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Daily News Blog

24
Dec

Best Wishes for a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season and New Year

(Beyond Pesticides, December 24, 2019) The staff and board of Beyond Pesticides wish our members and network all the best for the holiday season and new year. We look forward to working with you in the new year to meet the serious environmental and public health challenges with truly organic solutions.

Our accomplishments are your victories. We are seeing the outcomes in communities across the country—the adoption of organic land management policies and practices that eliminate toxic pesticides, protect children and families, and protect the local ecology.

Beyond Pesticides’ program responds to the urgent need to address the public health and environmental crises of our times—climate crisis, insect apocalypse, pesticide-induced illness, and the dramatic decline in biodiversity. With on-the-ground practices and local policies, we replace fossil fuel-based, toxic, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers with organic management strategies.

TAKING A STAND

Beyond Pesticides’ program supports a clear message: End toxic pesticide use and embrace organic practices and policies that respect the power of nature to heal— in the face of devastating and destructive toxic chemical-dependency. This past year has again elevated important public discourse on the threats that pesticides pose to health and the environment. We see in the mainstream culture increased understanding that pesticides threaten health, wreak havoc with ecosystems, create imbalances in nature that escalate threats—and are not needed for cost-effective land and building management. Also, reinforced in the last year, is a deep appreciation for the reality that local advocacy drives the changes that are critical to a livable future—scientific facts coupled with action advance the adoption of solutions that are within our reach.

ELEVATING SCIENCE THAT CALLS FOR URGENT NEED TO ACT

From a public health and environmental protection perspective, these are challenging times. Amid the attack on institutions and laws established to protect children, families, and the environment under the current federal administration, there is an incredibly positive groundswell of activity seeking to achieve these protections in communities across the U.S. We are inspired by the level of effective advocacy and changes in practices that are moving forward nationwide.

TAKING ACTION IN COMMUNITIES

Local land management and ordinances across the country are just as much about preventing hazards and filling an increasing gap in protection from regulators, as it is about recognizing the viability of sound land management practices. These practices do not use toxic chemicals and result in healthier and more resilient plant life that stands up to stress and is less reliant on limited water resources.

PUTTING IN PLACE EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS

Outdated chemical-intensive practices are tied to the belief that parks, playing fields, home lawns, and agriculture require toxic chemicals and synthetic fertilizers to meet expectations. So, an approach that recognizes the importance of soil biology in cycling nutrients naturally to feed plants is often new to many land managers who have not evaluated and nurtured the web of microorganisms living in the soil. This attention to the soil systems has been foundational to the success of organic agriculture nationwide. Those critics, who often have a vested economic interest or history in pesticide use and proclaim that organic does not work, are, in effect, challenging the underlying principles of soil management that have enabled the exponential growth of the organic agricultural sector— now a $50 billion industry and the fastest-growing part of the agricultural economy.

Moving Ahead with Our Goal

Meeting the challenges with a transformative strategy

Our efforts focus on shifting communities’ approach to land and building management to address critical health and environmental issues. To move this goal forward, we carry out activities that advance a holistic awareness of the complex adverse effects and unknowns associated with pesticide-dependent management practices and policies. On a daily basis, we bring attention to and broader understanding of the actual hands-on practices that are protective of health and in sync with nature.

Creating model communities

We are well-positioned to effect changes in communities that serve as a model for other communities. We continue to develop the informational tools that support change agents, whether they are advocates or elected officials. We are also able to provide the technical skills to land managers, which ensure effective implementation of policies and plans for sustainable and organic land management.

Our organic transition on pilot sites continues in Richmond (CA), University of California Berkeley (CA) and the CA university system, Salt Lake City (UT), Hyattsville (MD), South Portland (ME), Dover and Portsmouth (NH), Longmont (CO), and Maui (HI) and the entire state, including the state school system. New projects have begun in University Heights (OH), South Euclid (OH), Minneapolis (MN), New York City (NY), Pittsburgh (PA), Mt. Pleasant (SC), and Eugene, Springfield, and Talent, OR.

Action of the Week

Action of the Week provides our network with one concrete action that can be taken each week to have our collective voice heard to stop governmental actions that adversely affect  public, worker, and environmental health, increase overall pesticide use, or undermine the advancement of organic, sustainable, and regenerative practices and policies. The actions are generating up to 4,000 participants weekly.

