[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (8)
    • Announcements (598)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (39)
    • Antimicrobial (17)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (33)
    • Bats (7)
    • Beneficials (51)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (34)
    • Biomonitoring (37)
    • Birds (25)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (29)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (9)
    • Chemical Mixtures (3)
    • Children (108)
    • Children/Schools (240)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (30)
    • Climate Change (84)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (5)
    • Congress (16)
    • contamination (150)
    • deethylatrazine (1)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (18)
    • Drift (12)
    • Drinking Water (14)
    • Ecosystem Services (12)
    • Emergency Exemption (3)
    • Environmental Justice (162)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (500)
    • Events (88)
    • Farm Bill (18)
    • Farmworkers (189)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (6)
    • Fungicides (24)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (13)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (33)
    • Holidays (37)
    • Household Use (9)
    • Indigenous People (6)
    • Indoor Air Quality (5)
    • Infectious Disease (4)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (70)
    • Invasive Species (35)
    • Label Claims (49)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (245)
    • Litigation (340)
    • Livestock (9)
    • men’s health (1)
    • metabolic syndrome (2)
    • Metabolites (4)
    • Microbiata (20)
    • Microbiome (26)
    • molluscicide (1)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (388)
    • Native Americans (3)
    • Occupational Health (15)
    • Oceans (9)
    • Office of Inspector General (2)
    • perennial crops (1)
    • Pesticide Drift (160)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (8)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (6)
    • Pesticide Regulation (770)
    • Pesticide Residues (180)
    • Pets (36)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
    • Plastic (6)
    • Poisoning (18)
    • Preemption (41)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (4)
    • Resistance (117)
    • Rights-of-Way (1)
    • Rodenticide (33)
    • Seasonal (3)
    • Seeds (6)
    • soil health (14)
    • Superfund (3)
    • synergistic effects (18)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (16)
    • Synthetic Turf (3)
    • Take Action (583)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (11)
    • Volatile Organic Compounds (1)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (454)
    • Women’s Health (25)
    • Wood Preservatives (34)
    • World Health Organization (10)
    • Year in Review (2)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Agriculture' Category


11
Apr

Chemical-Intensive Practices in Florida Citrus Lead to Harm and Collapse, as Organic Methods Offer Path Forward

(Beyond Pesticides, April 11, 2024) Scientists are moving forward in testing an agroecological method of ‚Äúpush-pull‚ÄĚ pest management (reducing the attractiveness of the target organism and luring pest insects towards a trap) to fight the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) in Florida orange groves, as it spreads a plant disease known as the pathogenic bacteria huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening, which is deadly to citrus trees. The disease is spread by the pathogenic bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). ¬†The chemical-intensive, or conventional, citrus industry is under intense pressure to find alternatives, as synthetic antibiotic use for this purpose has been successfully challenged in court. ACP is the carrier, or vector, for HLB, spreading it through the citrus groves and killing the trees. The chemical-intensive industry has focused on using antibiotics, which the environmental and public health community has rejected because of serious medical concerns associated with life-threatening bacterial resistance to antibiotics used to protect humans. A federal district court decision in December 2023 found illegal the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‚Äôs (EPA) decision to register the antibiotic streptomycin in Florida citrus without adequate review of its impact on endangered species. The streptomycin lawsuit, filed in 2021 by a coalition of […]

Share

08
Apr

U.S. Acts To Block Mexico’s Protection of Traditional Varieties against Contamination from Engineered Corn, Challenges Food Sovereignty

(Beyond Pesticides, April 8, 2024)¬†When Mexico in 2020 decided to protect its traditional varieties of corn for reasons of health, safety, environmental protection, and food sovereignty with the banning of the importation of genetically engineered (GE or GM-genetically modified) corn by 2024, the powerful biotech industry and the U.S. government began a concerted campaign to stop the country‚Äôs efforts. With the opposition spearheaded by BIO, ‚Äúthe world‚Äôs largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations‚ÄĚ (as described in its March 15 press release), including companies like Bayer/Monsanto, the U.S government is calling Mexico‚Äôs action a trade barrier. The U.S. is invoking the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the trade agreement that replaced the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 2020. This is just one of the latest examples of corporate power reigning over U.S. environmental and economic policies. Mexico has already announced a delay in the planned April 1 ban on the importation, production, distribution, and use of glyphosate. Interestingly, this is all happening despite reports that the Biden administration is seeking to ‚Äútackle corporate abuses,‚ÄĚ which is apparently limited¬† to tax reform and […]

