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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'glufosinate' Category


24
May

DuPont Worker Sues Company for Retaliation Over Pesticide Concerns

(Beyond Pesticides, May 24, 2017) A Hawai’i woman is suing her former employer, DuPont Pioneer, stating that the company retaliated against her for bringing up concerns over pesticide safety. Shanbnell Grilho, who worked for DuPont Pioneer on Oahu’s North Shore, alleges the company required her to apply hazardous herbicides without the proper training or protection, and ultimately fired her after fabricating allegations against her. This lawsuit is the latest claim against multinational pesticide companies operating in Hawai’i, which have been at the center of local and state-level disputes over their use of toxic pesticides where Hawai’i residents live, work, and play. In her complaint, Ms. Grilho indicates that she began working at DuPont Pioneer as a temporary employee, during which time she was awarded a raise and named DuPont Pioneer employee of the month. At the time she did not have to apply pesticides. However soon after her award, she was hired as a full time employee and required to work with Roundup, Liberty, and Honcho herbicides, which contain the active ingredients glyphosate, glufosinate, and glyphosate, respectively.  “DuPont Pioneer required plaintiff to apply herbicides and biocides while wearing a backpack sprayer, driving an ATV while applying herbicides with a backpack […]

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27
Aug

Medical Journal Article Identifies Hazards of Pesticides in GE Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, August 27, 2015) Last week, Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., and Charles Benbrook, Ph.D., released a perspective article, GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health, in the New England Journal of Medicine  that outlines  the hazards associated with food residues of  elevated pesticide use in the production  of genetically engineered (GE) crops. While mainstream media continuously misses the central issue  in the GE debate by asserting that these crops are merely an extension of selective breeding and effect a reduction in pesticide use, the authors  focus on  the significance of the actual increase in herbicide use and weed resistance in herbicide-tolerant crops. Drs. Landrigan and Benbrook offer two main recommendations in their article: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should delay implementation of its decision to permit the use of Enlist Duo (the 2,4-D herbicide used with  Monsanto-engineered GE herbicide-tolerant  crop), and  the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should  require labeling of GE foods and couple it with adequately funded, long-term postmarketing surveillance. Dr. Landrigan, Dean for Global Health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, is an epidemiologist and pediatrician and one of the world’s leading advocates of children’s and environmental health. Dr. Benbrook is a research professor at the […]

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13
Jan

Monsanto Once Again Developing Herbicide Resistant Wheat

(Beyond Pesticides, January 13, 2015) Over a decade after consumer opposition halted multinational agrichemical business Monsanto’s plans to develop genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant wheat, the company is trying again. This time, Monsanto’s goal is to create wheat that is resistant to three different herbicides; glyphosate, glufosinate, and dicamba. Although over 90% of corn, soybean, and cotton grown in the United States are GE, no GE wheat is currently allowed to be planted. In 2013, a farmer in Oregon discovered the presence of Monsanto’s original Roundup-Ready wheat, developed to be resistant to glyphosate, in his field despite the company’s plans to abandon the strain and claims to have destroyed the crop  a decade earlier. The company had restarted extensive field trials back in 2011. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) determined that the contamination was an “isolated incident.” It was unable to determine exactly how the wheat came to grow in the Oregon farmer’s field. However, shortly after the agency closed its investigation, another farmer in Montana detected the GE strain in his wheat fields. The recurrence of this incident reveals the contamination event not to be an isolated incident. It instead demonstrates the threat that these crops […]

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23
Dec

USDA Reports Pesticide Residues on Over Half of Food Tested

(Beyond Pesticides, December 23, 2014) The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has posted a report on its data from the 2013 Pesticide Data Program (PDP) Annual Summary, concluding that although over half of the food tested by the agency for pesticide residues last year showed detectable levels of pesticides, these levels are below the tolerances established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and do not pose a safety concern. The residues reflect a pesticide use and exposure pattern that raises hazard scenarios that are not fully evaluated by EPA for chemical mixtures, synergistic effects, impacts  on  people and environments  with high risk factors, and certain critical health endpoints, such as endocrine disruption  . Excluding water, of the 9,990 samples analyzed, 23.5 percent had one pesticide detected and 36 percent had more than one pesticide. Residues exceeding tolerances were detected in 0.23 percent (23 samples out of 9,990) of the samples tested. Of these 23 samples, 17 were imported and 6 were domestic. Residues with no established tolerances were found in 3.0 percent of samples, of which 50.2 percent were domestic and 49.2 percent imported. According to USDA, “The Pesticide Data Program provides reliable data through rigorous […]

