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Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category


21
Nov

Herbicide Caused Antibiotic Resistance Not Regulated

(Beyond Pesticides, November 21, 2017) Both the active and inert ingredients in common herbicides induce antibiotic resistance in human pathogenic bacteria, according to the latest research from New Zealand scientists, published in Microbiology this week.  Previous research from the same team found in 2015 that commercial formulations of Roundup (containing glyphosate and inert ingredients) and Kamba (containing 2,4-D, Dicamba, and inert ingredients) caused antibiotic resistance to develop in Salmonella eterica and Escherichia coli, but this new research drills down into what ingredients in these formulations resulted in the effect. Lead author of the study, Jack Heinemann, PhD, University Canterbury’s School of Biological Sciences, explains that ultimately this research indicates that, “The sub-lethal effects of industrially manufactured chemical products should be considered by regulators when deciding whether the products are safe for their intended use,” Scientists parsed out the effects of individual active and inert ingredients by obtaining pure, technical grade dicamba, 2,4-D, and glyphosate, as well as the inert co-formulants “Tween80” and “CMC,” which are respectively, used to reduce surface tension and regulate the viscosity in a formulated herbicide, though also used as emulsifiers in foods like ice cream and in medicines. The technical grade herbicides were first applied to […]

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20
Nov

Take Action: Oppose Legislation Weakening Endangered Species Protection from Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, November 20, 2017) The pesticide industry is drafting legislation that threatens to remove provisions of the Endangered Species Act that protect species from pesticides. Tell your Congressional delegation to oppose all efforts to reduce endangered species protections from pesticides. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is one of America’s most effective and important environmental laws. It represents a commitment to protect and restore those species most at risk of extinction. Recent polling shows 84 percent of Americans support the Endangered Species Act, and 87 percent agree that it is a successful safety net for protecting wildlife, plants, insects, and fish from extinction. Although many species –including the bald eagle, Florida manatee, and California condor— have been protected and brought back from the brink of extinction under the ESA, an estimated 500 species have disappeared in the past 200 years. An important provision of the ESA is the requirement that each federal agency that proposes to authorize, fund, or carry out an action that may affect a listed species or its critical habitat must consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. In the case of pesticides, EPA is required to perform such a consultation if […]

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17
Nov

Trump Administration Seeks Delay in Court-Ordered Review of Neurotoxic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, November 17, 2017) The Trump Administration is asking a federal court to delay a prior agreement that National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issue findings on the risk of three highly toxic organophosphate pesticides to endangered species. The move is widely seen by environmental advocates as influenced by the chemical industry, in particular the new agrichemical conglomerate DowDuPont, which completed a megamerger in September. The Trump Administration’s ongoing willingness to do the bidding of the chemical and pesticide industry means that voters must speak out to their elected representatives to stem the tide of chemical poisonings in the U.S. In 2014, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its failure to comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which requires the agency’s pesticide registration process to include consultations with federal wildlife agencies, including NMFS and the Fish and Wildlife Service. In this case, the pesticides in question are chlorpyrifos, malathion, and diazinon, three highly toxic chemicals used as nerve agents during WW2 and registered as pesticides since the 1960s. EPA’s failure to consult with these agencies is a chronic problem in the pesticide registration and review process, leaving critical gaps in the […]

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14
Nov

Research Shows Common Insecticides Harm Songbird Migration, Raises Concerns of a New Silent Spring

(Beyond Pesticides, November 15, 2017) Songbirds exposed to widely used insecticides fail to properly orient themselves for migration, according to a study published by Canadian scientists in Scientific Reports. With the organophosphate chlorpyrifos and the neonicotinoid imidacloprid applied to millions of acres of farmland throughout North America, this new research adds weight to arguments that pesticides are a likely cause in the decline of migratory bird populations. “Studies on the risks of neonicotinoids have often focused on bees that have been experiencing population declines. However, it is not just bees that are being affected by these insecticides,” said Christy Morrissey, PhD, biology professor at the University of Saskatchewan. Researchers captured 57 white crowned sparrows in northern Canada, and held them in an outdoor pen for roughly two weeks, during which time all the birds either gained or maintained their weight. The songbirds were then split into three groups, one exposed to imidacloprid, another to chlorpyrifos, and the last untreated and acting as a control. The imidacloprid and chlorpyrifos exposed groups were each further separated by exposing a portion to the insecticide at 10% of the lethal dose that would kill 50% of a given population (LD50), and another to 25% […]

