• Archives

  • Categories

    • Agriculture (476)
    • Announcements (406)
    • Antibacterial (104)
    • Aquaculture (18)
    • Beneficials (7)
    • Biofuels (5)
    • Biological Control (1)
    • Biomonitoring (14)
    • Cannabis (9)
    • Children/Schools (189)
    • Climate Change (23)
    • Environmental Justice (76)
    • Events (64)
    • Farmworkers (82)
    • Fracking (1)
    • Golf (10)
    • Health care (27)
    • Holidays (24)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (33)
    • International (242)
    • Invasive Species (24)
    • Label Claims (32)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (157)
    • Litigation (238)
    • Nanotechnology (52)
    • National Politics (310)
    • Pesticide Drift (82)
    • Pesticide Regulation (534)
    • Pesticide Residues (56)
    • Pets (14)
    • Resistance (49)
    • Rodenticide (16)
    • Take Action (302)
    • Uncategorized (15)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (261)
    • Wood Preservatives (20)
Daily News Blog

26
Oct

Major Popcorn Supplier to Eliminate Neonic Treated Seeds

(Beyond Pesticides, October 26, 2015) Last week, Pop Weaver, the second largest popcorn supplier in the country, released an official statement on its commitment to “removing 50 percent of its neonicotinoid usage in 2016, 75 percent in 2017, with a long-term commitment of further reducing usage by working with agricultural universities and those companies supplying neonicotinoids to the seed industry.” Widely-used neonicotinoids (neonics), which as systemic chemicals move through a plant’s vascular system and express poison through pollen, nectar, and guttation droplets, have been identified in multiple peer-reviewed studies and by beekeepers as the major contributing factor in bee decline. This commitment is a response to a campaign led by Center for Food Safety (CFS), which asked citizens to sign a petition asking Pop Weaver, and other large popcorn suppliers, to protect bees and other pollinators by phasing out the use of neonicotinoid-coated corn seed. Over 37,000 people have signed their petition.

popcornAmericans eat, on average, 17.3 billion quarts of popcorn each year; each American eats about 68 quarts. According to CFS, there are roughly 40 insecticides currently registered for use as an active chemical on popcorn, including 3 bee-toxic neonicotinoid chemicals: clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and imidacloprid. Between 79 and 100 percent of corn seed in the U.S. is coated with neonicotinoids, including the corn used for popping.

There have been additional reports and studies published over the past few years questioning the benefits of neonic use. In 2014, Beyond Pesticides featured an article, No Longer a Big Mystery, in the quarterly newsletter Pesticides and You that challenges industry claims that neonics are safe. The article references bee health science that reports that even small, low-dose (sublethal) neonicotinoid exposures can have detrimental effects on bees. Also in 2014, CFS published a report refuting claims that neonicotinoids bring greater benefits than costs to farmers. In the report, researchers analyzed independent, peer-reviewed, scientific literature and found that the benefits of prophylactic neonicotinoid use via seed treatments were nearly non-existent, and that any minor benefits that did occur were negated due to honey bee colony impacts, reduced crop pollination by honey bees, reduced production of honey and other bee products, loss of ecosystem services, and market damage from contamination events. According to an international team of researchers led by Geoff Williams, MD, PhD, at the University of Bern in Switzerland, exposure to neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides results in overwhelming negative impacts to the health of honey bee queens. This year, the U.S. Geological Survey found that neonic insecticides contaminate over half of urban and agricultural streams across the United States and Puerto Rico; which exemplifies the impacts these chemicals have on other organisms, like birds (a single kernel of neonic-coated corn is enough to kill a songbird).

Neonic-coated seeds are a target of anti-neonic campaigns because this class of insecticides is systemic, meaning that they live within the plant and last much longer and in much more critical areas than other insecticides. Across the nation, jurisdictions, like Boulder and Lafayette, Colorado, have been banning or limiting neonicotinoids. Last year, Ontario, Canada proposed a plan to reduce the use of neonic-coated corn and soybean seeds by 80%. In 2013, the European Union issued a 2-year moratorium banning neonics. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) agreed to ban neonicotinoid insecticides from all wildlife refuges nationwide by this January. For more information on pollinators and pesticides, see Beyond Pesticides’ BeeProtective page.

The Saving America’s Pollinator’s Act of 2015 remains an avenue for Congress to address the pollinator crisis. Contact your U.S. Representative and ask them to support this important legislation today. You can also get active in your community to protect bees by advocating for policies that restrict their use. Montgomery County, Maryland recently restricted the use of a wide range of pesticides, including neonics, on public and private property. Sign here if you’d like to see your community do the same!

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source:  Center for Food Safety

Share

23
Oct

Fresh Produce Tainted With Illegal Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, October 23, 2015) Tests on produce collected by California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) for 2014 show high levels of illegal toxic pesticide residues. The CDPR report found 1 percent of produce containing an excess amount of pesticide residues, and an additional 5.5 percent of produce tested contained illegal residues of pesticides that are not allowed for use on that product. Additionally, the data shows residues of a banned chemical, which was taken off the market over 20 years in the U.S. due to health concerns related to farmworker exposure. These findings showcase issues related to system-wide failure in enforcement. Advocates stress that violations may continue to occur due to inadequacies in regulations governing enforcement authorities, which include warnings or low fines for violators. In raising concerns about the safety of food grown with chemical-intensive methods, advocates point to the need to expand the transition to organic agriculture for better protection of public health and safety.

Prickly_Pear_CloseupThe highest percentage of illegal pesticides was found on cactus pads and cactus fruit imported from Mexico. Some of the other tainted fruit and vegetables include limes, papaya, summer squash, tomatillos, chili peppers, and tomatoes, also from Mexico, ginger imported from China, and U.S.-grown spinach and kale. While over 93 percent of the produce tested contain legal levels of pesticide residue, the data shows a pattern of low dose exposure to hazardous pesticides, such as endocrine disruptors.

Monocrotophos is one of the highly toxic chemicals found in the cactus samples, and is not only a major cause of concern for consumers, who can experience flu-like symptoms from eating large quantities of it, but for the laborers harvesting it. In fact, the U.S. has banned the chemical since 1989, on the basis that it caused farmworker poisoning. Other chemicals found, which either exceeded the set tolerance level or were illegally used, include chlorothalonil, methomyl, dimethoate, thiabendazole, permethrin, and chlorpyrifos. Health effects of these chemicals range from neurotoxicity to cancer, kidney/liver effects, and endocrine disruption. The surrounding community, including the environment, wildlife, and farmworkers, is also greatly affected by these toxic chemicals. A 2004 study detected agricultural pesticides in the homes near agricultural fields. According to a 2010 study, workers experience repeated exposures to the same pesticides evidenced by multiple pesticides routinely detected in their bodies.

The U.S. can set an import tolerance on unregistered pesticide-food combinations when no U.S. tolerance exists. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a tolerance (called a Maximum Residue Limit or MRL in Canada and many other countries) is the maximum residue level of a pesticide permitted in or on food or feed grown in the U.S. or imported into the U.S. from other countries. Import firms that buy and sell crops in the U.S. that exceed those maximum residue limits are at risk for fines. Repeat violators face higher fines than first offenders. Unfortunately, EPA tolerances continuously receive exemptions to protect industry leaders. Tolerance levels are sometimes raised based on EPA reviews, even in the case of known toxic pesticides. In 2013, EPA “temporarily” granted an exemption for the banned endosulfan (known to cause endocrine disruption and toxicity to birds and aquatic organisms) on imported Chinese tea. Not even one year ago, Greenpeace discovered that 94% of tea samples from India were tainted with European Union (EU) banned pesticides. That exemption is still in effect today.

According to CDPR, if produce with illegal residues is found, it is quickly removed from the chain of distribution (to prevent it from reaching consumers) and attempts are made to trace it to its source. The tainted lots are quarantined. However, the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) in a 2014 report found deficiencies in the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) monitoring of residues. For imported food, GAO found, “FDA tests relatively few targeted (i.e., non-generalizable) samples for pesticide residues. For example, in 2012, FDA tested less than one-tenth of 1 percent of imported shipments.” See also Beyond Pesticides’ Daily News on the subject.  An earlier 1986 GAO report, Better Sampling and Enforcement Needed on Imported Food, that most foods adulterated with pesticides make their way into commerce and are not recovered. The report found: “(1) the FDA pesticide monitoring program provides limited protection against public exposure to illegal residues in food; (2) FDA samples less than 1 percent of 1 million imported food shipments annually; (3) FDA inspectors at various ports of entry decide the extent to which they apply sample criteria; and (4) FDA uses five multi-residue tests that individually detect many pesticides on a single sample; however, FDA laboratories normally use only one method for each sample. GAO also found that: (1) although FDA policy requires importers to maintain all sampled shipments intact until FDA determines that the product is residue-free, FDA permits importers to release the majority of sampled shipments to U.S. markets before they spoil; (2) of 164 adulterated samples, 73 were not recovered before public consumption; and (3) there were only eight documented cases where FDA assessed importers damages when adulterated food reached the marketplace.

According to CDPR, businesses that violate California pesticide residue laws face loss of their product and also fines. On July 28, 2015, CDPR released a statement announcing recent sanctions for six California import firms who repeatedly violated pesticide regulations. Since December of last year, these six firms have been selling imported products that have been tainted with pesticides not approved for production or sale in the U.S., including DDE (metabolite of DDT), imidacloprid, and endosulfan. The fines for these companies ranged from $10,000 to $21,000. While the CDPR tests California food, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for federal food testing. FDA makes testing for pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables for human consumption seem like a top priority; yet, rarely performs their due diligence when it comes to foreign, imported products. That diligence is an important protocol to ensure the safety of humans consuming those crops. As the report by Government Accountability Office (GAO) states, it was found that FDA tested relatively few targeted samples (one-tenth of one percent of all imported fruits and vegetables to be exact) for pesticide residues and furthermore discovered that FDA does not test for several commonly used pesticides with an EPA established tolerance, including glyphosate.

Advocates point to the use of warnings, repeated violations, and low fines as a sign that the current system is failing to protect public health. These producers knowingly, after being repeatedly warned, expose consumers to pesticides that are so toxic that they have been banned for use on these food products. Advocates say pesticide offenses like these need to be met with fines that cannot just be considered a cost of doing business –they must be large enough to cause the businesses to change their practices. These findings also provide proof that banned pesticides are still affecting our food supply.

Pesticide use in conventional agriculture does not just affect consumers. Beyond the impacts that residues of pesticides have on people who eat food grown with chemical-intensive practices, the pesticides used in conventional food production can also have devastating impacts on farmworkers. As the scientific literature confirms, farmworkers, their families, and their communities face extraordinary risks from pesticide exposures. Application and pesticide drift result in dermal, inhalation, and oral exposures that are typically underestimated. As a result of cumulative long-term exposures, farmworkers and their children, who often times also work on the farm, are at risk of developing serious chronic health problems such as cancer, neurological impairments, and Parkinson’s disease

Food choices have a direct effect on those who grow and harvest what we eat around the world. This is why food labeled organic is an important choice. In addition to serious health questions linked to actual toxic pesticide food residues, food buying decisions support or reject hazardous agricultural practices, and the protection of farmworkers and farm families. For more information on the health effects of pesticide exposure, see Beyond Pesticides’ Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database. For additional information on impacts of food purchasing decisions on the full range of environmental and worker hazards, wee Beyond Pesticides’ Eating with a Conscience data.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: TakePart, California Department of Pesticide Regulation

 

Share

22
Oct

U.S. Senators to Advance Legislation to Stop States from Labeling GE Food

(Beyond Pesticides, October 22, 2015) With increasing consumer concern about genetically engineered (GE) food, yesterday the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing, entitled Agriculture Biotechnology: a Look at Federal Regulation and Stakeholder Perspectives, that critics called lopsided. Most witnesses characterized GE food as safe or side-stepped the issue of safety, as government witnesses refused to distinguish GE from conventional food and opposed food labeling.

senate committee on agriculture“This is the first time in 10 years we’ve had a hearing on biotech. I guess we’re a little late, but we’re here,” said chair of the committee, Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS). The ranking minority member of the committee, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said, “Biotechnology is proven to be safe, beneficial, and I believe will play a major role in helping to solve these dual global challenges of climate change and global food security,”

Central to the hearing is the the issue of labeling food products containing GE crops. Senator Stabenow called for the adoption of legislation on GE food labeling, presumably with language that will preempt the authority of states to adopt more stringent labeling standards. Senator Stabenow said that she wants labeling that “doesn’t stigmatize biotechnology.” The GE food industry is urging Congress to act to override state labeling before the Vermont label law goes into effect in July 2016.

