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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Pests' Category


21
Aug

Bill Introduced to Restrict the Pesticide Methoprene in Estuaries in New York County

(Beyond Pesticides, August 21, 2013) Suffolk County, New York, Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk) introduced a bill on July 30, 2013 to establish strict guidelines for the use of methoprene within estuaries in Suffolk County.   Methoprene, an insect growth regulator, is commonly used in mosquito control programs, but is highly toxic to estuarine invertebrates, including crabs and lobsters, which are the backbone of the fishing industry along the East coast. This bill follows similar legislation already passed in Connecticut and Rhode Island to help protect lobster populations. The lobster population in the Long Island Sound has decreased dramatically over the last decade, corresponding with the introduction of pesticides such as methoprene in mosquito control programs. Methoprene  is an insect growth regulator that prevents development to the adult reproductive stages so that insects die in arrested immaturity. It is an insecticide that is acutely toxic to estuarine invertebrates, including valuable food and commercial species like crabs and lobsters.  The effect of mosquito pesticides on marine life, especially lobsters, has come under scrutiny in recent years as mosquito spray programs in various states escalated efforts to suppress West Nile virus (WNv). Other mosquito-killing chemicals suspected of causing damage to aquatic life include […]

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27
Jun

Connecticut Passes Law to Curb Pesticide Use to Save Lobsters

(Beyond Pesticides, June 27, 2013) After years of lobster decline, a new law in Connecticut seeks to protect and revive the crustacean population by banning the use of toxic mosquito pesticides in coastal areas. With the support of Connecticut’s remaining lobsterman, Governor Dannel Malloy last Friday signed into law  House Bill 6441,  which bans two chemicals, methoprene and resmethrin. Declines in the   sound’s lobster population have been alarmingly common for the past 15 years, devastating fishermen and the local economy that depends on them. The pesticides have long been suspected in killing off the lobsters; however last summer, it was officially linked when those chemicals were detected in lobster tissue last summer. Connecticut legislators say that they were convinced that banning the two mosquito pesticides after learning that Rhode Island and Massachusetts had enacted similar bans with successful results. “The fisheries of Long Island Sound have been devastated by this lobster die-off, which has been terrible for our local economy and all the families that relied on this industry,” State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk, Darien) said in a statement. “We should be doing everything we can to reverse the trend and bring the lobster population back to a healthy […]

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24
May

Insecticide Sales Rise with Failure of GE Corn

(Beyond Pesticides, May 24, 2013) Insecticide sales have soared over the past year as target insects have developed resistance to crops genetically engineered (GE) to incorporate an insecticide. Contrary to industry claims that the technology would reduce pesticide use, crops like corn, engineered to protect against rootworm have been ineffective and farmers have begun applying additional insecticides. The GE corn seed, developed by Monsanto, was released in 2003 to target a gene allowing plants to express a pest-killing toxin, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). The  pesticide incorporated plant  (PIP)  was developed to kill western corn rootworm, a potentially devastating pest that does its greatest damage in chemical-intensive agriculture during its larval stage by feeding upon the plant’s roots. Severe feeding inhibits the plant’s ability to absorb moisture and nutrients and opens a pathway for attack from soil-borne pathogens. In 2011, entomologists at Iowa State University published a study verifying the first field-evolved resistance of corn rootworm to a Bt toxin. The researchers documented resistance to the Bt toxin Cry3Bb1. Now, almost a decade after the seed was introduced, almost two thirds of U.S. grown corn contains the Bt toxin, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Although USDA data shows an […]