Bee Protective

Protecting pollinators and threatened species; reversing the insect apocalypse

Seeds that Poison

We released our short film, Seeds that Poison, which frames the pollinator issue in the context of pesticide-dependent land management practices that are harmful to biodiversity and positions organic as the solution. The animated short film points to the accumulated studies and data that have found that honey bees and other pollinators, including native bees, butterflies and birds, are in decline. The film complements our tracking of the science documenting the decline and its relationship to pesticide use and the related factors, such as parasites, improper nutrition, stress, and habitat loss.

Keeping Organic Strong

To elevate our voice, Beyond Pesticides announced the formation of a new investigative arm, OrganicEye. This watchdog agency will focus on defending the “time-honored philosophy and legal definition of organic farming and food production.” With Beyond Pesticides’ executive director having served on the National Organic Standards Board, this is a critical time to advocate for organic integrity.

Reports for Change

Providing a framework for advancing transformative change

Beyond Pesticides issues unique reports to support local activism to move changes in practices and policies that eliminate pesticide use. With this information and the model policy that we have created, local people nationwide have successfully moved change. Reports include: Good Health Harmed by a Cascade of Complex Pesticide Effects— Inadequate attention to complex human biology, underestimation of hazards, and the urgent need to transition to organic; Pesticide Exposure and the Obesity Pandemic—Exposures to endocrine disrupting pesticides echo down the generations; Protecting Biodiversity with Organic Practices—Study finds organic farming helps maintain healthy pollinator populations; Pesticide Use Harming Key Species Ripples through the Ecosystem—Regulatory deficiencies cause trophic cascades that threaten species survival; Monsanto: Decades of DeceitGlyphosate/Roundup is the poster child for the bigger pesticide problem; and Thinking Holistically When Making Land Management DecisionsRegulatory analyses that support pesticide use ignore complex ecological impacts.

Center for Community Pesticide and Alternatives Information

Science, policy, and advocacy for change

The Center serves as a hub for a range of regulatory and policy advocacy, information services to people nationwide and around the globe, networking through coalition work and the convening of our National Forum, and on-site training on organic land management in communities that are collaborating with Beyond Pesticides on demonstration parks and playing fields. Our hands-on information through ManageSafe, our database of practical solutions to pest issues is a central clearinghouse of information on eliminating hazardous pesticide use. Our message is getting out through our neighbor-to-neighbor program, having distributed 286 pesticide-free zone signs, and nearly 3,000 doorknob hangers on safe lawns and mosquito management in 43 states.

37th National Pesticide Forum, Organic Strategies for Community Environmental Health: Eliminating pesticides where we live, work, learn and play.

The Forum, held in April 2019, contributed important science and strategy to participants and our extensive video library for pesticide and organic activism. The Forum was convened by Beyond Pesticides and the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai Institute for Exposomic Research at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York, NY. Cosponsors included: Environmental Law Advocates at Fordham University School of LawNo Spray CoalitionGrassroots Environmental EducationNew York Environmental Law and Justice ProjectFriends of Animals, New Yorkers for Pesticide-Free Parks (NYPFP), The Sierra Club NYC GroupSixth Street Community CenterFood and Water Watch in New YorkNYC Grassroots AllianceGarden of Eve Organic Farm & MarketiEatGreenPerfect Earth ProjectBattery Park City AuthorityWE ACT for Environmental JusticeCenter for Earth EthicsBrooklyn Grange Rooftop FarmsNortheast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY)Clean Water Action NJGreen City ForceNewtown Creek Alliance350 NYCGreen Inside and Out.

Watch videos from the Forum — up now on YouTube!

Save the Date—April 17-18, 2020, Boulder, Colorado. We are now planning for the 38th National Pesticide Forum, cultivating Healthy Communities: Collective action for a biodiverse, toxic-free world, convened by Beyond Pesticides and the City of Boulder, Colorado.

Please plan to join us!

Consider a donation to Beyond Pesticides to bring in the new year with the strongest possible voice for an end to toxic pesticide use and the adoption of organic management practices and policies.

We’re taking a break. Daily News and Action of the Week will be back January 2, 2020. See you then.

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  • Archives

  • Categories

    • ALS (2)
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    • Antibiotic Resistance (11)
    • Antimicrobial (1)
    • Aquaculture (23)
    • Aquatic Organisms (10)
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    • Biological Control (16)
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