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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Monsanto' Category


14
Nov

EU Fails to Approve Continuing Glyphosate Use

(Beyond Pesticides,¬†November 14, 2017) The European Commission has again been unable to come to a consensus over renewing approval for Monsanto‚Äôs popular herbicide,¬† glyphosate.¬† Member states voted last week, but failed to approve, continued use even after months of deliberation over the controversial herbicide. Glyphosate (Roundup) is also up for review in the U.S., but many expect the herbicide to be reregistered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), despite health concerns. The proposal to renew the European Union (EU) license for glyphosate for another five years failed to a reach a qualified majority, meaning a decision has again been postponed, according to reports.¬†The current license is due to expire on December 15, 2017, but there is an 18-month grace period. Fourteen countries voted in favor of the renewal, nine¬†against, while five, including Germany, abstained from voting. According to reports, a qualified majority¬†requires that 55 percent of EU countries vote in favor and that the proposal is supported by countries representing at least 65 percent¬†of the total EU population. France, which voted against the proposal, said it would only support a renewal for three-year phase-out. The proposal could now be referred to an appeals committee, or¬†alternatively, the Commission could draw […]

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08
Nov

Monsanto Pulls New Seed Treatment Product after Complaints of Skin Irritation, Blames Users

(Beyond Pesticides, November, 8, 2017) Farmers who purchased and handled Monsanto‚Äôs new treated seed product, NemaStrike, for nematode or roundworm control (nematicide) have been reporting skin irritation, including rashes that occurred after use. Now the seed giant is pausing a full rollout of the product, while blaming farmers for not using gloves and other protective equipment to handle the treated seeds. This is another blunder from Monsanto and the latest incident highlighting the deficiencies in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‚Äôs (EPA) pesticide registration process in light of the millions of acres of crop damage from Monsanto products green-lighted by EPA. While touting that NemaStrike went through three years of extensive field trials and ‚Äúextensive evaluations‚ÄĚ by EPA, Monsanto stated in a bulletin to its customers on its website that it will pause commercialization of the product in light of reports of skin irritation from users. These adverse reactions to the product are being blamed on the failure of users to wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling the treated seeds. This is not the first time that Monsanto has tried to shift responsibility for the toxic effect of its products to users. Last year, Monsanto blamed farmers for drift […]

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30
Oct

Deadline Today: Stop Monsanto from Poisoning Farms and Communities

(Beyond Pesticides, October 30, 2017)¬†Tell the Arkansas State Plant Board to stand up to Monsanto, and protect farmers by banning dicamba‚Äôs use in Arkansas agriculture. Comment period closes today, Monday, October 30, 2017, at 4:30pm (Eastern Time). Your comments are needed to stop the disaster in Arkansas being created by Monsanto‚Äôs new genetically engineered (GE) cropping system, which relies on the toxic pesticide dicamba. If Arkansas bans dicamba, other states should and will follow ‚ÄĒgiven the chemical industry‚Äôs takeover of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is allowing this extremely hazardous pesticide use. This is a problem that has regional and national implications, given the breakdown of the EPA and its pesticide program. We cannot let this failure of protection stand in Arkansas or anywhere in the country. Promoted by Monsanto as a way to address rampant Roundup (glyphosate) resistance, Monsanto‚Äôs new GE soybeans are now able to withstand both glyphosate and dicamba, an older herbicide with a range of documented health effects ‚ÄĒfrom neurotoxicity to reproductive problems. Dicamba is also highly volatile and, as a result, has drifted across crop fields throughout the region, damaging high value fruit tree and organic operations. The Arkansas State Plant Board is […]