The committee heard government and industry witnesses on the federal regulation of agriculture biotechnology, with limited input from consumer critics. Two panels (one representing agencies, the other industry) received questions from the 20 committee members on GE crops, biotechnology, and labeling. The agency panel represented “business as usual,” discussing administrative procedures at length, while the industry panel stressed the science of GE. The Just Label It group, a coalition of organizations advancing labeling, called for the public’s right to know. Environmental groups not invited to testify criticized the lopsided hearing and the government’s opposition to GE labeling of food.

While Senators spent two of the three hours questioning agency officials on their regulatory procedures of GE crops and biotechnology, no answers were given that address scientific studies needed to ensure their safety. When asked by Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) if there was anything that made GE crops harmful to the environment, all of the members of the regulatory panel said “no,” despite impacts of GE crop production on the environment, reliance on hazardous weed killers in herbicide-tolerant crops, and the associated decline of monarch butterflies.

EPA’s Office of Pesticide Program indicated that it registers “plant incorporated protectants” (PIPs) in 86 GE crops and acknowledged pest resistance problems. Insects that are the target of the engineered plant, incorporated with a pesticide, develop resistance, putting farmers’ crops at risk because of their dependency on the technology. Organic agriculture identifies genetic engineering as an “excluded method” and prohibits its use in certified organic production. As the GE technology advances, farmers are increasingly threatened with crop loss, as was the argument made by Texas cotton farmers last year when 3 million acres of GE cotton was threatened by weed resistance to Monsanto’s herbicide-tolerant Roundup. The state of Texas, on behalf of the farmers, requested that EPA allow the use of a triazine herbicide not registered for use on cotton under an emergency exemption (Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act), but EPA denied the request because it said that exposure to triazines, linked to hermaphroditism in frogs, “already show[s] unacceptable risk levels.”

In 2012, Washington State University researcher Charles Benbrook, Ph.D. found that the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically engineered herbicide-tolerant crops (cotton, soybeans and corn) has increased, contrary to industry claims that biotechnology will reduce pesticide applications. According to a series of studies in the journal Weed Science, at least 21 different species of weeds Monsanto’s “Roundup-Ready” crops, which leads to an increased pesticide use to try to combat resistance, escalating the pesticide treadmill effect. The latest herbicide tolerant GE corn and soybean plants are engineered to be used with the herbicide 2,4-D, one-half of the mixture of Agent Orange and linked to non Hodgkins lymphoma. Experts expect increased public exposure to 2,4-D through the food supply and in the environment, leading to weed resistance.

At the Agriculture Committee hearing, the first panel included of officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Center for Food Safety and FDA’s Director of Applied Nutrition, Susan Mayne, Ph.D., took opposing positions on GE labeling with the government witness arguing that mandatory labeling is unnecessary because the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) does not recognize a “material” difference between GE and conventional crops. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), a long-time member of the committee, cited the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s interpretation of GE crops as “novel for patent purposes” and asked the panel why agencies were in disagreement about the differences between GE and conventional crops. Dr. Mayne responded that, if there were a material difference in the food safety and nutrition between GE and conventional crops, FDA would support labeling.

The second panel consisted of five members of the agricultural, production, and consumer industry. Joanna Lidback, producer and farmer from the Farm at Wheeler Mountain, voiced her concerns about the costs associated with GE crops used to feed her dairy cows. She calculated an increase of $48,000 per year on her farm if GE feed was ever banned, but no calculations for the costs of the proposed GE label. With economic hardships in mind, organic farmers are threatened with adverse economic impact due to the contamination from GE pollen drifting onto their crops. Organic farmers also report losses due to a need to establish buffer zones.

In opposing labeling Daryl Thomas, Senior Vice President of Herr Foods, Inc., stated, “Mandatory labels on food products are reserved for critical information about nutrition and safety. GMO ingredients don’t change the nutritional profile or safety of our products.”

Opponents of mandatory GE labeling on both panels cited the growing concern of global food insecurity as a reason for denying consumers the right to know if GE crops are in their food. While the developing world is facing a food crisis, most GE crops are used as animal feed, with only 12 percent of crop calories used in that feed end up as calories consumed by humans. Gary Hirshberg, co-founder of Stonyfield Farm and chairman of Just Label It, addressed these concerns. He pointed to other nations that, unlike the U.S., have experience with GE labeling laws. He stated that crop acreage across the GE-labeling world has increased, and asked the Senators to recognize that existing experience has shown that post-labeling trends lean toward increased profit.

Though Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) pointed to the “unanimity” among regulatory bodies’ belief that GE crops are safe and well-regulated, and expressed confidence in agency oversight, recent violations and deficiencies by regulators paint a different story. On August 10, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the Ninth Circuit, M. Margaret McKeown, responded to EPA’s lack of attention to the toxic insecticide dursban (chlorpyrifos), stating that federal agencies should never practice the “venerable tradition” of putting off statutory requirements when it comes to human health. Just one month later, that court unequivocally rejected the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) unconditional registration of the systemic and bee-toxic pesticide sulfoxaflor. Similarly, federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, in a bench ruling, rejected the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) motion to dismiss a federal lawsuit (Case3:15-cv-01690) that challenges the National Organic Program’s (NOP) failure to follow proper legal procedures in making a substantial rule change to the organic standard.

Although absent from the hearing discussion,  GE crops present serious public health and environmental concerns, specifically when it comes to the high levels of chemicals such as glyphosate  (Roundup), recently classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The increasing use of toxic pesticides in GE crop production elevates public exposure through the food supply and environmental contamination.

In July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599), commonly referred to as the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act. After passing the bill, H.R. 1599 was sent to the Senate for review by applicable committees. The act will, if passed, preempt individual states’ rights to require GE labeling. Yesterday’s hearing indicates the rapid movement of the bill through congress and the upcoming Senate bill. Vermont was the first state in the nation to pass a GE labeling law and then survive a federal court challenge from the food industry. If the DARK Act passes through Senate and is enacted into law, it will nullify Vermont’s recent law, set to go into effect on July 1, 2016. Beyond Pesticides encourages people to communicate your  concerns about GE food and the right to know what’s in your food to your U.S. Senators .

Take Action:
Take part by writing to your Senators today to tell them to support federally mandated GE labeling.

You can learn more about the reasons to say no to genetically engineered crops and food by reading Beyond Pesticides’ factsheet on the subject or visiting the Genetic Engineering page on our website.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source:  U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

Share

21
Oct

Industry Celebrates 25 Years of Undermining Public Health

(Beyond Pesticides, October 21, 2015) Last week, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), an umbrella group representing pesticide manufacturers, celebrated its 25th year anniversary, touting its efforts to roll back critical protections from pesticide use in the U.S. The group emphasizes its role in quashing local government’s right to restrict pesticide use within its jurisdiction after the Supreme Court, in Wisconsin Public Intervenor v. Ralph Mortier (1991), upheld local authority under federal pesticide law.

roundupRISE, formed out of the National Agricultural Chemicals Association to fight government regulation at the federal, state, and local level, launched with a plan to defeat those opposing pesticide use in favor of sustainable practices, including concerned mothers, progressive businesses, and local and national health and environmental advocates. The platform RISE articulates showcases its plans to influence regulators and consumers to allow the widespread and less restricted use of pesticides.

In the 1990’s, RISE joined with another industry group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), to seek the adoption in state legislatures across the country pesticide preemption laws, which were adopted in over 40 states. These laws prevent local governments from adopting their own restrictions governing pesticide use on private property. At one point, the organization sought federal legislation to take away the authority of local governments to restrict pesticide use on their own public lands. The measure was rejected by members of the House Agriculture Committee. Though aligned with RISE, conservatives on the committee in the 90’s could not counsel, as a matter of political philosophy, stepping on the rights of states and local governments to adopt standards more restrictive than the federal government. The industry’s focus on preemption in its 25th anniversary reflection signals the threat that it believes democratic decision making by local elected officials or ballot initiatives pose for its future.

A Beyond Pesticides report on state preemption law and its importance in the local democratic process illustrates the benefits of permitting local governments to make decisions that respond to the concerns of their residents, as well as the negative ramifications of state preemption laws. The absence of preemption laws in the seven states that have preserved local authority to restrict pesticides more stringently than the state has been a commanding factor in several pesticide ban victories. Most recently, Montgomery County, Maryland, home to over 1 million people, enacted a law that will forbid toxic pesticides on public and private land within its jurisdiction. This victory follows on the heels of similar acts of local control. Takoma Park, Maryland passed an ordinance in 2013, and the Town of Ogunquit, Maine adopted a similar ordinance by ballot initiative in November, 2014. If you would like to see a similar ordinance passed in your area, click here to let Beyond Pesticides know!

RISE sees the decline of pollinators and issues surrounding clean water as hot topics, with plans to engage in conversations taking place around these issues. The group also has plans to address the “decidedly green attitudes of Millennials” moving forward, though the exact nature of its strategy was not disclosed. However, the group has found it necessary to expand its staff, re-evaluate its brand, and work to fully engage its chemical company members.

RISE is concerned about the build-up of local grassroots advocacy, and plans to become further involved in opposition to sensible pesticide legislation. The group believes getting involved early on in conversations allows them to “build up good will for how specialty products solve problems.” However, in the lead up to a successful ballot initiative that bans pesticides on public and private property in Ogunquit, Maine, RISE unlawfully mailed to town residents opposition literature without identifying itself or registering with the town, as required. RISE’s efforts were also seen earlier this year in its unsuccessful attempts to stop Montgomery County’s historic ordinance to restrict pesticide use on public and private land. Maryland and Maine are two of seven states that do not preempt local jurisdictions from restricting pesticide use on all land within their local political subdivisions.

The outpouring of grassroots support from around the country after the passage of local laws like that in Montgomery County shows that after 25 years of RISE’s efforts to roll back health and environmental protections elected officials and residents believe it is crucial to adopt protections that are thwarted by the chemical industry, the chemical lawn care industry, and government regulators. Beyond Pesticides encourages residents to become aware of national efforts to undermine critical health and environmental laws, and take action in their community to fight for these important public health and environmental protections. Click here to show your support for a pesticide-free community.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: Pest Control Technology

 

Share

20
Oct

Study Finds Neonics “Severely Affect” Health of Honey Bee Queens

(Beyond Pesticides, October 20, 2015) Exposure to neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides results in profound negative impacts to the health of honey bee queens, according to an international team of researchers led by Geoff Williams, MD, PhD, at the University of Bern in Switzerland. While most studies to date have investigated how neonics effect the health of individual workers or overall colony fitness, Dr. William’s study, Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens, is one of the first to focus on the health of honey bee queens. Neither the European Union nor U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study the impacts of pesticides on queen health before allowing a pesticide to market. The results of this research are particularly concerning, given widespread anecdotal evidence from beekeepers across the globe that ‘poor quality queens’ are playing a role in bee declines.

queenbeeTo test the impacts of these chemicals on queen honey bees, scientists exposed a sample of 29 queens to field-realistic levels of the neonics  clothianidian and thiamethoxam (1 parts per billion and 4 ppb respectively), and compared them to a population of 28 control queens, which were not treated with neonics. Both groups experienced similar environmental circumstances in terms of food availability, rearing process, and hive conditions. Researchers set up mating nucleus colonies to observe queen mating flights (in which queens leave the hive in search of male drone bees). A queen may mate with from anywhere from one to 40 drones, but averages roughly 12. The queen can store up to 6 million spermatozoa from her mating flight, which she uses to lay fertilized (female) worker bees throughout the rest of her life (queens generally live 2-7 years).