Share

03
Apr

Study Bolsters the Case for Essential Oils (EO) in Organic Pest Management for Tomato Production

New research highlights the beneficial effects of rose essential oil (REO) on tomato plants as a plant defense potentiator (a substance or treatment enhancing natural defense mechanisms against pests, diseases, and other stressors by activating the plant’s own defense responses) for organic agriculture and horticulture. As reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, REO, particularly its component ő≤-citronellol, activates defense genes in tomato plants, enhances their natural defense mechanisms, and dramatically reduces¬†leaf damage by 45.5%. Additionally, REO attracts beneficial insects that prey on herbivore pests. This study, ‚ÄúNovel Potential of Rose Essential Oil as a Powerful Plant Defense Potentiator,‚ÄĚ adds to a growing area of scientific literature on essential oil (EO), largely unexplored as plant defense potentiators. Beyond Pesticides advocates for accelerating the switch from chemical-intensive agriculture to organic agriculture, which remains the only viable solution, in the long run, to address today‚Äôs existential crises by prioritizing natural pest control methods, soil health, and biodiversity conservation to protect farmworkers and consumers from the detrimental effects of petrochemical pesticide exposure.¬†¬† ¬† Study Methods and Results¬† The researchers applied highly diluted solutions of EOs to the soil of potted tomato plants and assessed the expression levels of defense genes in […]

Share

29
Mar

Bill Seeks to Eliminate Inequities for Child Farmworkers, But Leaves Weak EPA Pesticide Standards in Place

(Beyond Pesticides, March 29, 2024) Last week during National Agriculture Week, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luj√°n (D-NM) introduced S.4038, the Children‚Äôs Act for Responsible Employment and Farm Safety¬†(CARE), aiming to elevate labor standards for young workers in the agricultural sector, as protection from pesticides remains weak. Currently, agriculture stands as the sole industry that permits children‚ÄĒas young as 12 years old‚ÄĒto work without significant limits on their hours of employment outside of school time. This scenario is a reality for hundreds of thousands of children across the U.S., who undertake the demanding tasks of planting, harvesting, processing, and packaging the food produced nationwide. The CARE Act proposes to align the age and working hour criteria for underage workers in agriculture with those enforced in other sectors. Additionally, the legislation seeks to toughen both civil and criminal penalties for violations of child labor laws and to enhance safeguards for children against the risks of pesticide exposure. It is important to note, however, that the CARE Act would exempt farm-owning families, allowing their children to work on the family farm under the current guidelines. Exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) currently allow children to work unlimited hours,¬†outside of school ¬†hours, […]

Share

28
Mar

Maine Fund to Compensate Farmers for PFAS Contaminated Land Underscores Need for Action

(Beyond Pesticides, March 28, 2024) Last week, Maine Central reported the first application was filed for Maine‚Äôs first-in-the nation PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) Fund. This $70 million federal-state Fund to Address PFAS Contamination (PFAS Fund) provides compensation for commercial farmers whose health, business, and land have been impacted by PFAS contamination. A critical component of this fund enables the state to purchase contaminated farmland at fair market, pre-contamination value, which in the state of Maine hovers at approximately $3,729 per acre when including estimated market value of land and buildings, according to newly released data in the 2022 Census of Agriculture. ‚ÄúMaine became the first state to ban sludge recycling and approve a 2030 ban on PFAS in nonessential products,‚ÄĚ according to reporting by Maine Central. The state of Maine has exhibited extraordinary leadership in prioritizing public health, ecosystems, and the environment, setting an example for addressing a widespread contamination problem at the local, state, and national level. However, advocates in Maine are raising warnings after the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, according to reporting by Portland Press Herald, proposed ‚Äúa compromise plan to regulate the sale of products containing forever chemicals [which] would exempt some federally regulated industries […]

Share

25
Mar

Data Supports Need to Transition Away from Plastics and Pesticides with Holistic Strategy