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13
Nov

Action Needed: Oppose Proposed Monsanto-Bayer Merger

(Beyond Pesticides, November 13, 2017) Proposed Bayer-Monsanto merger is bad for farmers, bad for consumers. Tell the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to Block This Dangerous Merger! In late 2016, Monsanto and Bayer announced a $66 billion merger. The Department of Justice is in the midst of reviewing it, and a decision is expected in late 2017. Should this merger go through, only four companies in the world will control all seed and agricultural chemical business: Bayer-Monsanto, Dow-DuPont, ChemChina-Syngenta, and BASF. Tell the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to stop the Bayer-Monsanto merger, which would have severe repercussions for farmers and consumers. Should Bayer and Monsanto merge, the entity will become: the world’s largest vegetable seed company, with a virtual lock on broccoli, carrots, and onions the world’s largest cotton seed company, responsible for the seed for about 70% of all the cotton grown in the U.S. along with another company (Dow-DuPont), in control of 77% of all the seed corn in the U.S. the world’s largest manufacturer and seller of herbicides the world’s largest owner of the intellectual property/patents for herbicide-tolerance seed traits: 69% of all herbicide tolerance traits approved for use in the U.S. for alfalfa, canola, cotton, corn, soybean, and wheat. (An […]

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10
Nov

Arkansas State Plant Board Votes to Continue Ban on Monsanto’s Dicamba Herbicide into Next Summer

(Beyond Pesticides, November 10, 2017) On the heels of Beyond Pesticides’ campaign to ban the herbicide dicamba –with thousands of people urging the state to act in the of massive crop damage, the Arkansas State Plant Board (ASPB) voted earlier this week to prohibit the use of the weedkiller in agriculture during the next growing season. If officially approved by a subcommittee of the state legislature, the new regulations will make dicamba applications between April 16 and October 31, 2018, illegal for Arkansas farmers. The move by the State Plant Board is a huge blow to multinational agrichemical companies Monsanto and BASF, both of which have developed genetically engineered (GE) soybean crops tolerant of dicamba herbicides. Dicamba has been linked to damage of the kidney and liver, neurotoxicity, and developmental impacts. The chemical has a strong propensity to volatilize small particles of the herbicide into the air and drift far off-site. Sensitive crop species can be damaged by dicamba at levels in the parts per million. According to ASPB, during the public comment period over 29,000 individuals provided input, with the overwhelming majority in strong support of the state’s plan to restrict the herbicide. Perhaps in anticipation of the action, […]

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07
Nov

Organic Board Member’s Farewell Highlights Industry Influence over USDA Organic Program

(Beyond Pesticides, November 7, 2017) At the end of a contentious meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that resulted in a de facto approval of hydroponics in organic production, retiring board member Francis Thicke, Ph.D., in one of the farmer positions, highlighted ways that big ag has perverted the mission of organic, as originally conceived by organic practitioners, consumers, and environmentalists. Dr. Thicke mentioned “organic” CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) dairies with 15,000 cows in a desert feedlot, “organic” chicken CAFOs without outdoor access, fraud in “organic” grain shipments, and, now, “organic” hydroponics. His frustrations mirror those of hundreds who protested against “organic” hydroponics at the Jacksonville, Florida meeting and in written comments. Beyond Pesticides continues to believe that organic is the solution to pesticide poisoning and contamination and works to ensure the integrity of USDA organic label, while seeking to strengthen it through the public NOSB process and legislative initiatives. At the same time, we share Dr. Thicke’s frustrations with the influence of big business and continue to promote consumer actions, litigation, and organizing strategies to thwart the takeover of organic by big ag. We have important work to do to ensure organic integrity. We all play a […]

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06
Nov

Take Action: Tell Your U.S. Representative to Support Organic in the Next Farm Bill

