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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Washington' Category


13
Aug

Genetically Engineered Food Labeling Supported Widely in Washington State, Industry Pushes Back

(Beyond Pesticides, August 13, 2013) Despite the defeat of California’s Proposition 37 at the polls last November, it’s evident that advocates of labeling genetically engineered (GE) foods have not let the loss slow them down. In fact, Prop 37 has acted as a rallying point, lifting the issue to national attention and highlighting the GE industry’s vain attempts to quash the national grassroots movement. Recent victories with high-profile supermarkets such as Whole Foods, states including Connecticut and Maine, and the introduction of a federal GE labeling bill in both Houses of Congress set the backdrop for the biggest food fight of the year, Washington State’s Initiative 522 (I-522). Washington State’s I-522 would require manufacturers selling foods containing GE ingredients to disclose their presence conspicuously on the front of a product’s package. The initiative comes at a critical time for the state’s agricultural economy, particularly the apple and salmon industry, which are threatened from GE counterparts currently being considered for deregulation. Aquabounty’s GE Salmon are designed to reach maturity faster than their wild counterparts, and a Canadian company is currently waiting for approval of a GE apple that won’t brown. But the biggest threats still come from multi-billion dollar transnational agrichemical […]

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11
Jun

Multiple Lawsuits Filed Against Monsanto for Transgene Contamination of Wheat

(Beyond Pesticides, June 11, 2013) Several different lawsuits have been filed against the agrichemical giant Monsanto after the recent discovery of illegal Genetically Engineered (GE) glyphosate-resistant wheat plants  in an Oregon wheat field. The GE wheat was first found in early May when field workers in eastern Oregon noticed a volunteer patch of wheat that survived a dousing with glyphosate. Ernst Barnes, a Kansas wheat farmer, brought the first lawsuit against Monsanto. Soon after, a separate lawsuit was filed by the Center for Food Safety on behalf of Pacific Northwest wheat farmers. The lawsuits allege that the presence of GE wheat crops spurred top wheat importers, such as Japan, South Korea, and the European Union, to enact damaging restrictions on American wheat. These restrictions could lead to lower wheat imports and will cause devastating economic effects to wheat farmers. While the world’s largest wheat importer, Egypt, has not signaled it would stop importing U.S. wheat, Japan has cancelled its order to buy U.S. western white wheat. Meanwhile, the European Union has prepared to begin testing shipments for the Roundup Ready gene. In 2012, U.S. exported wheat was valued at $18.1 billion, with 90% of Oregon’s wheat sent abroad. Since 1994, […]

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10
Jun

Washington Ag Dept Rejects Petition to Curtail Bee-Killer Pesticide

(June 10, 2013, Beyond Pesticides) The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) on June 6 rejected a petition by Thurston County Commissioners to restrict sale, use and application of neonicotinoid insecticides. On April 8, 2013, the Commissioners requested the action by WSDA because of concerns about the effect of neonicotinoid insecticides on honey bee colony health. The Commissioners were acting on “substantial bee colony loss in 2012” reported by the Olympia Beekeepers Association. In its request, the Commissioners asked the state to implement a “restriction on the purchase, sale, distribution and application of the neonicotinoid class of insecticides for ornamental use to persons or entities with a valid WSDA pesticide applicator license” and indicated that “immediate action on a local level is appropriate and necessary.” Beyond Pesticides wrote a letter of support in favor of the petition. Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. They include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. According to the EPA, uncertainties have been identified since their initial registration regarding the potential environmental fate and effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, particularly as they […]

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28
Feb

Genetic Engineering Labeling Bill to be Introduced in U.S. Congress

(Beyond Pesticides, February 28, 2013) Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) announced last Wednesday that he intends to co-sponsor a bill in Congress along with Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) to mandate the labeling of food containing genetically engineered (GE) ingredients in the U.S. Earlier this week, the Maryland House Health and Government Operations Committee held a public hearing on state House Bill 0903, which would set requirements for labeling and disclosure of genetically engineered ingredients in food.  Other state labeling efforts have been launched in California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon, Missouri and Washington. More than 90 percent of Americans believe that foods with GE ingredients should be required to be labeled; however, Rep. Polis recognizes that it is still going to be tough to get enough votes to pass. Corporate opponents have spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying against GE labeling, and a bill introduced in the state of Colorado by Representative Jeanne Labuda (D-Denver) to label GE foods was stopped after just five hours of testimony. The House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee in Denver voted 7-2 against the bill just a day after Rep. Polis’ announcement. Despite testimony from concerned consumers, parents, and health advocates, the committee said the […]

