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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Monsanto' Category


02
Jun

Judge Rejects Bayer Proposal to Settle Future Roundup Claims

(Beyond Pesticides, June 2, 2021) U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria last week rejected a proposal from multinational agrichemical company Bayer (Monsanto) to settle future court claims around the company‚Äôs flagship Roundup/glyphosate herbicide. In making his decision, Judge Chhabria asserted that the corporation‚Äôs proposal was inadequate for future victims diagnosed with cancer after using the herbicide. The decision has Bayer scrambling for a way out, and it indicated in a ‚ÄúFive Point Plan‚ÄĚ released after the ruling that it will, ‚Äúdiscuss the future of glyphosate-based products in the U.S. residential market.‚ÄĚ Bayer‚Äôs rejected proposal would have established a $2 billion fund, split between future claimants (who would receive between $5,000 and $200,000), and the cost to cover cancer monitoring, lawyers‚Äô fees, and an advisory panel to review claims. Bayer has agreed to a separate $9.6 billion agreement to settle existing lawsuits, having lost several rounds of litigation where juries found in favor of plaintiffs who claimed that their use of Roundup resulted in their development of non-Hodgkin‚Äôs lymphoma. Recently, in mid-May, Bayer lost an appeal of the Hardeman vs. Monsanto case, as a three judge panel upheld a $25 million award. Prior to rejecting the proposal on future claimants, the […]

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25
May

More Evidence Documents Glyphosate’s Link to Adverse Birth Outcomes

(Beyond Pesticides, May 25, 2021) High levels of glyphosate in urine later in a pregnancy is significantly associated with preterm birth, according to recent research conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan. While awareness of the strong connection between glyphosate and certain cancers is growing among the public, the chemical‚Äôs link to adverse pregnancy outcomes is beginning to receive more attention. ‚ÄúSince most people are exposed to some level of glyphosate and may not even know it, if our results reflect true associations, then the public health implications could be enormous,‚ÄĚ said senior author John Meeker, ScD, professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. This latest study is part of a cohort dubbed PROTECT (Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats), focused on investigating environmental exposures leading to preterm birth in Puerto Rico. Previous research indicates that Puerto Rico has some of the highest rates of preterm births in the United States, roughly matching Mississippi. With America‚Äôs abysmal track record for maternal care, preterm birth rates in these locations also represent the highest in the world. In order to determine the association between glyphosate use and preterm pregnancy, pregnant women between the ages of 18 to […]

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09
Feb

Proposed Bayer/Monsanto Settlement for Roundup Victims Offers Payments and Challenges

(Beyond Pesticides, February 9, 2021) Multinational agrichemical corporation Bayer/Monsanto released a proposal last week to provide up to $200,000 per claimant in compensation to future victims of its Roundup weed killer, according to Reuters. The proposed settlement, agreed to with lawyers representing victims, continues Bayer/Monsanto‚Äôs attempts to limit the spiraling cost Roundup lawsuits, which have awarded individual victims millions of dollars in damages. The company appears to consider the proposal a good investment, as it has announced no plans to stop sale and production of its carcinogenic weed killer. However, under the current proposal, plaintiffs would not be forced to go through a compensation fund, and could seek additional punitive damages through a separate suit. As the attorney for Roundup victims, Elizabeth Casbraser, of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, told the Wall Street Journal, ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs really about options, and it‚Äôs really about choice. I think it‚Äôs a great option that offers predictability and transparency for people who don‚Äôt want to wait, who want to be compensated.‚ÄĚ To stop the surge of cancer victims ‚Äď comprising roughly 125,000 lawsuits ‚Äď from further damaging the company financially, Bayer/Monsanto last year proposed a $10.9 billion settlement with current litigants. Unresolved future claims were […]

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12
Jan

New York State Bans Glyphosate/Roundup on State Land, While Advocates Push for Organic Land Management