After four weeks of queen rearing, researchers recorded 25% fewer neonic-exposed queens alive compared to the control group. Queens in the neonic-exposed group were more likely to not lay worker eggs, a key indicator of queen health and mating success. While roughly 5% of the control group was unsuccessful, over 40% of the neonic-treated queens did not lay eggs. After euthanizing and dissecting remaining queens, researchers discovered than neonic-exposed queens had 20% less spermatozoa than the control group. It was further noted that exposed queens had ovaries which were 6.8% larger than controls. “Increased ovary size suggests that neonicotinoids can affect development of queen reproductive system,” the study notes.

Queen bees are the powerhouse of honey bee hives, laying up to 1,500 eggs per day. Queens can determine the sex of eggs they lay (a term called haplodiploidy), as females worker bees are fertilized and male drone bees are not. Healthy queens are critical for healthy hives.

Neonicotinoids have amassed a significant body of research pointing to adverse effects not only in honey bees, but in bumble bees, monarchs, other pollinators, and proper ecosystem functioning in general. Co-author of the research, Peter Neumann, PhD, stated in a press release, “This study, along with other recently published ones, supports calls for more thorough environmental risk assessments of agricultural chemicals to protect biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.”

In December 2013, the European Union instituted a 2-year moratorium on the use of neonics on bee-attractive crops. The decision will not expire at the end of this year, but remain in place while regulators determine its renewal. Earlier this year, the Canadian province of Ontario moved to reduce by 80% the use of neonic-coated seeds, a major route of toxic chemical exposure for honey bees.

In the U.S., action at the federal level has done little to take the sting out of pollinator declines. Despite the announcement of a coordinated National Pollinator Health Strategy this May, federal agencies continue to exhibit widely different approaches on how to address pollinator declines. While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service banned the use of neonics on National Wildlife Refuge Land, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality released new guidelines prohibiting the planting of neonic-treated plants at federal facilities, EPA and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have taken little substantive action. Although EPA recently proposed modest label changes to protect bees from acute pesticide exposure, USDA submitted comments criticizing the agency’s proposed rule, saying that it had “not established the need for such a prohibition.”

The Saving America’s Pollinator’s Act of 2015 remains an avenue for Congress to address the pollinator crisis. Contact your U.S. Representative and ask them to support this important legislation today. You can also get active in your community to protect bees by advocating for policies that restrict their use. Montgomery County, Maryland recently restricted the use of a wide range of pesticides, including neonics, on public and private property. Sign here if you’d like to see your community do the same!

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: University of Bern Press Release, Scientific Reports

 

 

Share

19
Oct

Monsanto Faces Lawsuits on Cancer Linked to Roundup

(Beyond Pesticides, October 19, 2015) Monsanto, the major producer of Roundup (glyphosate), has found itself in hot water recently, as personal injury lawsuits pile up over the link between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL). Personal injury law firms around the U.S. have found a multitude of plaintiffs and are preparing for what could be a “mass tort” action against Monsanto for knowingly misinforming the public and farmworkers about the dangers of the chemical.

roundupThe latest lawsuit was filed October 14 in Delaware Superior Court by three law firms representing three plaintiffs. One plaintiff in the Delaware lawsuit, Joselin Barrera, 24, a child of migrant farmworkers, relates her non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) to glyphosate exposure. Elias de la Garza, a former migrant farm worker and landscaper diagnosed with NHL, has a similar claim. These follow other lawsuits filed last month in New York and California that accuse Monsanto of knowing that glyphosate was hazardous to human health. Monsanto “led a prolonged campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers and the general population that Roundup was safe,” the lawsuit states.

Glyphosate is touted as a “low toxicity” chemical and “safer” than other chemicals by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry and is widely used in food production and on lawns, gardens, parks, and children’s playing fields. However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is a part of the World Health Organization) released its finding in March, concluding that there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity based on laboratory studies. IARC’s classification of glyphosate as a Group 2A “probable” carcinogen finds that glyphosate is anything but safe. The ranking represents the highest order carcinogen when no human data is available –and since chemicals are not tested on humans, a higher ranking is rare. According to IARC, Group 2A means that the chemical is probably carcinogenic to humans based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. The agency considered the findings from an EPA Scientific Advisory Panel report, along with several recent studies in making its conclusion. The agency also notes that glyphosate caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells. Further, epidemiologic studies have found that exposure to glyphosate is significantly associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Following IARC’s review, California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced that it intended to list glyphosate and three other chemicals as cancer-causing chemicals under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65).

EPA, in 1985, originally classified glyphosate as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’ based on tumors in laboratory animals, but changed its classification to evidence of non-carcinogenicity in humans years later, most likely due to industry influence, allowing the chemical to be the most widely used pesticide in the U.S. USDA has contributed to its greatly expanded use by deregulating crops, including the vast majority of corn and soybeans, that are genetically engineered to be tolerant to the chemical. In recent years, weeds have exhibited resistance to glyphosate and its efficacy has been called into question. Additionally, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) routinely finds glyphosate in U.S. waterways especially in the Midwestern states and the Mississippi River valley. Ecological data also reports that glyphosate and glyphosate formulated products are toxic to aquatic organisms, and is extremely lethal to amphibians.

The mounting evidence of glyphosate’s hazards is piling up and environmental groups, like Beyond Pesticides, are urging localities to restrict or ban the use of the chemical. A recent success in grassroots activism comes through Tracy Madlener, a mother of two, who got her neighborhood in Laguna Hills, California to eliminate the use of the widely-used weedkiller. Beyond Pesticides promotes these actions and many more through our Tools for Change page. This page is designed to help activists and other concerned citizens organize around a variety of pesticide issues on the local, state, and national level. Learn how to organize a campaign and talk to your neighbors about pesticides with our factsheets.

Another way to avoid glyphosate and other harmful pesticides is to support organic agriculture and eat organic food. Beyond Pesticides has long advocated for organic management practices as a means to foster biodiversity, and research shows that organic farmers do a better job of protecting biodiversity than their chemically-intensive counterparts. Instead of prophylactic use of pesticides and biotechnology, responsible organic farms focus on fostering habitat for pest predators and other beneficial insects, and only resort to judicious use of least-toxic pesticides when other cultural, structural, mechanical, and biological controls have been attempted and proven ineffective. For more information on why organic is the right choice, visit our Organic Agriculture webpage.

Sign the petition to ban glyphosate.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: Reuters

 

Share

16
Oct

Agricultural Crop Density Linked to Childhood Cancer in Midwest

(Beyond Pesticides, October 16, 2015) According to a new study, living in crop-dense regions is linked to increased leukemia and central nervous system cancers in children. Although there is a litany of scientific literature that highlights the link between pesticide exposure and childhood illness, this study is one of few that examines the relationship between residential exposures to agricultural pesticides via crop density and adverse health outcomes, and may serve as a basis for further investigation into childhood cancer rates in areas where agricultural pesticides are highly used.

pesticidesprayThe study, titled Agricultural crop density and the risk of childhood cancer in the Midwestern United States: an ecologic study, was published in the journal Environmental Health. Using crop density as a surrogate for residential exposure to agricultural pesticides, the study linked county-level agricultural census data and cancer incidence data for children between the ages 0 to 4 in six Midwestern states and found evidence of an association between childhood cancer incidence and the production of crops such as dry beans, oats, and sugar beets. Researchers found statistically significant exposure-response relationships for dry beans and total leukemias and acute lymphoid leukemias, oats and acute myeloid leukemias, and sugar beets and total leukemias. State-level analyses discovered additional positive associations for total leukemia and central nervous system (CNS) tumors. While researchers were not able to examine specific pesticides used in these regions, they cited atrazine, glyphosate, 2,4-D, and MCPA as some of the most highly-used chemicals during the study period.

The link between adverse health outcomes in children and pesticide exposure is well-documented. A recent Harvard study found that residential exposure to indoor insecticides in and around a child’s home is linked to increased risk of childhood leukemia and lymphoma. An investigation by Yale University researchers found that prenatal exposure to the widely used agricultural pesticide chlorpyrifos is linked to tremors in childhood. An article published in in the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology found that parental exposure to environmental stressors, such as pesticides, before a child is conceived can alter the way genes are expressed in the mother and father, ultimately harming the child’s health when those genes are passed down to the next generation.

Beyond Pesticides advocates eating organic through its Eating with a Conscience website because of the environmental and health benefits to consumers, workers, and rural families. The Eating with a Conscience database, based on legal tolerances (or allowable residues on food commodities), describes a food production system that enables toxic pesticide use both domestically and internationally, and provides a look at the toxic chemicals allowed in the production of the food we eat and the environmental and public health effects resulting from their use. To learn about the benefits of organic agriculture, see Beyond Pesticides’ Organic Food program page. For more information on pesticide exposures in homes, schools, workplaces and communities, see Beyond Pesticides’ Gateway on Pesticide Hazards and Safe Pest Management

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: Environmental Health

 

Share

15
Oct

Study Finds Wildflowers Contain More Neonics than Treated Fields

(Beyond Pesticides, October 15, 2015) A new study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, has found that wildflowers bordering fields that are treated with neonicotinoids contain a higher concentration of the bee-toxic pesticides than the actual treated fields, pointing out an often overlooked avenue of exposure for bees. Widely-used neonicotinoids, which as systemic chemicals move through a plant’s vascular system and express poison through pollen, nectar, and guttation droplets, have been identified in multiple peer-reviewed studies and by beekeepers as the major contributing factor in bee decline.

California_Wildflowers_(3386132276)The study, titled Neonicotinoid Residues in Wildflowers, A Potential Route of Chronic Exposure for Bees, discovered neonicotinoid insecticides in wildflowers, including Hogweed and Poppy pollen (up to 86ppb and 64ppb, respectively). The study’s authors found higher concentrations of neonicotinoids in wild flowers in field margins than in Oilseed rape flowers in the adjacent neonicotinoid treated crop – on average 15ppb vs. 3ppb.  They also found that more than 97% of the neonicotinoids being brought into the hive by honey bees are from wildflowers, while only 3% are from the crop.

Researchers have found that chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee. In other words, these pesticides damage the brain cells of bees. Exposed bees will have greater difficulty, for instance, in recognizing the smell of a flower, or how to find their way back to their colony. In June 2015, researchers demonstrated that honey bees exposed to imidacloprid, a toxic neonic, are more susceptible to heat shock. Researchers have also found that bees can become addicted to neonicotinoids in the same way that humans can become addicted to cigarettes. More research can be found on Beyond Pesticides’ What the Science Shows page, where studies are listed to highlight the impact of pesticides on these organisms.

Unfortunately, there is evidence that the toxic chemicals affect other pollinators and beneficial insects as well. Earlier this year, researchers from the University of Minnesota presented some of the first evidence linking these bee-killing insecticides to monarch butterfly deaths. The study found that milkweed plants, which monarch butterflies need to survive, may also retain neonicotinoids from nearby plants, making milkweed toxic to monarchs. Environmentalists, beekeepers and activists are increasingly frustrated with the use of these toxic chemicals, as it has been found that neonicotinoid-treated seeds do not reduce crop damage from pests, and that the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments, which are intended to decrease the use of pesticides, can actually increase the necessity of these toxic chemicals by killing off natural, beneficial insect predators.

