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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Dow Chemical' Category


01
Aug

Appropriations Bill Would Prohibit EPA’s Phase-Out of Sulfuryl Fluoride

(Beyond Pesticides, August 1, 2013) The House of Representatives Appropriations Interior and Environmental subcommittee voted Tuesday 7-4 to approve an appropriations bill that would cut the budget of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by nearly a third, and includes language that would prevent the agency from enforcing its decision to phase out the use of the neurotoxic fumigant sulfuryl fluoride in our food. The full Appropriations Committee began markups on Wednesday, and, if it passes it will move to a House vote. This is an outrageous attempt to circumvent a basic risk assessment calculation that EPA acknowledges puts the public at risk, given current exposure patterns, to a chemical that is especially hazardous to children. In response to this egregious attempt to stop EPA from doing its job, Beyond Pesticides, along with Environmental Working Group and Fluoride Action Network submitted a letter to the House Appropriation Committee Chairman and Ranking members: Dear Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey: On behalf of our members and supporters we urge you to strike section 449 from the House Fiscal Year 2014 Interior and Environment Appropriations Act. This section will prohibit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from fulfilling its decision to phase-out sulfuryl […]

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26
Jul

Take Action: House Bill Will Prohibit EPA Ban on Sulfuryl Fluoride

(Beyond Pesticides, July 26, 2013) Thousands of people from across the country took action last month to prevent Dow AgroSciences from using its influence to insert Farm Bill language that would allow the food uses of the pesticide sulfuryl fluoride to continue, despite a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal to phase it out. Dow’s latest attempt to keep this neurotoxic fumigant in our food is to defund EPA’s ability to regulate its use. Language inserted into the 2014 Interior and Environment House Appropriations Bill will prevent EPA from enforcing its previous decision to phase out the use of sulfuryl fluoride. Tell Your Representative Today: Remove Section 449 from the House Appropriations Bill. According to Section 449 on sulfuryl fluoride, none of the funds made available in the appropriations bill may be used by EPA “that in any way removes, withdraws, revokes, or stays tolerances for the pesticide chemical sulfuryl fluoride if that final order takes into consideration aggregate or cumulative exposure to other substances related to sulfuryl fluoride or its metabolites or degradates.” This will essentially prevent EPA from doing the job Congress assigned to the agency under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which requires that EPA […]

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15
Jul

Giant Corps Have Set Up Shop in Hawaii, and They’re Wrecking the Place

(Beyond Pesticides, July 15, 2013) They’re wrecking the place; the chemicals they produce are  polluting groundwater  and  poisoning schoolchildren. In the absence of federal and state action, local communities are rising up to confront these agrichemical giants. As a testament to the power of local change, two Hawaiian counties, Kauai and the “Big Island” of Hawaii, have introduced legislation to restrict these practices.  Monsanto, Dow, BASF, DuPont Pioneer and Syngenta are using the Hawaiian Islands as their private testing grounds for experimental pesticides and genetically engineered (GE) crops, but they don’t want residents to know where these fields are and what chemicals they are spraying on them; they don’t think they have that right. Federal and state governments have, in effect, sanctioned these practices and provided cover for these corporations to spray tons of restricted use pesticides  across the islands (18 tons annually— and that’s just on the island of Kauai). Kauai County Councilmen Gary Hooser and Tim Bynum recently introduced County Bill 2491, which would provide long overdue protections from some of the most egregious chemical intrusions occurring on the island. Commercial pesticide applications from these giant corporations would require a 500 ft buffer zone near schools, hospitals, residential […]

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27
Feb

Pesticide Makers Win Bid to Overturn Pesticide Restrictions

(Beyond Pesticides, February 27, 2013) Last week a U.S. Court of Appeals found that pesticide restrictions to protect endangered salmon and steelhead proposed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in its Biological Opinion (BiOp) were “arbitrary and capricious,” supporting Dow AgroSciences LLC and other pesticide makers’ claims that the restrictions were based on “unsupported assumptions and conclusions.” The BiOp concluded that the pesticides chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon, three of the most highly toxic pesticides still in use, pose risks to salmon, steelhead and their habitat. In collaboration with NMFS, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is tasked with implementation of any recommended pesticide restrictions to satisfy the mandate under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). However, to date, EPA has not taken any actions to implement any of the proposed measures to protect endangered salmon and steelhead, in part due to challenges from industry. Dow AgroScience LLC, Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc., and Cheminova, Inc. USA first filed a suit in 2009 (Dow Agrosciences v. National Marine Fisheries ), challenging the NMFS’ 2008 BiOp to restrict  chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon as being based on numerous unsupported assumptions and conclusions, and faulty analyses. The U.S. District Court […]

