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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Georgia' Category


10
Sep

Emory University To Ban Neonicotinoids from Campus

(Beyond Pesticides, September 10, 2014) As bee and other pollinator populations continue to decline around the world, with clear evidence pointing to neonicotinoid pesticides as a prime cause, Emory University announced last week that it will be eliminating the use of this controversial class of chemicals from its campus, joining institutions and  communities like University of Vermont Law School, Spokane  (Washington),  Eugene (Oregon), and Shorewood (Minnesota). Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affects the central nervous system of insects,  affecting the organisms’ ability to function. These systemic pesticides, which move through the plant’s vascular system and express themselves through pollen and nectar, include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. A continually growing body of science has implicated neonicotinoids, which are applied to or incorporated into seeds for agricultural, ornamental and garden plants, as a key factor in recent global bee die-offs. Beekeepers across the country reported losses of 40 to 90 percent of their bees last winter. The implications of this loss are staggering —one in every three bites of food is reliant on bee pollination, and pollinators make possible  $20-30 billion of annual U.S. agricultural production. Last week, Emory […]

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03
Sep

In Coverup of Illegal Pesticide Use, Applicator Gets Two Year Prison Sentence

(Beyond Pesticides, September 3, 2014) The U.S. Justice Department sentenced Steven A. Murray, a pesticide operator with Bio-Tech Management in Pelham, Georgia, to two years in prison last week after as a result of charges related to a cover up illegal pesticide applications made at over 100 nursing homes. Mr. Murray pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, three counts of false statements, two counts of mail fraud, and 10 counts of unlawful use of a registered pesticide. In addition to being sentenced to two years in prison, Murray was subject to a $7,500 fine. His company was placed on three years of probation and also required to pay a $50,000 fine. From October 2005 to June 2009, Mr. Murray and Bio-Tech provided monthly pest control services to hundreds of nursing homes in several southern states including Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama by spraying pesticides in and around their clients’ facilities. Bio-Tech employees routinely  applied  the pesticide Termidor indoors, contrary to the  manufacturer’s  label  instructions, and then created false service reports to conceal that illegal use. After the Georgia Department of Agriculture made inquiries regarding Bio-Tech’s illegal use of Termidor and other pesticides, Mr. Murray directed several of […]

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16
Sep

Toxic Pesticide Used Illegally in Georgia Nursing Homes

(Beyond Pesticides, September 15, 2013)A federal grand jury in Macon, Georgia allege that Steven A. Murray and his company, Bio-Tech Management wrongly used pesticides in multiple nursing homes across the state of Georgia. This misapplication is particularly egregious as the elderly are  especially vulnerable to pesticide exposure and the resulting adverse effects. Since 2008, Beyond Pesticides has worked with health care and elder care facilities to eliminate the use of toxic pesticides at their institutions. Hospital administrators typically recognize that the population served by their facilities have elevated risk factors with weakened immune and neurological systems, respiratory illness, cancer, and other pre-existing conditions or  illnesses that make them especially vulnerable to pesticide exposure. However, hospitals regularly contract for  pest control services from vendors and do not independently evaluate practices and product choices of the companies they hire. The indictment states that from October 2005 to June 2009, “[Bio-Tech] repeatedly misapplied the registered pesticide Termidor SC in nursing homes in the state of Georgia and falsified documents to conceal the unlawful use.” The indictment goes on to allege that Bio-Tech applied Termidor SC more than twice a year indoors. Termidor SC’s label clearly states that the pesticide can only be used […]

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25
Oct

Judge Halts GE Crops on Southeastern Wildlife Refuges

(Beyond Pesticides, October 25, 2012) In stark contrast with last week’s decision in the midwest, a federal court ruled in favor of halting cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) crops in all national wildlife refuges in the Southeastern U.S. on Tuesday. The suit, filed by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), Center for Food Safety (CFS), and Beyond Pesticides, is a part of a series of legal actions taken against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services (FWS) for entering into cooperative farming agreements for GE crops on wildlife refuge sites without the environmental review required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and refuge management laws. This latest ruling bars FWS from entering into cooperative farming agreements for GE crops on the 128 refuges across eight states, including the 25 refuges currently growing GE crops. The requirement of environmental reviews will likely prevent the planting of crops in 2013 and 2014, and may result in a permanent end to the practice, as native successional grasses reclaim fallow refuge tracts. This ruling is the third in a series of victories against FWS. In March 2009, the same groups won a similar lawsuit against GE plantings on Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. In […]