The implications of the study findings only strengthen the need for meaningful policy change on the federal level. Saving America’s Pollinators Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend the registration of all neonicotinoid insecticides that are registered for use in seed treatment, soil application, or foliar treatment on bee attractive plants, trees and cereals until EPA has fully determined that these toxic chemicals do not cause unreasonable adverse effects on pollinators. You can help to protect America’s pollinators by submitting a letter to your representative, urging them to support Saving America’s Pollinators Act. Let’s BEE Protective and support a shift away from the use of these toxic chemicals by encouraging organic methods and sustainable land management practices in your home, campus, or community.

Neonicotinoids are undoubtedly highly toxic to honey bees, and EPA acknowledges this fact. However, little is being done at the federal level to protect bees and other pollinators from these pesticides. With unlimited resources behind them, the chemical industry –the pesticide manufacturers, landscaping, horticultural and agricultural trade groups, have all come out to deflect attention away from pesticides as a major culprit in pollinator decline. To learn more about how industry agents try to manipulate the message to say that neonics are not the main cause, see Beyond Pesticides’ report addressing industry myths on pollinator decline.

In light of the shortcomings of federal action to protect these beneficial creatures, it is left up to us to ensure that we provide safe havens for pollinators by creating pesticide-free habitat and educating others to do the same. Beyond Pesticides has created a small pesticide-free garden at our offices in DC to provide habitat and forage for our local pollinators. You too can pledge your green space as pesticide-free and pollinator-friendly. It does not matter how large or small your pledge is, as long as you contribute to the creation of safe pollinator habitat. Sign the pledge today. Need ideas on creating the perfect pollinator habitat? The Bee Protective Habitat Guide can tell you which native plants are right for your region.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: Environmental Science & Technology, Buglife

 

Share

14
Oct

Another Study Confirms Eating an Organic Diet Lowers Pesticide Levels in Children

(Beyond Pesticides, October 14, 2015) New research from the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH) shows that children, especially those in low-income and agricultural families, who switched to an organic diet reduced their bodies’ level of pesticides. This California study is one of several that documents the benefits of eating an organic diet, especially for children who are especially vulnerable to pesticide exposures due to the developing bodies.

schoolclass2The study, Effect of Organic Diet Intervention on Pesticide Exposures in Young Children Living in Low-Income Urban and Agricultural Communities follows 40 children, 3-6 years old from low-income families living in urban and agricultural environments in Oakland and Salinas, California. The children alternated between a conventionally grown diet and organic, and urine samples were analyzed each day. The researchers measure 23 metabolites of several pesticides classes, including organophosphates (OP) and pyrethroid insecticides, and the herbicides 2,4-D and metolachlor. These pesticides are frequently detected (> 72%) in urine samples collected, with metabolites of 2,4-D detected 90 percent of the time, and pyrethroids 82 percent.

Overall, among the most frequently detected pesticides, metabolites of OPs decreases by nearly 50 percent when children are on an organic diet, and levels of 2,4-D falls by 25 percent. Pyrethroid metabolites however, did not significantly decrease during an organic diet. The researchers hypothesize that this is due to the overwhelming use of pyrethroids in and around homes, and children are exposed to pyrethroids from their living environment, not solely through diet. Pyrethroids are also more frequently detected in children from the urban area, which also reports higher use of pesticides in the home. Conversely, the most frequently detected metabolites are generally higher in children from the agricultural region compared to those from the urban area, suggesting higher exposure levels for children living in agricultural communities.

Nina Holland, PhD, an adjunct professor in the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health who worked on the study, said this was “one of the most remarkable studies of its kind” and could encourage farmers to grow organically.

This study is not the first of its kind. Earlier this year, Canadian scientists reported a similar conclusion for people who ate a conventional diet. In that study, the scientists studied nearly 4,500 people from six U.S. cities and examined long-term dietary exposure to 14 OPs, and found lower pesticide levels in those who ate organic. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) weighed in on the organic food debate recognizing that lower pesticide residues in organic foods may be significant for children. The Academy also noted that choosing organic is based on larger environmental issues, as well as human health impacts like pollution and global climate change.

Studies have also found additional health benefits to eating organic. A ten-year University of California study, which compared organic tomatoes with chemically grown produce, found that they have almost double the quantity of disease-fighting antioxidants called flavonoids. A comprehensive review of 97 published studies comparing the nutritional quality of organic and conventional foods shows that organic plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, grains) contain higher levels of eight of 11 nutrients studied, including significantly greater concentrations of the health-promoting polyphenols and antioxidants. A study by Newcastle University, published in the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture, found that organic farmers who let their cows graze as nature intended are producing better quality milk.

Many people have been making the switch to organic for various health-based reasons. According to a 2014 Gallup poll, nearly half of all U.S. adults “actively” seek to add organic food to their diets. Many who eat and incorporate organic foods into their diet are from city areas, whereas those who eat the least organic foods are described as coming from rural areas. A similar 2014 poll by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) reports that consumption of organic products has continued to increase at a monumental pace. According to the survey, sales of organic products in the U.S. jumped to $35.1 billion in 2013, up 11.5% from the previous year’s $31.5 billion and the fastest growth rate in five years.

Beyond Pesticides advocates in its program and through its Eating with a Conscience website choosing organic because of the environmental and health benefits to consumers, workers, and rural families. The Eating with a Conscience database, based on legal tolerances (or allowable residues on food commodities), describes a food production system that enables toxic pesticide use both domestically and internationally, and provides a look at the toxic chemicals allowed in the production of the food we eat and the environmental and public health effects resulting from their use. For more information on the benefits of organic agriculture, see Beyond Pesticides’ Organic Food program page.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: NYTimes, The Daily Californian

Share

13
Oct

Majority of EU Countries Opt-Out of Approved GE Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, October 13, 2015) Nineteen European Union (EU) member states (Austria, Belgium (Wallonia), Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Solvenia, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales) have opted out of approving GE cultivation except for research purposes. In the past, the EU has not been particularly fond of GE crops; currently, only one GE crop, insect resistant maize MON 810, has been approved for cultivation.

images (1)In March, the EU passed a new directive that allowed GE crops to be approved for use Union-wide. Along with the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), that directive also gave member states the ability to “adopt legally binding acts restricting or prohibiting the cultivation of GMOs in their territory after such GMOs have been authorized to be placed on the Union market.” Once the opt-out applications have been processed and transmitted to the companies, they have one month to take action; that is, the companies most affected by the ban will have the chance to oppose it. Member states have cited environmental and agricultural issues as a reason for opting out and while biotechnology companies can deny them, it is likely that member states will invoke “substantial grounds” to protect their ban. “Member states … have to justify their opt-out measures – that they are motivated by an overriding reason of general interest, and are in line with the rules of the internal market,” said European Commissioner Margreth Vestayer.

And while biotechnology companies, like Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow AgroSciences, and Pioneer, might be thought to automatically seek to deny member states the right to ban the use of GE crops, it has not been the case so far. Last month, Monsanto abided by Latvia’s and Greece’s requests for a ban and stated that they “will consider any other such requests on a case-by-case basis.” That trend of acquiescence may end, though, since heavily-populated countries like Germany have joined the ranks of member states requesting a ban on GE crops, with over half of the EU opting out. Biotechnology powerhouses like Monsanto might consider ban requests more carefully in order to protect profits, considering that it is currently facing financial deficits. Although Monsanto has previously stated that it will not seek any new GE crop approvals in the EU, it may need to recover lost ground. Just two weeks ago, Monsanto announced that it would be cutting around 2,600 jobs, affecting 11.6 percent of its workers, as a result of last quarter’s unexpected loss. Sales from its prized product, Roundup (glyphosate), fell from $1.25 billion to $1.1 billion. Earlier this year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a program of the World Health Organization, announced it had classified glyphosate a human carcinogen, based on laboratory animal studies.

While over half of EU’s member states are making strides to keep GE foods off their shelves, the U.S. government is sprinting in the opposite direction. In the last year, three GE crops (soybean, cotton, and corn) have been deregulated and approved for commercial use in the U.S. More recently, Senate is awaiting a vote on Bill H.R. 1599, otherwise known as the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act, which would preempt states by preventing state and local governments from enacting laws banning GE labels. On July 23, the House of Representatives voted to pass the DARK Act through to Senate for a vote, which could happen any day now. Environmental and industry lobbyists are racing against the clock to convince senators that GE labeling is good or bad, respectively. While 9 out of 10 Americans agree that they would prefer that GE foods bear a label, congressmen have consistently sided with profit-driven industry.

Proponents of the DARK act tout scientific studies that prove the safety of GE crops; however, numerous studies can be found that show the GE crops are much more than an extension of selective breeding. The root of the problem with GE crops lies in the implementation of their use. A prospective article found in the New England Journal of Medicine that outlines the hazards associated with food residues of elevated pesticide use in GE crops and focuses on the significance of the actual increase in herbicide use and weed resistance in herbicide-tolerant crops.

Beyond Pesticides urges consumers to pressure our government officials to guard the safety of their citizens. Legislation like the DARK Act, which has passed in the House, will place a prohibition on states’ authority to require labeling of GE ingredients in food products, instituting federal preemption of state and local authority. To get involved, contact your Senator to tell them to vote against the H.R. 1599.

In the meantime, while we wait for the National Academy of Sciences to release a new GE report (expected in 2016), the best and currently only way to avoid GE food is to support organic agriculture and eat organic food. Beyond Pesticides has long advocated for organic management practices as a means to foster biodiversity, and research shows that organic farmers do a better job of protecting biodiversity than their chemically-intensive counterparts. Instead of prophylactic use of pesticides and scheduled sprays, responsible organic farms focus on fostering habitat for pest predators and other beneficial insects, set action levels for pests based upon monitoring, and only resort to judicious use of least-toxic pesticides when other cultural, structural, mechanical, and biological controls have been attempted and proven ineffective.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: Reuters

Share

09
Oct

EPA Seeks Public Opinion on Continued Use of Neurotoxic Organophosphate Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, October 9, 2015) Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released preliminary human health and ecological risk assessments for seven organophosphate pesticides (OPs) and announced the public open comment period for those chemicals. These risk assessments come as a result of the required periodic registration review, as required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicides, and Rodenticide Act. In general, OPs are highly toxic and many have been voluntarily removed from the market, considerably restricted, or denied reregistration. Unfortunately, EPA continues to rely on risk mitigation for individual OPs instead of phasing them out altogether.

epa_seal_profilesSeven OPs­­—dimethoate, dictrotophos, chloyrophos-methyl, tribufos, terbufos, profenofors, and ethoprop—are among the first wave of chemicals whose preliminary risk assessments have been completed under the registration review program. Each of these was found by EPA to inhibit the enzyme acetylcholine esterase (AchE), which ultimately leads to neurotoxic central nervous system effects. This information is not new, however. In 2012, University College London found long-term low-level exposure to OPs produces lasting damage to neurological and cognitive functions. In 2013, at least 25 children died after eating school lunches contaminated by OPs. One OP in particular, chlorpyrifos, chlorpyrifos (Dursban), is currently under petition for the same AchE enzyme inhibition. Its brother, chlorpyrifos-methyl, is on the current list of OPs available for public comment. EPA has until October 31, 2015 to respond to that request to ban chlorpyrifos.