(Beyond Pesticides, November 6, 2017) The next Farm Bill will be up for negotiation soon. Bi-partisan legislation to address two issues that are important for organic agriculture –increasing funding for organic research and strengthening enforcement of the organic standards: The Organic Agriculture Research Act (H.R. 2436) will provide $50 million in funding annually for the USDA’s flagship organic research program, the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI).  The Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act of 2017 will improve oversight of organic imports. This action will allow you to send messages to your U.S. Representative requesting that they co-sponsor the bills or thanking the member if she/he is already a co-sponsor. Ask your U.S. Representative to support organic in the next Farm Bill by co-sponsoring these two bills. If your Representative is already a co-sponsor, send a thank you. Organic is one of the fastest growing sectors in U.S. agriculture. The bi-partisan Organic Agriculture Research Act (H.R. 2436) introduced by U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) will help more farmers transition to organic production in response to growing demand in the marketplace. Organic research helps farmers become more productive, efficient, and profitable and leads to the development of new agricultural practices that can […]

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03
Nov

High Levels of Pesticides in Produce Linked to Pregnancy Loss

(Beyond Pesticides, November 3, 2017) Eating foods high in pesticide residue is associated with a lower probability of live births and a higher probability of pregnancy loss for women using in vitro fertilization and other techniques in attempts to become pregnant, according to new research published by Harvard University doctors in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Internal Medicine in late October. While eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables remains part of a healthy lifestyle, this new research, the first to evaluate the relationship between dietary pesticide exposure and reproductive success in women, raises serious concerns. “I was always skeptical that pesticide residues in foods would have any impact on health whatsoever,” says Jorge Chavarro, MD, co-author of the research and professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health to TIME. “So when we started doing this work a couple of years ago, I thought we were not going to find anything. I was surprised to see anything as far as health outcomes are concerned.” Scientists began with a group of 325 women enrolled in an ongoing research project, called the Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) study at a fertility research […]

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02
Nov

November’s PolliNATION Pollinator of the Month: The Baltimore Oriole

(Beyond Pesticides, November 2, 2017) The Baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula) is Maryland’s state bird and the namesake of its professional baseball team. The Baltimore oriole (and all American orioles) are actually members of the blackbird family, and are related to the tricolored blackbird. For a time, the Baltimore oriole was “lumped” together with the Bullock’s oriole to the west under the name “northern oriole.” The “splitters” have won out again, and the two are recognized as separate species, except in the Western prairies, where they hybridize. In fact, the Baltimore oriole shows more genetic similarities to the Altamira oriole (which lives in Mexico, northern Central America, and a tiny part of Texas), and especially to the black-backed oriole (from Mexico). Fun fact: The Baltimore orioles’ slender beaks allow them to feed in an unusual way. By first piercing soft fruits with their closed bills, the birds open their mouths to cut a strip through the juicy fruit, allowing them to drink the gushing liquid with their brushy-tipped tongues, in a process called “gaping.” Range Baltimore orioles are commonly found during spring and summer months in the eastern and central U.S., and in southern Canada. They will migrate in July to […]

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01
Nov

Amount of Monsanto’s Glyphosate/Roundup in Human Body Skyrockets

(Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2017) The explosion of genetic engineering (GE) in agriculture over the past three decades has led to significant increases in the amount of the weedkiller glyphosate being found in the human body, according to new research from University of California, San Diego. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, is the most widely used herbicide in the world, owing that title to its use in “Roundup Ready” GE cropping systems and residential yards. “Our exposure to these chemicals has increased significantly over the years but most people are unaware that they are consuming them through their diet,” said study coauthor and director of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego, Paul J Mills, PhD. Scientists conducted their study based on participants in the Rancho Bernardo Study on Aging, a prospective study of over 6,000 adults over 50 years old living in Southern California. Of the 1,000 active participants, 100 had urinary glyphosate residues tested in between 1993 to 1996, and 2016 to 2016. Glyphosate residues in these individuals increased significantly from the mid-1990s to today. Between 1993 and 1996 average glyphosate residues in urine was recorded to be 0.024 micrograms per liter. By time […]