(Beyond Pesticides, January 12, 2021) New York State is set to prohibit on December 31, 2021 the use of glyphosate on all state property after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed bill S6502A/A732b late last year. The state legislature passed the legislation in July, 2020. The move is an important recognition by the nation‚Äôs fourth most populous state that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not adequately protecting people and the environment from hazardous pesticides (pesticide is an umbrella term that includes insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc). However, the law‚Äôs ability to improve these protections will depend significantly upon the management approach that replaces glyphosate use. ¬†‚ÄúA transition away from Roundup and other glyphosate-based pesticides must reject the use of regrettable substitutes, and embrace sound organic principles and practices,‚ÄĚ said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. In pest and weed management, regrettable substitutions occur when one toxic chemical is banned or restricted, and another hazardous pesticide is simply used in its place. The substitution may have a different chemical formulation, mode of action, and set of health and environmental impacts, but nonetheless fills the same role as Roundup/glyphosate when it comes to weed management. When the answer to eliminating glyphosate is to […]

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11
Jan

TAKE ACTION: Tell President-Elect Biden and Congress to Clean Up at EPA‚ÄĒ End the Era of Corporate Deception

(Beyond Pesticides, January 11, 2021)¬†Treatment of chemical companies as clients rather than regulated entities is not new at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but corruption reached new highs during the Trump administration. With a new administration, it is time to end the rule of corporate deception at EPA. This goes beyond the use of the Congressional Review Act to reverse individual rules (adopted in the last six months) that defy scientific findings and compliance with environmental and public health standards. We can no longer rely on bad science and unscrupulous chemical manufacturers that put profits above concerns for the health of people and the environment. EPA must audit pesticide registrants for integrity to scientific process and set a moratorium on future pesticide registration until the agency can assure the public that their science is not corrupt, as it has been in the past. Tell President-elect Biden and Congress to clean up the corruption of science at EPA and set a moratorium on future pesticide registrations‚ÄĒuntil the agency can assure the public that the chemical manufacturers’ science supporting pesticide registrations is not corrupt. The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting published a story in early December on yet another example of the […]

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22
Dec

Farmworkers and Conservationists Ask Court to Remove Monsanto’s Roundup from the Market

(Beyond Pesticides, December 22, 2020)¬†Opening arguments and evidence¬†were filed by a coalition of farmworkers, farmers, and conservationists last week in litigation challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) re-approval of¬†glyphosate, best known as the active ingredient in Monsanto’s “Roundup” pesticides. The lawsuit charges that the Trump Administration unlawfully ignored cancer risks and ecological damage of glyphosate.¬† Represented by the Center for Food Safety (CFS), plaintiffs, including the Rural Coalition, Farmworker Association of Florida, Organizaci√≥n en California de Lideres Campesinas, and Beyond Pesticides,¬†filed the federal lawsuit¬†in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in March. The groups seek to have the pesticide prohibited from use or sale because of its unlawful approval. “Farmworkers are on the frontlines of nearly every health and environmental crisis, from the COVID-19 pandemic to climate change, and are particularly at risk of health impacts from pesticide spraying,”¬†said Amy van Saun, senior attorney at CFS.¬†“EPA failed these essential workers. It rejected evidence that glyphosate causes cancer and entirely failed to assess the main way people are exposed at work, through their skin.” The court filing includes volumes of evidence showing how EPA ignored glyphosate’s health risks, including cancer risks, to farmworkers and farmers exposed during spraying. The evidence […]

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21
Dec

Stop EPA from Limiting State Pesticide Restrictions as Corporate Deception on Hazards Continues

(Beyond Pesticides, December 21, 2020) The toxic herbicide dicamba is once again at the center of a larger story about states’ authority to regulate pesticides more stringently federal dictates and a response to corporate corruption in the marketing of pesticide products. The Trump EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) has just made it much harder for state regulations to be more protective than federal rules. It did so via a footnote embedded in dozens of pages of regulatory documents related to EPA’s registration of three new dicamba products.¬† Tell the Biden transition team that EPA must respect states’ rights to protect people and property in their states. Meanwhile, a report by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found Monsanto and BASF, a German chemical company that worked with Monsanto to launch the system coupling dicamba with resistant crops, knew their dicamba herbicides would cause large-scale damage to fields across the U.S., but decided to push them on unsuspecting farmers anyway, in a bid to corner the soybean and cotton markets with their dicamba-resistant seeds. For nearly 30 years, state regulators have used Section 24 (‚ÄúSpecial Local Needs‚ÄĚ section) of FIFRA, the Federal, Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act‚ÄĒthe law that gives EPA […]

