainable13. We are already significantly beyond biodiversity and land use thresholds14,1, a situation arguably more threatening than Climate Change. Species loss is at a rate of 100 to 1000 times the background rate15 and high above the target set at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. In addition, the IPCC identify avoiding deforestation as the highest impacting mitigation technique16.

As Greenpeace rightly point out, problems with food distribution and of consumer behaviour, i.e meat consumption, are also factors influencing land use17. Yet, even in solving these issues the most environmentally friendly farming would be location and context dependent and not a rigid organic system, this requires an integrated and evidence based view of the agricultural tool box. In spite of distribution issues, increased local production is a vital tool in fighting malnutrition18.

As with OA, the Green Revolution has it’s own shortcomings which are reflected in Table 6.1 and exemplified by the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone which must be solved by integrated agriculture, but an abandonment of modern methods and a shift to a rigid global organic system is neither good for us or good for ecosystems.

The role of Greenpeace in governance

There is considerable evidence that several of GP’s major agricultural campaigns are without foundation and would likely lead to increased environmental harm if realised, I would go so far as to say that supporting OA is the same as giving up any sense of ecological citizenship. You cannot call yourself an environmentalist while also supporting OA. GP have been challenged on these and other issues1,2,3 yet they continue unwavering, at times dramatically misrepresenting evidence to spread their message4,5. Ulucanlar et al6, speaking of the misrepresentation of evidence by Transnational Tobacco Companies concluded that insufficient national and international governance measures “provide an opportunity for highly resourced corporations to slow, weaken, or prevent public health policies.” Is it possible the same is happening with GP?

Askel and Baran7 suggest that NGOs must make strategic choices about their relationships with other actors, which can be confrontational, complementary or collaborative and each of these strategies have a comprehensive body of successful historical precedence8. Good governance can excel where the choice of strategy is well informed.

NGO Relationships - image copyright Gary Frewin 2014

Some examples of strategies are given below:

Confrontational Agitating debate; Direct action and civil resistance;
Collaborative Participating in international decision making and policy formation, for example through consultative status;
Complimentary Monitoring compliance of other actors (farmers, governments, corporations) to national or international regulations; Volunteer work to implement and educate on policy measures; corporate partnerships;

NGOs – the accountability issue

Of the biggest criticism of NGOs, accountability may be the most pertinent. NGOs are often self appointed with policies not formulated democratically, but instead by a small inner circle. Governments are accountable to the ballot box, and corporations to shareholders and customers. Greenpeace executives, who control the policies they pursue1, are unelected and cannot be removed by ballot if we don’t like them, and they speak on the international stage. As others have noted; values and good intentions are no longer sufficient grounds for accountability2 particularly where there is risk that poor internal policy choice could in fact cause harm.

Other mechanisms have been proposed for greater NGO accountability3,4, and Greenpeace themselves are members of INGO Accountability Charter5, yet I think the facts will show that scientific responsibility is not being taken seriously. Like the tobacco industry, GP take an explicitly confrontational stand against evidence. However, evidence is neither an actor to be competed with, nor a tool to be deformed, a lesson the tobacco industry learned when a federal judge forced them to concede to the consensus on the link between health and smoking in 20126.

Is GPs influence causing the same kind of “slowing”?

GP have certainly influenced both the private and public sectors7,8, as well as consumer opinion9. As Defra noted10, the adoption of biotechnology has suffered from lack of investment and unnecessary delays, because of the emotive nature of the subject. It would be difficult to argue that GP haven’t been central to shaping perceptions on the GM issue, particularly in Europe11.

Examples of their global efforts and self-declared victories in agricultural reform include many successful campaigns worldwide in opposition to biotechnology12,13, and efforts to encourage a complete shift to OA14 and to prevent modern farming methods being taken up in Africa.

Governance, scientific responsibility and sustainability

A shift to an informed collaborative strategy, rather than an ideological confrontational strategy, would not just prevent harm from ill-informed campaigns, it could yield significant positive results. For example, issues attributed to the failure of the Green Revolution in Africa are “widespread corruption, insecurity, a lack of infrastructure, and a general lack of will on the part of the governments”1.

GP is well positioned to influence such factors. Complementary strategies could include: training farmers to avoid over-application of pesticides and other mistakes of the Green Revolution and could be improved by partnerships with major corporations. Although GP refuse corporate funding they have backed products before. They are also well positioned to lend legitimacy and credibility to environmentally beneficial technologies and to improve public acceptance, understanding and compliance.

