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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Events' Category


09
Dec

Healthy Hives, Healthy Lives, Healthy Lands Forum Set for Minneapolis, MN, April 28-29, 2017

(Beyond Pesticides, December 9, 2016) Save the Date! Beyond Pesticides is pleased to announce the 35th National Pesticide Forum, Healthy Hives, Healthy Lives, Lands: Ecological and Organic Strategies for Regeneration, which will be held April 28-29, 2017 at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. Some of the lineup of the keynote speakers for the upcoming forum include: Liz Carlisle, author of Lentil Underground; Don Huber, PhD, professor emeritus of plant pathology and glyphosate expert, Purdue University; and Jim Riddle, organic farmer and former chair of the USDA National Organic Standards Board. The 2017 Forum is convened by Beyond Pesticides and Organic Consumers Association. We are collaborating with local groups, such as Pollinator Friendly Alliance, Giving Tree Gardens, Humming for Bees, Kids for Saving Earth, Blue Fruit Farm, Students for Sustainability, Birchwood Cafe, Seward Community Co-op and Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA). The Forum offers a unique opportunity during a critical time in our nation’s history to chart a course that upholds principles and values, policies and practices, that protect health and the environment. The Forum delves into key issues of the day, such as pollinator decline, a problem linked to  pesticide-intensive landscape and agricultural land management, and genetic engineered […]

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28
Sep

Beyond Pesticides Launches Comprehensive K-5 Pollinator Curriculum

(Beyond Pesticides September 28, 2016) This summer, Beyond Pesticides teamed up with The Bees Waggle to develop pollinator curriculum with the intent of making it widely available for public use. The goal of the curriculum is to provide a fun, hands-on lesson about pollinators and their importance to food production. Through the lesson, students learn about biodiversity, soil health, and the negative effects of pesticides on pollinators, while participating in a variety of activities on these issues. In addition, Beyond Pesticides  will offer small grant opportunities for teachers in school districts that serve low-income students in order to offset the cost of materials and supplies required to conduct the pollinator lesson plan. The launch of this educational  program is an expansion  of the classroom lessons  that Beyond Pesticides’ staff and Jessica  Goldstrohm, owner and head educator of The Bees Waggle, brought to District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) this  June as part of the lead up to  National Pollinator Week. The education team visited two first-grade DCPS classrooms, where students participated in lessons outlined in  Beyond Pesticides’ pollinator curriculum. Students gained a deeper understanding of the issues facing honey bees and other pollinators, and learned about ways they and their […]

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09
Sep

South Portland, Maine Passes Lawn Pesticide Ban, Focuses on Education

(Beyond Pesticides, September 9, 2016) On Wednesday, City Council members of South Portland, Maine cast their final votes to pass an ordinance that bans the use of toxic lawn pesticides on private and public land. The ban, which passed 6-1, is an important public health measure in the protecting 25,000 residents,  the largest jurisdiction in the state to-date to adopt such as measure. In 2014, the Town of Ogunquit, Maine was the first jurisdiction to ban toxic lawn pesticides on both private and public land. Maine’s status as one of only seven states that does not preempt  local governments’ authority to restrict the use of pesticides on land within their jurisdiction empowers local governments to take this kind of protective action. Supporters of this ordinance, led by the local organization Protect South Portland, and supported by statewide organizations and  Beyond Pesticides, put together an effective campaign to educate council members, the public, and the media about the dangers of pesticides, and the effectiveness of organic land management practices that do not utilize toxic pesticides. Under the legislation, the provisions will be phased in, starting with city property on May 1, 2017, private property beginning May 1, 2018, and to golf […]

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14
Jun

Local Restaurants Launch Campaign to Protect Pollinators during National Pollinator Week

(Beyond Pesticides, June 14, 2016) To celebrate National Pollinator Week, June 20-26, 2016, several Washington, DC restaurants have teamed up with Beyond Pesticides and the Center for Food Safety to launch a campaign, “Made by Pollinators,” to protect pollinators suffering steep declines. With one out of every three bites of food reliant on bees, the participating restaurants’ patrons will be treated to a special menu featuring pollinator-friendly food and provided with information on what they can do to help pollinators. The restaurants hope to increase public awareness on the importance of pollinators and steps that can be taken to reverse the decline. Participating  restaurants include Busboys and Poets, Founding Farmers, Lavagna, the Tabard Inn and Restaurant Nora. Of the 100 crop varieties that provide 90% of the world’s food, 71 are pollinated by bees. Honey bees alone pollinate 95 kinds of fruits, nuts and vegetables, such as apples, avocados, almonds, and cranberries. The value of pollination services to U.S. agriculture alone amounts to nearly $30 billion and about 80% of flowering plants require animal pollination. A recent government survey reports that U.S. beekeepers lost 44 percent of their colonies between spring 2015 and 2016 —the second highest loss to date. […]