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21
May

As Mosquito Season Approaches, Take Preventive Action Without Toxic Chemicals

(Beyond Pesticides, May 21, 2013) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently concluded that 2012 was the deadliest year for West Nile Virus (WNv) in the United States. “A total of 5,674 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 286 deaths, were reported to CDC from 48 states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii),” said the CDC in a statement. While it is still too early to determine whether this year will be as bad as last year’s outbreak (experts say the largest disease outbreaks  is strongly driven by weather patterns characterized by hot wet summers), one thing is certain: There are simple mosquito control techniques that can be performed in your community and backyard that will prevent the spread of WNv and nuisance biting mosquitoes without the use of highly toxic pesticides. Beyond Pesticides fielded calls from concerned residents across the U.S. whose communities were doused with pesticides in attempts to control WNv. Yet, these controls have been shown to be ineffective at managing mosquito populations. According to David Pimentel, PhD, professor emeritus of entomology at Cornell University, less than .0001% of adulticides (mosquito insecticides) reach target adult mosquitoes. Dr. Pimentel notes, “Thus by both ground and aerial application […]

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12
Apr

Study Shows Brain Tumors in Children Caused by Parental Pesticide Exposures

(Beyond Pesticides, April 12, 2013) A study released this month on termite pesticide applications reveals that women exposed within a year of pregnancy are almost twice as likely to have a child that develops a brain tumor. Research was led by Professor Elizabeth Milne, PhD., head of the cancer epidemiology group at the Telethon Institute for Child Research. Published in Cancer Causes and Control, the article, “Exposure to Pesticides and the Risk of Childhood Brain Tumors,” studies whether exposure to pesticides a year prior to conception, during pregnancy and exposure during childhood were likely to augment the risk of brain tumors. Instead of examining household applications by homeowners, the study examines the role of pesticides applied by professional pest control applicators particularly to eradicate termites, spiders, and insects. “The findings confirm what has been found in previous studies but we have been able to go a little bit further,” Professor Milne said. Interestingly, “The increased risk associated with termite treatments may be as high as twofold, while the increased risk with other pesticides may be about 30 percent.” The study accounted for 303 cases of those that were exposed to pesticides and 941 families that were not exposed. Data came […]

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26
Mar

Bed Bugs Display Multiple Layers of Resistance to Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, March 26, 2013) Scientists are learning more about the mechanisms bed bugs have developed to increase their resistance to the increasingly common class of pyrethriod pesticides. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports in early March, adds further weight to calls from consumer health and environmental groups to adopt proven, non-toxic strategies to manage bed bugs and other household pest problems. After all, if alternatives exist, why put your family at risk with unsustainable, ineffective control methods? This latest research reveals something scientists had not suspected. Bed bugs are developing most of their resistance-associated genes on the outer layer of their shell. These genes either neutralize the insecticides before they can take effect, or slow down the toxins’ move towards the insects’ nerve cells. In addition, bed bugs in the study also show resistance developing within their nerve cells, the target site for the pesticides. This multilayered resistance is unique, scientists say, but, as Beyond Pesticides has long documented, pest resistance to pesticides is not. A 2011 study from Ohio State University reveals bed bugs’ ability to evolve hereditary changes in their production of certain enzymes, allowing them to excrete the toxins without being harmed. A study […]

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26
Feb

Mosquitoes Show Resistance to Highly Toxic DEET Repellent

(Beyond Pesticides, February 26, 2013) The world’s most commonly used synthetic insect repellent is not  as effective as it once was, according to scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. While researchers found DEET to be an effective repellent after an initial application, subsequent rounds of testing mere hours later showed mosquitoes to be unaffected by its presence. The study, published in the journal PLOS One, underlines the need to develop safe, natural, effective alternative preventions to this hazardous chemical. To perform their experiment, researchers took the mosquito species Aedes aegypti, a carrier for dengue and yellow fever, and exposed it to a human arm covered in DEET. A few hours later they repeated the experiment, but this time the mosquitoes largely ignored the presence of the chemical. To find out what caused this to occur, researchers placed electrodes on the antennas of the insects. “We were able to record the response of the receptors on the antenna to DEET, and what we found was the mosquitoes were no longer as sensitive to the chemical, so they weren’t picking it up as well,”   co-author James Logan, PhD told the BBC.  “There is something about being exposed […]

