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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Atrazine' Category


04
Aug

House Votes to Roll Back Protections from Pesticides Put in Nation’s Waters

(Beyond Pesticides, August 4, 2014) The Clean Water Act (CWA) provides critical safeguards for our nation’s waterways, with the goal of fishable and swimmable waters for all residents of the United States. Last Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to strip away an important part of these protections concerning pesticides applied directly to U.S. waters. The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2013 (HR 935) would reverse a 2009 ruling in National Cotton Council v. EPA that requires CWA permits for pesticide users who spray over waterways. After failing in a vote under a suspension of the rules last Monday, the House took the bill back up and passed it 267-161. “This is a good bill that reduces burdensome regulations without rolling back any environmental safeguards,” said U.S. Representative Bob Gibbs (R-OH), the bill’s sponsor, to The Hill. Unfortunately, Rep. Gibb’s statement couldn’t be farther from the truth. Under the deceptive title of “Reducing Regulatory Burdens,” this bill would instead eliminate critical CWA protections. “This legislation will undermine one of our nation’s most successful environmental laws, the Clean Water Act, in limiting the potential contamination of our nation’s waters by pesticides. All this would do is make it harder to locate […]

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03
Jul

Tell EPA by End of Today: Don’t Bail Out Genetically Engineered Cotton with a Toxic Pesticide

(Beyond Pesticides, July 3, 2014) It was predictable that genetically engineered (GE) cotton sprayed with the weedkiller glyphosate (Roundup) would create resistant superweeds. Now that it has, Texas GE cotton growers recently requested an emergency use of a chemical cousin to atrazine, the herbicide that is demasculinizing frogs by disrupting the endocrine system— on 3 million acres of cotton fields where the weeds have become resistant to the chemical of choice —glyphosate. Stop the GE Pesticide Treadmill! Use Beyond Pesticides’ sample comments for guidance. Help stop the GE treadmill and the use of hazardous pesticides. Join Beyond Pesticides in fighting this predictable “emergency” use because it exemplifies EPA’s practice of allowing increasing dependency on highly toxic pesticides in agricultural systems that are predictably unsustainable, harmful to people and the environment, and for which there are safe alternatives.  This situation is the same toxic treadmill and thinking that is ushering in new 2,4-D-tolerant corn to replace Roundup Ready corn. Emergency exemptions and the use of increasingly toxic herbicides must not be the norm for communities and our environment. Can you help us stop EPA from propping up the failed GE agricultural system?  Submit your comment by midnight July 3. Government does […]

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27
Jun

Roundup Resistance Spurs Texas Push for Emergency Use of Controversial Herbicide on GE Cotton

(Beyond Pesticides,  June 27, 2014) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering a  request  by Texas regulators to allow the use of a controversial herbicide, propazine, to battle Palmer amaranth, a glyphosate-resistant “super weed” that has been plaguing growers of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-tolerant cotton in the state. Propazine, an active ingredient in Milo-Pro, would be sprayed on up to 3 million acres, which amounts to approximately half of the state’s estimated crop acreage for this season. As currently proposed, the maximum amount of product to be applied would be 70,314 gallons. The Texas Department of Agriculture, on behalf of  chemical-intensive GE cotton growers,  asked EPA last month for an exemption to permit growers to spray fields with the herbicide this summer in order to control this highly invasive plant, also known as pigweed. Pigweed can grow up to 3 inches a day and is one of many plant species that has developed a resistance to  glyphosate, a systemic herbicide found in Roundup that has become one of the most widely used pesticides on the market.  Public comments are due by July 3, 2014. The occurrence of super weeds coincides strongly with the use of toxic herbicides on genetically engineered […]

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28
May

Report Finds Pesticide Residues in Hawaii’s Waterways

(Beyond Pesticides, May 28, 2014) A statewide pilot pesticide sampling project has found over 20 different types of pesticides in Hawaiian waterways, some of which are no longer registered for use in Hawaii. State officials believe the pesticides, many detected in urban areas, are from residential and golf course applications. These preliminary findings help highlight the need for local oversight of pesticide use, currently a controversial issue in the state. Conducted in partnership with the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Hawaiian Department of Health, the survey-study finds herbicides like glyphosate (Roundup) and atrazine, as well as a fungicide that is no longer registered for use in the state, contaminating the state’s waterways. The study measured pesticides in surface waters and in sediment at multiple locations in Hawaii. 25 herbicides, 11 insecticides and 6 fungicides were detected, with atrazine the most commonly found. This pilot survey responds to growing community concerns about the impacts of pesticides on local communities and ecosystems, and provides preliminary information on pesticide residues in state waterways. Recently, Kauai County passed an ordinance —Ordinance 960—  that requires public disclosure of pesticides used and the location of genetically engineered (GE) crops, as […]

