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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Wal-Mart' Category


17
Aug

Decrease Found in Retail Sales of Plants Treated with Bee-Toxic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, August 17, 2016) In response to dramatic scientific findings, a severe decline in bee populations, and growing public demand for bee-safe plants, a new report confirms  the decision  of  major retailers to phase-out  the sale of flowers and trees treated with the pesticides most closely associated with the decline —neonicotinoids. A new report released by Friends of the Earth, analyzes plants purchased at  Home Depot,  Lowe’s, Ace Hardware,  True Value  and  Walmart. Many of these major retailers have made public commitments to stop selling bee-toxic neonicotinoids and treated plants. Additionally, the states of Maryland and Connecticut have passed legislation that stops the retail sales of neonics. The report,  Gardeners Beware 2016, released yesterday is a follow-up to previous testing that demonstrated the presence of bee-toxic neonicotinoid insecticides in more than half of bee-attractive flowers tested. The 2016 analysis found that 23 percent of flowers and trees tested contain neonicotinoid insecticides at levels that can harm or kill bees, compared to 51 percent in 2014, indicating that stores are selling far fewer plants treated with bee-killing neonics. This reduction is likely due to changes in store policies that commit retailers to eliminate neonicotinoid use on garden plants. Retailer commitments […]

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26
Jun

Study Finds Majority of “Bee-Friendly” Plants Sold at Garden Stores Contaminated with Bee-Killing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, June 26, 2014) Over half of the “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at garden supply centers such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Walmart have been pre-treated with pesticides shown to harm and kill bees, according to a study released yesterday by Friends of the Earth, Beyond Pesticides and allies. The study, Gardeners Beware 2014, shows that 36 out of 71 (51 percent) of garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contain neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides — a key contributor to recent bee declines. Some of the flowers contained neonic levels high enough to kill bees outright and concentrations in the flowers’ pollen and nectar are assumed to be comparable. Further, 40% of the positive samples contained two or more neonics. Gardeners Beware 2014 is a larger follow up to a first-of-its-kind pilot study co-released by Friends of the Earth, Beyond Pesticides, and other groups last August. The new study expanded the number of samples and number of locations where plants were purchased, and also assessed the distribution of neonic pesticides between flowers and the rest of the plant. “Our data indicate that many plants sold in nurseries and garden […]

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03
Apr

EPA Issues Stop Sale Order for Food Containers Laced with Nanosilver Pesticide

(Beyond Pesticides, April 3, 2014) A food container production company in New Jersey is finding out that the smallest of ingredients can have big implications for public health. Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it had issued a stop sale order to Pathway Investment Corp., manufacturer of Kinetic Go Green Premium Food Storage Containers and Kinetic Smartwist Series Containers. In addition to the order sent to Pathway, the EPA has also issued warning letters to Amazon, Sears, Wal-Mart and other large retailers directing them not to sell these products. The reason for the order: nanosilver””an extremely small particle of silver that has been added to consumer products of all kinds during the last decade to combat bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms. Because of nanosilver’s properties, it is considered a pesticide and active ingredient under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the primary federal law governing pesticide use in the United States. Under FIFRA, any product containing an active ingredient that acts as a pesticide must be registered with EPA. For public health claims associated with pesticide use, EPA requires manufacturers to show that the product  performs as intended and does not  pose “unreasonable” […]

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06
Jun

Wal-Mart to Pay $110M for Clean Water Act and Pesticide Violations

(Beyond Pesticides, June 6, 2013) Last week Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. plead guilty in cases filed by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Francisco to six counts of violating the Clean Water Act by illegally handling and disposing of hazardous materials at its retail stores across the United States, including pouring pesticides down the drain. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company also plead guilty in Kansas City, MO to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by failing to properly handle pesticides that had been returned by customers at its stores across the country. As a result of the three criminal cases brought by the Justice Department,  and the  related civil case filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Wal-Mart will pay approximately $81.6 million for its unlawful conduct. Coupled with previous actions brought by the states of California and Missouri for the same conduct, Wal-Mart will pay a combined total of more than $110 million to resolve cases alleging violations of federal and state environmental laws. According to the Kansas City Star, the company stated that the fines and penalties would “not be material to its financial position.” “By improperly handling hazardous waste, pesticides and other materials in […]

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07
Aug

Monsanto’s GE Sweet Corn to Hit Store Shelves

(Beyond Pesticides, August 7, 2012) Like it or not, Monsanto’s genetically modified sweet corn will soon be arriving on grocery store shelves of the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and will not be labeled as such. Despite an onslaught of consumer pressure, the company confirmed late last week with the Chicago Tribune that it has no objection to selling the new crop of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GE) sweet corn. Other retailers, including the grocery chains Safeway and Kroger, have not responded on the issue, however Whole Foods, Trader Joes and General Mills have all vowed to not carry or use the GE sweet corn. As the country’s largest grocery retailer, Wal-Mart sells $129 billion worth of food a year, giving it unmatched power in shaping the food supply chain. The GE sweet corn is the first consumer product developed by Monsanto that will go straight from the farm to the consumer’s plate, rather than first being processed into animal feed, sugars, oils, fibers and other ingredients found in a wide variety of conventional food. It is engineered to be resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, the active ingredient of which is glyphosate. The product is also designed to produce a […]