Evidence informed policy - image copyright Gary Frewin 2014

Greenpeace stand with the consensus on Climate Change and have created appropriate strategic relationships with other actors. However, on agricultural issues they are more selective about their use of scientists and stand in defiant opposition to overwhelming consensus on GM safety3 and there is nothing to stop or even deter them.

Solutions?

A regulatory body for scientific responsibility could provide a framework for positioning actors on matters to which evidence is central. Misuse of evidence in policy making was very well documented by Mark Henderson4 who also proposed an Office for Scientific Responsibility (OSR).

There have been discussions around evidence based policy5,6, and concerns are often raised at the notion of plugging science in and getting policy out. The IPCC make a point of remaining ‘policy neutral’ and preventing the science from becoming policy prescriptive7. It is acceptable that humans, not data, should have sovereignty over the policies that govern our own societies, but there is very little justification for making a decision which evidence shows will be destructive or harmful, particularly when it is achieved by misrepresenting evidence.

It is a failure of governance when the nature of evidence to constrain decisions is abused. In this case, it is a failure which threatens sustainability, and by extension, life itself.

References & links

Homepage of Greenpeace containing information and publications on their policies.
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/

The Threat of Global Agriculture

1. Leicestershire Rural Partnership (n.d) Leicesterhire’s Rural Economy: Executive Summary, LRP [online] available at: http://www.charnwoodbusiness.com/files/resources/leicestershires_rural_economy/leicestershiresruraleconomy.pdf (accessed 30/09/2014)

2 FAO (2012) Agricultural area use change, FAOstat [online] available at: http://faostat.fao.org/site/690/default.aspx (accessed 30/09/2014)

3 UNEP (2008) Agriculture, Agro-biodiversity and Climate Change, UNEP [online] available at: http://www.un.org/en/ecosoc/docs/pdfs/agriculture.pdf (accessed 30/09/2014)

4 WWF (n.d.) Farming; Habitat conversion & Loss, WWF [online] available at http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/impacts/habitat_loss/ (accessed 30/09/2014)

5 GreenFacts (n.d.) What are the current trends in biodiversity?, GreenFacts [online] available at: http://www.greenfacts.org/en/biodiversity/l-3/3-extinction-endangered-species.htm (accessed 30/09/2014)

6 FAO (2009) High Level Expert Forum – How to Feed the World in 2050, FAO. [online] available at: http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/wsfs/docs/Issues_papers/HLEF2050_Global_Agriculture.pdf(accessed 30/09/2014)

7 EPA (n.d.) Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data, EPA [online] available at: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/global.html (accessed 30/09/2014)

8 IPCC (2007): Agriculture. In Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC [online] available at: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg3/ar4-wg3-chapter8.pdf (accessed 30/09/2014)

9 Big Facts (n.d.) Food Emissions, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research [online] available at: http://ccafs.cgiar.org/bigfacts2014/#theme=food-emissions (accessed 30/09/2014)

10 WorldBank (2012) Agricultural Land (% of Land Area), WorldBank [online] available at: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/AG.LND.AGRI.ZS/countries?display=graph (accessed 30/09/2014)

11 Vermeulen, S.J., Campbell, B.M., Ingram, J.S.I., (2012) Climate Change and Food Systems, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Vol. 37: 195-222 [online] available at: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/881annurev.pdf (accessed 30/09/2014)

12 Molden, D ()A Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, International Water Management Institute [online] available at: http://www.fao.org/nr/water/docs/summary_synthesisbook.pdf (accessed 30/09/2014)

What do Greenpeace want?

1 Greenpeace (2014) What We Do [online] available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/ (accessed 30/09/2014)

2 Wheeler, B (2008) The campaign group: Greenpeace, BBC [online] available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7338875.stm (accessed 30/09/2014)

3 Greenpeace (2014) Protecting Forests [online] available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/forests/(accessed 30/09/2014)

4 Greenpeace (2014) Genetic Engineering [online] available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/agriculture/problem/genetic-engineering/ (accessed 30/09/2014)

5 Greenpeace (2014) The Solution – Ecological Farming [online] available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/agriculture/solution-ecological-farming/ (accessed 30/09/2014)

6 Pat C (2013) ‘Bhutan goes Organic: A lesson for us all?’, Greenpeace, 18 Feb [blog] available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/bhutan-goes-organic-a-lesson-for-us-all/blog/43987/ (accessed 30/09/2014)