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09
Nov

Prop 37 Defeated at Polls, but Battle Against GE Food Remains Strong

(Beyond Pesticides, November 9, 2012) Proposition 37, the statewide proposition California voted on to label foods produced with genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, was narrowly defeated at the polls on Wednesday night by a margin of 6.2 percentage points, however uncounted votes may shift the results. Had it been approved, Californians would have required labels for raw or processed food with GE ingredients and it would have prohibited the labeling and advertising of foods using the misleading term “natural.” Though campaign organizers and most news outlets are announcing defeat, the fight is not over yet. Organizers of the “Yes on 37” campaign have begun to regroup, focusing on 4.2 million Californians that voted yes and building a grassroots movement with 10,000 volunteers. Their campaign’s optimism is highlighted by their campaign statement that was released yesterday online: Yesterday, we showed that there is a food movement in the United States, and it is strong, vibrant and too powerful to stop. We always knew we were the underdogs, and the underdogs nearly took the day. Dirty money and dirty tactics may have won this skirmish, but they will not win the war. If Prop 37 passed, California would have been the first state […]

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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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15
May

Pesticide Companies Seek Canadian Approval of Herbicide-Tolerant GE Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, May 15, 2012) Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto have filed paperwork for Canadian approval of corn and soybeans genetically engineered (GE) to withstand heavy applications of potent herbicides, reports the Ottawa Citizen. The chemical companies are seeking Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency assessments for the introduction of four varieties of GE corn and soybeans engineered to tolerate the highly toxic herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba. In the U.S., the federal Department of Agriculture (USDA) is in the process of reviewing Dow’s application for its 2,4-D-tolerant corn, as well. Beyond Pesticides and others recently submitted comments to USDA challenging this approval. Dow’s GE corn is modified to be tolerant to 2,4-D, which is contaminated with dioxin and linked to cancer, birth defects, and more. The company is introducing the new GE corn variety because weeds are becoming resistant to Roundup, the previous chemical of choice for herbicide-tolerant plants. However, solving herbicide resistance with a new, more toxic chemical is like using gasoline to put out a fire. It will cause even more damage to health and the environment, and in a few years, the pesticide industry will be marketing their next “solution” to the growing resistance problem. Dow states […]

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24
Apr

Take Action – Tell USDA to Deny Dow’s 2,4-D Tolerant GMO Corn

(Beyond Pesticides, April 24, 2012) Dow Chemical has asked USDA for approval of genetically engineered (GE) corn, modified to be tolerant to the highly toxic 2,4-D herbicide, which is contaminated with dioxin and linked to cancer, birth defects and more. We know from experience that herbicide-tolerant crops are a bad idea. They increase toxic pesticide use, contaminate organic and non-GE farms, and contribute to herbicide-resistance. In fact, Dow introduced a new GE corn variety because weeds are becoming resistant to Roundup, the previous chemical of choice for herbicide-tolerant plants. However, solving herbicide resistance with a new, more toxic chemical is like using gasoline to put out a fire. It will cause even more damage to health and the environment, and in a few years, the pesticide industry will be marketing their next “solution” to the growing resistance problem. Read Beyond Pesticides full comments to USDA for Dow’s petition to approve 2-4,D-resistant GE corn. Tell USDA to stop this toxic experiment and deny Dow’s petition for 2,4-D tolerant corn. Sign your organization or business onto Beyond Pesticides’ comments or submit comments directly to the USDA docket. The deadline to sign on is Friday, April 27 at noon. Background: In a radio […]

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12
Apr

EPA Dismisses Petition to Ban 2,4-D

(Beyond Pesticides, April 12, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Monday that it has rejected a petition to ban the widely used herbicide 2,4-D, dismissing epidemiologic studies that link the pesticide to cancer, endocrine disruption, and other human health effects. In its announcement, EPA also responded to comments that Beyond Pesticides submitted in 2009, dismissing two studies that evaluate the relationship between the use of the chemical on lawns and the incidence of malignant lymphoma in pets. The petition was initially filed in 2008 by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). 2,4-D has been used in the U.S. since the 1940s, and as such is one of the oldest registered herbicides in the country. It made up roughly half of the herbicide known as Agent Orange, which was used to defoliate forests and croplands in the Vietnam War. According to EPA, 2,4-D is currently found in approximately 600 products registered for agricultural, residential, industrial, and aquatic uses. The use of 2,4-D is expected to increase significantly in the next few years with the recent announcement that Dow AgroSciences, the main manufacturer of the chemical, is seeking federal approval to sell corn seeds that have been genetically engineered to […]

