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Signatories include (from left, front row) French actress Catherine Deneuve, Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar and French actress Isabelle Huppert and (top right) Juliette Binoche (top right) at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP / Getty Images

200 Leading Artists and Scientists Urge Politicians to Act 'Firmly and Immediately' to Solve Climate Crisis

Planet earth just got the star treatment.

Two hundred of the world's leading artists and scientists signed a letter written by French actress Juliette Binoche and astrophysicist Aurélien Barrau and published in leading French paper Le Monde Sunday, calling for urgent action on climate change.

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Food
Noblige / Getty Images

Back-to-School Tips for a Healthy Lunch

By Isabel Walson

Parents have a lot to worry about when sending their kids back to school. Lunch shouldn't be one. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) can help you avoid pesticides, food additives and contaminants in drinking water to make your student's lunch healthier and safer.

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Politics
Nicolas Hulot at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. COP PARIS / Flickr

French Environment Minister Quits Over Government's Inadequate Green Policies

France's environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, abruptly resigned from his post during a live French radio interview Tuesday, citing "an accumulation of disappointments" in Emmanuel Macron's government.

He said the government has made inadequate progress in reducing the use of pesticides, protecting soil health and defending biodiversity. Hulot said he did not tell his wife, Macron or his prime minister about the decision.

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Food
Y'amal / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

General Mills Faces Lawsuit Over Glyphosate in Cereals

Monsanto's—and now Bayer's—glyphosate problem is also a headache for General Mills. The Cheerios-maker could face a class action lawsuit alleging the company failed to warn consumers about traces of the controversial herbicide in its products.

A Florida woman filed the lawsuit Thursday in Miami federal court, according to Reuters. The move comes about a week after a California jury awarded $289 million to a school groundskeeper who claimed Monsanto's blockbuster weedkiller Roundup gave him cancer.

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GMO

West Texas Vineyards Hit by Herbicide Drift

Wine makers in West Texas are reeling from herbicide drift injuries on their grapevines, an emerging threat to the state's $13 billion a year industry, NPR's Morning Edition reported Tuesday.

The damage likely originates from use of Monsanto's dicamba and Dow's 2,4-D formulations on nearby cotton fields. The companies sell cotton seeds that are genetically modified to withstand applications of the weedkillers. If farmers use the products improperly, the highly volatile chemicals can get picked up by the wind and land on off-target crops. When exposed to the herbicides, the leaves on non-target plants are often left cupped and distorted.

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A protester wears a pill shaped costume bearing the names of Bayer and Monsanto during a demonstration against the takeover of U.S. seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto by German chemicals firm Bayer outside the World Conference Center where the annual General meeting of chemicals giant Bayer takes place in Bonn, western Germany, on May 25. PATRIK STOLLARZ / AFP / Getty Images

The Much-Loathed Monsanto Name Is About to Die

By Dan Nosowitz

The public seems to loathe Monsanto. A recent poll ranked the company among the 20 most hated in America (nearly every other name on the list is a consumer-facing company the public deals with regularly, like health insurers, telecoms, and airlines) and entire marches are organized against them. As German corporation Bayer AG folds Monsanto into its portfolio, Bayer is making what is probably a shrewd business choice: killing the Monsanto name.

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Health
Navy torpedo bomber spraying DDT just above the trees in Goldendale, WA in 1962. USDA Forest Service

Maternal DDT Exposure Linked to Increased Autism Risk

A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry Thursday found that mothers exposed to the banned pesticide DDT were nearly one-third more likely to have children who developed autism, Environmental Health News reported.

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Significant cupping of leaves from dicamba drift on non-Xtend soybeans planted next to Xtend beans in research plots at the Ashland Bottoms farm near Manhattan, KS. Dallas Peterson, K-State Research and Extension / CC BY 2.0

Top Seed Companies Urge EPA to Limit Dicamba

Two of the nation's largest independent seed sellers, Beck's Hybrids and Stine Seed, are urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to place limits on the spraying of the drift-prone pesticide dicamba, Reuters reported.

This could potentially hurt Monsanto, which along with DowDupont and BASF SE, makes dicamba formulations to use on Monsanto's Xtend seeds that are genetically engineered to resist applications of the weedkiller. Beck's Hybrids and Stine Seed, as well as other companies, sell those seeds.

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Bumblebees are important agricultural pollinators, so their decline is cause for concern. James Johnstone / CC BY 2.0

Pesticide Touted as Neonicotinoid Replacement Still Harms Bees

As evidence builds that neonicotinoids harm bees and other pollinators and bodies like the EU move to ban them, the agricultural sector is casting about for something to replace what is currently the most-used type of insecticide worldwide.

But a study published in Nature Wednesday serves as a warning that any new pesticides must be properly vetted.

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