Details from these risk assessments are summarized:

  • Chloyrophos-methyl: is used as a post-harvest treatment of stored grains or to treat empty grain bins and warehouses for insects like beetles, weevils, moths, and grain borers.
  • Dictrotophos:is an organophosphate insecticide mainly used on cotton and ornamental trees. Dicrotophos is primarily used to target stinkbugs and tarnished plant bugs in cotton growing states. EPA has identified possible dietary risk for both adults and children, possible spray drift risks, and possible occupational handler risk from both aerial and ground application.
  • Dimethoate: is a wide spectrum systemic organophosphate insecticide. It is registered for use on a wide variety of agricultural crops, tree crops, ornamentals, and non-cropland adjacent to agricultural fields. It is classified as a Group C carcinogen (possible human carcinogen). Increased pup mortality was observed in several studies.
  • Ethoprop: is a restricted use insecticide-nematicide registered for use on a variety of crops, including potatoes and sugarcane. EPA identified both human health and ecological risks of concern and was evaluated for its potential to affect endocrine systems in mammals and wildlife. Ethoprop is classified “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” based on malignant adrenal pheochromocytomas in male rats, according to EPA risk assessment guidelines.
  • Profenofors: (CuracronÂŽ) is an organophosphate, restricted use insecticide registered for use on cotton.
  • Terbufos:is a systemic organophosphate insecticide-nematicide used to control a variety of pests on corn (field and sweet corn), grain sorghum, and sugar beets. EPA found human dietary, occupational, aquatic animal, and terrestrial animal risks. It has also been found to harm honeybees.
  • Tribufos: Tribufos is an organophospate chemical used as a pre-harvest desiccant on cotton. The Environmental Protection Agency conducted comprehensive human health and ecological risk assessments, which identified human health and ecological risks.The HED Cancer Peer Review Committee (CPRC) [now designated as Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC)] classified tribufos as “likely” at high doses but “unlikely” to be a human carcinogen at low doses.

In October 2007, President Bush signed the Pesticide Registration Renewal Act into law, amending the process for EPA registration set forth in FIFRA. The registration review process aims to assess updated scientific research and current findings to determine the registration status of each pesticide once every 15 years. According to the amendment, EPA has until October 1, 2022 to complete the registration reviews of all pesticides registered on or after October 1, 2007.

EPA officials have emphasized the importance of evaluating the safety of individual pesticides for farmworkers following last week’s update to the Worker Protection Standard. Farm work is demanding and dangerous physical labor. As the scientific literature confirms, farmworkers, their families, and their communities face extraordinary risks from pesticide exposures. Application and pesticide drift result in dermal, inhalation, and oral exposures that are typically underestimated.

The comment period for these and other pesticides ends November 24, 2015. It is important that concerned citizens voice their concerns in this public forum to ensure that the federal government takes public opinion into account. Ultimately, the widespread adoption of organic management is necessary to protect consumers and the environment in the long-term. Beyond Pesticides has long sought a broadscale marketplace transition to organic practices that disallows the use of toxic synthetic pesticides by law and encourages a systems-based approach that is protective of health and the environment. Even at its worst, this approach never allows the use of highly toxic synthetic pesticides, let alone organophosphates and advances a viable, scalable path forward for growing food.

For more information about organophosphates and other pesticides up for registration review, use our Pesticide Gateway database.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

Share

08
Oct

Colorado Consumers Sue Over Illegal Pesticides in Marijuana

(Beyond Pesticides October 8, 2015) Colorado’s largest pot grower, LivWell Inc., was sued over illegal pesticide use in a law suit filed Monday in Denver District Court. Two marijuana users, one of whom suffers from a brain tumor and holds a medical card to use the product, allege that the grower used a potentially dangerous pesticide in the production of marijuana they later purchased. The suit asks for an undisclosed amount of damages and also claims that an implied promise to consumers was breached when LivWell sold high-grade and medical-grade marijuana treated with unapproved pesticides to consumers.

Colorado_WeedFlag-600x227The main pesticide at issue in this case is myclobutanil or Eagle 20, which is the same product that led to tens thousands of plants being quarantined last spring after testing positive for the fungicide during a routine inspection by the Denver Department of Environmental Health. Growers claim that without the fungicide their plants are endangered. The 40-page lawsuit claims that myclobutanil, when heated, breaks down to “poisonous hydrogen cyanide” and alleges that consumers who smoke marijuana treated with Eagle 20 ingest the gas.” While neither plaintiff alleges they were sickened from ingesting the marijuana they purchased at LivWell, both claim they would not have inhaled the product if they had known it was treated with Eagle 20.

The lawsuit is the first of its kind to be filed against a marijuana company over pesticide use and highlights the ongoing debate in Colorado over what pesticides are safe to use on marijuana. For months, city and state officials, as well as growers and consumers, have been at odds with one another while trying to navigate the regulations, or lack thereof, governing the use of pesticides on marijuana grown within the state. Because marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, as opposed to a food or drug crop, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is barred from reviewing any application pertaining to its use. Beyond Pesticides has told the state of Colorado that the absence of federal regulation creates a prohibition on registered pesticide use in marijuana production since it has not labeled for cannabis. However, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), state’s pesticide regulatory agency, has gone to great lengths to allow growers access to unregulated uses of pesticides by publishing a list of allowed “pesticides for use in marijuana production.” This summer, Beyond Pesticides sent a letter to CDA urging officials to reconsider their position on pesticide use in cannabis cultivation and warn them of violations of the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) should they continue to allow in marijuana production the use of pesticides not registered for that use.

The letter also addresses actions by CDA that encourages stakeholders to pursue exemptions for highly toxic pesticides by applying for Special Local Need exemptions from EPA, and indicates that the state intends to allow the use of other pesticides under general label language that has not be tested and specifically registered for use on marijuana. Both of these approaches violate federal law and EPA regulations. Given the potential legal challenges associated with approving toxic pesticides for use on cannabis, Beyond Pesticides encourages CDA to allow within the state only the use of pesticides of a character unnecessary for regulation, which fall under section 25(b) of FIFRA.

According to the plaintiffs’ attorney, Steven Woodrow, the current lawsuit is an attempt to enforce the law as it stands in the absence of action by CDA or state lawmakers to protect public health and safety. “In a larger sense [the plaintiffs are] saying the marijuana industry can’t go on unchecked and someone has to do something to stop these people from using Eagle 20 and other harmful pesticides,” said Mr. Woodrow. In comments to the Denver Post before the lawsuit was filed, Mr. Woodrow points out that, “We’d not be talking today if the state had acted quickly to protect consumers.”

The suit also takes issue with the fact that, although myclobutanil is used on other food crops, there are no allowable levels for it on marijuana because it is an illegal crop under federal law. However, city health officials allowed the plants to be released when tests showed only the lowest allowable levels of the chemicals, an action the lawsuit alleges was illegal because simply showing “the plants did not have ‘pesticide residue’ does not necessarily mean that the plants were safe for inhalation.” This is a significant step in reigning in the, up to this point, seemingly unchecked marijuana industry that has become a powerful force in the state of Colorado over the past three years. This lawsuit follows on the heels of actions taken just a few weeks ago by the state attorney general to crack down on the misuse and misrepresentation of the word “organic” in marijuana sales.

More information about state (including Colorado) regulation of pesticide use in marijuana cultivation can be found in Beyond Pesticides’ investigative report on the issue, which was published this past spring. The report highlights different approaches used by states and raises safety concerns due to loopholes in federal law. The report also recommends that states with legalization adopt laws governing cannabis production that prohibit federally registered pesticides and require the adoption of organic practices that only allow products exempt from registration based on the full range of possible exposure patterns, which is the same position expressed to CDA in Beyond Pesticides’ letter.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: Denver Post

 

Share

07
Oct

Maryland County Bans Cosmetic Lawn Pesticides on All Land in County, One Million People Protected

(Beyond Pesticides, October 7, 2015) The largest county in the country to act to ban pesticides will forbid toxic pesticides on public and private land within its jurisdiction, based on legislation passed yesterday by a 6-3 vote. The ban, an historic public health measure, will protect one million people in a county outside Washington, DC, as it allows time for transition, training, and a public education program over the next several years. The amended bill was enacted with the support of Council President George Leventhal (the lead sponsor of the original bill), Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Tom Hucker, Nancy Navarro, Hans Riemer and Council Vice President Nancy Floreen, who voted in favor.

52-14 passedMaryland is one of seven states that has not taken away (or preempted) local authority to restrict pesticides more stringently than the state. One of the cities within the county, Takoma Park, passed a similar ordinance back in 2013. The Town of Ogunquit, Maine adopted a similar ordinance by ballot initiative in November, 2014.

“Today’s action is another step in the ongoing effort to make Montgomery County the healthiest, safest county in the country,” said Council President Leventhal. “Countless studies have linked pesticides to a wide range of health conditions in children and adults and, since the bill was introduced one year ago, I have received hundreds of reports from constituents of children and pets experiencing adverse effects from the application of pesticides.”

“Local government can—and should—step in a preventative way to protect the public’s health, even when there is not complete scientific certainty,” Council President Leventhal continued. “The science may never be conclusive since it involves complex chemical interactions, but the absence of incontrovertible evidence does not justify inaction. ”

At the last committee hearing before the full council on September 17, the Transportation and Environment (T&E) Committee voted 2-1 on substitute legislation, proposed by Committee Chair Roger Berliner, to remove the central portions of the bill intended to transition Montgomery County land, including public and private property, to non-toxic sustainable management practices.

The Montgomery County Parks Department has fought against the bill, suggesting that fields cannot be managed with organic practices. As a result, one of the amendments to the original bill will allow the County’s Department of Parks to continue to use pesticides on playing fields as part of an integrated pest management program and requires the department to develop a plan that would lead to maintaining fields without pesticide use by 2020. The department will conduct a pilot program in the interim period to study the impact of maintaining fields without using pesticides. Extensive testimony on alternatives has educated council members on the viability of organic practices.

There is movement across the country to adopt ordinances that stop pesticide use on public property and, where allowed, private property. Pesticides when used move off the target site through drift and runoff, exposing non-target sites and people.

Beyond Pesticides worked closely with Safe Grow Montgomery, a local coalition of individual volunteers, organizations and businesses to help educate the public on the bill. The coalition works to prevent exposure to chemicals that run-off, drift, and volatilize from their application site, causing involuntary poisoning of children and pets, polluting local water bodies such as the Chesapeake Bay, and widespread declines of honey bees and other wild pollinators.

The legislation passed yesterday is a major victory for public health and environmental protection. While the chemical lawn care industry strenuously opposed the bill, in testimony before the Council an industry spokesman said he could implement organic programs for his customers.

For more information on organic lawn care, see Beyond Pesticides lawns and landscape program page.

More details about Bill 52-14 and related amendments are available to read here.

Source: Montgomery County Press Release

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Share

06
Oct

Maryland County Bans Cosmetic Lawn Pesticides on All Land in County, One Million People Affected

(Breaking News, October 6, 2015, Washington, DC) The largest county in the country to act to ban pesticides will forbid toxic pesticides on public and private land within its jurisdiction, based on legislation passed today by a 6-3 vote. The ban, an historic public health measure, will protect one million people in a county outside Washington DC, as it allows time for transition, training, and a public education program over the next several years.

IMG_7383Maryland is one of seven states that has not taken away (or preempted) local authority to restrict pesticides more stringently than the state. The Montgomery County Parks Department has fought against the bill, suggesting that fields cannot be managed with organic practices. Extensive testimony on alternatives has educated council members on the viability of organic practices.

There is movement across the country to adopt ordinances that stop pesticide use on public property and, where allowed, private property. Pesticides when used move off the target site through drift and runoff, exposing non-target sites and people.

The legislation passed today is a major victory for public health and environmental protection. While the chemical lawn care industry strenuously opposed the bill, in testimony before the Council an industry spokesman said he could implement organic programs for his customers.

For more information on organic lawn care, see Beyond Pesticides website.

Share

06
Oct

Reproductive Health Experts Call for Action on Toxic Chemicals

(Beyond Pesticides, October 6, 2015) Last week, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) released a statement encouraging broad-based policy measures that prevent exposure to toxic environmental chemicals. “The global health and economic burden related to toxic environmental chemicals is in excess of millions of deaths and billions of dollars every year,” the report unequivocally states. FIGO’s statement follows a similar call to action from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2013 and the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2012.