7 IFOAM (2008) Definition of Organic Agriculture [online] available at: http://www.ifoam.org/en/organic-landmarks/definition-organic-agriculture(accessed 30/09/2014)

8 Mondelaers, K., Aertsens, J., Van Huylenbroeck, G. (2009), A meta-analysis of the differences in environmental impacts between organic and conventional farming,British Food Journal, Vol. 111 Iss: 10, pp.1098 – 1119

9 Reeser, D. (2013) ‘Natural vs Synthetic Chemicals is a Grey Matter’, Scientific American, 10 Apr [blog] available at: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2013/04/10/natural-vs-synthetic-chemicals-is-a-gray-matter/ (accessed 30/09/2014)

10 Gold, V.M., (2007) Organic Production/Organic food: Information Access Tools, Alternative Farming Information Center [online] available at: http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/ofp/ofp.shtml (accessed 30/09/2014)

Is Organic Agriculture even scientific?

1 FAO (1998) EVALUATING THE POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTION OF ORGANIC AGRICULTURE TO SUSTAINABILITY GOALS, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1998, pp.12 [online] available at: ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/003/ac116e/ac116e00.pdf (last accessed 30/09/2014)

2 DeGregori, T. (2003) ‘The fault line in the Organic debate’, The Guardian, 18 Oct [online] available at: http://www.theguardian.com/news/2003/oct/18/food.foodanddrink (accessed 30/09/2014)

3 Reeser, D. (2013) ‘”Chemical” Is Not a Bad Word’, Scientific American, 8 Mar [blog] available at: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2013/03/08/chemical-is-not-a-bad-word/ (accessed 30/09/2014)

4 Bahlai CA, Xue Y, McCreary CM, Schaafsma AW, Hallett RH (2010) Choosing Organic Pesticides over Synthetic Pesticides May Not Effectively Mitigate Environmental Risk in Soybeans, PLoS ONE 5(6): e11250. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011250

5 Magkos, F. Arvaniti, F. Zampelas, A. (2006) Organic Food: Buying More Safety or Just Peace of Mind? A Critical Review of the Literature, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, vol.46, pp. 23-56 [online] available at; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16403682 9accessed 30/09/2014)

6 Sense about science () Making sense of chemical stories, [online] available at: http://www.senseaboutscience.org/pages/making-sense-of-chemical-stories.html (accessed 30/09/2014)

7 Wilcox, C. (2011) ‘Mythbusting 101: Organic Farming > Conventional Agriculture’, Scientific American, 18 Jul [blog] available at: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/2011/07/18/mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture/ (accessed 30/09/2014)

8 Bahlai CA, Xue Y, McCreary CM, Schaafsma AW, Hallett RH (2010) Choosing Organic Pesticides over Synthetic Pesticides May Not Effectively Mitigate Environmental Risk in Soybeans, PLoS ONE 5(6): e11250. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011250

Comparing Organic Agriculture with other farming systems

1 Tuomisto, H.L.Hodge, I.D, Riordan, P. Macdonald, D.W. (2012) Does organic farming reduce environmental impacts? – A meta-analysis of European research, Journal of Environmental Management, Vol 112, pp. 309–320

2 Bengtsson, J. Ahnström, J. Weibull, A. (2005) The effects of organic agriculture on biodiversity and abundance: a meta-analysis, Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol 42, pp. 261–269

3 Mondelaers, K., Aertsens, J., Van Huylenbroeck, G. (2009), A meta-analysis of the differences in environmental impacts between organic and conventional farming, British Food Journal, Vol. 111 Iss: 10, pp.1098 – 1119

4 Shepherd, M. Pearce, B. Cormack, B. Philipps, L. Cuttle, S. Bhogal, A. Costigan, P. Unwin, U. (2003) AN ASSESSMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF ORGANIC FARMING, Defra [online] available at: http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/growing/organic/policy/research/pdf/env-impacts2.pdf (accessed 30/09/2014)

5 Hole, D.G. Perkins, A.J, Wilson, J.D. Alexander, I.H. Grice, P.V. Evans, A.D. (2005) Does organic farming benefit biodiversity?, Biological Conservation, vol 122, pp 113–130

6 Gabriel, D. Sait, S.M. Kunin, W.E. Benton, T.G. (2013) Food production vs. biodiversity: comparing organic and conventional agriculture, Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol 50, Issue 2, pp 355–364