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30
Oct

Deadline Today: Stop Monsanto from Poisoning Farms and Communities

(Beyond Pesticides, October 30, 2017) Tell the Arkansas State Plant Board to stand up to Monsanto, and protect farmers by banning dicamba’s use in Arkansas agriculture. Comment period closes today, Monday, October 30, 2017, at 4:30pm (Eastern Time). Your comments are needed to stop the disaster in Arkansas being created by Monsanto’s new genetically engineered (GE) cropping system, which relies on the toxic pesticide dicamba. If Arkansas bans dicamba, other states should and will follow —given the chemical industry’s takeover of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is allowing this extremely hazardous pesticide use. This is a problem that has regional and national implications, given the breakdown of the EPA and its pesticide program. We cannot let this failure of protection stand in Arkansas or anywhere in the country. Promoted by Monsanto as a way to address rampant Roundup (glyphosate) resistance, Monsanto’s new GE soybeans are now able to withstand both glyphosate and dicamba, an older herbicide with a range of documented health effects —from neurotoxicity to reproductive problems. Dicamba is also highly volatile and, as a result, has drifted across crop fields throughout the region, damaging high value fruit tree and organic operations. The Arkansas State Plant Board is […]

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27
Oct

Pesticide Residues Difficult to Wash Off Food

(Beyond Pesticides, October 27, 2017) In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists at University of Massachusetts, Amherst identify a novel approach to reduce toxic pesticide residues on conventional food. The method the authors describe is cumbersome and unlikely to be widely used by consumers. At the same time, study results confirm that eating organic products is the best way for individuals and families to eliminate pesticide residues from their diet. For the current study, researchers looked at how much of two common pesticides, one, the fungicide thiobendazole, and the other, the insecticide phosmet, remained on apples after submersion for 24 hours. Both pesticides penetrated the skin of the apples, though thiobendazole, a systemic fungicide, made its way deeper into and past the apple’s skin. Thiabendazole penetrated 80 micrometers into the apple while phosmet penetrated 20 micrometers. Researchers looked at three different methods to reduce the pesticides on apples: tap water, a bleach solution, and baking soda. Compared to the others, baking soda was found to be by far the most effective method to reduce pesticide residue, with 80% of thiabendazole and 95% of phosmet removed. “If factory washing [with bleach] is already effective, then […]

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26
Oct

EPA Curtails Public’s Ability to Make the Agency Obey the Law

(Beyond Pesticides, October 26, 2017) In mid-October, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced another action in his effort to remake the agency by issuing a directive that aims to stop the practice — often referred to as “sue and settle” — of settling lawsuits with outside (often, environmental) groups. It’s the Administrator’s contention that such groups have had undue influence on regulation. He has indicated that his action will not prevent EPA from reaching settlements with “outside litigants,” but that he does want to disallow agreements that would change a discretionary duty to a nondiscretionary duty. However, responding to Administrator Pruitt’s comment about the days of “regulation through litigation” being over, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) notes, “That’s really just a twisted way of saying that the days of holding the EPA accountable are over. The effect won’t just be the EPA wasting taxpayer money as it fights unwinnable lawsuits, but also prolonging delays that allow polluters to keep on polluting.” The agency’s press release quotes Mr. Pruitt: “‘The days of regulation through litigation are over. . . . We will no longer go behind closed doors and use consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the Agency by special […]

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25
Oct

Farmers Challenge Oregon County’s Ban on Aerial Pesticide Spraying Adopted by Ballot Initiative

(Beyond Pesticides, October 25, 2017) Oregon is the most recent site of an effort by a locality to establish more-protective pesticide regulations than are provided by the state. Voters in Lincoln County, on the north-central Oregon Coast, approved a ballot measure earlier this year that established a ban on aerial spraying of pesticides in the county. Immediately, county landowners Rex Capri and Wakefield Farms, LLC, both of whom use aerial spraying on their properties, filed a legal challenge to the ordinance created through that vote. The issue is whether the state of Oregon has the legal authority to stop its local political subdivisions from adopting more rigorous than those enacted by the state. When the state of Maine considered legislation to preempt its local jurisdictions (take away their authority to act) this summer, Beyond Pesticides wrote, “The democratic process is foundational to the culture of Maine and the country. LD 1505 betrays the democratic process. Maine communities want to be able to adopt standards that exceed or are more stringent than state standards as a matter of public health and environmental protection, or quality of life. Why would a town or city want to do use its local authority to adopt […]

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24
Oct

Agricultural Intensification over Last Three Decades Reduces Insect Population by 75%