The piece lays out broad themes surrounding exposure to toxic chemicals, including iPregnant_womanwikissues of environmental justice, prenatal exposure and subsequent health effects, and overall global health and economic burden. Based on these impacts, several recommendations are submitted for obstetricians, gynecologists, midwives, women’s health nurse practitioners, nurses, and other health professionals to follow to achieve a goal of “prevention for all.”

FIGO highlights how people of low-income, particularly in poverty-stricken countries, bare a higher burden of toxic exposure than richer nations. “[A]t every stage of development, the consequences of exposure to toxic chemicals –including morbidity and mortality, loss of family income and productivity, and environmental degradation– are disproportionately borne by people with low incomes,” the piece states. FIGO also notes that disparities exist regarding the impact these chemicals have on individuals, referencing a 2009 National Academies of Science report that advised, given inherent vulnerabilities of some, “no safe dose” exists for toxic chemicals, and “any level of exposure should be assumed potentially harmful.”

The report further notes the extent to which the timing of a toxic exposure impacts health outcomes. “Susceptibility to potential health impacts of toxic environmental chemicals may be heightened when exposure occurs during “critical” and “sensitive” periods of development, such as during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence,” says the FIGO report. The concept of “critical windows of exposure” has developed a sound body of evidence, pointing to adverse health effects that can transpire across a person’s life span, or even impact subsequent generations. Just this month Yale University released a study linking prenatal exposure to the pesticide chlorpyrifos to tremors in children later in life. The FIGO report references data showing that nearly every pregnant women in the U.S. has a body burden of at least 43 different environmental toxins, as well as a study by the U.S. Cancer Institute which found, “to a disturbing extent babies are born ‘pre-polluted.’”

The extent to which endocrine disruptors affect reproductive health is singled out by FIGO. The organization discusses how only a small fraction of the nearly 800 chemicals in commercial production today that are known or suspected endocrine distruptors have undergone any testing on their effect. At the same time, rates of non-communicable diseases have increased, and, as the report notes “[t]hese trends have occurred in a timeframe inconsistent with a much slower pace of changes in the human genome, indicating that the environment has shaped these disease patterns.”

Lastly, the FIGO report addresses the economic burden posed by toxic chemicals through increased health care costs and other adverse effects. For example, the cost of pesticide poisonings to farmworkers in Sub-Saran Africa over a 15 year time span between 2005 and 2020 is estimated to be $66 billion dollars. The report references the analysis published earlier this year in by an international team of scientists which estimated that exposure to endocrine disrupting pesticides results in $162 billion in health care costs to the European Economy, with $130 billion of that number a result of lost IQ points due to prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides. FIGO notes that “[t]he available data underestimates the true burden of human disease, disability and expenditures, and do not account for the impacts of toxic chemicals on the ecosystem that sustains human health and reproduction.”

To remedy the overwhelming data pointing to significant harm from toxic exposure, FIGO recommends that health care professionals “take timely action to prevent exposure to environmental chemicals.” The organization emphasizes the need for a just and healthy food system, which “includes increasing the capacity for women and men who are planning a family, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women, to eat fresh fruits and pesticide-free vegetables legumes and wholegrains daily…” It also advices health professionals to learn about toxic chemicals people are regularly exposed to, and take patient histories of environmental exposure during preconception and first prenatal visits.

The importance of care professionals in advocating for policies that emphasize preventing exposure to toxic chemicals is paramount. “Toxic chemicals move around the world in air, water, food, and consumer products; local, national, and/or international governmental policies can either support or undermine patient and population health associated with these exposures.”

Beyond Pesticides applauds FIGO’s call to action, and continues to advocate for policies that prevent the use of harmful chemicals in the first place. Progressive communities, such as Ogunquit, ME, Takoma Park, MD, Cuyahoga County, OH, Marblehead, MA, and numerous others provide a proof of concept that drastically reducing and eventually eliminating the use of toxic pesticides is possible. Tools are available for both health care professionals and average residents to advocate for changes in pest management policy in their community. For assistance, contact Beyond Pesticides at 202-543-5450 or [email protected].

For more information on reproductive and endocrine disrupting effects of pesticides, see Beyond Pesticides’ Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Share

05
Oct

Yale Study Links Prenatal Pesticide Exposure to Tremors in Children

(Beyond Pesticides, October 05, 2015) According to a Yale University study, prenatal exposure to the widely used agricultural pesticide chlorpyrifos is linked to tremors – involuntary contraction or twitching of muscles – in childhood. Chlorpyrifos, a broad-spectrum chlorinated organophosphate insecticide also known as Dursban, may also affect the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and is acutely toxic to bees, birds, mammals, and aquatic life.

pregnant-originalThe study, titled Prenatal exposure to the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos and childhood tremor and published in the journal Neurotoxicology, measured the presence of chlorpyrifos in umbilical cord blood samples in 263 low-income, inner-city minority children. In 2001, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned residential use of chlorpyrifos, which was prominent in urban areas at the time. However, the study participants –263 minority mothers and their children, all from low income communities in New York City– were assembled in 1997, before the ban was imposed. In 1997, the initial measure of each child’s prenatal exposure to CPF was taken from umbilical cord blood. The children were then followed until approximately 11 years of age, after which they underwent a neurophysical assessment, which included a short drawing test. Researchers found that compared to all other children, those who had relatively high levels of prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure were significantly more likely to exhibit mild or mild to moderate tremor in one or both arms. The study is just one of many suggesting that pesticide exposure is associated with adverse neuro-developmental issues.

“This is perhaps one of the only examples in which we can show that in utero exposure to these pesticides leads to long-term health care consequences in the children,” said Yale senior author and School of Medicine neurology professor Elan Louis, MD, to Yale Daily News.  “We’re talking about the possibility that fetuses exposed to pesticides through their mother, while they’re in utero, could have tremors eight or ten years later.”

Among experts who commented on Louis’ findings, as well as Louis himself, there was a general consensus that this study points toward a need for the agricultural industry — the main setting in which chlorpyrifos is found today — to reconsider their use of pesticides.

According to Louis, his next step is to fully finish assessing the results of the study. In addition to taking drawing tests, the children participating in the study had MRI scans, which Louis and his colleagues plan to analyze for “structural or metabolic changes in certain brain regions,” to further investigate the brain damage caused by chlorpyrifos.

Chlorpyrifos is highly neurotoxic. It is a cholinesterase inhibitor, which means that it can bind irreversibly to acetylcholine esterase (AchE), an essential enzyme for normal nerve impulse transmission, inactivating the enzyme. Studies have documented that exposure to even low levels of organophosphates like chlorpyrifos during pregnancy can impair learning, change brain function, and alter thyroid levels of offspring into adulthood. The evidence of the neurotoxic dangers associated with chlorpyrifos’ exposure is extensive and consistent.

In 2000, EPA administrator Carol Browner announced a voluntary agreement between the agency and industry leaders, including Dow AgroSciences, to ban all home and garden uses of Dursban, which was at the time the most widely used household pesticide in the U.S. This agreement, however, did not include agricultural, golf course, or public mosquito spraying uses. It continues to be heavily used today with an estimated 5 million pounds applied in the U.S. annually, releasing its toxins onto our food and into the lives of farmworkers and their children. In 2012, EPA imposed “no-spray” buffer zones around public spaces, including recreational areas, schools, and homes to reduce bystander exposure risks. In spite of these restrictions, chlorpyrifos still poses risks to human and environmental health. Earlier this year, a federal appeals court judge mandated that EPA respond to a petition filed nearly nine years ago that seeks to force the agency to restrict chlorpyrifos. EPA must meet an October 31 deadline and establish a timeline for finalizing the proposed rule if they decide on a ban.

Chlorpyrifos leads a list of numerous toxic chemicals that are central to chemical-intensive agricultural practices that threaten health and the environment effects. While a ban is certainly important as current inaction reflects a breakdown in the regulatory process, ultimately the widespread adoption of organic management is necessary to protect consumers and the environment in the long-term. Beyond Pesticides has long sought a broad-scale marketplace transition to organic practices that disallows the use of toxic synthetic pesticides by law and encourages a systems-based approach that is protective of health and the environment. Even at its worst, this approach never allows the use of highly toxic synthetic pesticides, let alone organophosphates such as chlorpyrifos, and advances a viable, scalable path forward for growing food.

For more information on chlorpyrifos and other pesticides used in homes, schools, workplaces and communities, see Beyond Pesticides’ Gateway on Pesticide Hazards and Safe Pest Management. For alternatives strategies on specific pest problems, check out ManageSafe.

Source: Yale Daily News

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Share

02
Oct

Whistleblower Leads Oregon Agencies to Issue Violations for Pesticide Spraying

(Beyond Pesticides, October 2, 2015) Twelve worker safety violations are categorized as “serious” and result in thousands of dollars in fines. Highly toxic pesticides should not be sprayed on workers, but that is what Oregon-based company Applebee Aviation did to a number of its employees, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture. On September 30, the Department, which is responsible for regulating state and federal pesticide laws, issued a citation revoking the Applebee’s operating license in the state of Oregon and levying a fine of $1,100.

The same day, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OR-OSHA) cited Applebee Aviation for 12 serious violations of worker safety and protection laws and fined the company $8,850.

Applebee’s chemical truck rolled over loaded next to the Smith River in California.

The crackdown came after Darryl Ivy, who worked as an Applebee Aviation hazardous materials truck driver, became a whistle blower and reported on dangerous and unsafe practices he witnessed during numerous aerial spray operations. Ivy recorded videos of the illegal activities on his cell phone before he went to an emergency room for treatment of illness due to pesticide exposure.

“I had sores and rashes, was spitting up blood and felt very sick after three weeks on the job,” said Mr. Ivy. “I’ve worked in a lot of dangerous occupations before, but had never seen such careless treatment of workers and poor work practices that put all of us, nearby communities and the environment at risk of pesticide contamination.”

“I felt it was my duty to report what I witnessed to the authorities,” said Mr. Ivy. “The results of their investigation proves that Applebee’s pesticide practices are illegal,” he continued.

“The impact for me is that my doctor has recommended sinus surgery which has a risk of causing blindness and I’m still undergoing lung function tests.

Last month, an Applebee Aviation chemical delivery truck crashed and spilled 500 gallons of water containing glyphosate residue as well as diesel fuel just off Highway 199 in Northern California, along the Smith River. Mr. Ivy had previously reported to authorities that Applebee did not properly maintain the brakes and pesticide tank seals on their trucks.

The response from two state agencies comes on the heels of a weighty discussion in the Oregon legislature after hearing dozens of complaints about poisoning from aerial pesticide sprays. Helicopter companies like Applebee Aviation spray thousands of acres of Oregon forests with tank mixes of pesticides every year. The environmental advocacy group, Beyond Toxics, worked with legislators during the 2015 session to pass HB 3549, a bill to help address a long history of public complaints about sickness associated with aerial pesticide sprays.

“Although new laws were passed to establish no-spray buffer zones around homes and schools and set stiffer fines for pesticide violations, legislators barely scratched the surface of the problem,” said Lisa Arkin, executive director of Beyond Toxics. “The Darryl Ivy case is a clear example of the highly hazardous practice of aerial pesticide spraying hurting workers as well as nearby residents.”

According to research by Beyond Toxics, residents in 11 Oregon counties have been sickened from aerial spraying of industrial timberlands. Symptoms include nausea, rashes, diarrhea, headaches, asthma, bleeding noses and eye damage.

National pesticide watchdog groups have been tracking the situation in Oregon. “Aerial spraying of weed killer was stopped national forests over 20 years ago but has been coming back, fueled by the war on invasive plants, and despite the availability of alternative management practices and thinking,” commented Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, based in Washington DC. “These practices are out of date with modern science and sustainable forestry management approaches.”