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26
Sep

Group Petitions for Ban on Roadside Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, September 26, 2012) A citizen’s group in Washington State submitted to its county commissioners a petition that urges a ban of all herbicides or other chemicals on county rights-of-way. The group, which opposes all roadside pesticide spraying, is calling for the adoption of safer management alternatives, citing dozens of studies showing cumulative and recurring damage that may be expected with the continued use of herbicides. The group, Jefferson County Ecological Roadsides, presented the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners with 4,700 signatories asking the commissioners to create an ordinance to stop the use of herbicides on county roadsides. The 4,700 signatures represent community members (majority), people from nearby counties who shop in Jefferson County, local organic farmers and providers, and local community leaders. According to the group, there was a 30-year moratorium on county roadside spraying due to a previous petition drive by community members. However, the moratorium was broken two years ago with an internal consent agenda by the county commissioners. This year, the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in the commercial herbicide known as Roundup, has been sprayed three times. Roadsides group members call for a strict one-year moratorium on the use of the chemical by the […]

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16
Apr

Fisheries Service Tells EPA to Better Protect Endangered Species from Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, April 16, 2012) The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has released a draft Biological Opinion finding that three commonly used herbicides are increasing the chance of extinction for threatened and endangered Pacific salmon and steelhead runs. The NMFS assessment reverses earlier assurances from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the pesticides are “not likely to adversely affect” the dwindling salmon populations. The draft Opinion also contains restrictions on applying the three pesticides near waterways in California, Washington, Oregon and Idaho that provide habitat for the threatened and endangered runs. Public comment on the draft is being accepted through April 30 and the restrictions on applying the pesticides will take effect no later than one year after the final assessment is released. NMFS prepared the draft Opinion in response to EPA’s initial assessment of the risk that current uses of the herbicides oryzalin, pendimethalin and trifluralin pose for the threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead species. NMFS’ findings contradict significant conclusions from EPA’s work and highlight weaknesses in the agency’s current ecological risk assessment process that underestimate risk and fail to meet modern standards of analysis. For example, NMFS cites EPA’s failure to provide any analysis of […]

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01
Dec

EPA Sued to Enforce Endangered Salmon Protections

(Beyond Pesticides, December 1, 2010) Several fishing and environmental conservation groups are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to limit the use of six agricultural pesticides to protect salmon. Restrictions on the use of six pesticides in Oregon, Washington and California shown to harm endangered salmon and steelhead, were ordered after a court found that EPA violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to restrict the pesticides from entering salmon habitat. However EPA has failed to act to restrict the pesticides. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington is the fourth lawsuit the plainstiffs -Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations; Institute for Fisheries Resources and Defenders of Wildlife- brought against the EPA to restrict the pesticides diazinon, malathion, chlorpyrifos, carbaryl, carbofuran and methomyl in streams of endangered salmon and steelhead. The plaintiffs seek a judgment declaring that EPA’s failure to implement the organophosphate (OP) and carbamate biological opinions issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) violates the ESA, and a judgment declaring that EPA is taking listed salmonids in violation of the ESA. The lawsuit seeks an order vacating and enjoining EPA’s authorization of the uses of […]

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08
Sep

Third Biological Opinion Finds Pesticides Jeopardize Endangered Species

(Beyond Pesticides, September 8, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has received a new Biological Opinion from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) with a finding that the application of products containing any of 12 organophosphate (OP) pesticides are likely to jeopardize federally listed threatened or endangered Pacific salmon and steelhead and their designated critical habitat. The 12 OPs addressed in this Biological Opinion, issued under the Endangered Species Act, are azinphos-methyl, bensulide, dimethoate, disulfoton, ethoprop, fenamiphos, methamidophos, methidathion, methyl parathion, naled, phorate, and phosmet. This opinion concludes that EPA’s registration of pesticides containing bensulide, dimethoate, ethoprop, methidathion, naled, phorate, and phosmet are each likely to jeopardize the continued existence of one or more of the 28 endangered and threatened Pacific salmonids and are each likely to destroy or adversely modify designated critical habitat for one or more of the 28 threatened and endangered salmonids. NMFS reached this conclusion because predicted concentrations of these seven pesticides in salmonid habitats, particularly in floodplain habitats, are likely to cause adverse effects to at least one listed Pacific salmonids including significant reductions in growth or survival. EPA’s registration of bensulide, dimethoate, ethoprop, methidathion, naled, phorate, and phosmet is also likely to result […]