(Beyond Pesticides, October 24, 2017) Over 75% of insect abundance has declined over the last 27 years, according to new research published by European scientists in PLOS One. The dramatic drop in insect biomass has led to equally dramatic pronunciations from highly respected scientists and entomologists. “We appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life, and are currently on course for ecological Armageddon,” study coauthor David Goulson, Ph.D. of Sussex University, UK, told The Guardian. “If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.” Looking at the range of mechanisms that could be driving this slow moving catastrophe, researchers could suss out only one plausible large-scale factor: agricultural intensification. The current study, which looked at 63 nature preserves located in Germany, follows a similar study released in 2013 that was conducted in a singular German nature preserve. That study, originally published only in German, but available translated by Boulder County Beekeepers, found that 75% of insect biomass declined in the Orbroich Bruch Nature Reserve in Krefeld, Germany from 1989 to 2013. That study was limited to a singular nature preserve, and while scientists who worked on the study described their results as […]

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23
Oct

Take Action: Your Comments Are Needed, Again, to Save a National Treasure –Willapa Bay

(Beyond Pesticides, October 23, 2017) Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, with a number of unique ecosystems, and among the most important estuaries in the U.S, are once more in danger of being sprayed with the toxic neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid. A draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) produced by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) considers two options for spraying imidacloprid and one no-action alternative. Imidacloprid would be sprayed to kill the native burrowing shrimp in beds of commercial Japanese oysters. Tell Ecology to restore the bays instead of spraying them! Ecology’ssummary highlights: ⦁    Immediate adverse, unavoidable impacts to juvenile worms, crustaceans, and shellfish in the areas treated with imidacloprid and the nearby areas covered by incoming tides. ⦁    Limited impacts bay-wide, but significant uncertainty about the cumulative impacts and other unknown impacts, including those to other marine invertebrates and lifecycles. ⦁    Little direct risk to fish, birds, marine mammals, and human health. ⦁    Potential indirect impacts to fish and birds if food sources are disrupted. ⦁    Continued knowledge gaps about imidacloprid. Further research is needed. The SEIS fails to give adequate weight to the “knowledge gaps” it identifies, in some cases indicating that monitoring during use of imidacloprid could be used […]

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19
Oct

Atrazine Exposure Leads to More Male, Fewer Female Frogs

(Beyond Pesticides, October 19, 2017) Exposure to the second most commonly used herbicide in the U.S., atrazine, results in a higher proportion of male frogs in populations of Blanchard’s cricket frogs, according to researchers from Ohio’s Miami University. While it may be ostensibly easy to dismiss the results of this study as limited to a single frog species, the Blanchard cricket frog, with its populations concentrated in heavily farmed Midwestern states, is likely an important indicator of broader ecological impacts. Ultimately, only a transition away from toxic herbicides and towards integrated organic systems will successfully address the ongoing effects of industrial agrichemicals on amphibians. Miami researchers exposed frogs to varying concentrations of atrazine, 0.1, 1, and 10 μg/L, in the laboratory, in order to investigate sex ratios and potential effects on survival of the population. Although no significant effects were seen on survival rate during the course of the study, sex ratios were significantly altered at the 0.1 and 10 μg/L exposure concentrations. At these levels, populations developed 51 and 55% fewer males respectively than control frogs. Researchers point out that such significant results seen at such low concentrations likely indicates that sex ratios are also skewed in the wild. […]

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18
Oct

Monsanto Banned from Lobbying European Parliament

(Beyond Pesticides, October 18, 2017) Effective immediately, the European Parliament has banned Monsanto lobbyists, excluding the chemical company from access to committee meetings and digital resources, as well as no longer permitting Monsanto lobbyists to meet with any Member of the European Parliament (MEP). This limit to its influence is a serious blow to Monsanto’s advocacy campaign to promote the safety of its weedkiller glyphosate, (Roundup). The decision to ban came amid mounting public pressure to deny European Union re-licensing of glyphosate, one of the world’s most widely used herbicides. (See glyphosate listing in Beyond Pesticides’ Pesticides Gateway, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.) Glyphosate is classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Monsanto, the world’s largest GE-seed and seventh-largest pesticide company, is eager to suppress IARC’s ranking. In fact, before being banned, the European Parliament had questioned Monsanto’s funding of counter-studies in order to discredit independent scientists working to limit the public’s exposure to toxic chemicals. In a related development, independent scientists sent a letter to the scientific journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology, calling for the retraction of a 2016 paper that refuted glyphosate’s cancer risks after it was learned that […]