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08
Jan

Multinationals Pushing Out Organic Fair Trade Coffee Production in Latin America

(Beyond Pesticides, January 8, 2010) Market forces driven by multinational corporations with increased market share and depressed payments for organic and fair trade coffee is threatening the organic coffee industry in Latin America. This is reversing successful efforts to improve worker and environmental protection in the production of a crop that was introduced to Latin America by Jesuit monks three hundred years ago. According to a recent Time Magazine article coffee has grown to a $70 billion a year industry, making coffee the second most valuable traded commodity after oil. Yet, small growers remain mired in poverty, where working conditions can be miserable; laboring on dangerously steep mountain sides, being exposed to dangerous pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and often going hungry for months out of the year. Organic and fair trade certified production provided a socially just response to this reality. A decade ago when coffee prices were at an all time low, many growers switched to organic for the premium price they could receive. A new article in the Christian Science Monitor highlights the unfortunate trend of growers switching back to conventional chemical-intensive methods. The Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education in Costa Rica (CATIE) estimates that […]

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14
May

Wisconsin Investigators Find Wal-Mart Improperly Labeled Products As Organic

(Beyond Pesticides, May 14, 2007) Wisconsin consumer fraud investigators have released the findings of a three month long look into claims that Wal-Mart has been mislabeling conventional products as organic. The state’s numerous findings of improper labeling confirmed a complaint placed by the Cornucopia Institute in January. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, in a letter to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., advised the company that “use of the term ”˜Wal-Mart Organics’ in combination with references to a specific non-organic product may be considered to be a misrepresentation and therefore a violation” of Wisconsin state statutes. While the report did not take action beyond extending a warning to Wal-Mart, the Cornucopia Institute was pleased with the investigation’s outcome. “This finding is a victory for consumers who care about the integrity of organic food and farming,” said Mark Kastel, co-director of the Institute. “Wal-Mart cannot be allowed to sell organic food ”˜on the cheap’ because they lack the commitment to recruit qualified management or are unwilling to properly train their store personnel. Such practices place ethical retailers, their suppliers, and organic farmers at a competitive disadvantage.” While Wisconsin has completed their investigation, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has […]

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26
Apr

Organic Baby Food Sales Soar

(Beyond Pesticides, April 26, 2007) As concerns about the effects of pesticides in children’s food grows, sales of organic baby food have increased dramatically. Although it still only accounts for a fairly small portion of the overall baby food market, the organic baby food sector is booming. Whole Foods Market Inc. said it has tripled the space allotted to organic baby products in the past five years. Last year, Gerber Products Company rebranded and broadened its organic line, and Abbott Laboratories introduced an organic version of its baby formula. Organic baby food sales soared 21.6 percent to $116 million this past year, after jumping 16.4 percent a year earlier, according to The Nielsen Company. Meanwhile, overall baby food sales rose 3.1 percent to $3.7 billion in the same period, after being essentially flat a year earlier. The data were gleaned from U.S. grocery, drug and mass-market retailers, excluding Wal-Mart. Big companies aren’t the only ones addressing the demand for organic baby products. Two years ago, Gigi Lee Chang started Plum Organics, a line of frozen baby foods that now is a very popular line, according to Whole Foods officials. Ms. Lee Chang got the idea to start the company when […]

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22
Jan

Wal-Mart Accused of Labeling Nonorganic Food as Organic, Again

(Beyond Pesticides, January 22, 2007) When the staff at The Cornucopia Institute, an organic watchdog group, surveyed Wal-Mart stores around the country last September, analyzing the giant retailer’s announcement that they would begin selling a wide variety of organic food at just a 10% mark-up over similar conventional products, they were surprised to discover widespread problems with signage misrepresenting nonorganic food as “organic.” Now, four months after informing the company of the problems, which could be interpreted as consumer fraud, and two months after filing a formal legal complaint with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), many of the deceptive signs at Wal-Mart stores are still in place. “It is unconscionable that rather than correct these problems, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. instead responded to our concerns by attacking our comparatively modest public interest group in an effort to discredit our organization in the media,” said Mark Kastel, co-director of the Wisconsin-based Institute. “It is not as if a product recall or store remodeling would have been required to correct Wal-Mart’s deceptive consumer practices. They could have simply sent out an e-mail to store managers and corrected the problem instantly.” New store inspections throughout Wisconsin have found that Wal-Mart stores are still selling […]

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