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11
May

Now Available: Videos to Promote Healthy Communities

(Beyond Pesticides, May 11, 2016) Beyond Pesticides is pleased to announce that videos are now available from Cultivating Community and Environmental Health: Models for sustainable and organic strategies to protect ecosystems, pollinators and waterways, the 34th National Pesticide Forum! The videos cover the range of topics that were discussed at the Forum and include keynote speeches, panel discussions, and workshops. This year’s forum focused on the adoption of policies to protect human health and the environment, and organic land and building management strategies. Beyond Pesticides encourages activists, community leaders, scientists, and policy makers to attend its annual National Pesticide Forum in person to get together, share information, and strategize create communities that are healthy and free of toxic pesticides. For those who are unable to attend in person, these videos expand the incredible knowledge of the experts to the broader public to help inspire and inform community action. Watch the videos here. You can access the playlist, which includes all of the available videos of the 2016 forum, as well as previous years, on Beyond Pesticides’ YouTube page. Notable presentations include: Pollinators, Biodiversity and Scientific Integrity, by Jonathan Lundgren, Ph.D. Dr. Lundgren is an agroecologist, director of ECDYSIS Foundation, and […]

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09
May

Breaking Through Power: A Historic Civic Mobilization

(Beyond Pesticides, May 9, 2016) Beyond Pesticides joins a historic “civic mobilization” on May 23, 2016, alongside other citizen advocacy organizations leading in the fight to protect and improve human health and the environment. Breaking Through Power celebrates the 50th anniversary of Ralph Nader’s book Unsafe at Any Speed,  which unleashed fresh energies and sparked the creation of numerous advocacy organizations leading to major consumer, environmental and worker safety protections. This mobilization, organized by the Center for Study of Responsive Law, will be held at the Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. from May 23-26, 2016.   Beyond Pesticides members and friends are invited and encouraged to attend this important event to help launch the next decade of public interest advocacy. If you are interested, please let us know by contacting Jen Ruocco at [email protected] Beyond Pesticides executive director, Jay Feldman, will be presenting during the first session, Breaking Through Power: How it’s Done, on May 23, 2016. As Beyond Pesticides celebrates 35 years, we are honored to be joining the diverse group of organizations that, “over decades…have produced amazing accomplishments against powerful odds.” In addition to joining the lineup of incredible speakers, Beyond Pesticides will also be tabling. The theme […]

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22
Apr

Help Protect Pollinators Today, Earth Day

(Beyond Pesticides, April 22, 2016) Today is Earth Day! As honey bees and other pollinators continue to suffer from staggering global declines, Beyond Pesticides works year-round through the BEE Protective campaign, launched Earth Day 2013, to support nationwide local action aimed at protecting pollinators from pesticides. Pollinators are a vital part of the environment, a barometer for healthy ecosystems, and critical to the nation’s food production system. With one in three bites of food reliant on bees and other species for pollination, the decline of honey bees and other pollinators demands swift action. The BEE Protective campaign includes a variety of educational materials to help encourage municipalities, campuses, and individual homeowners to adopt policies and practices that protect bees and other pollinators from harmful pesticide applications and create pesticide-free refuges for these critical  organisms. In addition to scientific and regulatory information, BEE Protective also assists people and communities with  a model community pollinator resolution and a pollinator protection pledge. Insecticides, specifically neonicotinoids, have increasingly been linked to bee declines. These chemicals are used extensively in U.S. agriculture, especially as seed treatment for corn and soybeans. Agriculture is not the only concern however, as pesticide applications in home gardens, city parks, […]

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15
Apr

National Conference on Pesticides and Non-Toxic Alternatives Convenes in Portland, ME Tonight!