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17
Jan

Atrazine Ban Will Result in an Economic Benefit to Farmers

(Beyond Pesticides, January 17, 2014) A new economic study, Would banning atrazine benefit farmers?, published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health demonstrates that eliminating the herbicide atrazine, widely used on U.S. corn crops, will economically benefit corn growers. The study examines the research produced by the Atrazine Benefits Team (ABT), a group assembled by atrazine manufacturer Syngenta, revealing that the industry-funded studies significantly overestimate the benefits of atrazine without considering the value of nonchemical weed management techniques. Research, led by Frank Ackerman, PhD., professor at Tufts University in the Global Development and Environment Institute, questions the economic viability of atrazine in Syngenta’s study. Researchers critically review five papers released by ABT in 2011, which claim that the withdrawal of atrazine would diminish corn yields by 4.4%, increasing corn prices by 8%. Using these assumptions, Dr. Ackerman and his team calculated that corn growers’ revenue would actually increase by 3.2%, providing a total of $1.7 billion to farmers and the U.S. economy with minimal price changes for consumers. In short, because of price elasticity, eliminating atrazine would improve farmer revenues. According to the study, “The result [of an atrazine ban] would be an increase in corn growers’ revenues, […]

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23
Dec

Fed To Require Strengthened State Protection from Nonpoint Pesticide Pollution

Beyond Pesticides, December 23, 2013) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  in a  Federal Register notice  has found that the state of Oregon’s program to reduce nonpoint coastal pollution is inadequate. Both federal agencies state that Oregon’s program does not adequately protect streams that provide habitat for Coho Salmon, an endangered species, and drinking water from herbicides that are aerially sprayed by lumber companies. This notice comes just after a recent report was released by Beyond Toxics on the health and environmental problems caused by aerial herbicide application on timber forests near Triangle Lake. EPA and NOAA’s proposed disapproval action of Oregon’s Coastal Nonpoint Program finds that the state has failed to adequately protect certain waterways within the state. Under the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments (CZARA) of 1990, states are required to submit an approvable Costal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program to NOAA and EPA. In 1998, federal agencies approved the Oregon Nonpoint Program with conditions that the state meet certain water pollution issues. This proposed disapproval action is part of a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Northwest Environmental Advocates in 2009, which charged Oregon has failed to meet the conditions […]

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13
Dec

Unregulated Contaminants Found Widespread in U.S. Drinking Water

(Beyond Pesticides, December 13, 2013) A recent survey conducted by researchers at the U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found traces of 18 unregulated chemicals in drinking water from more than one third of U.S. water utilities. Of the 21 total chemicals found, researchers discovered among them 11 perfluorinated chemicals, an herbicide, two solvents, caffeine, an antibacterial chemical, a metal and an antidepressant. Preliminary findings were presented by scientists at an annual toxicology conference held by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry last month in Nashville. Federal researchers took samples from 25 U.S. utilities from around the nation who voluntarily participated in the study, providing samples of treated and untreated water. Disturbingly, 18 of the chemicals found are not regulated under the Safe Water Drinking Act, meaning utility companies are not required to treat, limit, or even monitor for their presence. “The good news is the concentrations are generally pretty low,” said USGS research hydrologist Dana Kolpin, PhD. to Environmental Health News. “But,” he continued “there’s still the unknown. Are there long-term consequences of low-level exposure to these chemicals?” While there is a paucity of data on some of the contaminants, regulated chemicals such […]