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05
Jan

USDA Deregulates Monsanto’s Drought Resistant Corn, Opens Comment Period on 2,4-D Resistant Corn

(Beyond Pesticides, January 5, 2012) Just as everyone was getting ready for the holidays, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved yet another genetically modified seed by Monsanto, a drought-tolerant variety of corn, MON87460. In addition to its announcement approving Monsanto’s newest GE corn variety, USDA also opened a 60-day public comment period for two additional petitions — one for Monsanto’s GE soybean containing higher levels of an omega-3 fatty acid, that does not naturally occur in soybeans, and the other from Dow AgroSciences for corn that has been genetically engineered to resist the poisonous herbicide 2,4-D. “In 2012 the USDA is proposing approving a new GE corn variety that is resistant to a different toxic herbicide, escalating the toxic treadmill in chemical-dependent agriculture,” said Jay Feldman, Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides. “This is nothing more than a band-aid solution to a serious problem, and will only give rise to more superweeds, more herbicide pollution in our environment, more herbicide poisoning, while likely leading to the need for even more toxic herbicides a couple of years down the line. This foolish circle has to end,” he added. [To listen to a radio interview on 2,4-D by Jay Feldman click here.] […]

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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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07
Nov

Genetically Engineered Crops to Boost Use of 2, 4-D and Dicamba

(Beyond Pesticides, November 7) Once heralded as a breakthrough for reducing the rates and toxicity of the pesticides applied by farmers, genetically engineered (GE) crops are perversely leading to renewed dependency on the very herbicides they were claimed to make obsolete. Growing recognition that pervasive planting of “Round-Up Ready” corn, soybeans and cotton is accelerating weed resistance is prompting GE seed companies to rush to market ‘stacked’ varieties that are resistant to additional herbicides, including 2, 4-D and dicamba. Farmers planting the stacked varieties will be spraying these older herbicides in addition to glyphosate, which most commodity crops have already been engineered to tolerate. Professor David A. Mortensen of Pennsylvania State University has estimated that adoption of Round-Up Ready and 2, 4-D or dicamba resistant stacked varieties in soybeans could result in a 70% increase in herbicide use in a relatively short time. The St. Louis Pots-Dispatch reported on progress that multinational chemical corporations Dow AgroSciences, BASF, and Monsanto are making to bring multi-herbicide resistant varieties to market. Under separate arrangements with each company, Monsanto adds glyphosate resistance to seeds that are simultaneously engineered to resist other herbicides. In October, Dow AgroSciences obtained a global patent on its Enlist Duo […]

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02
Nov

Court Upholds Protection for Salmon Protections

(Beyond Pesticides, November 2, 2011) On Monday, a federal judge rejected a lawsuit brought by Dow AgroSciences challenging pesticide application restrictions to protect salmon and upheld the measures recommended by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to protect endangered salmon and steelhead from three highly toxic pesticides: chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. The restrictions, recommended by NMFS’s Biological Opinion in 2008, ban the ground spraying of the three commonly used organophosphate agricultural insecticides within 500 feet of any salmon-bearing waterway, and aerial spraying within 1,000 feet. NMFS has issued four Biological Opinions, the latest on June 2011, which call for several limitations on aerial spraying and ground application of the pesticides near salmon waters, as well as buffer zones around salmon waters and ditches that drain to salmon habitat, among others. EPA was court ordered to consult with NMFS to identify measures needed to protect salmon and steelhead from the pesticides as a result of a 2002 and 2007 lawsuit. Pesticide manufacturers have been willfully ignoring and challenging NMFS’s findings. Dow AgroSciences alleged that NMFS used bad data and modeling and that the proposed buffers are far too large. Earthjustice, representing Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP), Pacific Coast Federation […]

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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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05
Aug