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06
Aug

Herbicide-Contaminated Manure Damages Organic Crops in Washington State

(Beyond Pesticides, August 6, 2010) Organic farmers and gardeners across a Washington state county suspect that herbicide-contaminated manure and compost obtained from non-organic farms and dairies are responsible for severe crop loss reported throughout the region, raising questions about the adequacy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) pesticide registration process. Tests of soil and tissue samples of local dairy manure that is used in soil and compost mixtures revealed small amounts of aminopyralid, a potent and persistent herbicide approved for use by EPA in 2005. Aminopyralid is generally used for weed control in pastures and fields that grow silage crops for dairy cows. When cows eat the grass that has been treated with the chemical, it passes through them unchanged and remains in their manure in concentrations that can still be high enough to damage broadleaf crops if the manure is used to fertilize them. Aminopyralid is produced by Dow AgroSciences, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co., and often manufactured under the product name Milestone. Former coordinator of the Washington State University master gardeners’ program Jill Cotton has noticed the damage in her garden and said reports continue to filter in from other gardens around the county. One Whatcom […]

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20
Jul

Washington State Denies State Registration of Methyl Iodide

(Beyond Pesticides, July 20, 2010) Washington state has denied approval of the highly toxic fumigant-based pesticide methyl iodide, and environmentalists hope other regulators follow its lead. Citing unreasonable adverse effects on human health and the environment, the Washington Department of Agriculture requested that Arysta LifeScience withdraw its application for the registration of methyl iodide on July 15, 2010. Beyond Pesticides encourages its California members and allies to contact the Governor’s office and ask that California, which is expected to make its final decision on the pesticide this month, follow Washington’s lead. All are encouraged to contact the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and ask that it reevaluate its decision to register methyl iodide. Find instructions for contacting the governor and EPA below. In a letter to Arysta LifeScience, Erik Johansen, Special Pesticide Registration Program Coordinator for the Washington Department of Agriculture stated, “WSDA is concerned that the proposed use of Midas products labeled in Washington could cause unreasonable adverse effects on human health and the environment.” Specific concerns stated in the letter include: potential for groundwater contamination; lack of data related to the pesticide’s ability to damage brain development; and cancer risk. Methyl iodide is promoted by the pesticide industry […]

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02
Jul

Study Shows Effectiveness of Organic Pest Management Methods

(Beyond Pesticides, July 2, 2010) A study by researchers from Washington State University (WSU) and the University of Georgia suggests that a balanced mix of insects and fungi in organic fields provides for both better pest control and larger plants than in conventional agriculture. The study, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and published in the July 1 edition of the journal Nature, shows that organic farming practices lead to many equally-common beneficial species, and that this reduces pest problems. “It’s always been a mystery how organic farmers get high yields without using synthetic insecticides,” says co-author Bill Snyder, Ph.D., associate professor of entomology at WSU. “Our study suggests that biodiversity conservation may be a key to their success.” The study involved 42 potato plots enclosed in fine mesh on the Pullman campus of WSU. The researchers planted both potato plants and Colorado potato beetles (a very problematic pest of the potato) in each of the plots, adding varying numbers of beneficial insects, fungi and nematodes, microscopic soil-dwelling worms that attack beetles’ eggs and larvae. Crops placed in the organic test plots with a more balanced insect population grew […]

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20
Nov

EPA Issues Minimal Fines to Three Companies for Pesticide Registration Violations