7 Kirchmann, H. Bergströma, L. Kätterera, T.Mattssona, L. Gessleinb, S. (2007) Comparison of Long-Term Organic and Conventional Crop–Livestock Systems on a Previously Nutrient-Depleted Soil in Sweden, Agronomy Journal, Vol. 99 No. 4, p. 960-972

8 Fließbacha, A. Oberholzerb, H.R. Gunstb, L. Mädera, P. (2007) Soil organic matter and biological soil quality indicators after 21 years of organic and conventional farming, Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Vol 118, Issues 1–4, pp.273–284

9 Ferry, N. Gatehouse, A.M.R. (2009) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS, School of Biology Institute for Research on Environment and Sustainability, Newcastle University, pp 126

10 Bahlai CA, Xue Y, McCreary CM, Schaafsma AW, Hallett RH (2010) Choosing Organic Pesticides over Synthetic Pesticides May Not Effectively Mitigate Environmental Risk in Soybeans, PLoS ONE 5(6): e11250. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011250

11 Qin, Y. Liu, S. Guo, Y. Liu, Q. Zou, J. (2010) Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from organic and conventional rice cropping systems in Southeast China, Biology and Fertility of Soils, Vol 46, Issue 8, pp 825-834

12 Venkat, D. (2012) Comparison of Twelve Organic and Conventional Farming Systems: A Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Perspective, Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, Vol 36, Issue 6, pp 620-649

13 Jennifer A. Burney, Steven J. Davis, David B. Lobell, (2010) Greenhouse gas mitigation by agricultural intensification, PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0914216107

14 Sara J Scherr, Jeffrey A McNeely (2008) Biodiversity conservation and agricultural sustainability: towards a new paradigm of ‘ecoagriculture’ landscapes, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, vol. 363 no. 1491 pp. 477-494

15 David Tilman, Joseph Fargione, Brian Wolff, Carla D’Antonio, Andrew Dobson, Robert Howarth, David Schindler, William H. Schlesinger, Daniel Simberloff, Deborah Swackhamer, (2001) Forecasting Agriculturally Driven Global Environmental Change, Science, vol. 292 no. 5515 pp. 281-284 DOI: 10.1126/science.1057544

Understanding a 100% Organic World

1 Foley, J. (2009) The Other Inconvenient Truth:The Crisis in Global Land Use, Environment360, Yale University, 5 Oct [blog] available at: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/the_other_inconvenient_truth_the_crisis_in_global_land_use/2196/ (accessed 30/09/2014)

2 Gabriel, D. Sait, S.M. Kunin, W.E. Benton, T.G. (2013) Food production vs. biodiversity: comparing organic and conventional agriculture, Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol 50, Issue 2, pp 355–364

3 Greenpeace (2014) The Solution – Ecological Farming [online] available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/agriculture/solution-ecological-farming/ (accessed 30/09/2014)

4 Avery, A. (2005) ‘Organic Farming Still Falls Short: Rodale study shows conventional out-yields organic by nearly one-third’, AgBioWorld [blog] avilable at: http://www.agbioworld.org/newsletter_wm/index.php?caseid=archive&newsid=2391 (accessed 30/09/2014)

5 Shepherd, M. Pearce, B. Cormack, B. Philipps, L. Cuttle, S. Bhogal, A. Costigan, P. Unwin, U. (2003) AN ASSESSMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF ORGANIC FARMING, Defra [online] available at: http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/growing/organic/policy/research/pdf/env-impacts2.pdf (accessed 30/09/2014)

6 Jenny A. Hodgson, William E. Kunin, Chris D. Thomas, Tim G. Benton, Doreen Gabriel (2010) Comparing organic farming and land sparing: optimizing yield and butterfly populations at a landscape scale, Ecology Letters, doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01528.x.

