Dassault Systemes targets life sciences with $5.8 billion Medidata deal | Reuters

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France’s Dassault Systemes moved to build up its life sciences presence with a $5.8 billion cash deal to buy Medidata Solutions, a U.S. firm focused on clinical trials.

Dassault Systemes has been doing deals to diversify its technology and software businesses further and its agreed acquisition of Medidata, its largest, follows its purchases of companies including Trace Software and Argosim.

Medidata has a market capitalization of around $5.9 billion, Refinitiv Eikon data shows, while Dassault has a stock market value of around 36 billion euros ($41 billion).

Source: Dassault Systemes targets life sciences with $5.8 billion Medidata deal – Reuters

France dumps 11,200 tonnes of plastic in the Mediterranean every year | EURACTIV.com


600,000 tonnes of plastic are being dumped by 22 countries in the Mediterranean Sea every year, EURACTIV’s partner La Tribune reports.

If humanity continues dumping plastics into nature at the current rate, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s seas by 2050.

On Friday (7 June), the day before World Ocean Day, a new report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reinforced this claim. Focused on the Mediterranean, it reveals that 600,000 tons of plastic end up in the waters of the ancient cradle of Western civilization every year.

Source: France dumps 11,200 tonnes of plastic in the Mediterranean every year – EURACTIV.com

Silence please! Marine mammals are dying | EURACTIV.com


Shipping, oil and gas exploration, military sonar, and underwater construction are all creating an enormous amount of noise that reduces the ability of whales, dolphins, and other marine wildlife to feed, breed, communicate and ultimately, survive, writes Eleonora Panella.

Our seas and oceans are at risk. There is no longer any doubt that between climate crisis and plastic pollution, marine wildlife is facing unprecedented challenges.

However, another source of marine pollution barely goes noticed despite its destructive if not deadly consequences: underwater noise.

Shipping, oil and gas exploration, military sonar, and underwater construction are all creating an enormous amount of noise that can conceal the ocean’s natural sounds, reducing the ability of whales, dolphins, and other marine wildlife to feed, breed, communicate and ultimately, survive.

Source: Silence please! Marine mammals are dying – EURACTIV.com

Will the newly elected MEPs tackle one of the most serious threats to our planet? | EURACTIV.com


The importance of nature to human life is often forgotten, even though we depend on it for fresh water, productive agriculture and many more economic activities. Encouragingly, it seems that there is a growing awareness of the importance of conserving biodiversity amongst the general public, writes Janice Weatherley-Singh.

It’s no exaggeration to say that global biodiversity is now in crisis. A report published by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) on 6 May, which received significant media attention, announced that a million species worldwide are now threatened with extinction, a staggering figure.

It also concluded that this rate of loss is “undermining nature’s ability to sustain life on Earth,” a sobering thought indeed.

Source: Will the newly elected MEPs tackle one of the most serious threats to our planet? – EURACTIV.com

A bitter taste | EURACTIV.com


Europe’s chocolate habit is driving the world’s fastest rising deforestation rates. We need new EU laws to stop this, writes Julia Christian.

Using satellite imagery and remote sensing algorithms Global Forest Watch (GFW) recently revealed a startling shift in where forests are being destroyed across the world.

Brazil and Indonesia, for so long the world’s tropical deforestation hotspots, continue to lose primary forests at disconcerting rates. Yet the most dramatic increases in deforestation, according to GFW’s data, are happening in the new frontiers of West Africa. And the European Union (EU) bears a large burden of responsibility.

In 2018, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire held the dubious distinction of increasing rainforest destruction more than anywhere else in the world.

Source: A bitter taste – EURACTIV.com

Today’s diets are eating away at our future food supplies, but we can change this | EURACTIV.com


Thousands of overlooked yet beneficial crop species are threatened unless we learn to conserve, farm and consume them, writes Juan Lucas Restrepo.

In addition to the rhinoceroses, elephants and frogs that are often presented as the poster children of the extinction crisis, our crops and their wild non-domesticated relatives are also threatened. And crop biodiversity arguably has a far greater and more immediate effect on us.

More than 6,000 edible plant species exist, and yet fewer than 200 are used today to feed the world. Of these, only three crops  – maize, wheat and rice – supply around 60% of humanity’s plant-based calories. And within these three crops, the genetic diversity arriving in our platters is also shrinking.

This poor use of agricultural biodiversity, or “agrobiodiversity”, is bad for farming, as it makes harvests more vulnerable to bad weather as well as to pests and diseases. It is also bad for human health since less varied diets are less nutritious

Source: Today’s diets are eating away at our future food supplies, but we can change this – EURACTIV.com

Venezuelan cocoa piles up in New York as exporters scramble for cash | Reuters

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U.S. stockpiles of Venezuelan cocoa swelled in May to levels not seen in at least five years, a Reuters analysis showed, as exporters in the crisis-hit country hit by U.S. sanctions scramble to raise cash however they can.

Crude oil accounts for more than 90 percent of Venezuela’s export revenues. With that key revenue stream drying up, Venezuelans are looking to get cash any way they can, including exporting cocoa – a niche business in the country, but one that is currently not subject to U.S. sanctions.

Several traders and exporters say a number of new cocoa companies have cropped up in recent years in a sector that was traditionally dominated by a handful of players.

Source: Venezuelan cocoa piles up in New York as exporters scramble for cash – Reuters

Will There Be Winners in the U.S.-China Trade War? | Council on Foreign Relations

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Some on the sidelines of the trade war could come out ahead, as companies shift production to avoid tariffs. Instead of “onshoring,” or bringing factories or farms back to the United States from China, firms are looking for replacement countries.

Potential winners include:

Argentina and Brazil. South American soybean farmers are expected to pick up the slack from falling U.S. soybean exports to China, which has historically been the top destination for U.S. soy.

Brazil saw strong demand for its soybeans as China shifted its purchases to other suppliers. But the outlook for South American exporters has been clouded by other factors, such as Chinese goodwill purchases of U.S. soybeans in early 2019 and an outbreak of African swine fever in China, which has weakened demand for soy pig feed.

Source: Will There Be Winners in the U.S.-China Trade War? | Council on Foreign Relations

People Eat 50,000+ Microplastics Every Year, New Study Finds | EcoWatch

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What’s the last thing you ate? Chances are you took a big bite of plastic.

A new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found that the average person swallows about 50,000 pieces of plastic per year and inhales about the same amount. Microplastics — bits of plastic invisible to the human eye — are in our food, drinks, air, and increasingly in our stomachs and lungs.

But if eating 50,000 pieces of plastic per year isn’t alarming enough, the true number is likely much higher. The researchers only looked at a small number of foods and drinks. And, drinking bottled water drastically increases the amount of microplastics you consume, The Guardian reports.

Source: People Eat 50,000+ Microplastics Every Year, New Study Finds – EcoWatch

College Students Are Going Hungry | Pacific Standard


With so much emphasis on wealthy parents spending millions of dollars to buy their kids into elite schools, it’s easy to overlook the fact that a significant number of today’s students are concerned about something far more essential than getting into Harvard and Yale universities: access to food and housing.

Information about the basic needs insecurities of college students has long been relatively scarce, primarily because it’s a problem that has no name. We see colleges as crucibles of privilege and opportunity, places we go to soar, not starve.

But a new study sheds a light on a largely hidden problem.

Source: College Students Are Going Hungry – Pacific Standard