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29
Oct

Exposure to Atrazine in Combination with Fungus Increases Mortality of Frogs

(Beyond Pesticides, October 29, 2013) Early-life exposure to the herbicide atrazine makes frogs more susceptible to death from chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), a fungal disease implicated in amphibian declines across the globe. The research, Early-life exposure to a herbicide has enduring effects on pathogen-induced mortality, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B and led by University of South Florida (USF) biologist Jason Rohr, Ph.D, provides critical information for scientists hoping to stem the global demise of amphibian populations. “Understanding how stressors cause enduring health effects is important because these stressors might then be avoided or mitigated during formative developmental stages to prevent lasting increases in disease susceptibility,” Dr. Rohr explains. Researchers exposed tadpoles to atrazine at levels found in the environment for a period of  six days during the animal’s development, in combination with exposure to chytrid fungus (linked to worldwide amphibian decline), resulted in increased mortality 46 days later. According to the study, “[E]arly-life exposure to atrazine altered growth and development, which resulted in exposure to chytrid at more susceptible developmental stages and sizes, and reduced tolerance of infection, elevating mortality risk at an equivalent fungal burden to frogs unexposed to atrazine. Moreover, there was no evidence of […]

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27
Sep

Beyond Pesticides Launches The Fund for Independent Science

(Beyond Pesticides, September 27, 2013) In an effort to ensure that the essential independent scientific research on pesticides is not thwarted by the chemical industry, Beyond Pesticides has launched The Fund for Independent Science. This fund, catalyzed by the recent announcement that Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D. has lost university funding for his laboratory and research, is set up and run by Beyond Pesticides. Our goal is to raise $150,000 to enable Dr. Hayes to keep his lab running for a year, and ultimately support the other work of independent researchers. Make a pledge today. There are few scientific research projects more important to protecting life and preventing its long-term demise than those conducted by Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D. And now this work is under threat. Dr. Hayes, a Harvard educated biologist and professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, whose research finds that the herbicide atrazine feminizes male frogs, is one of the leading scientists critical of the pesticide industry and regulatory process.  This critical research is threatened while, as Dr. Hayes’ points out, amphibian species are in decline and they are disappearing. Read Protecting Life — From Research to Regulation: Disappearance of frogs, human health effects linked to […]

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19
Jul

Federal Report Finds Stream Health Severely Degraded

(Beyond Pesticides, July 19, 2013) A recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) examines the health of the nation’s streams over 20 years and finds that streams nationwide are severely degraded by humans, exhibiting elevated levels of pesticides and nutrients as well as streamflow modifications. Overall, the report finds that 83 percent of streams in agricultural and urban areas contain at least one aquatic community that was altered, or in other words, negatively affected. With waterways in the U.S. increasingly imperiled from various agents including agricultural and industrial discharges, nutrient loading (nitrogen and phosphorus), and biological agents such as pathogens, assessments such as these provide further impetus to protect water quality for both human health and the environment. The report, entitled “Quality of Our Nation’s Waters: Ecological Health in the Nation’s Streams, 1993-2005,” describes the health of three biological communities ””algae, macroinvertebrates, and fish”” to  measure the overall quality of streams. A stream’s ability to support these community structures can directly measure the health of waterways. The report assesses streamflow modifications and measures over 100 chemical constituents in water and streambed sediments. The report is a comprehensive assessment of the variety of factors that contribute to stream health declines, […]

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21
Jun

New Report Showcases Atrazine Manufacturer’s Efforts to Discredit Critics

(Beyond Pesticides, June 21, 2013) A scathing new investigative report shows that atrazine manufacturer, Syngenta Crop Protection, launched an aggressive multi-million dollar campaign in response to a class action lawsuit that threatened to remove the controversial herbicide atrazine  from the market. The report reveals that the pesticide giant routinely paid “third-party allies” to appear to be independent supporters, keeping a list of 130 people and groups it could recruit as experts without disclosing ties to the company. The company, the report finds,  also purportedly hired a detective agency to investigate scientists on a federal advisory panel, looking into the personal life of a judge and commissioning a psychological profile of Tyrone Hayes, PhD, one of the leading scientists critical of atrazine, whose research finds that atrazine feminizes male frogs. Recently unsealed court documents reveal a corporate strategy to discredit critics and to strip plaintiffs from the class action case. 100Reporters, a nonprofit investigative journalism group, obtained the documents from the lawsuit in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The campaign is spelled out in hundreds of pages of memos, invoices, and other documents from the  Illinois’ Madison County Circuit Court, which were initially sealed as part of a 2004 […]

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28
May

Oregon Health Authority Finds Forestry Pesticides in Residents in Long Delayed Report