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18
Dec

Investigation on Weed Killer Dicamba Adds to Pattern of Corporate Deception on Pesticide Hazards

(Beyond Pesticides, December 18, 2020)¬†The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting published a story in early December on yet another example of the corporate malfeasance that exalts profit far above concerns for safety, health, and ecosystems. The Midwest Center‚Äôs investigation finds that Monsanto and BASF, makers of the extremely problematic herbicide dicamba, engaged in a variety of deceitful, unethical, and possibly fraudulent practices to enable its use. The bottom line is that the companies knew, before they released dicamba, about the massive damage it would cause ‚ÄĒ and then put it on the market. Beyond Pesticides has reported on the corporate greed that fuels the downstream public health, environmental, and economic devastation these pesticides cause, and advocated for their removal from the market. Such unscrupulous behavior is not confined to these companies; Bayer (which now owns Monsanto) and Syngenta are also implicated in similar actions related to other pesticides: glyphosate and atrazine, respectively. Over the course of the past couple of decades, large agrochemical corporations have pursued not only extreme market penetration for their toxic products, but also, vertical integration that, in the case of Bayer/Monsanto, ‚Äúrepresents a near-monopoly on the agriculture supply chain.‚ÄĚ Corporate ownership of the patent on genetically […]

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23
Sep

Bayer Coordinated with U.S. Government on Pressure Campaign to Stop Thailand from Banning Glyphosate

(Beyond Pesticides, September 23, 2020) Multinational agrichemical corporation Bayer coordinated with the U.S. government to pressure Thailand to drop plans to ban glyphosate use, according to documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). CBD is now suing the Trump Administration after it refused to release additional documents pertaining to the pressure campaign. The incident is the latest example of an administration that has allowed corporate interests to dictate American governmental action on toxic pesticides. The documents reveal that the October 2019 letter that U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Undersecretary Ted McKinney sent to Thailand‚Äôs Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha pushing back on the country‚Äôs plan to ban glyphosate came shortly after emails Bayer sent to U.S. officials. In September and October 2019, Bayer‚Äôs Jim Travis asked the U.S. to act on its behalf in defense of the company‚Äôs glyphosate products. Emails reveal that Mr. Travis also collected intelligence on the personal motivations of Thailand‚Äôs deputy agriculture minister, including whether she was ‚Äúa diehard advocate of organic food; and/or staunch environmentalist who eschews all synthetic chemical applications.‚ÄĚ Reports indicate that the U.S. government brought up the issue of glyphosate during trade talks in the context of considerations to revoke Thailand‚Äôs […]

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14
Aug

Study Shows Organic Food Diet Reduces Residues of Glyphosate in Body

(Beyond Pesticides, August 13, 2020)¬†Levels of the notorious herbicide compound glyphosate in the human body are reduced by 70% through a one-week switch to an organic diet, finds a new, peer-reviewed study published in August 2020 in the journal Environmental Research. This result emphasizes both the ubiquity of this compound in the human body, and diet as the primary source of exposure for most people. It also adds to the evidence for Beyond Pesticides‚Äô assertions that: (1) chemical-intensive agriculture must be abandoned, for a variety of reasons that include human health, and (2) in the lead-up to a transition to organic and regenerative agriculture, consuming organic foods as much as is practicable is powerful protection from glyphosate, and from the assault of multiple chemical pesticides to which most people are exposed. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the popular weed killer RoundupTM, which has been used intensively in the U.S. and around the world, especially during the last couple of decades. It is very commonly used on crops grown from genetically engineered (GE) companion seeds for a variety of staple crops (e.g., soybeans, cotton, and corn). These GE seeds are¬†glyphosate-tolerant, whose attribute has allowed growers to apply the herbicide and […]

