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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'BASF' Category


28
Jan

Common Agricultural Pesticides Threatens Frog Populations

(Beyond Pesticides, January 28, 2013) Research published Thursday indicates that pesticides widely used on farms are highly toxic to frogs. Researcher Carsten Brühl, Ph.D., at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany called the results “alarming” with the potential for “large-scale effects” on amphibians. Two chemicals commonly used in orchards and on grains demonstrated a 100% mortality rate when researchers applied doses recommended on the label, raising serious concerns about the strength of pesticide regulations. The research builds on Brühl’s previous work on the ability of frogs to absorb pesticides through their porous skin, which is necessary for breathing underwater. More importantly, the study highlights the threats that pesticides post to biodiversity. Amphibians are considered the most threatened and rapidly declining vertebrate group, with more than a third of all amphibians listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) “Red List” of threatened species. The organization lists loss of habitat, climate change, and disease as the most serious threats to amphibian populations. The scientific community is increasingly recognizing the role of chemical pollutants in amphibian decline. Though sadly, regulatory agencies do not: pesticides are not even required to be tested on amphibians before the pesticide is […]

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02
Nov

Prop 37: Your Right to Know

(Beyond Pesticides, November 2, 2012) Despite the onslaught of advertisements saying otherwise, on November 6th California voters will be asked a simple yes or no question: Do you have a right to know if the food you purchase contains genetically engineered (GE) ingredients? Industrial chemical corporations and conventional food manufacturers think your answer to this simple question could dent their profits, possibly damage their image. So they’re attempting to make it as confusing as possible for citizens to understand the issue. The “No on 37” campaign has flooded California’s airwaves with dubious statements and misrepresentations in attempts to scare consumers away from voting in their best interests. And they’ve made a difference. Back in March, a survey revealed that 91% of consumers nationwide favor the labeling of GE foods, a remarkable consensus that cut across party lines. Up until the past few weeks, before the “No on 37” ads started appearing, there was a 2:1 margin in favor or labeling GE foods. However, recent polls show Prop 37 in a dead heat. What happened? In early August, Beyond Pesticides reported on how pesticide manufacturers are “pushing hard” to block the passage of this proposition. At the time, the “No” campaign […]

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15
Oct

Corporate Assault Targets California Voters in Attempt to Stop GE Labeling Proposition

(Beyond Pesticides, October 15, 2012) California’s Proposition 37, which would require mandatory labeling on genetically engineered (GE) foods, is facing a strong challenge as tens of millions of conventional food industry dollars have poured into television advertisements before the November 6th election. Poll results released Thursday by the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy and the California Business Roundtable show that 48.3% of respondents would vote yes for the measure on Nov. 6, while 40.2% would vote no. Prop 37 was authored by James Wheaton, president of the Environmental Law Foundation. Earlier this year, the California Right to Know campaign gathered 971,126 petition signatures for Prop 37, nearly double the 555,236 signatures required to qualify for inclusion on the ballot. As it currently stands, over 40 countries around the world, including all of Europe, Japan, and China have the right to know whether they are eating GE food. While opponents of the initiative are attempting to mislead the public about the costs of the proposition, an economic assessment from Joanna M. Shepherd-Bailey, Ph.D. of Emory University School of Law reveals that the initiative would not result in any additional expense to the taxpayers of California; Prop 37 is self-enforced and […]

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03
Aug

Pesticide Corporations Pushing Hard to Stop GE Labeling in California

(Beyond Pesticides, August 3, 2012) Pesticide manufactures don’t want you to know what’s in your food. According to filings released Tuesday through the office of California’s Secretary of State, chemical company lobby groups have so far spent $750,000 in efforts to block the passage of California’s Prop 37, which would require mandatory labeling on genetically engineered (GE) foods. Opponents of the proposition raised over one million dollars this year for the “Coalition Against the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme.” Members of this coalition include the ”˜big 6’ chemical companies Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta, Dow, DuPont, and BASF, which have spent $375,000 alone through their exclusive lobbying group Council for Biotechnology Information. Overlapping ”˜big 6’ membership, the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA), which also includes the corporations Pepsico Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, and Kelloggs, recently stated in a speech at the American Soybean Association that defeating the California initiative is “the single highest-priority of the GMA this year,” according to a story in The Huffington Post. GMA has also spent $375,000 this year lobbying against Prop 37. “The Big Six chemical & seed companies are working diligently to monopolize the food system at the expense of consumers, farmers and smaller seed companies,” said Philip […]