(Beyond Pesticides, May 28, 2013) A recent report by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) found that residents that live in the Highway 36 corridor of Western Oregon were exposed to toxic pesticides in the spring and fall of 2011. OHA collected urine and environmental samples in August and September of 2011 and found levels of 2,4-D and atrazine in residents’ urine. 2,4-D and atrazine have been detected in residents’ urine previously after they had sent samples to be analyzed by Emory University in 2011. Residents continue to argue that herbicides being aerially sprayed on private forests are drifting on their land and causing dangerous levels of exposure. Even though this report by OHA has been delayed several times, it still contains serious data gaps. According to the report, “The urine samples tested had levels of 2,4-D higher than the general U.S. population.” Though the report found that urine samples also had detectable levels of atrazine, there are no national reference values for atrazine available for the general population, so the study could not conclude that the levels of atrazine exposure were higher than the national average. The report also found other pesticide residues in the environmental samples besides 2,4-D and […]

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23
May

New Videos of 31st National Pesticide Forum Talks Support Action

(Beyond Pesticides, May 23, 2013) Beyond Pesticides is pleased to announce the release of videos from Sustainable Families, Farms and Food, 31st National Pesticide Forum, held April 5-6, 2013 at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque, NM. The Forum, convened by Beyond Pesticides, La Montanita Co-op, and  UNM’s Sustainability Studies Program and co-sponsored by 13 local and state organizations in NM, included leaders in the fields of pesticide reform, public health, and organic agriculture, as well as many community leaders, local activists, and students. The videos span the range of topics that were discussed at the Forum and include keynote speeches, panel discussions, and workshops. You can access the playlist, which includes all of the available videos of the 2013 forum, on Beyond Pesticides’ YouTube page. Beyond Pesticides  believes that  the opportunity to get together and share information and strategy is vital to public health and environmental protection, and we are thankful for everyone who was a part of this important gathering. For those unable to attend, we hope that these videos will be useful public educational tools. As an organization, we strive to ensure that community and policy discussion addresses the science and effects of pesticides and […]

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16
May

Manufacturer to Restrict Atrazine Sales, Use, and Distribution on Long Island

(Beyond Pesticides, May 15, 2013) Recent public outcry over atrazine contamination of drinking water supplies on Long Island has pressured pesticide, herbicide, and fungicide manufacturer Makhteshim Agan of North America (MANA) to restrict the sale, use, and distribution of the toxic chemical. The move has been lauded by environmental advocacy groups, including Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE). “Atrazine is a dangerous chemical that poses an unacceptable risk to public health and the environment on Long Island,” said Adrienne Esposito, CCE Executive Director. “Removing this product from the shelves is an essential first step in protecting Long Island drinking water from unnecessary pesticide contamination. We are delighted by this news.” Unfortunately, stores will continue to sell its atrazine inventory until MANA implements the anticipated restriction date of spring of 2014. Atrazine is one of the most commonly used herbicides in the world and is used on most corn, sugarcane and sorghum acreage in the United States; and can also be used on golf courses and residential lawns. In the U.S. alone, 60-80 million pounds are used per year to stop pre- and post-emergent broadleaf and annual grassy weeds, and is generally applied in the spring. The herbicide is a common […]

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09
Apr

Pesticides Found in Long Island Drinking Water

(Beyond Pesticides, April 9, 2013) Last Wednesday, close to a hundred people attended a public hearing at the Riverhead campus of Suffolk County Community College, sponsored by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), to comment on the draft of the Long Island Pesticide Pollution Prevention Strategy. The strategy, which was released in January, is dramatically different than a draft plan DEC had released in 2011. The draft plan had initially received praise from environmental organizations for its “zero tolerance policy”   to ensure certain chemicals did not end up in Long Island’s drinking water. However, the revamped strategy fails to offer any meaningful protective measures or strong pesticide regulations. This is concerning, given trace amounts of metalaxyl, imidacloprid and atrazine have been repeatedly detected in test wells, along with 117 other pesticides detected in Long Island drinking water. State officials argued that pesticide levels in Long Island’s drinking water are far below federal standards. However, the pesticides that have been found in the drinking water have been linked to several health and environmental problems. Because of these health and environmental risks the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, a grassroots organization working in Long Island, has called for DEC to ban […]