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11
Aug

Court Decision Highlights Systemic Failure of Federal Pesticide Law to Protect Health and the Environment, Despite a Silver Lining and a Must-Read, Powerful Dissenting Opinion

(Beyond Pesticides, August 11, 2020)¬†Petitioners who mounted a legal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency‚Äôs (EPA‚Äôs) registration of Enlist Duo, a relatively new and highly toxic pesticide product, recently learned of a mixed decision from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case. The good news is that Judge Ryan D. Nelson, writing the opinion for the court, found that EPA, in registering the herbicide Enlist Duo, had failed to protect monarch butterflies, which are under consideration as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). On the other and disturbing hand, the court concluded that EPA registration of the product was otherwise lawful ‚ÄĒ which means that this toxic compound will for now remain on the market. As one of the plaintiffs in the case, Beyond Pesticides is adamant that this product should not be registered for use by EPA. George Kimbrell, Legal Director of Center for Food Safety and Lead Counsel for the plaintiffs, commented on the decision in the organization‚Äôs July 22 press release on the decision: ‚ÄúThe panel majority’s unprecedented decision is contrary to controlling law and established science, and Center for Food Safety is analyzing all legal options, including seeking a full […]

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29
Jun

Tell USDA to Reject Bayer-Monsanto’s¬†Multi-Herbicide Tolerant Corn‚ÄĒPlease sign the petition by Monday, July 6, 4pm EDT

(Beyond Pesticides, June 29, 2020) Bayer’s Monsanto¬†is requesting non-regulated status for corn that will increase the use of drift-prone and toxic herbicides. This means that the planting of a new genetically engineered (GE) variety of corn, which requires substantial weed killer use, will not be restricted in any way. The syndrome of ‘more-corn, more-pesticides, more-poisoning, more-contamination’ must stop‚ÄĒas we effect an urgent systemic transformation to productive and profitable organic production practices. Because USDA is proposing to allow a new herbicide-dependent crop under the Plant Protection Act, the agency must, but does not, consider the adverse impacts associated with the production practices on other plants and the effects on the soil in which they are grown. Business as usual is not an option for a livable future. Sign the petition. Tell USDA we don’t need more use of 2,4-D, Dicamba, and other toxic herbicides associated with the planting of new GE corn. Bayer-Monsanto has developed multi-herbicide tolerant MON 87429 maize, which is tolerant to the herbicides 2,4-D, dicamba, glyphosate, glufosinate, and aryloxyphenoxypropionate (AOPP) acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase (ACCase) inhibitors (so-called ‚ÄúFOP‚ÄĚ herbicides, such as quizalofop). Now the company wants this corn to be deregulated‚ÄĒallowing it to be planted and the herbicides […]

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26
Jun

Bayer-Monsanto Chalks Up Court Victory that Takes Cancer Warning Off Roundup™-Glyphosate in California, Makes Case for Fundamental Overhaul of Pesticide Law

(Beyond Pesticides, June 26, 2020) A court decision in California, challenging a cancer warning on products containing the weed killer glyphosate, highlights the distinct  ways in which scientific findings are applied under regulatory standards, in toxic tort cases evaluated by juries, and by consumers in the marketplace. These differences came into focus as a U.S. court quashed California‚Äôs decision to require cancer warning labels on glyphosate products on June 22. The ruling, by Judge William Shubb of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, bars the state from requiring labeling that warns of potential carcinogenicity on such herbicides. The World Health Organization‚Äôs International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015 classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. At this point, Monsanto began a worldwide campaign to challenge glyphosate‚Äôs cancer classification. The IARC finding spurred the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, in the same year, to announce that glyphosate would be listed as a probable cancer-causing chemical under California‚Äôs Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65). With that announcement came another: the state would mandate that cancer warning labels be applied to glyphosate-based products in the state when any of four […]

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25
Jun

Bayer-Monsanto, Committed to Continued Sales of Roundup™-Glyphosate, Announces $10.9 Billion Settlement with Cancer Victims, Protects Company from Future Trials by Jury

