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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Holidays' Category


24
Dec

Beyond Pesticides Wishes You a Happy and Healthy New Year!

The staff and Board of Beyond Pesticides extend our sincere gratitude and wish for a happy and healthy holiday season and New Year to all those who have joined with us in taking  or supporting action  to promote health and environmentally responsible practices in 2014. Our Daily News is taking a holiday break and will return on Monday, January 5, 2015 with renewed energy and vision to continue fighting for broader adoption of organic  practices for a sustainable future. Whatever your current level of involvement with Beyond Pesticides: whether you work with us directly to make changes in your community, have received help through an information request, participate in our online actions, like or follow us on social media, or simply read and share our website and Daily News with friends and family, your contributions are a critical part of the pesticide-free grassroots movement that continues to strengthen and grow. We hope you will continue to lend your support in 2015. In order to help us realize the critical protections we’re all fighting for, please consider becoming a member, providing a year-end tax-deductible donation, or purchasing a pesticide-free zone sign from our online store. With your help, we advance scientific […]

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22
Apr

Community Action on Earth Day -Eliminate Toxic Chemicals that Jeopardize the Natural World

(Beyond Pesticides, April 22, 2014) As we reflect on the beauty and wonder of the natural world this Earth Day and seek to restore  and preserve  the intricate web of life on the planet, we face an urgent need to stop ongoing toxic chemical contamination.  The hard truth of our time is that the natural world on which life depends  is under grave threat from numerous toxic insults resulting from mechanized and industrial human activity. Massive die-offs of beneficial organisms, increased rates of autoimmune diseases, endocrine disrupting and transgenerational chemical effects, and widespread pollution of our air and waterways —all linked to pesticides and other toxic chemicals, establish the critical  need  to adopt organic standards in sync with ecosystems. This Earth Day we ask you to spread awareness of toxic chemicals that pollute the environment. Get active to safeguard your community and the surrounding environment from toxic insults: teach your neighbors how to maintain their land without toxic pesticides, protect honeybees from neonicotinoids insecticides, aquatic species from endocrine disrupting chemicals, and the streams, lakes, and rivers we all depend on from the widespread use of harmful synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Beyond Pesticides has the tools needed to increase environmental awareness […]

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04
Feb

Do Something Sweet for Honey Bees This Valentine’s Day!

(Beyond Pesticides, February 4, 2014) No strawberries, no honey — without bees Valentine’s Day just wouldn’t be the same. In fact, one out of three bites of food depend on honey bee pollination, but they are in danger from the use of neonicotinoid pesticides that Europe has already banned. We know bees can’t wait any longer for increased protections, so we need to take a stand wherever we can. That’s why we’re asking you to join thousands of people coast-to-coast to swarm Home Depot and Lowe’s stores the week of Valentine’s Day (February 10-16). We’ll be delivering valentines, asking these stores to “show bees some love” and stop selling bee-killing pesticides and garden plants poisoned with these harmful chemicals. Planting season is right around the corner. We can’t let another year pass with Home Depot and Lowe’s selling “poisoned plants” with no warning to consumers. Last year U.S. beekeepers reported a 30-100 percent loss of their hives, and right now they are likely facing another winter of historic bee die-offs. You can help BEE Protective of pollinators during another tough winter season by delivering a Valentine to retailers. We’ve made it easy: Sign up here and we’ll send you a […]

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24
Dec

Happy New Year from Beyond Pesticides!

Beyond Pesticides wishes our members and supporters a happy, healthy, and organic holiday season and New Year! Our Daily News is taking a holiday break and will return on Thursday, January 2, 2014 with renewed energy and vision to continue making real change in communities across the the U.S. and around the world. We look forward to working with you to make 2014 a safe, pesticide-free year for you, your family, and your community at large. We would like to deeply thank our members and supporters for an amazing 2013 that was filled with so many accomplishments and milestones for the pesticide-free movement. Yet, there are still many areas where our collective voice is needed to put pressure on decision makers to take action for the protection of human health and the environment. We plan to increase our efforts in 2014 to provide communities with the assistance that is needed to broaden the adoption of the exciting changes that are taking hold throughout the country. At the same time, we urge all those who are able to help us increase the strength of our voice and our assistance program by providing a charitable donation to Beyond Pesticides. With a $150 […]

