Beyond Pesticides wishes our members and supporters a happy, healthy, and organic holiday season and New Year! Our Daily News is taking a holiday break and will return on Thursday, January 2, 2014 with renewed energy and vision to continue making real change in communities across the the U.S. and around the world.
We look forward to working with you to make 2014 a safe, pesticide-free year for you, your family, and your community at large. We would like to deeply thank our members and supporters for an amazing 2013 that was filled with so many accomplishments and milestones for the pesticide-free movement.
Yet, there are still many areas where our collective voice is needed to put pressure on decision makers to take action for the protection of human health and the environment. We plan to increase our efforts in 2014 to provide communities with the assistance that is needed to broaden the adoption of the exciting changes that are taking hold throughout the country. At the same time, we urge all those who are able to help us increase the strength of our voice and our assistance program by providing a charitable donation to Beyond Pesticides.
With a $150 donation, we send you our BEE Protective Kit, which includes our Habitat Guide and a Pesticide Free Zone sign and owner’s manual. You can also give the gift of membership or become a Beyond Pesticides member yourself! Membership in Beyond Pesticides provides you with a year-long subscription to Pesticides and You, our quarterly newsletter that gives in-depth discussion and analsis of the latest news, science, and policy on pesticide issues by Beyond Pesticides staff and experts in the field.
Our Fall 2013 Pesticides and You is now online. We hope you will read Poisoned Dreams, the story of the Frandsen family of Utah, who were poisoned by the pesticide business next-door to their home. Their story epitomizes the failure of regulators to adequately address the hazards associated with the cradle-to-grave impacts of pesticide use. The Frandsen’s did everything they could to find relief from those in government tasked with protecting human health, yet were met with indifference and disregard. Their message to all of us is a message for the protection of health and the environment.
Stories such as the Frandsen’s are why Beyond Pesticides works to change policies and practices that cause unnecessary harm. It is why we push to promote safer alternatives in the marketplace through organic practices. If safe, effective alternatives to pesticides are available, we can move beyond, as communities such as Takoma Park, MD, and Kauai County, Hawaii told us in 2013.
Takoma Park, MD, not subject to regressive state pesticide preemption laws, successfully passed a landmark ordinance restricting pesticide use on both public and private property. The policy was moved forward by two concerned moms, each fighting for the health and safety of their children. Their accomplishment inspires all of us to push for pesticide protections in our own communities in 2014. Beyond Pesticides is here to support you, and arm you with the facts on pesticide hazards and alternatives.
In “The Garden Isle” of Kauai, Hawaii we saw a massive outpouring of support for new laws to rein in giant agrichemical companies that are wrecking the island and its inhabitant’s health. Limits on pesticide use and genetically engineered crop production will provide basic protections that agrichemical companies fought tooth and nail to prevent. And now, because of Kauai’s lead, Maui and Hawaii County (“The Big Island”) have taken their own steps towards increased protections from pesticides and genetically engineered crops. We’re up against powerful interests, but your actions can change the outcome.
The decline of pollinators reveals how high the stakes are in our efforts to protect the environment and food supply. We need your continued support in 2014 to get regulators, retailers, and politicians to take action and protect honey bees and other wild pollinators by stopping the unnecessary use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Beyond Pesticides launched the BEE Protective campaign in 2013 to educate the public and support local action aimed at protecting honey bees and other pollinators from pesticides and contaminated landscapes. And, we ran a full page ad in newspapers across the country with the message to regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency: “Bees can’t wait 5 more years. And neither can we“With the start of restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticide use in the European Union, and new evidence that these chemicals also harm the development of young children, it is imperative that EPA acts to restrict these pesticides for the sake of both pollinators and human health.
But when EPA does act, like the agency did on toxic rodenticides and children’s health earlier this year, we must stand up, defend, and support EPA efforts. Despite the agency’s determination that 12 “d-CON” rodenticide products pose “unreasonable adverse effects on the environment,” the manufacturer, Reckitt Benckiser, made an almost unprecedented move and sued EPA to keep the products on store shelves. Beyond Pesticides is asking retailers this holiday season to care about kids, and stop the sale of toxic rodenticides that endanger children, pets, and wildlife.
In 2014, we should also strengthen and maintain the integrity of those government programs that support our vision for a healthier future. Your voice in organic made a difference this year, as the widespread public outcry from the organic community led to the phase-out of the antibiotic tetracycline in organic apple and pear production. Yet, recent changes to the sunset review process puts organic integrity at risk. Please continue to follow Beyond Pesticides’ actions and alerts on organic agriculture and provide a public comment at the next NOSB meeting, to be held April 29-May 1, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. Your continued support will be critical in helping us keep the organic label strong.
Beyond Pesticides brings all of our work together and connects intimately with scientists, activists, and politicians in local communities through our National Pesticide Forum. The 31st National Pesticide Forum, held in 2013 at the University of New Mexico, brought together top national scientists with local and national activists to craft solutions and catalyze networks to advance positive health and environmental policy and change. If you haven’t read or viewed the keynote address, “Protecting Life: From Research to Regulation“ by Dr. Tyrone Hayes, we strongly encourage you to take the time.
Be aware, Dr. Hayes work is under threat due to exceedingly high fees from his university’s Office of Laboratory and Animal Care. In response, Beyond Pesticides launched The Fund for Independent Science in 2013 to support Dr. Hayes’ work to protect life from harmful chemicals. To date, Beyond Pesticides has helped to raise $112,000 to support Dr. Hayes research. In addition to your support of Beyond Pesticides’ program, please consider a pledge to support independent science so that Dr. Hayes’ critical work can continue throughout 2014.
In 2014, the 32nd National Pesticide Forum, Advancing Sustainable Communities —People, pollinators and practices, will take place in Portland, Oregon at Portland State University. With so many issues rising up in need of action in Oregon that are intimately connected to the national movement, including pollinator protection, pesticide use in forestry, GE labeling and contamination, we hope to see you there. Stay tuned to the National Pesticide Forum website for updates on speakers and the schedule of events.
Thank you all again for raising your voice for health in 2013, we’re so excited to see what we can accomplish with your support in the New Year.
All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.