(Beyond Pesticides, June 25, 2020) Facing approximately 125,000 lawsuits on cancer caused by the weed killer Roundup™ (glyphosate), Bayer/Monsanto announced yesterday that it will pay up to $10.9 billion to resolve current and potential future litigation. According to Bayer, the settlement will ‚Äúbring closure‚ÄĚ to approximately 75% of current Roundup™ litigation. ‚ÄúThe company will make a payment of $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion to resolve the current Roundup™ litigation, including an allowance expected to cover unresolved claims, and $1.25 billion to support a separate class agreement to address potential future litigation,‚ÄĚ according to Bayer‚Äôs press release. At the same time the company announced a $400 million settlement with farmers whose crops have been damaged by the weed killer dicamba and $820 million for PCB water litigation. Bayer is a German multinational pharmaceutical and chemical company that purchased Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018. Bayer‚Äôs stock price increased by 2.5% after the news of the settlements. Bayer Settles, but Defends the Safety of Roundup™As expected, Bayer is not acknowledging any harm caused by glyphosate. According to chief executive officer of Bayer, Werner Baumann, ‚ÄúThe decision to resolve the Roundup™ litigation enables us to focus fully on the critical supply of healthcare […]

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10
Jun

Federal Court Halts Use of Drift-Prone Dicamba on Millions of Acres of GE Soy and Cotton

(Beyond Pesticides, June 9, 2020) Use of the weed killer dicamba on genetically engineered (GE) cotton and soybeans is now prohibited after a federal court ruling against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week. A coalition of conservation groups filed suit in 2018 after EPA renewed a conditional registration for dicamba‚Äôs ‚Äėover the top‚Äô (OTT) use on GE cotton and soy developed to tolerate repeated sprayings of the herbicide. “For the thousands of farmers whose fields were damaged or destroyed by dicamba drift despite our warnings, the National Family Farm Coalition is pleased with today’s ruling,” said National Family Farm Coalition president Jim Goodman in a press release. First registered in the late 1960s, dicamba has been linked to cancer, reproductive effects, neurotoxicity, birth defects, and kidney and liver damage. It is also toxic to birds, fish and other aquatic organisms, and known to leach into waterways after an application. It is a notoriously drift-prone herbicide. Studies and court filings show dicamba able to drift well over a mile off-site after an application. Bayer‚Äôs Monsanto thought they could solve this problem. The ‚ÄúRoundup Ready‚ÄĚ GE agricultural model the company developed, with crops engineered to tolerate recurrent applications of their […]

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25
Mar

Trump Administration’s Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Planting of Genetically Engineered Crops in Southeast National Wildlife Refuges

(Beyond Pesticides, March 25, 2020) The Trump administration‚Äôs U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is moving forward with a proposal to grow genetically engineered crops (GECs) on national wildlife refuges in the Southeast United States. The draft environmental assessment allows wildlife to consume pesticide-laden produce, considers chemical-intensive genetically engineered crops no less damaging to the environment than ‚Äúnon-use of GECs,‚ÄĚ and permits and escalation of climate change with toxic pesticide use increases. USFW‚Äôs proposal fails to mention the success of organic agriculture and consider it as one of the alternative management strategies. The proposal is up for public comment until April 10, 2020. In 2014, public pressure and lawsuits by environmental groups led to the Obama administration‚Äôs decision to phase out GE crops and ban neonicotinoid insecticide use on national wildlife refuges. On August 2, 2018, the Trump administration‚Äôs USFWS issued a memorandum that reversed the prohibition. The reversal allows the refuge system to make decisions on the use of GECs and neonics on a case-by-case basis in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which is also under attack by the Trump administration. The Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, and others quickly challenged the 2018 […]

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23
Mar

Farmworkers and Conservationists Sue EPA for Re-Approving Monsanto/Bayer’s Cancer-Causing Pesticide, Glyphosate/Roundup