(Beyond Pesticides, April 15, 2016) Beyond Pesticides’ 34th National Pesticide Forum begins tonight at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine. As pesticide use in communities is being debated in the Portland area, throughout Maine, and across the country, Cultivating Community and Environmental Health, the 34th National Pesticide Forum, is being held at the University of Southern Maine Abromson Center, April 15-16, 2016. Click here to register now! Registration, which is $45 for activists and $25 for students, includes access to all sessions as well as organic food and beverages. Join us tonight for a special performance of A Sense of Wonder, by Kaiulani Lee, followed by a talk and book signing by Kristin Ohlson, author of The Soil Will Save Us. Special Friday night only tickets are available for $10. A Sense of Wonder, which is a one-woman play written, produced, and performed by Kaiulani Lee, in which the actor portrays  Rachel Carson’s  love for the natural world and her fight to defend it, much of it taking place in Maine! It is the story of the extremely private Ms. Carson thrust into the role of controversial public figure with the publication of Silent Spring. This powerful two-act […]

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05
Apr

Small Size of Wild Bees Correlated with Their Proximity to Intensive Agriculture

(Beyond Pesticides, April 5, 2016) Populations of wild, ground-nesting bees grow smaller in areas where agricultural production is high, according to Cornell University researchers. Both wild and managed pollinators are experiencing global population declines that have been linked to a range of factors stemming from human activity, to habitat loss, the spread of parasitic mites and diseases, climate change, and significantly, the use of toxic, systemic pesticides. This study underscores the wide ranging threat that conventional agricultural practices pose to wild insect pollinators. Cornell researchers explore the relationship between intensive agricultural production and the size of ground-nesting Andrena nasonii bees. These charismatic pollinators dig tunnels in the ground up to three  feet deep in which they store honey and nectar, and ultimately lay a single egg. They forage on a variety of fruit crops, and are well known and important pollinators of strawberries. Thus, scientists brought their study to areas in New York with large strawberry plantations. Researchers discovered a significant, positive correlation between the decreased size of female A. nasonii bees and their proximity to intensively farmed strawberry plots. “Once we knew there was an effect of agriculture on the size of the bees, we took a random sample […]

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10
Mar

“Muzzled” USDA Scientist to Speak at National Pesticide Forum

(Beyond Pesticides, March 10, 2016) Jonathan Lundgren, Ph.D., a top U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist who received a prestigious national award for civic courage  for his work on neonicotinoids and pollinator decline in the face of agency attempts to suppress his work, will be speaking at Cultivating Community and Environmental Health, the 34th National Pesticide Forum, April 15-16, 2016 in Portland, ME. Dr. Lundgren will join other top scientists and leaders who have stood up to protect human and environmental health, despite facing industry backlash and scientific suppression. His story was recently featured in Sunday’s The Washington Post Magazine, Was a USDA Scientist Muzzled Because of His Bee Research, as censorship of federal scientists has grown. As a Senior Research Entomologist and Lab Supervisor for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in South Dakota, Dr. Lundgren had worked for USDA for eleven years with great success, with his research drawing national attention and international recognition. However, in October 2015, Dr. Lundgren, represented by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) filed a whistleblower complaint charging the agency with suppression of research findings that challenged the safety and efficacy of a widely used class of pesticides, neonicotinoids. In April 2015, PEER filed […]

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19
Jan

New Video Release: Cultivating Community and Environmental Health,The 34th National Pesticide Forum

(Beyond Pesticides, January 19, 2016) We hope you will join us at  Cultivating Community and Environmental Health: Models for sustainable and organic strategies to protect ecosystems, pollinators, and waterways, the 34th National Pesticide Forum. The forum will be held April 15-16, 2016 (Friday afternoon and all day Saturday) at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, ME. This year’s conference focuses adoption of policies to protect human health and the environment, and organic land and building management strategies. Other topics include ensuring scientific integrity, water quality, protecting pollinators, pesticides in schools and hospitals, and genetic engineering. The 2016 conference is convened by Beyond Pesticides, Toxics Action Center, and  Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA). Co-sponsors include:  Food and Water Watch Maine,  Friends of Casco Bay,  Organic Consumers Association,  Portland Protectors, and  Regeneration International, as well as other local environmental and human health advocacy organizations. Register Today! Reserve your spot at the 2016 Forum today and get the Early Bird Discount rate ($5 off until March 15). Registration starts at $45 and includes access to all sessions as well as organic food and beverages. In addition to access to amazing speakers and networking opportunities, we will serve light refreshments and […]