(Beyond Pesticides, November 20, 2009) Three companies in Washington, Oregon and Idaho are the target of enforcement actions for their failure to follow federal pesticide laws, according to orders issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The fines range from $1,280 to $28,080, and are characterized by safety advocates as a mere slap on the wrist for violations that the EPA says pose public safety hazards. J.R. Simplot Company of Boise, Idaho; Agricare of Amity, Ore.; and Northwest Agricultural Products of Pasco, Wash. violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) at their respective facilities, according to the EPA. Numerous other violations of FIFRA this past year have led to EPA fines or lawsuits, including several in the state of Washington last spring. In October, EPA fined Samsung for violating the federal pesticide law when it publicized that its keyboards, produced with nanosilver, were antimicrobial and inhibited germs and bacteria without registering its products. EPA also filed suit against VF Corporation for the sale and distribution of unregistered pesticides through its retail company, The North Face. “Companies that produce pesticides but fail to register their facilities or submit required reports are not only operating illegally, but also pose a […]

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17
Sep

Biomonitoring Funding Awarded to Three States

(Beyond Pesticides, September 17, 2009) Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded $5 million to the states of California, New York and Washington to conduct biomonitoring surveys to assess public exposure to chemicals and toxic substances. This will allow the states to determine which environmental chemicals people have been exposed to and how much of those chemicals are in their bodies. Many U.S. residents carry toxic pesticides in their bodies above government assessed “acceptable” levels. Biomonitoring, which measures levels of chemicals directly in people’s blood or urine, has become increasingly helpful for assessing people’s exposure to toxic substances as well as for responding to serious environmental public health problems. The PANNA report “Chemical Trespass: Pesticides in Our Bodies and Corporate Accountability” in 2004, which compiled data from previous CDC biomonitoring surveys found that children, women and Mexican Americans carried the heaviest “pesticide body burden.” Another biomonitoring study by the World Wildlife Fund UK in 2003, revealed that chemicals, such as DDT, which have been banned for decades and are associated with cancer, immune system disorders, and other health problems, are still found in people today. “Biomonitoring measurements are considered the most health-relevant assessments of exposure because […]

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04
Sep

EPA Fines Tree Nursery for Pesticide Misuse, Worker Safety Violations

(Beyond Pesticides, September 4, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined a Minden, Nevada-based ornamental tree nursery for misusing pesticides contrary to labeling requirements and failing to comply with federal pesticide worker safety laws. Genoa Tree Nursery misused the pesticide Diazinon AG500 during applications in May and June 2008. The company failed to comply with label directions that require it to minimize the risk of exposure by notifying workers and handlers of recent pesticide applications on particular fields, and failed to provide workers with nearest emergency medical care facility information in case of exposure. The applicator also did not receive safety training during the previous five years as required by law. EPA fined Genoa Tree Nursery a mere $5,440 for these violations. “Notifying employees about potentially harmful pesticide exposure is not just a good idea, it’s the law,” said Katherine Taylor, EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division associate director for the Pacific Southwest region. “Employers of agricultural workers must ensure their employees are provided with information and protections that minimize the risk of potential exposure to pesticides””failure to do so is a serious violation.” The Nevada Department of Agriculture discovered the violations during a routine inspection in June 2008. The […]

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07
May

Fines for Pesticide Use Violations Reported in Washington State

(Beyond Pesticides, May 7, 2009) In a report of fines that safety advocates say are representative of typical and daily pesticide poisoning and contamination incidents nationwide, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) documents the application of pesticides through irrigation systems without properly safeguarding water sources from potential contamination, a failure to notify persons who are sensitive to pesticides of pending pesticide applications, and noncompliance with proper personal protective equipment requirements. The fines issued by the state for violations of state pesticide laws and rules range from $350 to $5,200. WSDA completed investigations across the state, including incidents involving Adams, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, King, Snohomish, Spokane, Whitman and Yakima counties. The agency issued fines or license suspensions in the following cases: ”¢ Timothy Bjarnason, an employee of CHS Inc. in Mead, was fined $450 and his license was suspended for seven days. In May 2008, Bjarnason applied a herbicide to a wheat field near Mead. The spray tank had not been properly cleaned from a previous application of a different herbicide. Residues damaged part of the wheat field he was treating. ”¢ Cameron Calaway, CK Agri LLC, Mattawa, was fined $850 and his license was suspended for six days. In […]

