Beyond Pesticides wishes our members and friends a happy, healthy, and organic New Year! Our Daily News is taking a holiday break and will return on Thursday, January 3, 2013 with renewed energy and vision to continue charging ahead.
We look forward to working with you to make 2013 a fruitful, pesticide-free year for you, your family, your community and those most vulnerable. We are thankful for all our members and supporters who enable Beyond Pesticides to be a strong voice that works to protect our air, land, water, and food at home, in the workplace, and in local communities from policies that allow practices resulting in unnecessary and unsustainable poisoning and contamination.
We hope you will consider a charitable donation to Beyond Pesticides. Whether you become a member, give the gift of membership, donate, or buy a gift from our online shop, your contribution can do a world of good. These unique gifts help protect human health and the environment from toxic pesticides, and will be enjoyed by your friends and loved ones throughout the New Year.
As you reflect upon the passing year and contemplate your wishes for the next, we ask you to consider Beyond Pesticides vision for the future:
1. A ban on the pesticide clothianidin implicated in honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
Our pollinators are in trouble and urgent action is needed to stop the precipitous decline of honey bee colonies. Working with our partners at the Center for Food Safety, Pesticide Action Network North America, and Sierra Club, we filed an emergency legal petition this year to immediately stop the use of the pesticide clothianidin. The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied our petition, but in response we issued a 60 day notice letter to the agency, announcing our intent to sue. We thank all those involved and ask for your continued support in 2013 to remove this dangerous chemical from our environment. For more information on CCD, including links to scientific studies and additional Daily News stories, see our “Pollinator Protection” program page.
2. Advancing organic standards so that the organic brand continues to be a safe place for consumers to go for food grown without harmful synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, GMOs, antibiotics, sewage sludge or irradiation.
We made so much progress this year upholding organic integrity. From organic beer to infant formula and inert ingredients, Beyond Pesticides works to provide consumers with the tools they need to become involved in process of approving new inputs for organic production and processing. Currently, USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) has delayed compliance with organic laws. Please take action and urge NOP to complete its rule making process by December 26th, 2012. For more information on organic standards, view our “Keeping Organic Strong” webpage, where you’ll find an overview of the issues and results from the most recent National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting.
3. A sensible public health approach to mosquito management and West Nile virus that eschews community-wide spraying in favor of a monitoring, cultural controls, and least-toxic alternatives.
2012 was likely the second worst year ever for West Nile virus in the United States. Across the nation, as communities were sprayed with pesticides concerned citizens fought back for a safer, more rational approach to mosquito management. We encourage concerned citizens to get a head start on this year’s mosquito season. Please, attend community meetings, speak with your neighbors, and get active about stopping these unnecessary pesticide applications. For more information, start with our recent Pesticides and You article “Back to the Future: Communities are doused with pesticides in response to West Nile Virus outbreak” and view our “Mosquito Management” webpage.
4. The spread of community ordinances that embrace organic land management practices that protect human health and ecological diversity.
All every level across the country citizens are urging their elected representatives to implement least-toxic practices that reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous pesticides. In addition to the ordinance in Durango, CO, Beyond Pesticides has worked with localities throughout the U.S. in an effort to promote organic land care systems. In 2012 Richmond, CA approved a pesticide reform ordinance targeting the use of toxic chemical pesticides within city boundaries. Washington D.C. also recently passed legislation which restricts the use of pesticides on District property, near waterways, and in schools and day care centers. Ohio’s Cuyoga County successfully banned a majority of toxic pesticide uses on county property, prioritizing the use of natural, organic, horticultural and maintenance practices with an Organic Pest Management (OPM) program. For more information, visit Beyond Pesticides “Lawns and Landscapes” webpage, and seek out our “Tools for Change.”
5. A halt to the planting of GE crops on federal lands and the adoption of a national labeling law for GE food.
This year surely had its ups and downs for the burgeoning food movement. While the USDA continues to fast-track new GE crops, more and more studies are showing the negative impact of these crops and the cultural practices surrounding their use. Meanwhile, a federal judge has ruled GE crops are acceptable on Midwest wildlife refuges, but not on those in the Southeast.
As the legal and scientific debates continue on, a growing number of consumers are working for policy changes which would require mandatory labeling of GE food. For more information, see Beyond Pesticides “Genetic Engineering” page.
6. Working to ban pesticide products that are known hazards to human and environmental health.
This year saw a number of successes in efforts to ban toxic chemicals from our households and environment. In August, Johnson and Johnson announced its intent to phase out the harmful antibacterial triclosan from its products. In September, after 2,000 emails generated from Beyond Pesticides’ supporters, the EPA announced its final intent to phase out the use of the organophosphate insecticide azinphos-methyl (AZM), which has been proven harmful to farm-workers and the environment. We currently need your help now to get dangerous rodenticides off of the market. Please take action and tell EPA to go through with their intent to cancel dangerous rodent poisons.
7. The passage of federal legislation to protect children from the dangers of pesticides in school.
With the recent policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urging doctors and regulators to help prevent childhood exposure to toxic chemicals, the time is now for federal legislation to protect children. Beyond Pesticides is a long-time supporter of the School Environment Protection Act, which would provide a national standard to protect children from toxic exposure in the classroom. For more information, see Beyond Pesticides “Children and Schools” webpage.
Thanks so much for a great year! We look forward to seeing you all at Beyond Pesticides’ 31st National Pesticide Forum, April 5-6 2013, at the University of Albuquerque in New Mexico.