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04
Feb

Fed Legislation Would Weaken Pesticide Rules to Protect Water

(Beyond Pesticides, February 4, 2013) U.S. Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Mike Johanns (R-NE) re-introduced legislation that would reduce the review requirements for pesticides applied directly to water. Similar legislation was passed in the House of Representatives in March 2011. The previous Senate version of the bill, called the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, passed through the Senate Agriculture Committee but never reached the Senate floor because of a hold placed on the legislation by Senators Barbra Boxer (D-CA) and Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD). This re-introduced legislation would reduce pesticide testing by ensuring that Clean Water Act (CWA) permits are not required for the application of pesticides. In 2009, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the case of the National Cotton Council et al. v. EPA that pesticides discharged into water are pollutants and required to be permitted under the CWA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). This ruling overturned Bush administration policy that exempted pesticides from regulation under the CWA and applied the less protective standards of the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). CWA uses a health-based standard known as maximum contamination levels (MCLs) to protect waterways and requires permits when chemicals are directly […]

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01
Feb

EPA Moves to Cancel d-CON Rodent Killing Products

(Beyond Pesticides, February 1, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its decision to go ahead with the cancellation of 12 rodenticide products which posed “unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.” The decision came after manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser’s refusal to adopt EPA safety standards for its d-CON mouse and rat control products. The action follows EPA’s Notice of Intent to Cancel (NOIC), issued in 2011, to Reckitt Benckiser and two other companies, Liphatech and Spectrum Group Division of United Industries Corporation, which voluntarily removed eight of their products from the market and were therefore not listed for cancelation by EPA. EPA requires that rodenticide products sold to individual consumers are in tamper-resistant bait stations, rather than in pellet or powder form. Additionally, EPA recognizes the risks that rodenticide products containing brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone, and difenacoum pose to wildlife and will no longer allow them to be sold or distributed in the consumer market. However, use by professional applicators and in agriculture will still be permitted as long as they are in bait stations. EPA says this will reduce the amount of product in the environment, providing additional protection for wildlife from poisonings by these more toxic and persistent products. […]

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25
Jan

Corn Rootworm Resistance to Toxins in GE Crops, Says EPA

(Beyond Pesticides, January 25, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has  concluded that corn rootworm is now resistant to genetically engineered corn infused with a toxin derived from Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, in certain parts of the Corn Belt, casting doubt on the future viability of GE corn. The conclusion of the Insect Resistance Management (IRM) Team is based on several years of data indicating that the Cry3Bb1 protein strain of Bt is ineffective at controlling corn rootworm. The press release on January 17 states: “The EPA IRM Team has concluded that corn rootworm may not be completely controlled by Cry3Bb1 in certain parts of the Corn Belt. While ”˜confirmed resistance’ as defined in registration documents has not been met, given the nature of the data, the manufacturer, Monsanto, has agreed to several actions and changes related to the registration of Cry3Bb1 products to address these matters.” Originally marketed by Monsanto in 2003, the protein Cry3Bb1 is designed to destroy the gut of the western corn rootworm. The rootworm has historically devastated corn fields, causing greatest damage in chemical-intensive agriculture during its larval stage by feeding upon the plant’s roots, inhibiting the plant’s ability to absorb moisture and nutrients […]

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09
Jan

Lower Asthma Rates in Boston Attributed to IPM in Public Housing

(Beyond Pesticides, January 9, 2013) Boston health officials say new city data indicate that asthma incidences have dropped nearly by half since 2005. This is attributed to Boston Housing Authority (BHA) and Boston Public Health Commission implementation of an integrated pest management  (IPM)  program in low-income housing to reduce the number of cockroaches and rodents, while reducing the use of pesticides, which, along with cockroach and rodent droppings, can aggravate asthma symptoms. The data, covering 2006 through 2010, show the rate of adults who reported having asthma symptoms in the authority’s units dropped from 23.6 percent in 2006 to 13 percent in 2010, the latest year available. At the same time, asthma rates in other low-income housing in Boston, not run by BHA, remained relatively unchanged. Public health analysts studied data from a biennial telephone survey of Boston adults between 2006 and 2010. The survey asks residents a wide range of questions, and analysts compared the answers from roughly 300 housing authority residents to others not living in city-run housing. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, health authorities found extremely high infestations of roaches and rodents in BHA buildings, and equally concerning, housing leaders were seeing desperate residents resorting […]