EPA, DOJ Reach Settlement With Dow Over Midland Plant

(Beyond Pesticides, August 5, 2011) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last week that Dow Chemical Company (Dow) has agreed to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty to settle violations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) at its chemical manufacturing and research complex in Midland, Michigan. In addition to paying a penalty, Dow will implement a comprehensive program to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) from leaking equipment, such as valves and pumps. These emissions —known as fugitive emissions because they are not discharged from a stack, but rather leak directly from equipment— are generally controlled through work practices, such as monitoring for and repairing leaks. The settlement requires Dow to implement enhanced work practices, including more frequent leak monitoring, better repair practices, and innovative new work practices designed to prevent leaks. In addition, the enhanced program requires Dow to replace valves with new “low emissions” valves or valve packing material, designed to significantly reduce the likelihood of future leaks of VOCs and HAPs. Past waste disposal practices, fugitive emissions, and incineration at the Midland plant […]

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01
Jun

NAFTA Deal Confirms Canada’s Right to Ban Lawn Pesticide Use

(Beyond Pesticides, June 1, 2011) Municipalities in Canada can continue to restrict cosmetic uses of pesticides on their lawns in spite of the settlement of a closely watched trade case, according to Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast. The province of Quebec and Dow AgroSciences settled a $2-million (U.S.) lawsuit stemming from Quebec’s 2006 ban of the pesticide 2,4-D. Environmentalists say the settlement reinforces the right of municipalities and provinces to ban pesticides. Quebec began banning pesticides in 2003 and prohibits the use and sale of 20 ingredients in lawn pesticides that had been used in the province. It also restricts pesticide use outside daycares and schools. Environmentalists suspect Dow brought the suit to dissuade other provinces from following Quebec’s lead and banning the cosmetic use of pesticides like 2,4-D. Dow dropped the claim without compensation or changes to Quebec’s ban in the settlement which was reached May 25, 2011. The company had been seeking $2 million. Federal International Trade Minister Ed Fast said the agreement “confirms the right of governments to regulate the use of pesticides. This right will not be compromised by Canada’s participation in North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or any other trade agreement.” Dow based its […]

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15
Mar

Dow Seeks To Overturn EPA Ban of Toxic Fluoride-Based Pesticide

(Beyond Pesticides, March 15, 2011) Following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) January 10th announcement that it plans to cancel all allowable pesticide residue levels (tolerances) of the toxic fumigant sulfuryl fluoride–effectively banning its use, the chemical’s manufacturer, Dow AgroSciences, is petitioning EPA to launch a formal registration cancellation hearing under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). EPA decided to cancel the tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) after determining that when residues on food products are combined with fluoridated drinking water and toothpaste, public exposure levels are too high. The agency took the action in response to a June 2006 petition submitted by Fluoride Action Network, Beyond Pesticides, and Environmental Working Group. Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA) amendments to FFDCA require that a pesticide registered for use by EPA cannot exceed acceptable risk thresholds when its dietary and nondietary uses are evaluated in the aggregate. Environmentalists believe that the January 2011 sulfuryl fluoride decision was the first time EPA action has resulted in a comprehensive pesticide cancellation of agricultural uses (as distinct from a voluntary cancellation by the manufacturer) because of unacceptable aggregate exposure. While cancellation hearings are not provided under […]

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06
Aug

Herbicide-Contaminated Manure Damages Organic Crops in Washington State

(Beyond Pesticides, August 6, 2010) Organic farmers and gardeners across a Washington state county suspect that herbicide-contaminated manure and compost obtained from non-organic farms and dairies are responsible for severe crop loss reported throughout the region, raising questions about the adequacy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) pesticide registration process. Tests of soil and tissue samples of local dairy manure that is used in soil and compost mixtures revealed small amounts of aminopyralid, a potent and persistent herbicide approved for use by EPA in 2005. Aminopyralid is generally used for weed control in pastures and fields that grow silage crops for dairy cows. When cows eat the grass that has been treated with the chemical, it passes through them unchanged and remains in their manure in concentrations that can still be high enough to damage broadleaf crops if the manure is used to fertilize them. Aminopyralid is produced by Dow AgroSciences, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co., and often manufactured under the product name Milestone. Former coordinator of the Washington State University master gardeners’ program Jill Cotton has noticed the damage in her garden and said reports continue to filter in from other gardens around the county. One Whatcom […]