Applebee will be required to provide proof that the company has fixed more than a dozen identified problems before it can get re-licensed for business in Oregon. The state agencies cited violations including: not training workers to handle hazardous pesticides, not providing chemical safety data sheets, not providing protective gear to prevent chemicals from splashing into eyes and onto skin, and not conducting monthly inspections of equipment, vehicle and worksite safety. Other actions were identified, including the company having workers wash their pesticide-contaminated clothes in public laundry facilities without proper precautions to prevent contaminating other people’s clothing.

For More Information, Contact:
Darryl Ivy (907)717-6977
Lisa Arkin, Executive Director, Beyond Toxics (541)520-2695
Jay Feldman, Executive Director, Beyond Pesticides (202)543-5450

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Toxics and Beyond Pesticides.

 

 

 

Share

30
Sep

Announcing: The Pesticide-Free Zone Sign Photo Contest!

(Beyond Pesticides, October 1, 2015) Now is your chance to show off both your green thumbs and your photography skills: if you use a sign to designate your yard, park, garden or other space as pesticide-free, we want to see it! We would love to see how you are using your signs, whether it is our honey bee, ladybug, or your own creative one. If you don’t already have a sign, we encourage you to put one up and use its presence to spark a conversation in your community about the use of pesticides. One yard at a time, we can transition towards a safer future without the hazards associated with unnecessary pesticide use.

BPofficePFZcontest

Pesticide-Free Zone signs proudly displayed in front of Beyond Pesticides’ office.

Your Work in the Spotlight!

Send your best photo of your Pesticide-Free Zone to [email protected]!

We will choose four grand prize photographs (Best overall, best sign featuring a child, best sign featuring wildlife, and best sign on an environmentally sensitive area), and 8 runners up to be featured in our 2016 Calendar! Staff picks and other select photos will also be highlighted on Beyond Pesticides’ Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the month of October.

Each photo must include a Pesticide-Free Zone sign (it can be either ladybug or honey bee, or be creative and use your own!). We will choose a Grand Prize winner in four different categories:

1)    Best overall;
2)    Best featuring children playing in a yard or park;
3)    Best featuring wildlife in the photo; and,
4)    Best featuring an environmentally sensitive area.

Photos are due to Beyond Pesticides by midnight Sunday, November 1, 2015.

PRIZES for the Winning Entries:

Grand Prize –Four grand prize photographs in four different categories will be chosen to be featured prominently in our 2016 calendar. In addition, they will receive a Beyond Pesticides 100% Organic Tote Bag and Honey Bee Pesticide Free Zone Sign!

Runners Up –Eight grand prize winners will be chosen to be featured in the 2016 Calendar, and will receive the calendar in January 2016.

Select Entries –Will be featured on Beyond Pesticides Facebook page.

The Nitty Gritty:

We’re so excited to see your candid and creative shots of your Pesticide-Free Zone signs!

Email your photo to [email protected].

If you do not already own a sign, both honey bee and ladybug signs are available to order online or by calling Beyond Pesticides at 202-543-5450. We also encourage folks to officially declare their Pesticide-Free Zone by signing the Pesticide-Free Zone pledge. For more information on how to create your own Pesticide-Free Zone and to manage your space organically, see our lawns and landscapes page.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Share

30
Sep

EPA Releases Long-Awaited Revisions To Worker Protection Standards

(Beyond Pesticides, September 30, 2015) On September 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finally released its new regulation regarding farmworker pesticide safety, revising the Agricultural Worker Protection Standards (WPS), which are designed to provide protections from pesticide exposure to farmworkers and their families. These standards have not been updated for over 20 years, and EPA had delayed revisions since the first proposed update in 2010. Historically, farmworker advocates have criticized these protections as woefully inadequate in protecting the health of agricultural workers, but these new revisions attempt to strengthen the standards through increased training for workers handling pesticides, improved notification of pesticide applications, and a higher minimum age requirement for children to work around pesticides.

Farmworker Justice, a nonprofit organization that seeks to empower migrant and seasonal farmworkers, has praised the revisions as a step in the right direction, but noted that the ruling did not include some significant safety measures. Their statement regarding the revisions were released on Monday:

“We hope that the improved regulation will result in greater awareness by farmworkers of the risks they face, stronger protections from exposure, and ultimately, fewer pesticide-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths among farmworkers and their family members. . . While we are disappointed that the final rule does not include some significant safety measures, we will continue to work with our community partners to advocate for greater worker protections at EPA and at the state and local levels.”

In Beyond Pesticides’ comments, submitted to EPA in August 2014, we made clear that the exemption for farmworkers that allowed them to expose their own children of any age to these dangerous chemicals made little sense. Unfortunately, EPA has continued this exemption.

The major revisions (effective approximately December 2016) for farmers and farmworkers include:

  • Annual mandatory training to inform farmworkers on the required protections afforded to them. Currently, training is only once every 5 years.
  • Expanded training includes instructions to reduce take-home exposure from pesticides on work clothing and other safety topics.
  • First-time ever minimum age requirement: Children under 18 are prohibited from handling pesticides.
  • Expanded mandatory posting of no-entry signs for the most hazardous pesticides. The signs prohibit entry into pesticide-treated fields until residues decline to a safe level.
  • New no-entry application-exclusion zones up to 100 feet surrounding pesticide application equipment will protect workers and others from exposure to pesticide overspray.
  • Requirement to provide more than one way for farmworkers and their representatives to gain access to pesticide application information and safety data sheets – centrally-posted, or by requesting records.
  • Mandatory record-keeping to improve states’ ability to follow up on pesticide violations and enforce compliance. Records of application-specific pesticide information, as well as farmworker training, must be kept for two years.
  • Anti-retaliation provisions are comparable to Department of Labor’s (DOL).
  • Changes in personal protective equipment will be consistent with DOL’s standards for ensuring respirators are effective, including fit test, medical evaluation and training.
  • Specific amounts of water to be used for routine washing, emergency eye flushing and other decontamination, including eye wash systems for handlers at pesticide mixing/loading sites.
  • Continue the exemption for farm owners and their immediate families with an expanded definition of immediate family.

Farm work is demanding and dangerous physical labor. As the scientific literature confirms, farmworkers, their families, and their communities face extraordinary risks from pesticide exposures. Application and pesticide drift result in dermal, inhalation, and oral exposures that are typically underestimated. A 2004 study detected agricultural pesticides in the homes near to agricultural fields. According to a 2010 study, workers experience repeated exposures to the same pesticides evidenced by multiple pesticides routinely detected in their bodies. As a result of cumulative long-term exposures, farmworkers and their children, who often times also work on the farm, are at risk of developing serious chronic health problems such as cancer, neurological impairments, and Parkinson’s disease. Children, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report, face even greater health risks compared to adults when exposed to pesticides. For more information, read our factsheet, Children and Pesticides Don’t Mix.

What More Can We Do?

Our food choices have a direct effect on those who grow and harvest what we eat around the world. This is why food labeled organic is the right choice. In addition to serious health questions linked to actual residues of toxic pesticides on the food we eat, our food buying decisions support or reject hazardous agricultural practices, and the protection of farmworkers and farm families. See Beyond Pesticides’ guide to Eating with a Conscience to see how your food choices can protect farmworkers. In addition to organic, it is also important to consider food labels that create standards for farmworker safety and fairness. For more information on the different types of labels, see the transcription of Michael Sligh’s talk at the 32nd National Pesticide Forum, titled Social Justice Labeling: From Field to Table.

For more information on Agricultural Justice, and how you can make a difference, see the Agricultural Justice Initiatives Panel from the 33rd National Pesticide Forum.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: Agricultural Worker Protection Standard Revisions

 

Share

29
Sep

Reno, Nevada Kick-Starts Pesticide-Free Parks Program

(Beyond Pesticides, September 29, 2015) Last week, the City of Reno, Nevada officially approved a Pesticide-Free Parks program aimed at improving the health of its residents and the local environment. In addition to two downtown parks, Neighborhood Advisory Boards within each of City’s five wards chose two parks to join the program, bringing the total to 12 pesticide-free parks. The program is an outgrowth of resident concern over the use of pesticides linked to cancer, asthma, and learning disorders, as well as impacts to local water quality. Beyond Pesticides worked to support the pesticide-free parks movement by sponsoring a training session taught by nationally renowned turfgrass expert Chip Osborne on how to transition to organic practices.

CityofReno-PesticideFreeParks-signage“This is a major win for the city in regards to our priority of providing and maintaining safe and healthy neighborhoods,” Ward 2 Reno City Councilmember Naomi Duerr told ABC8. “Community input will continue to drive the important decisions we make.”

According to a staff report released by the Reno Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services, there is not expected to be any burdensome financial implications put upon the City as a result of the program. “There will be no cost implications as staff will implement changes within its adopted budget,” the report indicates. Herbicides are currently used in Reno parks to control weeds in planter areas, baseball infields and decomposed granite areas, and around fence lines, trees, signs, and other similar installations. The city estimates it spends approximately 1.4% of total maintenance time applying herbicides, and 4.1% of time using manual or mechanical weed control alternatives. To implement the program, the Park’s Department indicates it will discontinue herbicide use and test alternative strategies that may include the use of organic products, burning, or additional manual or mechanical weed control. The Department does not expect the total time spent on weed control to differ as a result of the change in practices.

Beyond Pesticides is working with the city to provide guidance on transitioning grass fields to organic practices. Soil samples at local parks were taken during the Reno training session, which will provide a baseline to implement cultural changes that will improve the biological health of the soil, making it more resistant to weed and insect pressures. “What it does is it actually strengthens the soil,” Councilmember Duerr said to 2 News. “So, it’s more prepared to fend off disease, drought, and things like invaders, you know, weeds.”

According to the Park’s Department, the most widely used herbicide in Reno’s public parks is Roundup. Earlier this year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, exhibited sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity based upon laboratory studies. In addition to concerns over human health, scientific studies also suggest glyphosate and glyphosate-formulated products harm earthworms and other soil biota, contaminate water supplies, and are toxic to amphibians and other aquatic organisms.

Reno’s pesticide-free parks program highlights the powerful change residents can make when they become engaged with their local elected officials. Large and small, communities throughout the country are determining that the risks associated with pesticide use are simply not worth their health, the health of pollinators, or the wider environment. This past summer, the City of Minneapolis, MN passed an organic, pollinator friendly resolution, committing the City to adopt clear guidelines against the use of synthetic pesticides. Communities in Colorado, including Lafayette, Boulder County, and the City of Boulder have restricted the use of bee-toxic pesticides on public spaces. Montgomery County, MD is considering the passage of a comprehensive pesticide ordinance which would extend restrictions to private property applications. As Beyond Pesticides’ Tools for Change webpage shows, numerous other localities have already enacted pesticide-free parks programs with good success.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said local Reno mom Savannah Anderson to 2 News. “I think it’s a really great movement. Hopefully, the rest of the community is inspired to do the same.”

Councilmember Duerr is hopeful that the new program will encourage residents to reconsider the use of pesticides on their own property. “If people understand it’s what they do when they’re driving and what they do with their yard, that’s actually having an impact on our resources that belongs to all of us, I think that’s a pretty major thing to be aware of,” she said to 2 News.

A list of Reno’s Pesticide-Free Parks is available through this website. Starting your own local movement takes a lot of work and commitment, but can be done with perseverance. It’s important to find support –friends, neighbors, and other people who share your concerns about environmental health. It’s also essential to connect with local politicians and government officials. For help getting your movement off the ground, contact Beyond Pesticides at 202-543-5450 or [email protected].