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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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20
Dec

San Francisco To Release Innovative Design Guidelines to Build Out Pests

(Beyond Pesticides, December 20, 2012) A preliminary version of Pest Prevention by Design, authored by Chris A. Geiger, Ph.D. and Caroline Cox of the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), was recently released by the San Francisco Department of the Environment (DOE). These guidelines, which will formally be released in mid-January of 2013, were created to help architects, engineers and builders to design and construct buildings that minimize the use toxic chemicals for pest control. This is accomplished by laying out comprehensive guidelines for building designs that prevent pest problems from taking hold. According to the authors of this report, “To our knowledge, no other comprehensive guidelines on pest preventive design tactics exists.” The San Francisco DOE is now exploring ways to pilot test the guidelines in various housing developments in San Francisco, and is hoping that these guidelines will be incorporated into various green building checklists, such as Leadership in Energy and Environment Design certification (LEED). These guidelines work to address the issue that pest preventive tactics are rarely included in a comprehensive way at the design stage of buildings. The authors point out that architecture, construction, facility management, and pest control companies are part of insular industries that have […]

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14
Dec

Neonicotinoids Regulators Criticized by UK Parliament

(Beyond Pesticides, December 14, 2012) Decision making advice by the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) and insecticide regulator, the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra), were harshly criticized on Wednesday by Members of Parliament (UK), as they discussed the problems associated with neonicotinoids, a group of neurotoxic insecticides linked to serious declines in bee and pollinator populations. The meeting was attended by Members of Parliament, members of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides, Lord de Mauley, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the Department for Environment, the Food and Rural Affairs and officials, bringing neonicotinoids and their impact on bees to the attention of the international community as well as at home. The discussion focused on the evidence used to make a decision on the allowance of neonicotinoids and plans for the future. ACP members indicated that evidence for future draft plans would be based on new studies developed in 2012 on the effects of neonicotinoids at the colony level, as well as the impact of neonicotinoids exposure in field tests, rather than in the lab. Research will likely fill the extant data gaps, the most important of which were identified by officials of Defra, the environmental regulatory agency in […]

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03
Dec

FDA Allows Lindane Use to Continue Despite Health Risks and Calls for a Ban

(Beyond Pesticides, December 3, 2012) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has denied a 2010 petition filed by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN) to ban the insecticide lindane, which is harmful to human health and ineffective in controlling lice and scabies. Pressure had been mounting on FDA to halt the pharmaceutical use of lindane as, in addition to this petition, Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, asked FDA to stop the pharmaceutical use of lindane this past summer. Because of FDA’s decision, lindane is still an active ingredient in pharmaceutical insecticide products such as lice shampoos and lotions. Lindane was formerly used in agricultural insecticides until it was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use on crops in 2006. FDA regulates pharmaceuticals that contain insecticides and pesticides, such as triclosan, that are in cosmetics. Over 160 countries including the United States have signed on to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in 2001 which aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic polluntants. Lindane along with nine other chemcials was added to this list on May 9th […]

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29
Nov

Bedbugs May Be Controlled by Natural Fungus

(Beyond Pesticides, November 29, 2012) Preliminary research from Penn State finds that a natural fungus, Beauveria bassiana, may be used to control bedbugs. The study, entitled “A preliminary evaluation of the potential of Beauveria bassiana for bed bug control,” finds that all of the bedbugs exposed to the biopesticide became infected and died within five days. The research found no differences in insect’s susceptibility to the fungus due to feeding status, sex, strain, or life stage. Most importantly, the infected bedbugs carried the biopesticide back to their hiding places, infecting those that did not go out in search of blood. “We exposed half of a population of bedbugs to a spray residue for one hour and then allowed them to go into a harborage with unexposed individuals,” said Nina Jenkins, senior research associate in entomology. “The fungal spores were transferred from the exposed bug to their unexposed companions, and we observed almost a hundred percent infection. So they don’t even need to be directly exposed, and that’s something chemicals cannot do.” This result is important because bedbugs live in hard-to-reach places. “Bedbugs tend to be cryptic, and they’ll hide in the tiniest crevices,” said Ms. Jenkins. “They don’t just live […]