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16
Jul

USDA Requesting Public Comment on New Wave of GE Crop Releases

(Beyond Pesticides, July 16, 2012) The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced that it will soon create a docket to receive public comment on twelve petitions for new genetically engineered (GE) plants. Nine of the petitions, which include a soybean variety engineered to tolerate 2,4-D and two other pesticides and the first ever genetically engineered apple, are being processed under USDA’s streamlined review procedures. USDA’s review of the three other petitions, including a separate soybean variety tolerant to 2,4-D and glufosinate, began under the previous procedures and those crops, having reached a further clearance stage, are approaching commercial release. Information on each of the twelve genetically engineered crops is available on the APHIS website and the agency stated that the public comment dockets will be opened in the very near future. The introduction of crops tolerant of 2,4-D represents a dramatic escalation of the damage to human health and the environment caused by genetically engineered crops. 2,4-D is a highly toxic herbicide which has been linked to cancer, reproductive effects, endocrine disruption, and kidney and liver damage in humans. Scientific studies have confirmed significantly elevated rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for farmers who […]

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09
Sep

Dow Seeks Approval of New Soybean Resistant to Multiple Herbicides

(Beyond Pesticides, September 9, 2011) Despite rising concerns over the side effects of herbicide tolerant, genetically engineered (GE) crops, Dow AgroSciences has recently asked for approval of a new GE soybean variety that will be the first ever to be simultaneously resistant to three different pesticides. The soybean variety, which the company is calling “Enlist,” is designed to compete with Monsanto’s line of “Roundup Ready” crops, which are engineered to be resistant to the company’s glyphosate formulation. The Enlist soybean will be resistant to glyphosate as well as glufosinate and 2,4-D. Antonio Galindez, CEO of Dow AgroSciences, told Reuters that the Enlist system is the company’s “most important project ever.” This is likely due to the company’s ambitious target of taking over Monsanto’s dominance of the GE market in American agriculture. Herbicide tolerant (HT) Roundup Ready crop varieties have become nearly ubiquitous in the corn, cotton, and soybean seed markets. Dow will market the product as a replacement for Roundup Ready soybeans. If farmers are finding that weeds in their fields are not responding to applications of Roundup, Dow will argue, then planting Enlist soybeans will allow them to spray a combination of chemicals in order to eradicate the resistant […]

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19
May

Researchers Discover Toxins from GE Food in Human Blood

(Beyond Pesticides, May 19, 2011) Scientists at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada found that pesticides associated with genetically engineered (GE) foods are present in maternal, fetal and nonpregnant women’s blood, emphasizing the need for further research into the effects that GE food has on human health. The study, “Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada” is published in Reproductive Toxicology. Scientists Aziz Aris and Samuel Leblanc analyzed blood samples for 39 nonpregnant women and 30 pregnant woman and their fetuses in Sherbrooke, an urban area of Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. It’s important to note that none of the women in the study had ever worked or lived with a spouse that worked in contact with pesticides. The diet of the women involved in the study is described as “typical of a middle class population of Western industrialized countries.” The Cry1Ab toxin, which is an insecticidal protein produced by the soil bacterium Baccillus thuringiensis (Bt) was detected in 93% of maternal blood samples, 80% of fetal blood samples and 69% of the nonpregnant women’s blood. In genetic engineering, the Cry1Ab protein from Bt is transferred into corn so […]

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13
Jan

Group Calls on Bayer to Withdraw Dangerous Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, January 13, 2010)The Coalition Against Bayer Dangers, based in Germany, is urging the multinational company Bayer to withdraw its most dangerous pesticides from the world market. The network specially is calling on Bayer to end sales of all products that contain active ingredients in the highest acute toxicity Class 1 of the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of pesticides. Bayer is the world market leader in sales of pesticides, many of which account for pollution and poisonings all over the world. The company acknowledges that “crop protection products may not always be used correctly under certain circumstances in some Third World countries.” Already in its 1995 Annual Report Bayer promised to “replace products with the Classification 1 of the World Health Organization with products of lower toxicity.” Public health advocates say that safe use of Class 1 (highest acute toxicity) pesticides is not possible, especially in countries where, because of poverty, illiteracy and other social conditions, as well as tropical climatic conditions, do not permit the wearing of protective gear. WHO estimates the number of people poisoned annually at three to 25 million. At least 40,000 people are killed accidentally by pesticides every year. The estimated number of […]

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04
Apr

Swedish Study Finds GMO Seeds Persist 10 Years After Planting

(Beyond Pesticides, April 4, 2008) A study called “Long-term persistence of GM oilseed rape in the seedbank,” recently published in the journal Biology Letters, has found a genetically modified (GM) crop to persist in spite of a decade of efforts to remove it from a field. Researchers from Sweden’s Lund University and the Danish Technical University found GM oilseed rape (also known as canola) plants still growing ten years after seeds were planted. According to the study, the result contrasts previous trials: “In general, studies suggest that the majority of seeds disappear from the seedbank within two years.” The oilseed rape volunteer (rogue) plants were discovered by their resistance to the herbicide glufosinate. Researchers wrote, “This finding of volunteers, despite labour intensive control for 10 years [including intensive chemical spraying], supports previous suggestions that voulnteer oilseed rape needs to be carefully managed in order for non-GM crops to be planted after GM crops.” They added, “These results are important in relation to debating and regulating coexistence of GM and non-GM crops.” The study’s findings are consistent with previous research. A larger French study found similar survival of volunteer plants eight years after a GM trial. Swedish researcher Dr. Tina D’Hertefeldt […]

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