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: City of Reno, Nevada Staff Report, 2News

Share

28
Sep

Safety Concerns Raised as California Turns to Synthetic Turf to Save Water

(Beyond Pesticides, September 28, 2015) On September 4, in an attempt to curb the overuse of water on lawns, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law Bill (AB 349) (effective immediately), which prohibits homeowner associations (HOAs) from barring the installation of synthetic turf. Artificial turf has become popular over the years, and is now widely used on athletic fields and lawns across the U.S. While praised as a solution for drought-stricken states, synthetic turf has fallen under scrutiny. A NBC investigative report raised safety concerns regarding rubber infill in the turf. Parents and administrators are looking for alternatives to replace rubber infill beneath the turf, but unfortunately the available solutions do not address all the dangers associated with artificial turf. With all forms of synthetic turf, toxic pesticides and antimicrobials are still needed for maintenance, putting children and athletes in danger.

synturfCrumb rubber, the most common infill material used in synthetic turf systems, has, according to a recent report by Environment and Human Health, Inc., carcinogenic potential and poses a danger to the health of children and athletes. Now, parents and administrators are turning to organic infill as a replacement, which consists of coconut husks, fibers and cork. While organic infill sounds good on the surface, it begins to break down over time. The infill can become wet from rain, breaks down, and can begin to contain other substances, such as dust containing minerals and other particles, leaf litter, and pollen. This creates an even greater habitat for weeds and pathogens than rubber or plastic options, which means that pesticides and antimicrobials are required for maintenance and control.

The typical athletic field or lawn is deluged with a mixture of poisons designed to kill fungus, weeds, insects, and pathogens. For example, a conventional maintenance plan for athletic turf fields includes the use of a fungicide on a regular basis to prevent fungal pathogens, a post-emergent herbicide (such as 2,4-D) to kill crabgrass and dandelion seed, a selective herbicide (such as mecoprop) to kill clover and other broadleaf weeds, and an insecticide (such as trichlorfon) to kill insects such as grubs. Antimicrobials are also used to kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi. One antimicrobial used in combination with synthetic turf infill is microban, an antibacterial product containing triclosan. Studies have increasingly linked triclosan (and its chemical cousin triclocarban), to a range of adverse health and environmental effects from skin irritation, endocrine disruption, bacterial and compounded antibiotic resistance, to the contamination of water and its negative impact on fragile aquatic ecosystems.

This mixture of toxic chemicals and their use on synthetic turf is particularly troubling because children, who are particularly at risk, come into direct contact with the grass, and have repeated and prolonged exposures. EPA concurs that children take in more pesticides relative to body weight than adults and have developing organ systems that are more vulnerable and less able to detoxify toxic chemicals. Even expectant moms on the sidelines are not safe; studies find that pesticides, such as the weed-killer 2,4-D, pass from mother to child through umbilical cord blood and breast milk.

While concerned parents and communities are headed in the right direction by considering the switch from carcinogenic crumb rubber to organic infill, it still is not the safest option due to the fact that dangerous, toxic pesticides and antimicrobials will still be used on synthetic turf, regardless of what is used as infill. Organic management is the best way to avoid exposure to these chemicals.

What Can You Do?

In areas that are suffering from drought, it can be a good to rethink the idea of what a “lawn” means. In Los Angeles, some turf companies are tearing out turf and replacing it with a drought-tolerant yard. Some companies and local governmental authorities are even offering incentives, such as rebates. What that means is that clients actually get paid for having someone come in to rip out their water-sucking lawns and replacing them with more native, low-water plants.

For other areas across the country where water use is not as much of an issue, organic turf systems are the best way to combat the health effects associated with synthetic turf systems. Organic turf management uses sound horticultural practices such as pH management, fertilization, aeration, overseeding with proper grass seed, and proper watering to control unwanted plants. Research has demonstrated that topdressing with compost suppresses some soil-borne fungal diseases just as well as conventional fungicides.

You do not have to be an expert on turf management or the health effects of every pesticide used on playing fields or lawns in order to make a change. What you do need to know is that children are being unnecessarily exposed to chemicals that impair their health, and that a safer, proven way exists to manage turf.

If you want to create positive change in your community, visit our Tools for Change page, or give us a call at 202-543-5450.

Source: Los Angeles Times

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Share

25
Sep

Study Finds No Benefit to Bee-Toxic Neonic Use

(Beyond Pesticides, September 25, 2015) Neonicotinoid-treated seeds do not reduce crop damage from pests, adding to a growing body of evidence questioning the benefits of using these bee-toxic insecticides, according to a study published in the journal BioOne. Widely-used neonicotinoids (neonics), which as systemic chemicals move through a plant’s vascular system and express poison through pollen, nectar, and guttation droplets, have been identified in multiple peer-reviewed studies and by beekeepers as the major contributing factor in bee decline.

Susan Jergans Elkhorn WI These were taken from our garden3The study, titled Impact of Western Bean Cutworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Infestation and Insecticide Treatments on Damage and Marketable Yield of Michigan Dry Beans, examines the relationship between western bean cutworm infestation and damage in dry beans, and the use of seeds treated with the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam, as well as soil treated with aldicarb, another systemic insecticide. Researchers have concluded that neither thiamethoxam nor aldicarb reduced cutworm damage. In fact, plots treated with these insecticides had a higher percentage of defects due to feeding by pests when compared to untreated plots, which researchers believed is attributable to factors such as fewer natural enemies.

There have been additional reports and studies published over the past few years questioning the benefits of neonic use. In 2014, EPA released a report concluding that soybean seeds treated with neonicotinoid insecticides provide little or no overall benefits in controlling insects or improving yield or quality in soybean production. Also published last year was a report by Center for Food Safety refuting claims that neonicotinoids bring greater benefits than costs to farmers. In the report, researchers analyzed independent, peer-reviewed, scientific literature and found that the benefits of prophylactic neonicotinoid use via seed treatments were nearly non-existent, and that any minor benefits that did occur were negated due to honey bee colony impacts, reduced crop pollination by honey bees, reduced production of honey and other bee products, loss of ecosystem services, and market damage from contamination events. Furthermore, preliminary reports out of the UK find that the country is poised to harvest higher than expected yields of canola in its first neonicotinoid-free growing season since the European moratorium on neonicotinoids went into place in 2013. According to the UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s (AHDB) Harvest Report, with 15% of canola harvested this year, yields are between 3.5 and 3.7 tons per hectare, higher than the normal farm average of 3.4.

In light of the shortcomings of federal action to protect these beneficial organisms, pollinators need pesticide-free habitats that provide safe havens. Take action by calling on EPA to suspend neonicotinoids now. You can also declare your garden, yard, park or other space as pesticide-free and pollinator friendly. It does not matter how large or small your pledge is, as long as you contribute to the creation of safe pollinator habitat. Sign the pledge today! Need ideas on creating the perfect pollinator habitat? The Bee Protective Habitat Guide can tell you which native plants are right for your region. For more information on what you can do, visit our BEE Protective page.

Source: BioOne

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Share

24
Sep

Bayer Fined $5.6 Million for 2008 Factory Explosion

(Beyond Pesticides, September 24, 2015) Seven years after an explosion that killed two factory workers in Institute, West Virginia, Bayer CropScience is facing federal fines. Bayer is the manufacturer of neonicotinoid pesticides that are linked to severe decline in pollinator populations.

AR-150339952On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $5.6 million settlement with Bayer to resolve the 2008 violation of federal chemical accident prevention laws. As a result, Bayer must commit to spending $4.23 million to improve emergency preparedness and institute response measures to protect the Kanawha River, pay a $975,000 penalty, and spend approximately $452,000 to implement a series of reforms to improve safety at chemical storage facilities across the United States.

On August 28, 2008, a pesticide waste tank exploded inside the Bayer plant, instantly killing one worker and sending another to the hospital where he would eventually die. Although Bayer officials assure the public that the explosion was secure and released no chemicals, residents living near the plant complained of air pollution exposure and related illnesses. The tank contained waste products from thiodicarb, including methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), hexane, methomyl, and dimethyl disulfide, all of which are acutely toxic to humans. In the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) analysis, assistant area director Prentice Clay stated, “We found serious issues related to process safety. There were some significant deficiencies.”

Details of the explosion in the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board’s (CSB) analysis reveals serious violations regarding the chemical facility’s precautionary measures and Bayer’s ability to prevent potential hazards. “Failures by a chemical manufacturer to comply with safety, accident prevention, and response requirements can have catastrophic consequences,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The Department of Justice is committed to worker safety. Under this judicially enforceable settlement, Bayer Crop Science will not only pay a penalty but commits to significant improvements in preparedness and response capabilities at its facilities across the country.”

Chemical plant explosions are not uncommon in the industry’s history. For decades, safety violations have led to explosions that killed and injured thousands. The most devastating explosion to date occurred in 1984 at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. Between 50,000 to 90,000 lbs of the chemical methyl isocyanate (MIC) are estimated to have leaked into the air, killing approximately 25,000 people to date, according to data by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). MIC is an intermediate chemical in the production of the insecticide carbaryl (Sevin). Advocacy groups working with victims say that more than 120,000 people still suffer from severe health problems as a result of their exposure. At the time of the 2008 explosion, Bayer’s Institute plant stored MIC at four times the capacity of the Bhopal plant. If detonated, that volume of MIC could kill every resident in a 10-mile radius (about 26,000 people live within three miles of the plant). In 2012, advocates and government officials concerned about chemical safety at the Institute plane finally pressured Bayer to halt the production and storage of MIC.

Last year, four workers died when the valve on a container of methyl mercaptan, a compound used in the production of insecticides, fungicides, and plastics, malfunctioned at a La Porte, Texas chemical plant owned by DuPont. As a result, DuPont was placed on the Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which focuses agency resources on inspecting employers who have “demonstrated indifference to their OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Act] obligations by willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations.” The manufacturers of these deadly chemicals are still industry leaders today.

While disasters like these lead to fines and revised safety procedures, they highlight the continuous and never-ending risk that pesticides pose to workers in both production plants and agricultural fields, though in different ways. Field workers are exposed to the pesticide fumes and particles through the spraying process and often experience severe health effects due to poorly communicated directions regarding their application. According to the consent decree, factory workers harbor expectations that rules have to be broken and that they will do anything to get the job done. “The tragic accident at the Bayer CropScience facility in West Virginia underscores the need for hazardous chemicals to be stored and handled in accordance with the law to protect worker health and the environment,” said Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “This settlement will establish important safeguards at its facilities across the country and improve emergency response capabilities in the Institute, West Virginia community.”

Despite fines, safety procedure overhauls, and lengthy trials, chemical and pesticide manufacturing still poses a risk to workers, nearby residents, and consumers. Decreasing marketplace demand for noxious chemicals in favor of least-toxic biopesticides, organic, and sustainable alternatives on farms, will reduce the need to produce these chemicals. As the 2013 letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy explains, “Prevention is the only fool-proof way to ensure the safety of millions of people whose communities are needlessly in danger.” Consumers can make an impact by simply not buying pesticides and purchasing organic foods, which employ agricultural practices that do not require the use of toxic synthetic chemicals. For more information on the benefits of purchasing organic food, see Beyond Pesticides program page here.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

Share
  • Archives

  • Categories

    • Agriculture (476)
    • Announcements (406)
    • Antibacterial (104)
    • Aquaculture (18)
    • Beneficials (7)
    • Biofuels (5)
    • Biological Control (1)
    • Biomonitoring (14)
    • Cannabis (9)
    • Children/Schools (189)
    • Climate Change (23)
    • Environmental Justice (76)
    • Events (64)
    • Farmworkers (82)
    • Fracking (1)
    • Golf (10)
    • Health care (27)
    • Holidays (24)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (33)
    • International (242)
    • Invasive Species (24)
    • Label Claims (32)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (157)
    • Litigation (238)
    • Nanotechnology (52)
    • National Politics (310)
    • Pesticide Drift (82)
    • Pesticide Regulation (534)
    • Pesticide Residues (56)
    • Pets (14)
    • Resistance (49)
    • Rodenticide (16)
    • Take Action (302)
    • Uncategorized (15)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (261)
    • Wood Preservatives (20)