(Beyond Pesticides, March 25, 2024) Because of their widespread infiltration into the environment and the bodies of all organisms, including humans, plastics contamination requires a holistic strategy to protect life‚ÄĒ with consideration given to practices and chemical use that reduce or eliminate harm. Pesticides and other toxic chemicals are adsorbed (adhered) to microplastics, resulting in bioaccumulation and widespread contamination. This adds to the complexity of the problem, which is largely ignored by federal regulatory agencies. While most environmental policies attempt to clean up or mitigate health threats, new data reinforces the need to stop the pipeline of hazardous chemicals, wherever possible. With new data on the harm associated with plastics and related contamination, it becomes urgently necessary for all government agencies to participate in a comprehensive strategy to eliminate plastics and pesticides. Beyond Pesticides points to the evolving science on plastics contamination and their interaction with pesticides as yet another reason to transition to holistic land management systems that take on the challenge of eliminating hazardous chemical use. Organic land management policy creates the holistic systems framework through which plastics can be eliminated. >> Tell USDA, EPA, and FDA to create strong restrictions on plastics in farming, water, and food. […]

Share

21
Mar

Hazardous Pesticide with Reproductive and Developmental Effects Enters U.S. Food Supply through Imported Food

(Beyond Pesticides, March 21, 2024) Alarming levels of a hazardous pesticide plant growth regulator linked to reproductive and developmental effects, chlormequat, is found in 90% of urine samples in people tested, raising concerns about exposure to a chemical that has never been registered for food use in the U.S. but whose residues are permitted on imported food. Published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology in February 2024 and led by Environmental Working Group toxicologist Alexis Temkin, PhD, a pilot study finds widespread chlormequat exposure to a sampling of people from across the country. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations only permit the use of chlormequat on ornamental plants and not food crops grown in the U.S. As explained in the journal article, ‚ÄúIn April 2018, the U.S. EPA published acceptable food tolerance levels for chlormequat chloride in imported oat, wheat, barley, and some animal products, which permitted the import of chlormequat into the U.S. food supply.‚ÄĚ In 2020, EPA increased the allowable level of chlormequat in food. Then in April 2023, EPA proposed allowing the first-ever U.S. use of chlormequat on barley, oat, triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye), and wheat. Existing regulatory standards explain the […]

Share

18
Mar

Getting Toxics Out of Food Production and Communities Requires Strong Organic Standards

(Beyond Pesticides, March 18, 2024) Comments are due by 11:59 pm EDT on April 3, 2024. Organic standard setting provides for democratic input, full transparency, and continuous improvement. The current public comment period is an important opportunity for the public to engage with the organic rulemaking process to ensure that the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and the USDA National Organic Program uphold the values and principles set forth in the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA). With the threats to health, biodiversity, and climate associated with petrochemical pesticide and fertilizer use in chemical-intensive land management, advocates stress that this is critical time to keep organic strong and continually improving. Organic maintains a unique place in the food system because of its high standards, public input, inspection system, and enforcement mechanism. But, organic will only grow stronger if the public participates in voicing positions on key issues to the NOSB, a stakeholder advisory board.¬†Beyond Pesticides has identified key issues for the upcoming NOSB meeting below! The NOSB is receiving written comments from the public on key issues through April 3, 2024. This precedes the upcoming public comment webinar on April 23 and 25 and the deliberative hearing on April 29 through […]

Share

14
Mar

Petrochemical Pesticides, Fertilizers, and Plastics Linked to Dire Health Effects while Alternatives Are Available

¬†(Beyond Pesticides, March 14, 2024)¬† A recent review in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) highlights the urgent need to address the widespread chemical pollution stemming from the petrochemical industry, underscoring the dire implications for public health. Tracey Woodruff, PhD, author and professor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), emphatically states in an email comment to Beyond Pesticides, “We need to recognize the very real harm that petrochemicals are having on people‚Äôs health. Many of these fossil-fuel-based chemicals are endocrine disruptors, meaning they interfere with hormonal systems, and they are part of the disturbing rise in disease.” Beyond Pesticides echoes this concern, noting that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) include many pesticides and are linked to a plethora of health issues such as infertility, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, early puberty, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Parkinson‚Äôs, Alzheimer‚Äôs, and childhood and adult cancers.¬† (See Beyond Pesticides‚Äô Disease database here and news coverage here). The review further calls on the clinical community to advocate for policy changes aimed at mitigating the health threats posed by petrochemical-derived EDCs and climate change. Beyond Pesticides urgently calls for the elimination of petrochemical pesticides and fertilizers and advocates for a systemic […]

Share

13
Mar

Study Shows Organic Agriculture Mitigates Climate Crisis in Contrast to Conventional Agriculture