(Beyond Pesticides, March 23, 2020)¬†Ignoring science to side with Monsanto/Bayer, EPA has repeatedly failed to assess glyphosate‚Äôs impacts on public health and endangered species. Last week, a broad coalition of farmworkers, farmers, and conservationists, filed a federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its January 2020 re-approval of the pesticide glyphosate, best known as the active ingredient in Monsanto‚Äôs Roundup pesticides. With Center for Food Safety (CFS) serving as legal counsel, the suing organizations are¬† Beyond Pesticides, the Rural Coalition, Organizaci√≥n en California de Lideres Campesinas, and the Farmworker Association of Florida. While EPA defends glyphosate, juries in several cases have found it to cause cancer, ruling in favor of those impacted by exposure. Glyphosate formulations like Roundup are also well-established as having numerous damaging environmental impacts. After a registration review process spanning over a decade, EPA allowed the continued marketing of the pesticide despite the agency‚Äôs failure to fully assess glyphosate‚Äôs hormone-disrupting potential or its effects on threatened and endangered species. The review began in 2009, has already taken 11 years, without a full assessment of the widespread harmful impacts on people and the environment in that time period. ‚ÄúEPA‚Äôs half-completed, biased, and unlawful approval sacrifices the […]

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20
Feb

Bader Farms Wins $265 Million in Lawsuit Against Bayer’s Monsanto, BASF

(Beyond Pesticides, February 20, 2020) Missouri‚Äôs largest peach farm, Bader Farms, is set to receive $265 million in compensation from two multinational agrichemical companies after the companies’ dicamba-based weed killers caused widespread damage to the farm’s fruit trees. Bayer‚Äôs Monsanto and BASF were found to be responsible for negligence in the design of their dicamba herbicides, and failure to warn farmers about the dangers of their products. The jury determined that the joint venture between the two companies amounted to a conspiracy to create an ‚Äúecological disaster‚ÄĚ in the name of profit. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Bayer Monsanto‚Äôs release of a new line of genetically engineered (GE) seeds designed to tolerate repeated spraying of dicamba. With glyphosate resistant ‚Äėsuper-weeds‚Äô widespread and threatening GE farmer‚Äôs yields, the company aimed to redeploy dicamba, one of the oldest herbicides in the market, on cotton and soybeans throughout the U.S. Knowing the propensity of dicamba to drift for miles off site, Bayer‚Äôs Monsanto promised a new product line with much lower volatility. ¬†But as the company was waiting on approval for this product by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it nonetheless began selling its dicamba-tolerant seeds. This led to […]

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14
Feb

“Hey Farmer Farmer, Put Away that” Dicamba Weed Killer

(Beyond Pesticides, February 14, 2020)¬†The weed killer dicamba has been blamed for killing or damaging millions of acres of non‚Äďgenetically modified crops and other plants that have no protection against the compound. Litigation, legislation, and manufacturer machination abound as dicamba damage mounts. The trial in a suit filed in 2016 by a Missouri peach farmer against dicamba manufacturers Bayer and BASF has just begun; an Indiana state laboratory struggles to keep up with demand to evaluate dicamba damage; Idaho lawmakers are poised to weaken rules that protect farmworkers who apply dicamba (and other pesticides) aerially; agricultural officials in Missouri are pressuring the state legislature to increase funding to handle the exploding numbers of dicamba complaints; and Indiana‚Äôs legislature is considering two bills aimed at curtailing dicamba drift that kills neighboring crops. This Daily News Blog will round up the plethora of recent news on dicamba ‚ÄĒ the toxic and destructive culprit behind each of these stories. In the face of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‚Äôs (EPA) failure to mitigate dicamba hazards, states have been scrambling to enact limits on when and how dicamba can be used, amend buffer zones around application sites, and in some cases, ban its use outright. […]

