FOEA Emerging tech Project
Challenging the Privatised University

Challenging the Privatised University

A conference co-hosted by the NTEU, Ngara Institute and Friends of the Earth

Emerging technologies and corporate control

Emerging technologies and corporate control

Read our special edition of FoEA's Chain Reaction magazine

Another broken promise

Another broken promise

FSANZ fails to ensure the safety of foods containing nanomaterials

Third Way – no way. Flannery’s misplaced hope

Third Way – no way. Flannery’s misplaced hope

Tim Flannery’s new book, Atmosphere of Hope, is supposed to offer us a ‘third way’ – new solutions to climate change. It makes for a depressing read. The book seems to leap from a kind of hopelessness into wishful thinking and an almost reckless faith in technologies that are barely at the conceptual stage. The hopelessness emerges from the failure of governments anywhere to tackle climate change with the kind of urgency the issue clearly deserves. Instead, in places like Australia, we have a political and economic system that is...

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Semantically engineered crops

Semantically engineered crops

Big agrochemical companies such as Dow, Bayer and Monsanto are experimenting with a range of new genetic engineering (GE) techniques that they misleadingly refer to as ‘New Plant Breeding Techniques’. These are being used to introduce traits such as herbicide and pathogen resistance and changed nutritional properties into commercial crop varieties that will ultimately end up in our food. By arguing that these techniques are precise, just like conventional breeding, and not really genetic engineering at all, these companies are attempting to...

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Is nano-silica safe? – who knows?

Is nano-silica safe? – who knows?

The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) has found that there is inadequate data to conclude that the use of nano-silica in cosmetics is safe. And yet nano-silica is still being used – not only in cosmetics – but also in our food! The committee reached this conclusion in a recent safety assessment of four different types of nano-silica used in cosmetics. It stated that “more evidence is needed to ascertain the absence of dermal penetration of nano-silica, especially through damaged skin. In case...

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The Catholic church confronts capitalism and technology

The Catholic church confronts capitalism and technology

Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the environment – Laudato Si’ – is a powerful piece of doctrine coming from a church with a long and rather uninspiring history when it comes to both social justice and environmental care. Not only is the document a call for action on the environment and issues of social justice, it is also a lengthy and coherent indictment of neoliberalism and extreme capitalism. It recognises that the severe social and environmental problems we face are the result of a global system based on exploitation, infinite growth...

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APVMA still has head in the sand regarding nano agrichemicals

APVMA still has head in the sand regarding nano agrichemicals

A new report released by our agricultural chemicals regulator the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) this week shows that they are still failing to address the risks posed by the use of nanomaterials in agrichemicals. The regulator still claims nanomaterials are not being used in agrichemicals in Australia despite clear evidence to the contrary. All the leading producers of agricultural chemicals, including BASF, Monsanto and Syngenta are actively researching nanotechnology for use in agriculture and pesticides...

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