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27
Nov

A Time to BEE Thankful

(Beyond Pesticides, November 27, 2013) You can almost taste it: the moist, tender turkey, the fluffy mashed potatoes, the creamy green bean casserole, the perfectly seasoned stuffing, the roasted brussel sprouts sprinkled with salty bacon, the sweet tang of the cranberry sauce, and the velvety bite of the pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving and all its bounty is almost here. Of course, the impending feast doesn’t magically appear. Whether you have merely observed the bustle of preparation, assisted with the pealing and chopping, or orchestrated the entire affair, it is well known that the hard work of many lies behind the tantalizing spread. And if your Thanksgiving tradition is like most gatherings across the nation, before you carve the turkey, scoop the mashed potatoes and stuffing, serve up the salad, and ladle the gravy all over your plate, there is a moment of pause. Be it in the form of prayer, song, or simple sharing, it is a moment honoring the purpose for this great celebration. It is a moment to stop and be grateful for the bounty before you and the friends surrounding you. It is a moment to give thanks for the hard work of those who prepared the great […]

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22
Apr

Groups Call for Protection of Honey Bees and Pollinators on Earth Day

(Beyond Pesticides, April 22, 2013) With honey bees suffering a devastating decline as high as 90 percent as Earth Day approaches, national environmental groups, Beyond Pesticides and Center for Food Safety, launch a campaign called BEE Protective to support nationwide local action aimed at protecting honey bees and other 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. The campaign launches on Earth Day when people and communities across the country come together to affirm the importance of protecting the environment for a healthy population and economy. This grassroots campaign is part of a larger effort to protect bees from rapid declines spurred by harmful pesticides and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The launch comes one month after beekeepers, Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides, and Pesticide Action Network North America filed against EPA calling for the suspension of certain neonicotinoid pesticides. “It is time for us as a community to come together and take action to protect our pollinators from bee-killing pesticides,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. “We are providing the public with the tools needed to make a difference in communities, […]

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21
Dec

Happy New Year From Beyond Pesticides to You!

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 […]

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05
Dec

Celebrate an Organic Hanukkah

(Beyond Pesticides, December 5, 2012) This year, December 8th marks the beginning of Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday known as the “Festival of Lights.” Hanukkah is a time for lighting the menorah, spinning the dreidel, eating good food, and spending time with loved ones””not a time for toxic chemicals to be making their way into your family’s holiday food. Latkes, or potato pancakes, served with apple sauce are the traditional food eaten on Hanukkah. But both potatoes and apples are foods that are typically high in pesticides. According to Beyond Pesticides’ Eating with a Conscience database, potatoes that are grown with toxic chemicals show low pesticide residues on the finished commodity, however, there are 78 pesticides with established tolerance for potatoes, 30 are acutely toxic creating a hazardous environment for farmworkers, 69 are linked to chronic health problems (such as cancer), 17 contaminate streams or groundwater, and 70 are poisonous to wildlife. Potatoes have been found to contain residues of the pesticides thiabendazole, endosulfan, and aldicarb ””all 3 of which are hazardous, especially to children. Similarly, there are 109 pesticides with established tolerance for apples, 38 are acutely toxic, creating a hazardous environment for farmworkers, 91 are linked to chronic health […]

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04
Dec

Dreaming of an Organic Christmas. . .Tree?

(Beyond Pesticides, December 4, 2012) For consumers, the holiday season is full of complicated choices, including the conundrum of how to find the perfect Christmas tree. The most important part of selecting a tree is not its size and shape, but rather finding one that will pose the least risk to the health of your family and the environment. Thus, the safest holiday choice for you and yours is purchasing an organic tree as opposed to one that is artificial or grown using harsh chemical methods. However, because the organic tree industry is still a sapling in its own right, follow these helpful tips to make sure you not only purchase the organic tree of your dreams but also dispose of it in a responsible way as you usher in the New Year. The Case for Going Organic Christmas trees are a big business in the United States. In 2011, Americans purchased over 30 million trees. However, organic Christmas trees, which follow the same U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic standards as agricultural crops, make up less than 1% of all Christmas trees farmed. Thankfully though, much like other non-edible organic products, such as cotton, growing public awareness of the […]

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20
Nov

Tips for an Organic, Least-Toxic Thanksgiving

(Beyond Pesticides, November 20, 2012) Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for family and friends to eat, drink and be thankful for the bounty of the organic harvest. Unfortunately, there are a host of pesticides, genetically engineered materials, and others in conventional Thanksgiving foods that not only impact human health, but threaten the environment. Read below for some easy tips and suggestions for a healthful Thanksgiving day feast. Organic, free-range, and local turkeys The turkey is the symbol of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. However, turkeys are often fed grains treated with pesticides, medicated with antibiotics, and engorged with steroids and hormones. Additionally, turkeys are often fed an inorganic arsenic, a known carcinogen, which is used to promote growth and for pigmentation. In order to avoid all these, your best bet is to invest in an organic free-range turkey (pictured right), which is free of hormones, steroids or antibiotics. Want to forgo the turkey altogether? Be sure to choose an organic meatless option. Avoid Genetically Engineered Food: Go Organic There are additionally, a number of Thanksgiving products that probably contain genetically-engineered (GE) ingredients (although the formulations are often considered proprietary trade secrets). According to GMO Inside, some common GE foods used during Thanksgiving […]