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16
Oct

Take Action: Tell Your Senators to Vote Against EPA Nominee with Chemical Industry Ties

(Beyond Pesticides, October 16, 2917) Tell your U.S. Senators to oppose the Trump Administration’s nominee for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Michael L. Dourson, Ph.D., who has spent a good deal of his career helping chemical companies resist restrictions on their toxic compounds. The U.S. Senate’s August 20 hearing on Dr. Dourson’s nomination, was abruptly postponed on August 19, with no reason offered, but later held on October 4 under a cloud of controversy. Write your U.S. Senators now! Critics, including former EPA officials, Congressional Democrats, and public health scientists say that Dr. Dourson’s close ties to the chemical industry should disqualify him from becoming the country’s chief regulator of toxic chemicals. U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, said, “Dr. Dourson’s consistent endorsement of chemical safety standards that not only match industry’s views, but are also significantly less protective than EPA and other regulators have recommended, raises serious doubts about his ability to lead those efforts. This is the first time anyone with such clear and extensive ties to the chemical industry has been [nominated] to regulate that industry.” Dr. Dourson’s professional history provides important context for considering his nomination. […]

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12
Oct

Majority of World’s Honey Contaminated with Bee Killing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, October 12, 2017) Honey throughout the world is contaminated with neonicotinoid insecticides, chemicals implicated in global decline of pollinator populations. The extent of contamination recorded in the new Science study —with the chemicals detected on every continent except Antarctica, even in honey produced in small isolated islands— is symptomatic of a world awash in toxic pesticides. The results call into question globalized mores that have permitted chemical insecticides to pervade the environment, and signal the need to transform pest management to integrated organic systems that respect nature. Neonicotinoids are systemic pesticides that are taken up by a plant’s vascular system and transported into the pollen, nectar, and guttation (drops of xylem sap) drops the plant produces. They are mobile in soil, so quantities of the chemical that are not taken up by plants after an application leach through the soil column into local waterways. Pollinators come into contact with these insecticides through their normal course of foraging and pollination. Out of 198 honey samples collected as part of a global citizen science project and subsequently tested by Swiss scientists, 75% of samples contained a measurable level of neonicotinoids. Broken down by region, North America represented the highest frequency […]

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10
Oct

Action Needed: Last Chance to Comment on National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Fall Issues

(Beyond Pesticides, October 10, 2017) The comment period closes Wednesday, October 11 at 11:59 pm EDT for the Fall 2017 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting. In addition to the other priorities in our previous alert (hydroponics, marine materials, and “inerts”), we focus attention here on eliminating the incentive to convert native ecosystems into organic crop production, strengthening and clarifying the requirements for the use of organic seed, exempt/uncertified handler and brokers, and the need for a comprehensive review of sanitizers used in organic. New to Regulations.gov? See our two-minute tutorial. Comment now! Beyond Pesticides provides you with our positions, which you can use as the basis for your comments. If you have limited time, you can use the sample comments on priority issues below. If you have more time, please use the information on our website to develop your own comments. If you paste our comments into regulations.gov, please first put a personal note of concern in order to reflect the importance of these issues to you as an organic consumer, farmer, or other concerned party. Some major issues being considered at the Fall meeting are: Eliminating the Incentive to Convert Native Ecosystems into Organic Crop Production The proposal must […]

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06
Oct

Study Finds Organic Consumers Commitment to Organic Products Grows Over Time

(Beyond Pesticides, October 6, 2017) Once people go organic, they are increasingly unlikely to go back to conventional foods, according to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research published by Dutch social scientists.  Organic food products are a rapidly growing industry in the U.S., with consumers spending $43 billion in 2016, an increase of $4.2 billion from the previous year. Given its benefits for health, water quality, workers, wildlife, and the wider environment, it is little wonder that more and more people are voting for the future of ecologically and public health-sensitive farming systems with their food dollars and buying organic. For the study, researchers tracked over 8,700 consumers for 20 months, using the loyalty card for a major Dutch food retailer. They found that most consumers start by consuming organic dairy products first, milk being the primary entry point into organic. Over time people are likely to not only stick with organic certified milk, but expand their purchases into other organic products. John Thøgersen, PhD, coauthor of the study and professor at the Aarhus University of Business and Social Science in Denmark, explains the process in a press release as follows: “In connection with organic consumption, there has previously […]

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