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03
Aug

Risk Assessment Flaw Downplays Insecticide’s Link to Bee Kills

(Beyond Pesticides, August 3, 2010) A new study shows that due to a flaw in standard risk assessments, which consider toxic effects at fixed exposure times, the risks posed by the neonicotinoid pesticides imidacloprid and thiacloprid are likely to be underestimated. The authors believe that minute quantities of imidicloprid may be playing a much larger role in killing bees over extended periods of time than previously thought. The study, “The significance of the Druckrey—KĂĽpfmĂĽller equation for risk assessment””The toxicity of neonicotinoid insecticides to arthropods is reinforced by exposure time,” was published online July 23, 2010 in the journal Toxicology. The authors believe that standard risk assessment calculations underestimate toxicity because they do not accurately account for the interplay of time and level of exposure. According the study: The essence of the Druckrey—KĂĽpfmĂĽller equation states that the total dose required to produce the same effect decreases with decreasing exposure levels, even though the exposure times required to produce the same effect increase with decreasing exposure levels. Druckrey and KĂĽpfmĂĽller inferred that if both receptor binding and the effect are irreversible, exposure time would reinforce the effect. The Druckrey—KĂĽpfmĂĽller equation explains why toxicity may occur after prolonged exposure to very low toxicant […]

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08
Jun

Indian Court Finds Eight Guilty for 1984 Union Carbide Gas Disaster

(Beyond Pesticides, June 8, 2010) An Indian court in Bhopal, India, capital of Madhya Pradesh, found chemical company Union Carbide guilty of negligence and convicted eight former senior employees for their role in the world’s worst industrial disaster that killed thousands. The verdict came 25 years after the Union Carbide gas-leak and included a sentence that many victims of the accident protested was too light. According to Reuters, the defendants were charged with “death by negligence” and sentenced for two years in prison and a fine of 100,000 rupees ($2,175). The court also fined the former Indian unit of Union Carbide 500,000 rupees ($10,600). The Central Board of Investigation initially charged 12 defendants with culpable homicide, which would have carried a sentence of up to 10 years, but the Indian Supreme Court reduced these charges in 1996. Many victims and activists found the light sentence, “an insult”, and Sandhna Kamik of the Bhopal Gas Victims Struggle group protested, “Even with the guilty judgment, what does two years punishment mean? They will be able to appeal against the judgment in higher courts.” Survivors, relatives and activists gathered in protest with signs saying “hang the guilty” and “traitors of the nation” and […]

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23
Apr

Dow Chemical Named Top Earth Day Greenwasher

(Beyond Pesticides, April 23, 2010) In recognition of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the Dow Chemical Company is a proud sponsor of the Dow Live Earth Run for Water. Yes, that Dow Chemical Company. The same company that manufactures some of the most hazardous pesticides in the world, that was responsible for Agent Orange, and that is liable for the worst industrial disaster of all time is sponsoring what it calls the “largest solutions-based initiative aimed at solving the global water crisis in history.” The series of events held in various cities on April 18 consisted of 6 kilometer runs, concerts and “water education activities.” The Bravo TV network will broadcast a one hour special on Friday April 23 “offering audiences an inside look at the global event and its mission to help solve the world water crisis.” When Environmental Action planned the first Earth Day in 1970 at a cost of $125,000, it accepted no money from corporations. Some 20 million Americans from across the country participated in the day’s marches, demonstrations, lectures, workshops, and other events, making it one of the most successful political events in American History. Since that time, many companies have started making donations […]

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04
Dec

25 Years After Plant Explosion Bhopal Residents Still Suffer

(Beyond Pesticides, December 4, 2009) Twenty-five years ago, a toxic cloud of gas from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, enveloped the surrounding city, leaving thousands dead. Anywhere between 50,000 to 90,000 lbs of the chemical methyl isocyanate (MIC) are estimated to have leaked into the air, killing approximately 8,000-10,000 people within the first three days, according to data by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Advocacy groups working with victims say that more than 25,000 have died to date, and more than 120,000 people still suffer from severe health problems as a result of their exposure. According to a Reuters piece on the anniversary of Bhopal, “India’s “death factory” leaves toxic legacy 25 years on,” there are still 40 metric tonnes of chemical waste stored in a warehouse inside the plant that still needs disposal. Dow Chemical, which now owns Union Carbide, denies any responsibility saying it bought the company a decade after Union Carbide had settled its liabilities to the Indian government in 1989 by paying $470 million for the victims. “After the disaster, Union Carbide did this botched site remediation and created a massive landfill,” said Rajan Sharma, a New York-based lawyer demanding that Dow […]

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