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24
Dec

A Year of Victories Inspire Action for Challenges in the New Year

(Beyond Pesticides, December 24, 2015) Beyond Pesticides would like to thank our members and supporters for making 2015 a year of historic victories in advancing sustainable and organic land and building management. As our Daily News takes a holiday break, returning Monday, January 4, 2016, we hope you will join us in reflecting on the progress made this year, and the challenges that still lie ahead. As members and supporters of Beyond Pesticides, we know you share the same sense of momentum and accomplishment that the staff and board feel at the close of 2015. We would like to deeply thank you for aligning with Beyond Pesticides’ mission, whether through talking to friends and coworkers about pesticide concerns, work in your local community, defending organic through public comments, joining us at our 33rd National Pesticide Conference, signing important petitions, or supporting our numerous other program areas. We look forward to working with you to grow our voice in 2016, and reach more individuals, local and state governments, and businesses with the knowledge and technical expertise that will support a transition in pest management practices that no longer utilize toxic products and adopt a sustainable and organic approach. Your tax-deductible year-end […]

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22
Dec

Save the Date: Esteemed Researchers Join Lineup of Speakers at 34th National Pesticide Forum

(Beyond Pesticides, December 22, 2015) Beyond Pesticides is pleased to announce the 34th National Pesticide Forum, which will be held April 15th-16th, 2016 at the University of Southern Maine, in Portland, ME. Leading scientists on  the lineup of speakers for the upcoming forum include: Aaron Blair, Ph.D., a National Cancer Institute researcher (retired), author of more than 450 publications on occupational and environmental causes of cancer,  and the overall chair  the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) evaluation panel that found  glyphosate (Roundup) to be a carcinogen; and Jonathan Lundgren, Ph.D., a top U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist who received a prestigious national award for civic courage  (Entomologist in the Crosshairs of Science  and Corporate Politics) for his work on neonicotinoids and pollinator decline in the face of agency attempts to suppress his work. Beyond Pesticides is collaborating with local groups, including the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), Toxics Action Center, and Protect South Portland, as well as other local environmental and human health advocacy organizations. The 34th National Forum provides an opportunity for grassroots advocates, scientists, and policy makers to share our efforts and build local, state and national strategies for strength and growth. This […]

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30
Sep

Announcing: The Pesticide-Free Zone Sign Photo Contest!

(Beyond Pesticides, October 1, 2015) Now is your chance to show off both your green thumbs and your photography skills: if you use a sign to designate your yard, park, garden or other space as pesticide-free, we want to see it! We would love to see how you are using your signs, whether it is our honey bee, ladybug, or your own creative one. If you don’t already have a sign, we encourage you to put one up and use its presence to spark a conversation in your community about the use of pesticides. One yard at a time, we can transition towards a safer future without the hazards associated with unnecessary pesticide use. Your Work in the Spotlight! Send your best photo of your Pesticide-Free Zone to [email protected]! We will choose four grand prize photographs (Best overall, best sign featuring a child, best sign featuring wildlife, and best sign on an environmentally sensitive area), and 8 runners up to be featured in our 2016 Calendar! Staff picks and other select photos will also be highlighted on Beyond Pesticides’ Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the month of October. Each photo must include a Pesticide-Free Zone sign (it can be either […]

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17
Jun

Bee Protective this Pollinator Week!

(Beyond Pesticides, June 17, 2015) This week, June 15- 21, 2015, marks Pollinator Week — a week celebrating the importance of pollinators: bees, birds, butterflies, and others, and their contribution to agriculture, food, and natural ecosystems. In light of the shortcomings of federal action to protect these beneficial creatures, it is left up to us to ensure that we provide safe havens for pollinators by creating pesticide-free habitat and educating others to do the same. This week we urge you to join us in celebrating these amazing creatures and creating safe havens for them. Beyond Pesticides’ Bee Protective campaign has all the tools and tips you need to support pollinators in and around your home, school and community. Here’s the buzz on the festivities hosted by Beyond Pesticides and allies during Pollinator Week June 15th- 21st, 2015. Join the Twitter Chat on Wednesday 17th 5pm PT/8pm ET and help #BuildTheBuzz. Have Beyond Pesticides, Pesticide Action Network, Center for Food Safety, TakePart and others answer your questions about pollinators and what you can do in your community to help increase awareness, advocate for policy change, and create safe pollinators habitat. Join us tonight at 5pm PT/8pm ET by using the hashtag […]