(Beyond Pesticides, March 13, 2024) A comprehensive study released in Journal of Cleaner Production in August 2023 identifies the potential for organic agriculture to mitigate the impacts of agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the fight to address the climate crisis. In ‚ÄúThe spatial distribution of agricultural emissions in the United States: The role of organic farming in mitigating climate change,‚ÄĚ the authors determine that ‚Äúa one percent increase in total farmland results in a 0.13 percent increase in GHG emissions, while a one percent increase in organic cropland and pasture leads to a decrease in emissions by about 0.06 percent and 0.007 percent, respectively.‚ÄĚ This descriptive study affirms the urgency of Beyond Pesticides‚Äô mission to ban toxic petrochemical pesticides by 2032, given the projected adverse impacts that conventional agricultural dependence on these toxic pesticides will continue to have on people, wildlife, and ecosystems. The study refers to various studies focused on a comparative analysis of conventional to organic farming on energy use, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe), nutrient leaching, soil quality, and biodiversity. The consensus is that organic farming is more sustainable than conventional agriculture. For example, ‚Äú[S]everal studies comparing conventional to organic agriculture found that the latter used 10%‚Äď70% […]

Share

07
Mar

‚ÄúRegenerative‚ÄĚ Agriculture Still Misses the Mark in Defining a Path to a Livable Future

(Beyond Pesticides, March 7, 2024) As the threats to health, biodiversity, and climate converge in agricultural policy and practices, the question of defining the fundamental changes necessary to reverse these existential crises takes on life-sustaining importance. Despite the existence of an organic community with governing stakeholders (farmers, consumers, conservationists, retailers, processors, inspectors, and scientists) that has evolved over at least seven decades and is codified in the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990, the term ‚Äúregenerative‚ÄĚ is now increasingly being advanced as a loosely defined alternative to the organic standard and label, which is transparent, defined, certified, enforced, and subject to public input. The publication AgFunderNews (AFN) last month published its updated ‚Äú2024 list of agrifood corporates making regenerative agriculture commitments,‚ÄĚ a who‚Äôs who of the largest food and agribusiness corporations worldwide. The list includes companies such as ADM, Cargill, Danone, General Mills, Tyson, Unilever, Walmart, and more with commitments to millions of acres in their supply chain practicing ‚Äúregenerative‚ÄĚ agriculture with target dates ranging from 2024 to 2050. The AFN author reporting on the ‚Äúregenerative‚ÄĚ trend states, ‚Äú[O]ne big challenge is that ‚Äėregenerative agriculture‚Äô still has no set definition. While that still holds true, the bigger observation in […]

Share

04
Mar

Take Action: Federal Food Program Asked to Stop Feeding Children Pesticides that Contribute to Obesity

(Beyond Pesticides, March 4, 2024) With 14.7 million children and adolescents in the U.S. recognized as obese by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the established connection with endocrine disrupting contaminants, including many pesticides, Beyond Pesticides is calling on federal food assistance programs to go organic. The problem of childhood obesity is higher in people of color and, as a result, is an environmental justice issue. According to CDC, the prevalence of childhood obesity is ‚Äú26.2% among Hispanic children, 24.8% among non-Hispanic Black children, 16.6% among non-Hispanic White children, and 9.0% among non-Hispanic Asian children.‚ÄĚ While childhood obesity is recognized as a serious problem, the National School Lunch Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)‚ÄĒalthough improved by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010‚ÄĒstill provides lunches laced with obesogenic pesticides. To take meaningful steps against childhood obesity, school lunches must be organic. The program served 4.9 billion meals in fiscal year 2022 in over 100,000 public and nonprofit schools, grades Pre-Kindergarten-12. Contrary to popular opinion, the blame for the obesity epidemic cannot be attributed solely to diet and exercise broadly, but relates directly to pesticide and toxic chemical exposures, including residues in food, that may lead […]

Share

29
Feb

Oregon Is the Latest State to Step In and Ban Widely Used Neurotoxic Pesticide, Chlorpyrifos, as EPA Stalls

