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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Indiana' Category


23
Oct

Pesticide Spraying Stopped after Concerned Parents Mobilize

(Beyond Pesticides, October 23, 2013) Ball State University, Indiana has cancelled plans to spray herbicides on the lawns around its K-12 school after objections from parents worried that it would expose their children to toxic chemicals. The university planned to use Trimec 992, a 2,4-D product, but a petition started by parents helped to put a stop to the weedkiller. The spraying was scheduled for last week, the start of the fall break at Burris Laboratory School, a separate K-12 school district overseen by Ball State University. School Principal Cathlene Darragh sent an email to Burris parents last Friday  explaining that  the school decided against the spraying. “We have received a great deal of feedback from parents and the community about possible weed and pest control for the school lawn that was scheduled for this weekend. We have worked with the facilities department to further evaluate the need to spray. Upon further consideration, we have decided to forgo the scheduled spraying.” Parents mobilized after it became known that the school planned to spray Trimec 992, a 2,4-D product on school grounds. 2,4-D, a widely used herbicide in many ‘weed and feed’ lawn care products, is associated with many human and […]

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03
Sep

Another Study Finds Rootworms Resistant to Genetically Engineered Corn

(Beyond Pesticides, September 3, 2013) For the past several years, corn rootworms  have  been widely reported to exhibit resistance  to corn genetically engineered (GE) with the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin. A  new report by  University of Illinois researchers found the resistant corn rootworm  in two of the state’s counties significantly damaged by western corn rootworm. The increasing lack of efficacy of GE corn, developed with the claim that it  is specifically designed to protect corn from rootworm, calls into question the efforts of agrichemical companies to patent new forms of GE crops. The report by Joe Spencer, PhD, and Michael Gray, PhD,  identifies significant damage from western corn rootworms in farm field that were planted with GE corn that contain a Bt protein referred to as “Cry3Bb1,” which has been inserted into nearly one-third of the corn planted in the United States. This version of Bt corn was introduced by Monsanto in 2003, and was touted as a way to reduce insecticide use against rootworm pests. Evidence was gathered in two Illinois counties, Livingston and Kankakee, after fields that had severe root pruning and lodging were brought to the attention of Drs. Spencer and Gray. Dr. Gray was quoted in […]

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24
Jan

Funds from Atrazine Class Action Lawsuit Distributed

(Beyond Pesticides, January 24, 2013) Checks are now being sent to 1,085 community water systems across the U.S. in the final phase of a $105 million settlement with Syngenta, the largest manufacturer of the toxic weed killer atrazine. The class action settlement, City of Greenville v. Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., Case No.: 3:10-cv-00188-JPG-PMF, stems from a lawsuit spanning eight years and is meant to help reimburse communities for past expenses associated with atrazine removal. “Science has been fighting an uphill battle against giant pesticide manufacturers like Syngenta who claim that a little weed killer in your drinking water won’t hurt you. Independent scientists now believe that even trace amounts can harm you and your children for generations to come,” the lead plaintiff’s lawyer Stephen M. Tillery told the media. Atrazine is used nationwide to kill broadleaf and grassy weeds, primarily in corn crops. A potent toxicant, it is the most prevalent herbicide found in Minnesota’s waters. It is widely applied in the midwestern states and has been found in the drinking water supplies in the Midwest at high levels. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have determined that previous studies that assessed population-based exposure to atrazine were significantly […]

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29
Jul

New Pesticide Restrictions Set for Approval in Indiana Schools

(Beyond Pesticides, July 29, 2010) A set of mandatory rules intended to reduce pesticide use in public and private schools in Indiana is pending approval after voluntary implementation guidelines failed. The Indiana Pesticides Board submitted a draft proposal in June outlining rules to minimize pesticide exposure to students. These measures include banning the use of pesticides when students are present, keeping pesticides locked in storage areas where students do not have access, providing advance notice of pesticide applications, and using pesticides with the lowest hazards to children. Although Beyond Pesticides recommend the additional step of developing a defined Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, these tactics represent a good first step towards pesticide reduction in schools. The Indiana School Board Association developed a set of voluntary pesticide guidelines in 2001, but while rates of adoption increased, the Indiana state chemist’s office found that some schools were not implementing those policies, or had not adopted pesticide guidelines. It is important that schools adopt a comprehensive pesticide policy because children are especially vulnerable to the health hazards associated with pesticide exposure due to their small size, greater intake of air and food relative to body weight, and developing organ systems. Several pesticides, including […]

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20
Apr

Towns Sue Atrazine Manufacturer for Drinking Water Contamination

(Beyond Pesticides, April 20, 2010) Communities from six states filed a lawsuit last month in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against Swiss chemical giant Syngenta AG and its American counterpart Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., the makers of Atrazine. The 16 municipalities in the states of Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, and Iowa want Syngenta to pay for the expensive carbon filters needed to remove atrazine from their drinking water supply. The United States’ largest private water utility, American Water Company, has also joined the suit, representing 28 additional communities. Atrazine is used to control broad leaf weeds and annual grasses in crops, golf courses, and even residential lawns. It is used extensively for broad leaf weed control in corn. The herbicide does not cling to soil particles, but washes into surface water or leaches into groundwater, and then finds its way into municipal drinking water. It has been linked to a myriad of health problems in humans including disruption of hormone activity, birth defects, and cancer. Atrazine is also a major threat to wildlife. It harms the immune, hormone, and reproductive systems of aquatic animals. Fish and amphibians exposed to atrazine can exhibit hermaphrodism. Male […]

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