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30
Apr

Three Additional Pesticides Found to Harm Salmon

(Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2009) On April 20, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released a Biological Opinion (BiOp) finding that three additional pesticides, carbaryl, carbofuran, and methomyl, harm salmon and steelhead protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The BiOp prescribes measures necessary to keep these pesticides out of salmon waters in Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho. It is the second such plan issued in the last six months under a court settlement with fishermen and conservationists, filed by the non-profit law firm Earthjustice. The previous BiOp identified three organophosphate insecticides: chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. “These pesticides are designed to kill insects on agricultural crops, but when they get into the water system, they also kill aquatic insects that salmon feed on.” said Angela Somma, who heads the NMFS endangered species division. Under the terms of settlement, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must implement measures within a year-long timeframe to prevent further exposure of the pesticides to the water that cultivate these species. The measures recommended by NMFS include: a ban on application of the three pesticides in windy conditions and buffer zones near water resources and require that land applications must be at least 50-600 feet from the […]

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16
Jan

EPA Report Identifies DDT, Other Toxics Threaten Columbia River

(Beyond Pesticides, January 16, 2009) The first comprehensive look at toxic contamination throughout the Columbia River Basin has been released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Issued today, the Columbia River Basin State of the River Report for Toxics compiles currently available data about four widespread contaminants in the Basin and identifies the risks they pose to people, fish, and wildlife. The four contaminants are: * Mercury * Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its breakdown products * Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) * Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants. According to Elin Miller, EPA Regional Administrator in Seattle, a team of more than 20 federal and state agencies, Tribes, local governments and organizations teamed-up to draw this latest portrait of the toxic threats faced by the Columbia River Basin, which drains nearly 260,000 square miles across seven U.S. states and a Canadian province. “This is troubling news,” said EPA’s Miller. “Today’s Report shows that toxics are found throughout the Basin at levels that could harm people, fish, and wildlife. Federal, tribal, state, and local efforts have reduced levels of some toxics such as PCBs and DDTs, but in many areas, they continue to pose an unacceptable risk. Tackling this problem will require a coordinated […]

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08
Jan

Washington State Budget Cuts Target Pesticide Poisoning Surveillance Program

(Beyond Pesticides, January 8, 2009) Washington State’s model health protection programs are expected to be hit hard by Governor Chris Gregoire’s proposed budget cuts despite the minimal costs of running these essential programs, according to local activists in the state. The governor’s proposed budget will decimate the Washington Department of Health (DOH) Pesticide Program, including the Pesticide Incident Reporting and Tracking (PIRT) program, and the state’s Poison Control Center. Farm workers, children and the uninsured will likely be most affected. The proposed budget imposes almost no cuts to entities supported by the agrochemical industry. According to Carol Dansereau, an attorney with the Farm Worker Pesticide Project, and Liesl Zappler, PIRT Panel’s public member, the proposed cuts will eliminate half of the DOH’s Pesticide Program staff. DOH staff-time goes to pesticide incident interviews, toxicology research, sampling, gathering medical and spray records, analyzing and reviewing data, transmitting data, and writing reports including the PIRT report. DOH also works with growers and applicators to prevent accidental poisonings. The proposed DOH budget cuts also explicitly eliminate the PIRT Panel and its reporting requirements even though the PIRT Panel activities costs’ are minimal. Last year, DOH contributed $13,000 to PIRT; and with cuts instituted this […]

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14
Aug

Fed Report Finds Pesticides Threaten Salmon

(Beyond Pesticides, August 14, 2008) The first report released by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as a result of a lawsuit (NCAP et al. v. NMFS, No. 07-1791 RSL) settlement reveal “overwhelming evidence” to suggest that the pesticides chlorpyrifos, malathion, and diazinon increase the chance of extinction for protected salmon and steelhead. The report on the three pesticides and their effects on threatened fish is the first in what is expected to be a four year review process of 37 pesticides. “These are pesticides that EPA [the Environmental Protection Agency] has swept under the rug for years. These are three that stood out as the nastiest of the (pesticides) that are still in widespread use,” said Joshua Osborne-Klein, an attorney for Earthjustice who represented the plaintiff, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP). The 377-page report is clear in its conclusion that current use patterns of these three toxic pesticides threaten the salmon and steelhead protected by the Endangered Species Act, but it does not delineate the next steps to reduce the risk. A report on mitigation measures, which could include restrictions or bans, is expected in the next few months. The timing of the report coincides with other […]