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08
Mar

Water Testing for Atrazine Severely Lacking in Hawaii

(Beyond Pesticides, March 8, 2013) Sugarcane and pineapple production in Hawaii is threatening aquatic life as years of atrazine applications, a pesticide regularly used for corn production too, has run off into rivers, streams, and groundwater sources. Recent reviews by Hawaiian news service Civil Beat found that water testing for the chemical is not tracked currently in the state of Hawaii, despite requirements by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulatory limits under the Clean Water Act. Instead, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture almost exclusively relies on label compliance, according to Thomas Matsuda, manager of its pesticide program. Monitoring problems have been compounded by understaffing, with only six inspectors for the state of Hawaii. Not surprising, close examination of atrazine sales records by Civil Beat indicate that the largest buyers of the chemical are Hawaiian seed corn companies Monsanto and Mycogen. Syngenta recently reached a class action settlement in City of Greeneville v. Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., providing the Kaua’i Department of Water with $6,692.96 for atrazine clean-up expenses. Atrazine is used nationwide to kill broadleaf and grassy weeds primarily in corn crops. A potent toxicant, atrazine is known to be associated with infertility, low birth weight, and abnormal infant development in […]

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24
Jan

Funds from Atrazine Class Action Lawsuit Distributed

(Beyond Pesticides, January 24, 2013) Checks are now being sent to 1,085 community water systems across the U.S. in the final phase of a $105 million settlement with Syngenta, the largest manufacturer of the toxic weed killer atrazine. The class action settlement, City of Greenville v. Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., Case No.: 3:10-cv-00188-JPG-PMF, stems from a lawsuit spanning eight years and is meant to help reimburse communities for past expenses associated with atrazine removal. “Science has been fighting an uphill battle against giant pesticide manufacturers like Syngenta who claim that a little weed killer in your drinking water won’t hurt you. Independent scientists now believe that even trace amounts can harm you and your children for generations to come,” the lead plaintiff’s lawyer Stephen M. Tillery told the media. Atrazine is used nationwide to kill broadleaf and grassy weeds, primarily in corn crops. A potent toxicant, it is the most prevalent herbicide found in Minnesota’s waters. It is widely applied in the midwestern states and has been found in the drinking water supplies in the Midwest at high levels. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have determined that previous studies that assessed population-based exposure to atrazine were significantly […]

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02
Oct

Common Herbicide May Increase Risk of Rare Disorder in Infants

(Beyond Pesticides, October 2, 2012) The herbicide atrazine may be linked to an amplified risk of choanal atresia, a congenital abnormality of the nasal cavity, according to researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and other Texas institutions. Choanal atresia is recognized when tissue formed during fetal development blocks an infant’s nasal cavity. Though it is a rare condition, it is considered quite serious because it can affect an infant’s ability to breathe. The study, scheduled for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics, focused on atrazine because, although there are very few risk factors for choanal atresia, endocrine disrupting chemicals are suspected to be associated with the condition. “Endocrine disrupters aren’t fully understood, but it is believed they interfere with or mimic certain hormones, thereby blocking their proper function and potentially leading to adverse outcomes,” said Dr. Phillip Lupo, lead author of the study. Looking at mothers from Texas counties with the highest levels of estimated atrazine application, researchers discovered that they are 80 percent more likely to have children with choanal atresia or stenosis (a less severe form of the condition) than compared to mothers who live in counties with the lowest levels. The herbicide atrazine and over 50 other […]

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17
Sep

Pesticides Show Up in Oregon Resident’s Urine After Aerial Spraying of Forests

(Beyond Pesticides, September 17, 2012) Citizens in rural Oregon are concerned for their health after discovering that several major timber companies —Weyerhaeuser, Roseburg Resources, Stimson Lumber, Seneca Jones and others— have been spraying millions of pounds of herbicides on their private forestland since the 1970s. The pesticides were aerially sprayed after the area had been clear-cut of Douglas fir. This process of clear-cutting and aerial spraying for lumber production is ubiquitous on private forest land in Oregon’s $13 billion timber industry. In practice, pesticides are sprayed twice a year, usually in the fall and spring, and the spraying can last for several hours. It is unclear how many residents have been affected by the spraying, though a rough estimate based on U.S. Census data shows about 100,000 residents live near these privately owned forests. Many of these herbicides are turning up in very concerning places. Over the past year, forty one residents, including several children, have submitted their urine to be tested for pesticides, and every sample has tested positive for the chemicals 2,4-D, and atrazine. The presence of atrazine is particularly concerning because it is very mobile in the environment, and should be able to pass through the body […]