(Beyond Pesticides, February 29, 2024)¬† In the face of federal inaction, an Oregon regulation banning the agricultural uses of the highly toxic chlorpyrifos took effect on January 1, 2024. Chlorpyrifos was voluntarily withdrawn from the market in 2000 for most residential uses by its manufacturer, Dow Chemical, and has been the subject of extensive litigation. At that time, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allowed most agricultural uses to continue. Oregon joins four other states that have acted to ban chlorpyrifos, including Hawai‚Äôi, New York, California, and Maryland.¬†¬† Central to state action are nervous system and brain effects in children, especially farmworker children. Chlorpyrifos is banned in 39 countries, including the European Union (see here for more Beyond Pesticides coverage). State action has become important since the November 2023 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, which overturned the EPA rule revoking all food tolerances for chlorpyrifos, an effective ban on chlorpyrifos use. The final EPA rule, issued in August 2021, came in response to a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that found the agency‚Äôs inaction on chlorpyrifos unlawful. The case was filed by Earthjustice, on behalf of public health, labor, and disability organizations.¬† The […]

Share

27
Feb

Pesticide Exposure Linked to Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Metabolic Disease in Seniors

(Beyond Pesticides, February 27, 2024) Popular culture and official policy continue to ignore a blatant source of the rise in obesity: chemical exposures, including pesticides. A study, ‚ÄúAssociations of chronic exposure to a mixture of pesticides and type 2 diabetes mellitus in a Chinese elderly population,‚ÄĚ contributes to the now-massive trove of evidence linking pesticides to diseases and shows that by the time people reach retirement age they are suffering from a heavy burden of contamination that raises their risk of complex disease. Since the 1960s, obesity in both adults and children has nearly tripled. More than half of U.S. adults were either obese or severely obese by 2018, according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study. The 55-year trend line is decidedly upward. More women than men are obese, and black women suffer the most, but men are racing to catch up. Between 1999 and 2018, Mexican American men shot up from the lowest percentage of obesity to nearly the highest. Obesity is a milestone on the road to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney failure, joint replacement, and more. The causes of obesity are severely misunderstood. Most people believe that discipline and […]

Share

26
Feb

Take Action: Pesticide Manufacturers Ask States To Shield Them from Lawsuits by Those Harmed

(Beyond Pesticides, February 26, 2024) Beyond Pesticides today launched an action to stop a nationwide campaign by chemical manufacturers to shield themselves from liability cases filed by those who have been harmed by pesticide products. As widely reported, Bayer/Monsanto has been hit with numerous jury awards and settlements totaling billions of dollars for adverse health effects associated with their weed killer glyphosate (RoundupTM). After unsuccessfully seeking U.S. Supreme Court review of two of these cases, the industry is now pushing legislation in state legislatures that will shield them from future liability litigation. This is not the first time that the pesticide and toxic chemical industry has sought protection from the states after losing in the highest U.S. Court. After the Supreme Court upheld the right of localities to restrict pesticides more stringently than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state regulatory agencies in Wisconsin Public Intervenor v. Mortier (501 U.S. 597, 1991), the industry went to every state legislature in the country to seek state preemption of their local jurisdictions‚Äô authority to restrict pesticides. They were successful in putting state preemption laws in place in 43 states and have since added another. ¬† Having failed in the courts, history is […]

Share

21
Feb

Weed Killer 2,4-D’s Adverse Effect on the Liver Adds to List of Hazards from Food, Lawn, and Water Residues

(Beyond Pesticides, February 21, 2024) In addition to its effects including cancer, and reproductive, immune or nervous system disruption, according to international findings, a review published in Toxics finds that the the widely used weed killer 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) causes significant changes in liver structure and function. 2,4-D can damage liver cells, tissue, and inflammatory responses through the induction of oxidative stress. The liver, the largest solid organ in the human body, is an essential part of the digestive system responsible for blood detoxification, nutrient metabolization, and immune function regulation. However, rates of¬†chronic liver diseases¬†are increasing, representing the second leading cause of mortality among all digestive diseases in the U.S.¬†In fact, researchers warn of the¬†rise in liver disorders and metabolic syndrome among young people.¬†Therefore, reviews like this highlight the research available to make decisions on safeguarding human health from chemical exposure to mitigate further disease outcomes and complications. 2,4-D is used on turf, lawns, and rights-of-way, as well as in forestry and aquatic systems. 2,4-D products are available as liquid, dust, and granule fields, as well as fruit and vegetable crops, including in genetically engineered crop production. The chemical is widely used in ‚Äúweed and feed‚ÄĚ lawn products. It is […]

Share

20
Feb

Take Action: Advocates Ask Congress to Include Protections from PFAS Contamination in Farm Bill