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30
Oct

Avoid GE Tricks by Buying Organic Treats

(Beyond Pesticides, October 31, 2012) On Halloween, scarier things then spooky ghouls and goblins may be lurking in places that you don’t expect; places like your child’s candy bag. Over 80% of processed food in the U.S. contains genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, and most major candy products are no exception. As responsible parents and adults, none of us willingly intend to pass out candy that contains GE ingredients to our children, but as it currently stands we don’t have the right to know whether we are or not. However, nobody wants to be “those neighbors” who give out pennies or pamphlets instead. Luckily, alternatives like candy with all organic ingredients can keep trick-or-treaters happy and give you piece of mind. Halloween candies can contain a wide variety of GE ingredients. According to Green Halloween the top GE ingredients in candy are sugar (GE sugar beets), high fructose corn syrup (GE corn), corn starch (GE corn), soy lecithin (GE soy), soybean oil (GE soy), modified food starch (GE corn), fructose, dextrose, glucose (GE corn, cottonseed oil (GE cotton), and canola oil (GE canola). GE crops have become ubiquitous in U.S. agriculture with 93% of soy, 93% of cotton, and 86% of […]

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23
Dec

Happy Holidays from Beyond Pesticides!

Beyond Pesticides wishes our members and friends a healthy, happy and organic New Year! Beyond Pesticides’ Daily News is taking a holiday break and will return on Monday, January 3, 2012 with restored energy and vision to continue charging ahead. After three decades, we are in deep gratitude to our members for their continued support, as well as those who have joined us through online efforts to defend clean water from pesticides, get the antibacterial triclosan out of consumer products, or fight for strong organic standards as an alternative to pesticide-intensive and genetically engineered food. That’s why we’re reaching out to ask you, as we do twice a year, to support our work and make a donation this holiday season. Please consider a tax-deductible donation to Beyond Pesticides to help support work in these areas: ”¢ Children’s Health. Children are even more vulnerable to pesticides than adults. Studies link exposure to cancer, respiratory illness, neurological and immune system problems, ADHD, lower IQ and more. We fight to protect kids from pesticides at schools, in the community, and on the food they eat. ”¢ Organic Food. Pesticides pose a hazard to your family, as well as farmworkers and the environment. Our […]

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24
Nov

Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving

(Beyond Pesticides, November 24, 2011) On Thanksgiving, thank you for being a part of Beyond Pesticides and sharing and contributing to the vision necessary to protect the web and fragility of life. We believe that there is no time like Thanksgiving to think about how we can more effectively join together as families and communities across divisions and different points of view to find a common purpose in protecting the health of the environment and all that inhabit it. Best wishes for a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving  

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23
Dec

Happy Holidays from Beyond Pesticides!

Beyond Pesticides wishes our members and friends a healthy, happy and organic New Year! Beyond Pesticides’ Daily News is taking a holiday break and will return on Monday, January 3, 2010 with restored energy and vision to continue charging ahead. As we reflect on the successes of the last year and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, one thing is clear —your support of Beyond Pesticides is instrumental to what we do. We continue to reaffirm the critical importance of grassroots advocacy in a political climate prone to compromises that adversely affect people and the environment. As a result, our efforts in support of people and communities across the country are a critical factor in advancing the protections that people want and need for their family and community. This holiday season, consider a donation to Beyond Pesticides in support of our continued work at a very practical level —giving people the tools that are needed to adopt safe land and building management practices, and advocate for a legacy of policy changes in our towns, cities, and nation. While our job has become more challenging since the last election, we must not lose the momentum that we have developed to […]

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24
Nov

Be Merry This Holiday Season with an Organic Christmas Tree

(Beyond Pesticides, November, 24, 2010) ‘Tis the season to be merry, but how merry can it be if your Christmas tree is leaving not so pleasant presents under and on the tree? Toxic pesticides linked to numerous adverse human health effects are used on Christmas trees, with residues contaminating indoor air and surfaces. So for this Christmas season, go green and avoid the toxic chemicals. Visit the Christmas Trees and Pesticides web page to help find an organic Christmas tree near you! Over 25 million homes in the U.S. bring in a fresh Christmas tree each year. The natural fresh scent of pine has become a hallmark of the season. However, the tree may be hiding other surprises among its needles and branches. Insecticides are commonly used on Christmas trees during its 10 year life span to control pests such as mites, adelgids and aphids which cause cosmetic damage to the trees, thus reducing their value. Herbicides are also used to control weeds surrounding trees. Of the pesticides that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered for use on Christmas trees, most are linked to one or more adverse effects, including cancer, hormonal disruption, neurotoxicity, organ damage, reproductive/birth defects, asthma, […]