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18
Jan

GMO Development in Europe Takes a Hit, Focus on U.S. Markets To Intensify

(Beyond Pesticides, January 18, 2012) Given the persistent wariness of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Europe, Germany’s BASF will stop developing new products targeting the European market. The group announced on January 16 that it plans to refocus its activities in the sector on more receptive regions. Unfortunately, this means BASF will redouble its efforts in the U.S. to develop new GMO products, leading to public and environmental health concerns in this country. In a statement, a BASF representative announced, “Biotechnologies are not accepted enough in many parts of Europe by the majority of consumers, farmers and political leaders. That is why it does not make sense economically to continue to invest in products aimed exclusively at this market.” BASF promotion of its GMO products has been stalled in the last couple years. BASF fought for a decade before obtaining European Union (EU) marketing authorization in 2010 for Amflora, a genetically modified high-starch potato. Shortly afterwards BASF mistakenly planted in an Amflora field in Sweden another of its GMO potatoes, Amadea, which had not received authorization from European officials. According to the company, after this scandal, “European sentiment towards transgenic products declined further.” BASF plans to halt the planting and […]

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05
Dec

Six Largest Pesticide Manufacturers Stand Trial at International People’s Court

(Beyond Pesticides, December 5, 2011) On December 3, the 27th anniversary of the Bhopal pesticide plant disaster in Bhopal, India, a trial began in an international people’s court in India involving the world’s six largest pesticide companies: Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dow and Dupont. These companies, collectively known as the “Big 6,” are cited by prosecutors for their human rights violations, including internationally recognized rights to life, livelihood and health. Beyond Pesticides joined Pesticide Action Network (PAN) and others in signing a joint statement demanding that these companies be held accountable for their human rights violations, which was presented at the trial. The trial, hosted by PAN International, is facilitated by the Permanent People’s Tribunal (PTT), an international opinion tribunal independent from State authorities. The prosecution’s 230-page indictment outlines the global threats to human rights. It begins: The victims and survivors of [pesticide industry] aggression are the poor peasants, small-scale farmers, agricultural workers, rural women, children, and indigenous and agricultural communities around the world. They are at the mercy of the expanding power of the agrochemical [corporations] and are losing their control over their seeds and knowledge, and suffering debilitating physical and chronic effects due to pesticide poisoning, including coping […]

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25
Jun

Pesticide Industry Ranked on Its Damage to Health and Environment

(Beyond Pesticides, June 25, 2008) Pesticides manufactured by Bayer (Germany), Syngenta (Switzerland), Monsanto (USA), BASF (Germany) and Dow Chemical (USA) pose the biggest threat to human health and the environment, according to a new Greenpeace Germany report, “The Dirty Portfolios of the Pesticides Industry.” The report provides the first-ever ranking of the world’s leading agrochemical companies based on the hazards and risks of their pesticides on human health and the environment. These five companies together account for 75 percent of the world market and 46 percent of the pesticides they sell worldwide are particularly hazardous substances. Monsanto has the portfolio with the highest proportion, 60 percent, of pesticides that are particularly toxic to humans and the environment. However, Monsanto only ends up in the middle of the overall ranking due to its small share of the market. The overall ranking not only takes into account the hazardous properties of the various pesticides, but also the quantities that are sold worldwide. Pesticides manufactured by Bayer pose the biggest threat to human health and the environment, according to the report. “Our ranking shows how toxic the business of the leading agrochemical companies still is,” said Greenpeace chemicals expert Manfred Krautter. “Politicians must […]

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10
Oct

BASF To Get Serious About Worldwide Pesticide Counterfeiting

(Beyond Pesticides, October, 10 2007) One of the largest chemical companies in the world, BASF Corporation, announced in a press release October 9, 2007 that it will get serious in its campaign against the use of illegal pesticides. The sale and distribution of unregistered or counterfeit pesticidal products is clearly prohibited under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), resulting in harm to public health and the environment. Several companies have recently been fined by the EPA for selling and distributing unregistered or mislabeled pesticide products (See Daily News Blogs: “EPA Fines Clorox Over Export Labels” and “Target Settles with EPA on Labeling Violations”). BASF sees the problem as adversely affecting its bottom line. BASF Agricultural Products spends over 300 million euros in research and development, especially in the field of crop protection, to develop and launch new products. As a result, the company is on a state of alert to prevent activities which deliberately infringe its existing patents or which are illegal, including product counterfeiting and the sale and distribution of unregistered pesticides. The agricultural products division of BASF said that its worldwide fight against illegal pesticides would involve taking legal action for patent infringement, illegal imports of […]

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