7 Tuomisto, H.L.Hodge, I.D, Riordan, P. Macdonald, D.W. (2012) Does organic farming reduce environmental impacts? – A meta-analysis of European research, Journal of Environmental Management, Vol 112, pp. 309–320

8 Tomek de Ponti, Bert Rijk, Martin K. van Ittersum (2012) The crop yield gap between organic and conventional agriculture, Agricultural Systems, vol 108, Pages 1–9

9 IFPRI (2002) Green Revolution – Curse or blessing?, International Food Policy Research Institute [online] available at: http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/pubs/pubs/ib/ib11.pdf (accessed 30/09/2014)

10 Jesse H. Ausubel, Iddo K. Wernick, Paul E. Waggoner (2012) Peak Farmland and the Prospect for Land Sparing. Population and Development review 38 (Supplement) [online] available at: http://phe.rockefeller.edu/docs/PDR.SUPP%20Final%20Paper.pdf (accessed 30/09/2014)

11 Jennifer A. Burney, Steven J. Davis, David B. Lobell, (2010) Greenhouse gas mitigation by agricultural intensification, PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0914216107

12 The Ethics of Modern Agriculture: Organic Foods vs. Frankenfoods (2011) YouTube video, added by Oregon State University [online] available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGxVJjUw-CU (accessed 30/09/2014)

13 David Tilman, Joseph Fargione, Brian Wolff, Carla D’Antonio, Andrew Dobson, Robert Howarth, David Schindler, William H. Schlesinger, Daniel Simberloff, Deborah Swackhamer, (2001) Forecasting Agriculturally Driven Global Environmental Change, Science, vol. 292 no. 5515 pp. 281-284 DOI: 10.1126/science.1057544

14 Zimmer, C. (2009) Provocative New Study Warns of Crossing Planetary Boundaries, Environment360, Yale University, 23 Sep [blog] available at: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/provocative_new_study_warns_of_crossing_planetary_boundaries/2192/ (accessed 30/09/2014)

15 UNEP (2007) Global Environment Outlook 4, UNEP, pp. 164 [online] available at: http://www.unep.org/geo/GEO4/media/GEO4%20SDM_launch.pdf (accessed 30/09/2014)

16 IPCC (2007) Forestry In Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

17 Bojana Bajželj,Keith S. Richards, Julian M. Allwood, Pete Smith, John S. Dennis,Elizabeth Curmi, Christopher A. Gilligan (2014) Importance of food-demand management for climate mitigation, Nature Climate Change 4, 924–929 (2014) doi:10.1038/nclimate2353

18 von Braun, J., Swaminathan, M.S., Rosegrant, M.W. (2004) Agriculture, food security, nutrition and the millenium development goals. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) [online] available at: http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/ar03e.pdf (accessed 30/09/2014)

The role of Greenpeace in governance

1 Mark Lynas at 2013 Oxford Farming Conference (2013) Vimeo video, posted by Oxford Farming Conference [online] available at: http://vimeo.com/56745320 (accessed 30/09/2014)

2 What the green movement got wrong the debate (2010) Channel 4, 3 Nov

3 CFACT Ed. (2013) Co-founder to Greenpeace: “Allow golden rice now!”, cfact, 5 Oct [online] available at: http://www.cfact.org/2013/10/05/co-founder-to-greenpeace-allow-golden-rice-now/ (accessed 30/09/2014)

4 Frewin, G. (2014) Exposé – Greenpeace caught misleading subscribers on science, unpublished exam, Milton Keynes, Open University

5 Avery, A. (2007) ‘Telling toxic tales about GM food’, Spiked, 29 Mar [online] http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/3018#.U2z6tPldV8E (accessed 30/09/2014)

6 Selda Ulucanlar, Gary J. Fooks, Jenny L. Hatchard, Anna B. Gilmore (2014) Representation and Misrepresentation of Scientific Evidence in Contemporary Tobacco Regulation: A Review of Tobacco Industry Submissions to the UK Government Consultation on Standardised Packaging, PloS Medicine, Mar 25 [online] available at: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1001629 (accessed 30/09/2014)

7 Aksel, I., Baran, M. () Organizational Problems Of Non-Governmental Organizations, Journal of Turkish Weekly [online] available at: http://www.turkishweekly.net/article/159/organizational-problems-of-non-governmental-organizations-ngos.html (accessed 30/09/2014)

8 Nowrot, K. (1999) Legal Consequences of Globalization: The Status of Non-Governmental Organizations Under International Law, Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, Vol. 6: Iss. 2, Article 7. Available at: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/ijgls/vol6/iss2/7 (accessed 30/09/2014)

NGOs – The accountability issue

1 Greenpeace (2014) FAQ [online] available at: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/about/faq (accessed 30/09/2014)

2 Denis V. Kennedy (2014) “Good intentions are not enough”: Tracing the rise of humanitarian self-regulation. College of the Holy Cross [draft] available at: http://bisa.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_bisa&task=download_paper&no_html=1&passed_paper_id=498 (accessed 30/09/2014)