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23
Apr

Dow Chemical Named Top Earth Day Greenwasher

(Beyond Pesticides, April 23, 2010) In recognition of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the Dow Chemical Company is a proud sponsor of the Dow Live Earth Run for Water. Yes, that Dow Chemical Company. The same company that manufactures some of the most hazardous pesticides in the world, that was responsible for Agent Orange, and that is liable for the worst industrial disaster of all time is sponsoring what it calls the “largest solutions-based initiative aimed at solving the global water crisis in history.” The series of events held in various cities on April 18 consisted of 6 kilometer runs, concerts and “water education activities.” The Bravo TV network will broadcast a one hour special on Friday April 23 “offering audiences an inside look at the global event and its mission to help solve the world water crisis.” When Environmental Action planned the first Earth Day in 1970 at a cost of $125,000, it accepted no money from corporations. Some 20 million Americans from across the country participated in the day’s marches, demonstrations, lectures, workshops, and other events, making it one of the most successful political events in American History. Since that time, many companies have started making donations […]

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24
Dec

Beyond Pesticides Wishes Our Members and Friends a Healthy New Year!

Beyond Pesticides wishes our members and friends a happy and organic New Year! Beyond Pesticides’ Daily News is taking a holiday break and will return on Monday, January 4, 2010 with restored energy and vision to continue charging ahead. In the meantime, we hope you will tell us your wishes and vision for change in the New Year as we seek to protect our health and the environment. Please also consider a contribution to Beyond Pesticides this year. If you have already donated to Beyond Pesticides’ program, we thank you deeply because you make it possible for us to continue our important work! While you are writing your wish list and resolutions for 2010, consider Beyond Pesticides’ vision for the New Year: 1. Public recognition that it is a human right not to be poisoned by pesticides. 2. Engage residential, medical, public health and health-impacted communities in obtaining a pesticide-free environment and lead the pesticide reform movement. 3. Encourage individuals, institutions, corporations and local governments to routinely use least-toxic pest control methods. 4. Promote better understanding of the connection between chronic health issues, such as cancer, and pesticide exposure by the general public and health care community. 5. Help governments […]

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10
Dec

Avoid Hazardous Pesticides, Buy An Organic Christmas Tree

(Beyond Pesticides, December 10, 2008) Most families don’t realize that they might be bringing more than holiday cheer into their homes this Christmas season. Families celebrating this holiday season with the time-honored tradition of a Christmas tree can choose to go green and avoid the toxic chemicals that are typically used to grow it. Beyond Pesticides recently launched a Christmas Trees and Pesticides web page to help inform consumers this holiday season. Of the pesticides that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered for use on Christmas trees, most are linked to one or more adverse effects, including cancer, hormonal disruption, neurotoxicity, organ damage, reproductive/birth defects, asthma, environmental effects and more. Their use results in exposure to workers, wildlife, and waterways. Beyond Pesticides has compiled a list of 25 pesticides commonly used or recommended for use by state agricultural extension services, including: 2,4-D, bifenthrin, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, esfenvalerate, glyphosate, simazine and more. Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Washington, New York, and Virginia are the nation’s top Christmas tree producing states, and together account for more than half of the trees grown in the U.S. The Cooperative Extension Service of North Carolina reports that glyphosate -a pesticide linked to increased risk […]

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22
Apr

Happy Earth Day, Celebrate with an Earth Dinner

(Beyond Pesticides, April 22, 2008) Earth Day, traditionally celebrated by the United Nations on the spring equinox, became a U.S. national holiday proclaimed by Senators Gaylord Nelson and John McConnell on April 22, 1970. It is a time to celebrate our planet, and all the life giving natural resources and beauty that the Earth provides and which we too often take for granted. Most memorable holiday traditions involve family, friends, and of course, food. Building on this idea, the folks at the Organic Valley Family of Farms Cooperative joined with environmental and sustainable agriculture organizations to develop the Earth Dinner celebration. In developing the Earth Dinner idea, the organizers wondered, “Why doesn’t Earth Day have a tradition?” The Earth deserves a celebration too, and it made sense that an Earth Day tradition should revolve around local, sustainable and organic cuisine, and especially meaningful discussion about the impact farming has on the environment. Buying foods grown and distributed locally supports the local farmers, allowing them and their families to stay on the land. Buying foods that were grown using sustainable agricultural practices protects the soil and environment in countless ways. Going organic ensures that you are feeding your loved ones foods […]