(Beyond Pesticides, February 20, 2024) With¬†health risks including¬†developmental,¬†metabolic, cardiovascular, and reproductive harm, cancer, damage to the liver, kidneys, and respiratory system, as well as the¬†potential to increase the chance of disease infection and severity, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and their toxic trail of contamination in the environment is wreaking havoc with all life. The use of PFAS in industrial and commercial applications has led to widespread contamination of water and biosolids used for fertilizer, poisoning tens of millions of acres of land and posing a significant threat to the biosphere, public health, gardens, parks, and agricultural systems. Farmers and rural communities, in particular, bear the brunt of this contamination, as it affects their drinking water, soil quality, and livestock health. ¬† Tell Congress that the Farm Bill must include the Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act and the Healthy H2O Act to protect farmers and rural communities from PFAS contamination.¬† Led by Chellie Pingree (D-ME), U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Susan Collins (R-ME),¬†a bipartisan and bicameral bill‚ÄĒthe¬†Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act‚ÄĒhas been introduced to provide assistance and relief to those affected by PFAS. A second bill, the¬†Healthy H2O Act,‚ÄĮintroduced‚ÄĮby‚ÄĮRepresentatives Pingree and David Rouzer (R-NC)‚ÄĮand‚ÄĮSenators Baldwin […]

Share

16
Feb

Disproportionate Pesticide Hazards to Farmworkers and People of Color Documented. . .Again

(Beyond Pesticides, February 16, 2024)¬†A report released in January, US pesticide regulation is failing the hardest-hit communities. It‚Äôs time to fix it, finds ‚Äúpeople of color and low-income communities in the United States and around the world continue to shoulder the societal burden of harmful pollution.‚ÄĚ More specifically, the authors state that ‚Äúongoing environmental injustice is the disproportionate impact these communities suffer from pesticides, among the most widespread environmental pollutants.‚ÄĚ The report follows an earlier article by the same lead authors and others (see earlier coverage) on the long history of documented hazards and government failure to protect farmworkers from pesticide use in agriculture. In a piece posted by Beyond Pesticides earlier this week, the serious weaknesses in the worker protection standard for farmworkers are documented. ¬† The latest report was led by Nathan Donley, environmental health science director at the Center for Biological Diversity and Robert Bullard, known as the ‚ÄúFather of Environmental Justice‚ÄĚ and executive director of the Robert D. Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University in Houston. In addition to these authors, the 2022 review was coauthored by Jeannie Economos of the Farmworker Association of Florida, Iris Figueroa of Farmworker Justice, Jovita […]

Share

14
Feb

EPA’s Worker Protection Standard Fails to Protect Farmworkers’ Health, Report Finds

(Beyond Pesticides, February 14, 2024) The latest in a series of reports on the state of farmworker protection, released last December, highlights the long history of health threats, regulatory failures, and structural racism that is imbued in the chemical-intensive agricultural system that feeds the nation and world. The authors conclude that farmworkers ‚Äúface a level of occupational risk unrivaled by most workers.‚ÄĚ They continue: ‚ÄúFrom repeated exposure to pesticides and extreme heat, to injuries from machinery and repetitive motion, conditions on American farms involve myriad hazards. Meanwhile, a lack of access to healthcare and legal services, low wages, marginalization, language barriers, racism, and the threat of deportation among these largely immigrant communities compound their many challenges.‚ÄĚ Describing the U.S. food system and the workers who serve as its foundation, Precarious Protection: Analyzing Compliance with Pesticide Regulations for Farmworker Safety is the third publication in a series of reports on farmworker health and safety, led by the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) at Vermont Law and Graduate School and written with the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic and the nonprofit group Farmworker Justice. Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and Farmworker Justice partnered on the […]

Share

07
Feb

Consumers Left High and Dry: Public Health Issues Persist with Cannabis Products and Production Practices

(Beyond Pesticides, February 7, 2024) Sun + Earth Certified (SEC), a West Coast third-party regenerative organic certifier of cannabis products, approved the first certification for an East Coast farm in Brattleboro, Vermont ‚Äď Rebel Grown. The expansion of independent certifications amidst the ongoing legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana usage raises questions on the regulation of toxic petrochemical pesticides found in a range of cannabis products. SEC does establish, in its standards, the use of ‚Äúbiopesticides…[o]nly if the product brand name is approved for use in certified organic farming.‚ÄĚ Additionally, the label goes beyond the stringency of the National Organic Program in its policy on potassium bicarbonate as an approved input. For example, SEC standards dictate that this input should be, ‚Äú[f]or pest control as a last resort only… [and] only if the product brand name is approved for use in certified organic farming.‚ÄĚ Rebel Grown‚Äď the new farm that acquired the SEC label ‚Äď owner reported to Brattleboro Reformer, “Cannabis grown regeneratively, under the sun and in the soil, without toxic chemicals, is not only high quality but also the best for the earth.‚ÄĚ Before delving into the weeds, there is important legal context on current regulations regarding marijuana […]