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10
Sep

Drinking Water in Several Oregon Schools Found To Be Contaminated with Multiple Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, September 10, 2012) Traces of pesticides in drinking water were found in eleven rural elementary schools in Oregon, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study released on August 30. The study shows a disturbing variety of pesticides that when combined could have dramatic impacts on the health of the children that consume this water on a daily basis. The study found traces of several different types of pesticides in the drinking water of Dixie and Fairplay, the elementary schools that service Corvallis, Oregon. Some of the pesticides that were found in the Dixie school water include atrazine, bromacil, diuron, imidacloprid, metolachlor, norflurazon, and simazine. In the nine other schools that were found to have pesticides in their drinking water, seven different pesticides were found in the water at Applegate Elementary in Eugene, and multiple pesticides were also found in the drinking water of Ontario’s Pioneer and Cairo elementary. Children face unique hazards from pesticide exposure. They take in more pesticides relative to their body weight than adults in the food they eat and air they breathe. Their developing organ systems often make them more sensitive to toxic exposure. The body of evidence in scientific literature shows […]

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30
May

Atrazine Manufacturer To Pay $105 Million to Community Water Systems

(Beyond Pesticides, May 30, 2012) A settlement between plaintiffs and the manufacturer of the endocrine disrupting herbicide atrazine, Syngenta, will pay $105 million to settle a nearly 8-year-old lawsuit and could help reimburse community water systems (CWS) in 45 states that have had to filter the toxic chemical from its drinking water, according to news reports. It will provide financial recoveries for costs that have been borne for decades by more than 1,887 CWSs that provide drinking water more than one in six Americans across at least 45 states. “The scope of this historic settlement is enormous and its protection of the health of millions of Americans across the country is a huge benefit to the public, the environment, and the taxpayers,” the lead plaintiffs’ lawyer Stephen M. Tillery told the media. The individual amounts that eligible CWSs will recover will be calculated based on the levels of atrazine and frequency of atrazine contamination measured in the water of impacted CWSs and the population served by each CWS. The 300 CWSs with the highest contamination levels will recover 100 percent of their costs. Atrazine Settlement Details ”¢ Under the reported settlement, Syngenta will pay $105 million to pay the claims […]

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11
Apr

U.S. Representative Reintroduces Bill to Ban Atrazine

(Beyond Pesticides, April 11, 2012) U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) reintroduced legislation (H.R.4318), “To prohibit the use, production, sale, importation, or exportation of any pesticide containing atrazine,” on March 29. Atrazine is used nationwide to kill broadleaf and grassy weeds, primarily in chemical-intensive corn production. Upon introduction Rep. Ellison pointed out that a U.S. Geological Survey finds atrazine in approximately 75 percent of stream water and 40 percent of groundwater sampled near agricultural areas. The bill complements calls by Beyond Pesticides and other advocacy groups to ban this dangerous chemical. Previously, a similar bill was introduced in 2010 (H.R. 5124), which remained in committee. H.R. 4318 states, “The toxicity of atrazine is well documented and has shown to have adverse endocrine effects in amphibians, mammals, and humans. There is evidence that atrazine exposure is associated with low sperm counts and poor motility in exposed adult men, and that prebirth atrazine exposure is associated with small birth weight and abnormal development of the gut wall in infants. In laboratory mammals, exposure is associated with abnormal reproductive system development, impaired prostate gland formation, and abnormal breast tissue development. In aquatic wildlife, exposure is associated with abnormal reproductive system development, impaired reproduction, and […]

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30
Nov

Syngenta Ordered To Appear in Court in Atrazine Lawsuit

(Beyond Pesticides, November 30, 2011) A federal judge in southern Illinois has ordered the Swiss parent company of Syngenta Crop Protection Inc. (SCPI), maker of the herbicide atrazine, to appear in court to defend its actions in a water-contamination lawsuit brought last year by Midwestern public water providers. The suit was filed by the law firm Korein Tillery of St. Louis, MO and holds that Syngenta is responsible for the costs the water utilities incurred in order to clean municipal drinking water supplies of atrazine. The order marked the first time the Swiss company has ever been held subject to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. The notably detailed opinion by District Judge J. Phil Gilbert of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois was handed down the day before Thanksgiving and found that Syngenta AG (SAG) — the Basel, Switzerland-based international conglomerate — “has organized its group of subsidiary companies, including SCPI, purposefully to limit the jurisdictions in which it is subject to court authority.” Judge Gilbert focused on substance over form, however, and exercised jurisdiction because voluminous evidence revealed SAG’s pervasive operational control over SCPI — the agrochem giant based in Greensboro, N.C. that manufactures and […]

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