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22
May

Now Available: Forum Videos to Inspire a Just and Healthy Future

(Beyond Pesticides, May 22, 2014) Beyond Pesticides is pleased to announce that videos from Agricultural Justice, Age of Organics, and Alligators: Protecting Health, biodiversity, and ecosystems, the 33rd National Pesticide Forum are now available! The videos cover the range of topics that were discussed at the Forum and include keynote speeches, panel discussions, and workshops. The themes central to this year’s conference were creating a fair and organic food system, and utilizing the science to create sound policy protective of human health and the environment. While there is no substitution for the actual energy that comes from bringing scientists, practitioners and activists together in the same room, we publish these videos with the goal of sharing the incredible knowledge of the experts with the broader public to help inspire and inform community action. Watch the videos here. You can access the playlist, which includes all of the available videos of the 2015 forum, as well as previous years, on Beyond Pesticides’ YouTube page. Notable presentations include: Sentinel Wildlife Species: What are they telling us about our health, by Louis Guillette, Ph.D. Dr. Guillette is a pioneer research scientist on endocrine disruption and reproductive health effects, who has studied the decline […]

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09
Mar

Town Wins Award for First Community-wide Pesticide-Free Policy in Maine, Organic Land Care Training on Sat. March 14

(Beyond Pesticides, March 7, 2015) The quaint and charming town of Ogunquit, Maine has proudly accepted the 16th Down East Environmental Award, presented by Down East magazine, for passing a ballot initiative  last November that prohibits  the use of toxic lawn pesticides on all public and private land within the town —only the second community in the United States to do so, following Takoma Park in Maryland. To help the community implement the new law and provide hands-on technical information to people in town and the region, the local hardware store, Eldredge Lumber and Hardware, is sponsoring a training open to the public, landscapers, and officials on Saturday, March 14. In 1979, Down East magazine introduced the prestigious Down East Environmental Award in order to encourage the conservation of Maine’s natural resources and to honor citizens and groups who are at the forefront of creating positive environmental change, or have helped to secure conservation efforts in the past. Previous recipients of this award include Governor Percival Baxter, who in 2004 was recognized for his deep dedication to conserving the wilds in the state of Maine, specifically around Mt. Kadahdin, and Governor John E. Baldacci, who in 2009 was presented with […]

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04
Mar

Over 4 Million People Press Obama to Protect Bees

Congress heeds call to action and introduces legislation as pressure mounts on White House Task Force to issue meaningful recommendations March 4, 2015 (Washington, DC)””A coalition of beekeepers, farmers, business leaders, environmental and food safety advocates rallied in front of the White House and delivered more than 4 million petition signatures today calling on the Obama administration to put forth strong protections for bees and other pollinators. This action anticipates the Pollinator Health Task Force recommendations, expected later this month. The task force, announced by the White House this past June, is charged with improving pollinator health through new agency regulations and partnerships. The assembled groups demand that the recommendations include decisive action on rampant use of neonicotinoids, a class of systemic insecticides scientists say are a driving factor in bee declines. The rally coincided with both a D.C. metro ad campaign and Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and John Conyers’s (D-MI) reintroduction of the Saving America’s Pollinators Act, which would suspend the use of four of the most toxic neonicotinoids until the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducts a full review of their safety. Representative Blumenauer, said, “Pollinators are not only vital to a sustainable environment, but key to a stable […]

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18
Feb

Register Today for Early Bird Rate: 33rd National Pesticide Forum, Orlando, FL

(Beyond Pesticides, February 18, 2015) Several new speakers, including cutting edge researchers bridging science and policy, have been added to the lineup of speakers at the 33rd National Pesticide Forum  in Orlando, Florida April 17-18,  Agricultural Justice, Age of Organics, and Alligators. And, right now we are running an early bird discount rate of $5 off the normal price through March 15. Register today!   The Forum, which will be held at Florida A&M University College of Law, is convened by Beyond Pesticides in collaboration with the Farmworker Association of Florida, FAMU Law School, Florida Organic Growers and Consumers, as well as local environmental and public health advocacy organizations.  The Forum provides an opportunity to share the current science and policy information and discuss local, state, and national issues, and  will focus on agricultural justice, particularly as it relates to farmworker protections and organic agriculture. Biodiversity, pollinator protection, and other relevant issues for central Florida, including mosquito management and genetic engineering will also be covered. Early Bird Registration Details:   We have a special early bird registration rate, which is  $5 off the normal price until March 15. After that date, general admission will be $45, and $25 for students […]