Share

06
Feb

The Link Between Ovarian Cancer and Pesticides Increases Among Female Farmers

(Beyond Pesticides, February¬† 6, 2024) A study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine finds that pesticide exposure, especially during puberty, can play a role in ovarian cancer development among female farmers. Although there are many studies that evaluate the risk for cancers among farmers, very few pieces of literature cover the risk of ovarian cancer from pesticide exposure. Additionally, this study notes suggests the role of hormones in ovarian cancer prognosis and development, highlighting an association with endocrine disruption. Exposure to past and current-use endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), like pesticides, has a long history of severe adverse¬†human health¬†effects. Endocrine disruptors are xenobiotics (i.e., chemical substances like toxic pesticides foreign to an organism or ecosystem) present in nearly all organisms and ecosystems. The World Health Organization (WHO),¬†European Union (EU), and endocrine disruptor expert (deceased) Theo Colborn, Ph.D., classify over 55 to 177 chemical compounds as endocrine disruptors, including various¬†household products¬†like detergents, disinfectants, plastics, and pesticides. Endocrine disruption can lead to several¬†health problems, including hormone-related cancer development (e.g.,¬†thyroid,¬†breast,¬†ovarian, prostate, testicular),¬†reproductive dysfunction, and¬†diabetes/obesity¬†that can span generations. Therefore, studies related to pesticides and endocrine disruption help scientists understand the underlying mechanisms that indirectly or directly cause cancer, among other health issues. The study evaluates a […]

Share

25
Jan

Bill to Protect Birds and Bees in New York Raises Political Challenges to Addressing Ecosystem Collapse

(Beyond Pesticides, January 25, 2024) Legislative efforts to curtail some life-threatening pesticides associated with birds and bees (and other pollinators) decline were weakened in New York State at the end of December 2023 as the governor negotiated and stripped elements of a bill relating to agriculture that had passed the legislature‚ÄĒagain illustrating the grip of the agrichemical industry on public policy intended to begin to address the crisis in ecosystem collapse. (See ‚ÄúStudy Cites Insect Extinction and Ecological Collapse.‚ÄĚ) In passing the Birds and Bees Protection Act, New York joined New Jersey, Nevada, and Maine in banning most nonagricultural uses of neonicotinoid (neonic) insecticides, but, in last-minute changes to avoid the governor‚Äôs veto, failed to phase out corn, soybean, and wheat seeds coated with these chemicals. [Pointing to an exemption in federal law that has been challenged by advocates, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not regulate treated or coated seeds as pesticides despite their toxic pesticidal properties.] In New York State, the governor can, in consultation with the leadership of the legislative branch, negotiate language changes (called Chapter Amendments)¬†in legislature-passed legislation (originally enacted) before deciding to sign it into law or can simply choose to veto the legislation. […]

Share

22
Jan

Comment Period Ends Today: Advocates Say USDA Needs Organic Certifier Information on Soil Fertility

(Beyond Pesticides, January 22, 2024) Today, Monday, January 22, is the last day for public comment on a three-year extension of U.S. Department of Agriculture‚Äôs (through its Agricultural Marketing Service‚Äôs National Organic Program (NOP)) authority to collect information from certifiers entrusted with ensuring compliance with organic standards. Beyond Pesticides, along with allied organizations and organic advocates, is urging USDA to use this process to clarify the need for USDA to collect key information needed to verify compliance with key language in OFPA (Section 6513(b))‚ÄĒa provision that requires farming practices that ‚Äúfoster soil fertility.‚ÄĚ Advocates maintain that information on organic farmers‚Äô practices to foster soil fertility, required in the law, is critical to organic integrity, public trust in the organic label, and certifier responsibility. As USDA states, ‚ÄúThe Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA), as amended (7 U.S.C. 6501‚Äď6524), authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to establish the National Organic Program (NOP) and accredit certifying agents to certify that farms and businesses meet national organic standards. Under OFPA, the purpose of the NOP is to: (1) establish national standards governing the marketing of certain agricultural products as organically produced products; (2) assure consumers that organically produced products meet a consistent standard; […]

Share