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05
Feb

Show Your Love with an Organic, Fair Trade Valentine’s Day

(Beyond Pesticides, February 5, 2008) Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is less than ten days away. Millions of flowers and chocolates will soon be bought and given to loved ones. Unfortunately, these gifts come at a cost much higher than the one on the price tag. Conventional roses and chocolate sold in the United States are produced using toxic pesticides, with little regard for the workers or the environment.The United States imports about 70 percent of its flowers from foreign countries, mostly from Ecuador and Columbia. Roses analyzed in the past few years were found to contain a myriad of harmful pesticides that ranged from organophosphates such as Dimethoate, carbamate- Aldicarb, to organochlorines like Captan, Bravo, Tedion, Iprodione and Procymidone. Organophosphates are considered to be the most likely pesticide to cause an acute poisoning. They are a highly toxic class of pesticides that affect the central nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Symptoms of exposure include: numbness, tingling sensations, headache, dizziness, tremors, nausea, abdominal cramps, sweating, incoordination, blurred vision, difficulty breathing, slow heartbeat, unconsciousness, incontinence, convulsions and fatality. Some organophosphates have been linked to birth defects and cancer. Organochlorines are known estrogenic pesticides and have been linked […]

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27
Nov

Christmas Tree Pesticide Use Down, But Still Used by Most Growers

(Beyond Pesticides, November 27, 2007) While there is a trend towards less pesticide use in Christmas tree production, most trees are still treated with one pesticide or another — many of which are prohibited for residential use. In it’s 2007 survey results, North Carolina State University’s Mountain Horticultural Research and Extension Center, reports that glyphosate was the pesticide applied most commonly. The Center found that almost 90 percent of the state’s tree growers had applied glyphosate last season. The following tables summarize the state’s results, listing the pesticides that are used on at least 5% of the Christmas tree acreage. Nearly 40 different active ingredients are registered for tree production nationwide. Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Washington, New York, and Virginia are the nation’s top Christmas tree producing states. Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture, which published a list of insecticides for Christmas tree production in February 2007, recommends carbaryl, carbofuran, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, endosulfan, imidacloprid, malathion, permethrin and many more. Many of these pesticides have been “banned” or have always been prohibited in residential settings, however EPA’s registration process and phase-out deals with manufacturers allows continued use on Christmas trees and other agricultural products. For information on the toxicity of these […]

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25
May

Happy Birthday Rachel Carson!

(Beyond Pesticides, May 25, 2007) Rachel Carson, a timely and key voice responsible for warning the public about the dangers of chemical pesticides, would be turning 100 this weekend. Despite succumbing to breast cancer in 1964, her legacy lives on – Rachel Carson’s fight continues today, as her work is more relevant than ever. Rachel Carson authored the seminal book of the modern environmental movement, Silent Spring, published in 1962. The book detailed detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment, focusing on bird decline and DDT use. Her message had and continues to have a profound effect, calling on people to think beyond wilderness conservation efforts when protecting the environment – to think about what is happening in every ecosystem, including our own backyards. Silent Spring was instrumental in setting off a chain of events, including Earth Day and the formation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which subsequently banned almost all DDT use in 1972. Despite all of the honors, awards and praise that have been given in the memory of Rachel Carson, her cause continues to be controversial, especially regarding the dangers of DDT. The latest row has surfaced over claims that the decline in DDT use internationally […]

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20
Apr

Earth Day 2007: Pesticide Ponderings on Past, Present and Future

(Beyond Pesticides, April 20, 2007) As we celebrate Earth Day this weekend, Beyond Pesticides would like to take this moment to reflect on exactly where pesticides fit into the current environmental picture, including victories of the past and victories needed for a healthy future. Over the last year, the organic movement has seen many successes, with school pesticide reduction victories in North Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and California; new organic parks in New Jersey; increasing numbers of sustainable vegetable and cotton growers; and even hospitals and schools purchasing organic food. As we celebrate these victories, we look ahead to ways we can continue this trend toward organics, and opportunities for connecting with other environmental causes. Global climate change is the major focus of Earth Day this year, as well as a major focus of the environmental movement as a whole. But rather than being a separate issue from pesticides, the two are actually very much related. In fact, the Rodale Institute has figured organic farming requires 63% less energy (fossil fuels) than “conventional” methods. Top this off with the fact that industrial agricultural methods also reduce the amount of carbon that can be sequestered in soil, and the organic connection becomes […]

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