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27
Jan

Insist that the Veterans Administration Cover Conditions Caused by Agent Orange

(Beyond Pesticides, January 27, 2019)¬†United States military veterans suffering from bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, hypertension, and Parkinson’s-like symptoms after their exposure to Agent Orange will remain unprotected and uncompensated until at least late 2020, according to¬†a letter¬†sent by Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie to U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT). Send a letter to Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie insisting that bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, hypertension, and Parkinson’s-like symptoms be added to the VA’s list of eligible conditions. Congress included a provision in the must-pass December federal spending bill requiring VA to provide legislators ‚Äúa detailed explanation‚ÄĚ for the¬†now multi-year delay¬†in determining whether to list the diseases. The provision is intended to cut through the ongoing delays, but there is no indication VA is going to meet the 30-day deadline. ‚ÄúThe longer VA continues to drag its feet on expanding the list of conditions associated with Agent Orange, the longer our veterans continue to suffer‚ÄĒand die‚ÄĒas a result of their exposure,‚ÄĚ Senator Tester said in a statement to the news site¬†Connecting Vets. He continued, ‚ÄúIt’s time for VA to stop ignoring the overwhelming evidence put forth by scientists, medical experts and veterans and do right by those who served.¬†Any prolonging of […]

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12
Aug

EPA Refuses to Approve Labeling that Discloses Roundup (Glyphosate) as a Carcinogen

(Beyond Pesticides, August 13, 2019) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is refusing to approve product labels that disclose that the herbicide glyphosate may cause cancer, according to a press release published last week. The move comes after the state of California listed glyphosate on its Prop 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Health advocates are condemning the decision as the latest in a long string of EPA actions aimed at benefiting industry at the expense of consumer and public health. Many are concerned that the incessant stream of industry-friendly decisions is eroding public trust in the agency and its ability to act as an independent regulator. While a state judge gave the Prop 65 warning labels the go-ahead, a prior ruling from U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb in Sacramento placed a preliminary injunction on the California requirement that remains in place today. The state added glyphosate to its Prop 65 list after the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) designated the chemical as a group 2A carcinogen. ¬†Under Prop 65, California regulators are required to provide ‚Äúclear and reasonable‚ÄĚ warning labels when any one of four requirements in the […]

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18
Jul

Dicamba Herbicide Poses Greater Threat of Drift when Mixed with Glyphosate

(Beyond Pesticides, July 18, 2019) Pesticide products containing the weed killer dicamba become more volatile and drift-prone in hot conditions and when tank-mixed with glyphosate, according to a recent study conducted by scientists at the University of Tennessee. The findings help explain rampant complaints from farmers in the South and Midwest experiencing crop loss and economic hardship as a result of drift from new dicamba products, which are formulated with glyphosate for use on genetically engineered (GE) cotton and soy. While states have taken the lead in regulating the use of GE dicamba products, top political officials within Administrator Andrew Wheeler‚Äôs EPA overruled the findings from agency scientists urging larger buffer zones to protect neighboring crops and farm fields. During a 60-hour window, scientists applied various GE dicamba products (Clarity and XtendiMax) over a range of temperatures and took air samples. As temperatures increased, so did the volatilization and drift of dicamba, even in formulations touted as ‚Äúlow volatility.‚ÄĚ Adding glyphosate to the mixture produced stark results, increasing concentrations of dicamba in the air up to nine times compared to dicamba alone. Tom Mueller, PhD, a professor in the UT Department of Plant Sciences, stated in a press release that […]

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28
Jun

Swiss Government Challenged by United Nations for Human Rights Violations Associated with Pesticide Use and Actions of Pesticide Companies

(Beyond Pesticides, June 28, 2019)¬†As is the case in many countries, the conversation about the use of pesticides has been especially vigorous in the past few years. Switzerland is a case in point: it is undergoing deep scrutiny of pesticide use, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Toxics, Baskut Tuncak, has now said publicly that pesticide companies‚Äô behavior is ‚Äúseriously deficient‚ÄĚ regarding human rights (especially those of children), and that the Swiss government¬†should act more aggressively to phase out use of these hazardous chemicals. Recently, the pesticide conversation has ratcheted up several notches, not only in the U.S., but also globally, due to greater public awareness of the health and environmental threats of pesticide use, more and more research underscoring those threats, and pointedly, the cascade of litigation against Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) for harm to individuals who have used its glyphosate-based products. Public awareness in Switzerland is also mounting in response to global developments, to recent discoveries that small streams in Swiss agricultural areas are heavily polluted with pesticides, and to broadening recognition that pesticides are linked to a plethora of harms to human health, pollinators, water, farmworkers, wildlife, ecosystems and biodiversity, and more. In 2017, a UN […]

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