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04
Aug

“Super-Weeds” on the Rise Due to Spread of Genetically Engineered Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, August 4, 2011) At least 21 different species of weeds are found to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, commonly sold as Roundup and used across thousands of acres of “RoundUp Ready” genetically engineered (GE) crops, according to a series of studies in the current issue of Weed Science. Palmer amaranth, one of the weeds discussed in the journal, can reduce yields of cotton by more than 50 percent if there is a density of at least 10 of these weeds per row. Fifty-two counties in the state of Georgia had infestations of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth last year. Studies confirm that the weed, which also competes with soybean, corn, grain sorghum and peanut crops, is also resistant to the herbicide phrithiobac in addition to glyphosate. Over-application and over-reliance by farmers on glyphosate to solve all of their weed problems has led to the proliferation of so-called “super weeds,” which have evolved to survive the treatments through repeated exposure. The most common species which have evolved these traits include pigweed (palmer amaranth), mare’s tail, and ryegrass. The spread of resistance is what has led farmers to increasingly rely on more toxic alternative mixtures, including weed killers like atrazine. There […]

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13
Jan

Bayer to Stop Producing Toxic Chemical That Caused Bhopal Disaster

(Beyond Pesticides, January 13, 2011) Bayer CropScience finally announced on January 11 that it would stop producing the toxic chemical methyl isocyanate (MIC), 26 years after it killed thousands and contaminated the community of Bhopal, India. MIC is used to produce carbamate pesticides. Bayer also announced it would stop production of two highly toxic pesticides, aldicarb and carbaryl, which are both products in the carbamate family of pesticides. “This is an important success after a quarter-century campaign! The company now has to ensure that all workers are offered adequate new jobs,” says Philipp Mmikes from the Coalition against Bayer Dangers (CBG). CBG, based in Germany, introduced several countermotions to Bayer ´s Annual Stockholders ´ Meetings, demanding that MIC stockpiles at a production plant in Institute WV are dismantled and the frequent spills of hazardous substances stopped. According to a Bayer press release, the company will be shutting down its Woodbine, Georgia formulation facility and will be closing manufacturing facilities dedicated to carbamate pesticides in Institute. The production operations, which include the manufacture of MIC, will be phased out over the next 18 months and shut down in mid-2012. Though the company denies any connection, the U.S. Chemical Safety board is […]

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10
Sep

Lawsuits Filed Against Georgia Utility Pole Plant Over Health and Environmental Concerns

(Beyond Pesticides, September 10, 2007) After years of failed political maneuverings, residents in East Point, Georgia have taken legal action case against a local utility pole manufacturer. More than 200 residents near the William C. Meredith Co. on Lawrence Street near downtown have signed onto three lawsuits complaining about noxious odors and dangerous chemicals. The latest, filed in mid-August in Fulton County Superior Court, adds another five dozen plaintiffs to the growing list. The first suit was filed in May. Neighbors to the plant are particularly concerned with creosote and pentachlorophenol, which Meredith uses to treat its utility poles. The two oil-based wood preservatives rank with the most deadly chemicals on the market, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified all of the chemicals, as well as their contaminants, as known or probable carcinogens. Adam Princenthal, the lawyer representing the East Point residents, said the whole dispute is just about homeowners protecting themselves, their children and their homes. “We’d like to have the emissions of toxic chemicals from the site stopped,” Princenthal said. Creosote and pentachlorophenol are absorbed easily through the skin, and children may ingest either chemical if they put their unwashed hands in their mouths after touching […]

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