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16
Jun

Pollinators More Important to Crop Yields than Fertilizers

(Beyond Pesticides, June 16, 2014) As pollinator week begins, the critical importance of pollinators is exemplified in a recent study out of the University of California, Berkeley. Not only do pollinators help increase crop yields, they may be even more important than fertilizers,  according to  the study suggests. Ecologist Alexandra-Maria Klein, Ph.D. and her colleagues at UC Berkeley found that when there is a lack of pollination, via bees and other pollinators, there is a stronger reduction in harvest yields than when there is a lack of either fertilizer or sufficient water for the crops. Their results, which were published in the journals Plant Biology and PLoS ONE, found that when crops were pollinated, the plants bear more fruit along with a change in their nutrient content. Dr. Klein and her team observed the effects that different conditions and treatment combinations had on almond trees. The conditions involved: preventing bees from pollinating blossoms via cages, allowing the bees to pollinate the blossoms, or pollinating the blossoms by hand. Additionally, researchers combined these conditions with four different treatments: watering and fertilizing the trees according to local practices, reduced watering, no fertilization, or reduced watering with no fertilization. In the case of […]

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13
Jun

Build the Buzz for Pollinator Week!

(Beyond Pesticides, June 13, 2014) Monday marks the beginning of a week of celebration for the irreplaceable species that pollinate one in three bites of food we eat, yet are threatened by the rampant use of pesticides in landscapes across the country. Beyond Pesticides is doing all we can to BEE Protective of honey bees and other wild pollinators, and we want to help elevate your voice, and provide you with the tools to make real change in your community that will help save the bees! Here’s the buzz on the festivities hosted by Beyond Pesticides and allies during Pollinator Week June 16th- 22nd, 2014. Kick off Pollinator Week with an Online Town Hall! Monday, June 16th at 9 p.m EST/6 p.m PST —RSVP Here! What’s the Buzz About? A conversation about bee declines, impacts on our food system and what you can do about it. Join the Berkeley Food Institute, Pesticide Action Network, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety, and TakePart for a lively discussion with academics, beekeepers and journalists about what’s driving the declines, what it means to our food and farming system, and what we can do about it. Join in online via Youtube! (video will not […]

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19
May

Videos Offer Tools for Protecting Health and the Environment, Advancing Organic

(Beyond Pesticides, May 19, 2014) Beyond Pesticides is pleased to announce that videos from Advancing Sustainable Communities: People, pollinators and practices, the 32nd National Pesticide Forum, held April 11-12, 2014 in Portland, OR are now available to view online! The Forum, convened by Beyond Pesticides, Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP), and Portland State University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions, and co-sponsored by local and regional organizations in the Pacific Northwest, brought together a diverse range of expertise to share the latest science and organic management techniques as the basis for urging action in communities and states. The videos cover 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 2014 forum, as well as previous years, on Beyond Pesticides’ YouTube page. Notable presentations include: Cultivating an Ecological Conscience, by Fred Kirschenmann. Dr. Kirschenmann is a longtime leader in sustainable agriculture, and was recently named as one of the first ten James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards which recognizes visionaries in creating more healthful, more sustainable, and safer food systems. He currently serves as both a Distinguished Fellow at […]

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11
Apr

Connecticut Senate Moves Forward on GE Grass Ban

(Beyond Pesticides, April 11, 2014) Connecticut State Senate bill no.443, an act that bans the sale of genetically engineered (GE) grass seeds, passed the state Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 25-11. The bill shows Connecticut legislators are taking seriously the risks that increased pesticide use in residential areas pose to the health of the states residents, especially children, and pets. The bill will ban the sale, use, and marketing of lawn or turf seeds that are genetically engineered to be resistant to pesticides. The GE grass seed that is being developed by Monsanto and Scotts is currently not available in consumer markets and is being tested by Scotts employees in their front yards. The bill may face stronger challenges from Connecticut’s House as it is unclear if the House speaker, J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, will call for a vote on the bill before the session ends May 7. One of the major concerns  the bill addresses  is that allowing GE grass seeds for consumer use would lead to dramatic increases in residential pesticide use. “So you will spread this pesticide all across your lawn, back and forth, on your lawn,” said Sen. Edward Meyer, D-Guilford, as quoted in […]

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