3 Jordan, L. (2005) ‘Mechanisms for NGO Accountabilit’, GPPi Research Paper Series No. 3 [online] available at: http://www.gppi.net/fileadmin/gppi/Jordan_Lisa_05022005.pdf (accessed 30/09/2014)

4 Aksel, I., Baran, M. () Organizational Problems Of Non-Governmental Organizations, Journal of Turkish Weekly [online] available at: http://www.turkishweekly.net/article/159/organizational-problems-of-non-governmental-organizations-ngos.html (accessed 30/09/2014)

5 INGO (2014) Charter Members and Reports [online] available at: http://www.ingoaccountabilitycharter.org/ (accessed 30/09/2014)

6 Bill Mears (2012) Tobacco companies ordered to publicly admit deception on smoking dangers, CNN, Nov 28 [online] avvailable at: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/27/health/tobacco-court-order/ (accessed 30/09/2014)

7 Choi, J. (2007) Greenfreeze, Unep Our Planet Magazine Celebrating 20 Years Of The Montreal Protocol [online] http://www.unep.org/PDF/OurPlanet/2007/sept/EN/ARTICLE8.pdf

8 Jamie (2010) ‘Success! You made Nestlé drop dodgy palm oil! Now let’s bank it with HSBC’, Greenpeace [blog] available at: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/forests/success-you-made-nestl%C3%A9-drop-dodgy-palm-oil-now-lets-bank-it-hsbc-20100517 (accessed 30/09/2014)

9 Paul, J. A. (2000) NGOs and global Policy Making, Global Policy Forum [online] https://www.globalpolicy.org/empire/31611-ngos-and-global-policy-making.html

10 Defra (2012) Green Food Project Conclusions. The Green Food Project Steering Group, Defra [online] available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69575/pb13794-greenfoodproject-report.pdf (accessed 30/09/2014)

11 Tiberghien, Y. (2006) The Battle for the Global Governance of Genetically Modified Organisms, Centre d’études et de recherches internationales [online] available at: http://www.sciencespo.fr/ceri/sites/sciencespo.fr.ceri/files/etude124.pdf (accessed 30/09/2014)

12 Greenpeace (2012) China says ‘no’ to genetically engineered rice, Greenpeace, Jan 31 [online] available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/China-says-no-to-genetically-engineered-rice/ (accessed 30/09/2014)

13 Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips, David Castle (2014) Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development. Edward Elgar Publishing

14 Robert Paarlberg (2009) Starved for Science: How Biotechnology Is Being Kept Out of Africa, Harvard University Press

Governance, Scientific Responsibility and Sustainability

1 Oladele, O.I., Wakatsuki, T. () Sawah Rice Eco-technology and Actualization of Green Revolution in West Africa: Experiences from Nigeria and Ghana, Rice Science [online] avalailable at: http://www.ricescience.org/fileup/PDF/20011.pdf (accessed 30/09/2014)

2 Willcock, J. (1998) Greenpeace lends logo to eco-friendly fridge, The Independent, 22 Oct [online] available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/people-and-business-greenpeace-lends-logo-to-ecofriendly-fridge-1179876.html (Accessed 30/09/2014)

3 Consumer Freedom (2014) Cherry-Picking Scientific Consensus to Serve Agenda. Consumer Freedom [online] available at: https://www.consumerfreedom.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/GMO-Research-Brief.pdf

4 Mark Henderson (2012) We need an Office for Scientific Responsibility. The Guardian, May 11 [online] available at: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/may/11/need-office-for-scientific-responsibility

5 William Solesbury (2001) Evidence Based Policy:Whence it Came and Where it’s Going, ESRC UK Centre for Evidence Based Policy and Practice, Queen Mary, University of London [online] available at: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/politicaleconomy/research/cep/pubs/papers/assets/wp1.pdf (Accessed 30/09/2014)

6 Laura Haynes, Owain Service, Ben Goldacre, David Torgerson (2012) Test, Learn, Adapt: Developing Public Policy with Randomised Controlled Trials, Cabinet Office and Behavioural Insights Team [online] available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/test-learn-adapt-developing-public-policy-with-randomised-controlled-trials (Accessed 30/09/2014)

7 IPCC (2014) Organization [online] available at: http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization.shtml (Accessed 30/09/2014)

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