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16
Nov

Drug Will Turn Your Blood into a Pesticide Toxic to Bed Bugs

(Beyond Pesticides, November 16, 2012) New research suggests that the drug Stromectal (manufactured by Merck & Co.), which is typically used to treat parasitic worms, may also kill bed bugs. The active ingredient in the drug is ivermectin, which has also been getting publicity recently for its efficacy in killing head lice. Unfortunately, ivermectin, a member of the avermectin family of compounds, appears risky, and even unnecessary given that there are safe non-toxic methods to control and prevent bed bug and head lice infestations. John Sheele, M.D., an emergency physician at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk who led the bed bug study, tested ivermectin on himself and three colleagues over the course of five different blood meals using three adult and three juvenile bed bugs. They allowed the bed bugs to feed on them before taking the drug and 3, 8, 22 and 54 hours after consuming the same combinations of different insecticides. Within three hours of feeding on blood containing ivermectin, the bed bugs began to die. David Pariser, M.D., also of Eastern Virginia Medical School, led a different study that looked at the efficacy of using ivermectin applied topically to control head lice. Researchers found that after […]

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13
Nov

Lights Out for Aphids

(Beyond Pesticides, November 13, 2012) There’s a new tool in the fight against aphids. Research published in the journal Horticultural Science discovered that reducing the amount of ultra-violet (UV) light in an environment can shrink the population of an aphid infestation. This study is encouraging as it has the ability to dramatically reduce pesticide applications. Scientists carried out their study in two “tunnel type” greenhouses over three separate lettuce growing seasons. The crops in one greenhouse were covered with standard mesh netting, while crops in the other greenhouse were covered with netting that filtered radiation in the UV spectrum (the product ‘Bionet’ was used in the study). Researchers then artificially introduced aphid pests into the environment, and tracked their dispersal patterns and overall population weekly through a statistical analysis. Although the aphid population grew exponentially in both environments, it was significantly lower in the greenhouse where the aphids were covered by the UV-absorbing material. This has important implications for greenhouse-grown greens. Using this technique, farmers can reduce the costs associated with pesticide use, concurrently protecting the health of the surrounding environment and consumers purchasing their crops. The researchers note that UV radiation acts as an important visual cue not only […]

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06
Nov

Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Take Flight in Brazil

(Beyond Pesticides, November 6, 2012) In efforts to stamp out the deadly disease Dengue fever, officials in Brazil are in the process of releasing millions of genetically engineered (GE) mosquitoes into the environment. However, some in the environmental community are concerned about the possible non-target effects of this experiment, and urge additional research in the lab before releasing the insects into the natural world. According to the Los Angeles Times, the experiment is taking place in the small town of Itaberaba, in Brazil’s Bahia state. The company overseeing the release, London-based Oxitec, also developed the GE insects. GE mosquitoes are raised in the laboratory, where the eggs of female mosquitoes are injected with a gene that produces sterile male mosquitoes. The modified male mosquitoes are then released into the environment en masse where they crowd out native males and mate with available females. The offspring from these mosquitoes are supposed to die before they hatch. In the town of Itaberaba, 84% of mosquito larvae now carry the modified gene, and the state government has approved an expansion of the program into five additional neighborhoods. GE mosquitoes have previously been released into uninhabited areas of India and Malaysia, and future plans […]