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13
Aug

WA County Recalls Consumer Pesticide Guide Under Industry Pressure

(Beyond Pesticides, August 13, 2008) Last month, King County, Washington discontinued a popular wallet-sized consumer guide in which fruits and vegetables containing the most and least pesticide residues were listed, after agricultural industry-sponsored groups claimed that the consumer guide was oversimplified, misleading and influencing consumers to not eat locally grown produce. Industry groups repeatedly lobbied the county program to remove the information saying that the guide did not contribute to food safety but instead hurt local farmers, whose crops are among those that contain the most pesticides. The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program, a coalition of health and hazardous-materials agencies in King County, Seattle and 38 neighboring communities introduced the informational card about a year ago in printed form and soon after on the King County website. “It is outrageous that the pesticide industry is trying to prevent people from getting information that will help them make healthier choices about their food. We urge King County to make the information available to the public,” said Ivy Sager-Rosenthal, environmental health advocate for the Washington Toxics Coalition. The consumer guide lists suggestions on “how to shop for the safest household products” on one side of the card, and on the other lists […]

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06
Aug

National Fisheries Agency Agrees to Review Harmful Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, August 6, 2008) On July 30, 2008, a coalition of fishing and environmental groups settled a lawsuit (NCAP et al. v. NMFS, No. 07-1791 RSL) that requires an impact analysis of 37 pesticides on protected salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest and California. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the federal agency charged with protecting threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead, agreed to the settlement, which requires the design and adoption of permanent measures to help pesticide users minimize the harmful effects of those pesticides. The lawsuit, filed last year in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, petitioned the court to order the NMFS to uphold a five-year-old rule that directs the agency to identify measures needed to protect salmon from the pesticides. The petitioners pointed out that NMFS failed to carry out these measures. (See Daily News Blog of November 7, 2007.) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that the 37 toxic pesticides at issue in the settlement may harm protected salmon and steelhead. Most of the pesticides have been detected in major salmon and steelhead rivers in the Pacific Northwest and California. Scientists have found that, even at low levels, toxic pesticides can harm salmon […]

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07
May

Vineyards and Community College Receive “Salmon-Safe” Certification

(Beyond Pesticides, May 7, 2008) Twenty-five vineyards representing 925 acres or 56 percent of vineyard acreage in the Walla Walla Basin in Washington state, as well as the 110-acre Walla Walla Community College (WWCC), are newly certified “Salmon-Safe” for their land practices that help accelerate salmon’s recovery. The designation means that landowners go above and beyond regulations to adopt significant and specific measures that restore in-stream habitat, conserve water, protect streamside habitat and wetlands on site, reduce erosion and sedimentation, and reduce or eliminate the use of chemical pesticides.Certification is awarded only after comprehensive on-site assessments by independent inspectors based on Salmon-Safe’s rigorous standards. Salmon-Safe is a leading regional eco-label that in 11 years has certified more than 60,000 acres of farm and urban lands in Oregon and Washington, including one-third of Oregon’s vineyard acreage, as well as the headquarters campuses of Nike, Washington State Department of Ecology, and Kettle Foods.“The magnitude of the participation underscores the Walla Walla valley’s leadership in adopting and committing to sustainable practices that benefit people and land, and help salmon spawn and thrive,” said Dan Kent, Salmon-Safe managing director. “The certifications and assessments also mark a major expansion of Salmon-Safe east of the Cascades, […]

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14
Nov

Washington State Begins Mandated Pesticide Drift Study

(Beyond Pesticides, November 14, 2007) As directed by the 2007 legislature, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is starting a 2-year, $150,000 Voluntary Notification Study Project concerning the application of “Danger/Poison” pesticides near schools, hospitals, nursing homes and adult and child daycares. This project will collect data to determine if notification is a significant factor in reducing pesticide exposures when agricultural “Danger/Poison” pesticides are applied by aerial or airblast application methods near these facilities. The Study Project will be limited to Chelan, Kittitas and Yakima Counties and will run from October 1, 2007 to October 1, 2009. It will focus on pesticides labeled with the signal words “Danger/Poison” that are applied either by air or by airblast application equipment. A voluntary notification register will be maintained by the Department and made available for applicators to check contact information if they plan on making specific types of applications near facilities. The primary source of information regarding location of facilities and facility contact information will be the WSDA website. Contact information will also be available by phone for those applicators who do not have access to the Internet. This is a Voluntary Notification Project. No regulatory action will be taken against […]

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