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05
Nov

Growing “Super Rat” Population Is Resistant to Rodenticides

(Beyond Pesticides, November 5, 2012) An ongoing study in the United Kingdom has found that in areas of southern England up to 75% of the rat population is potentially resistant to the common rodenticides warfarin, bromadiolone, and difenacoum. Pesticide resistance was documented in rats as early as the 1950’s. Common rodenticides used in homes already pose a high risk to human and animal health, but as more rodents become resistant to these pesticides individuals face the greater danger of pest control companies using higher doses of more lethal chemicals to deal with “super rats.” The rodenticides being tested in this study are anticoagulant pesticides that work by blocking vitamin K-dependent synthesis of the blood clotting substance prothrombin. These chemicals cause the animal to bleed to death internally. Not only are these chemicals toxic to mammals, but they are often used in dangerous loose bait and pellet traps. These traps put children at particular risk for exposure because the products are typically placed on floors, and young children sometimes put bait pellets in their mouths. The American Association of Poison Control Centers annually receives between 12,000 and 15,000 reports of children under the age of six being exposed to these types […]

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03
Oct

Increased Pesticide Use and Resistant Weeds -The Troubling Legacy of GE Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, October 3, 2012) A study published this week by Washington State University’s research professor Charles Benbrook, PhD, finds that the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically engineered herbicide-tolerant crops -cotton, soybeans and corn- has actually increased, contrary to industry claims that the technology would reduce pesticide applications. While Dr. Benbrook’s analysis is the first peer-reviewed, published estimate of the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-tolerant crops on pesticide use, scientists have been raising the alarm over the mounting numbers of herbicide resistant weeds. This herbicide resistance finding, which contradicts chemical industry claims, is based on an exhaustive analysis of publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service. In the study, “Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. — the first sixteen years,” which appears in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe, Dr. Benbrook writes that the emergence and spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds is strongly correlated with the upward trajectory in herbicide use. Marketed as Roundup and other trade names, glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide used to kill weeds. Approximately 95 percent of soybean and cotton acres, and over 85 percent of corn, are planted to […]

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14
Sep

Massachusetts Fails to Support Claim that Aerial Spraying Suppresses Insect-Borne Disease

(Beyond Pesticides, September 14, 2012) The State of Massachusetts has been unable to produce the records backing up its claim that the biggest aerial spraying of pesticides in Commonwealth history this July significantly reduced mosquito-borne disease risks, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Further, the state has no proof aerial spraying is an effective safeguard against Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). In a July 31 press release, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced that “aerial spraying the weekend of July 20-22 reduced the mosquito population by approximately 60 percent within the 21-community spray zone in Southeastern Massachusetts.” DPH Commissioner John Auerbach was quoted as crediting aerial spraying for causing “a significant reduction in the volume of mosquitoes.” Immediately following that release, New England PEER Director Kyla Bennett submitted a public records request for the materials supporting these claims. More than a month later, DPH has still been unable to produce any records on which it based its press release. The matter is on appeal before the Secretary of State, the last administrative hurdle PEER needs to jump over in order to sue DPH to force the production of records. PEER points out that agencies conducting aerial spraying […]

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05
Sep

California Court OKs Pesticide Plan for Light Brown Apple Moth

(Beyond Pesticides, September 5, 2012) A California court has removed aerial spraying from a controversial statewide plan to control the light brown apple moth. However, the court let stand the rest of the large-scale plan implemented by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), limiting its duration and requiring a review of the environmental effects if the state proposes to continue the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) Program beyond 2017. While the state cannot use aerial spraying methods, the plan approved by the court permits the use of pesticides to control the moth. In a ruling released last week, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly referred to “the experimental nature of the LBAM Program,” observing, “There is no evidence that the Department has been able to identify with any certainty the effectiveness of particular strategies in containing, controlling, suppressing or eradicating LBAM.” The Judge also ruled that, without additional evaluation under California environmental laws, CDFA’s approval of the environmental document would “foreclose the Department from reinstating the aerial releases to the LBAM Plan.” The court rejected a broader claim by a coalition of health and environmental organizations, which challenged CDFA’s failure to disclose or accurately describe all the harms […]

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