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18
Oct

Monsanto Banned from Lobbying European Parliament

(Beyond Pesticides, October 18, 2017)¬†Effective immediately, the European Parliament has banned Monsanto lobbyists, excluding the chemical company from access to committee meetings and digital resources, as well as no longer permitting Monsanto lobbyists to meet with any Member of the European Parliament (MEP). This limit to its influence is a serious blow to Monsanto‚Äôs advocacy campaign to promote the safety of its weedkiller glyphosate, (Roundup). The decision to ban came amid mounting public pressure to deny European Union re-licensing of glyphosate, one of the world‚Äôs most widely used herbicides. (See glyphosate listing in Beyond Pesticides‚Äô Pesticides Gateway,¬†the active ingredient in Monsanto‚Äôs Roundup herbicide.) Glyphosate is classified as ‚Äúprobably carcinogenic to humans‚ÄĚ by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Monsanto, the world‚Äôs largest GE-seed and seventh-largest pesticide company, is eager to suppress IARC’s ranking. In fact, before being banned, the European Parliament had questioned Monsanto’s funding of counter-studies in order to discredit independent scientists working to limit the public‚Äôs exposure to toxic chemicals. In a related development, independent scientists sent a letter to the scientific journal¬†Critical Reviews in Toxicology, calling for the retraction of a 2016 paper that refuted glyphosate‚Äôs cancer¬†risks after it was learned that […]

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17
Oct

Scientists Urge Retraction of Journal Article on Glyphosate’s Safety, Surreptitiously Written by Monsanto

(Beyond Pesticides, October 17, 2017) In a letter to the scientific journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology, scientists called for the retraction of a 2016 paper that refuted glyphosate‚Äôs cancer risks after it was learned that the paper was secretly edited and funded by Monsanto, manufacturer of glyphosate. The paper in question, ‚ÄúAn Independent Review of the Carcinogenic Potential of Glyphosate,‚ÄĚ is a review of the 2015 decision by an expert Working Group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to designate glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto‚Äôs flagship product, Roundup, as ‚Äúprobably carcinogenic to humans‚ÄĚ (Group 2A). However, a new report this summer discovered conflict of interests not revealed at publication. Contrary to the journal‚Äôs conflict-of-interest disclosure statement, Monsanto directly paid at least two of the scientists who authored the paper, and a Monsanto employee substantially edited and reviewed the article prior to publication, in clear contradiction to the disclosure statement. The retraction-request letter highlights a range of failures involved in the published review: Failure to disclose that at least two panelists who authored the review worked as consultants for, and were directly paid by, Monsanto for their work on the paper. Failure to disclose that at least […]

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15
Aug

Beyond Pesticides Journal Articles Link Pesticides to Soil Microbiota and Gut Microbiome Poisoning and Resulting Diseases

(Beyond Pesticides, August 15, 2017)¬†With increasing scientific understanding about the importance of beneficial bacteria in soil and the human body ‚ÄĒmicrobiota in the soil and microbiome in the human gut, the summer 2017 issue of Beyond Pesticides‚Äô journal, Pesticides and You, publishes two critical articles to advance the importance of community discussion and action on organic and sustainable practices. The lead article, Sustaining Life: From Soil Microbiota to Gut Microbiome by professor of geomorphology (University of Washington) and author David Montgomery, PhD, contains excerpts from Dr. Montgomery‚Äôs talk to Beyond Pesticides‚Äô 35th National Pesticide Forum, documenting the importance of soil microbiota to healthy soil, resilient plants, and sustainability. His piece explains the essentiality of bacteria in the human gut to a healthy life, with profound implications for both agriculture and medicine. Dr. Montgomery points to a ‚Äúbonafide scientific revolution‚ÄĚ in recognizing the failure to nurture the ecosystem in nature and the human body and the associated adverse health effects resulting from pesticide use ‚Äď21st century diseases, including asthma, autism, bacterial vaginosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, Crohn‚Äôs disease, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut syndrome, multiple sclerosis, obesity, Type 1 and 2 diabetes, and Parkinson‚Äôs. Also in the Journal, Monsanto‚Äôs Roundup (Glyphosate) […]

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11
Aug

Monsanto Papers Redux: More on Industry Suppression and Regulatory Collusion

(Beyond Pesticides, August 11, 2017)¬†On August 1, a second round of internal Monsanto documents became public, stirring up additional questions and speculation about Monsanto‚Äôs potential malfeasance ‚ÄĒ i.e., its efforts to hide information about impacts of its popular glyphosate-based herbicide, Roundup. This follows on the heels of the March 2017 unsealing, by federal judge Vince Chhabria, of internal Monsanto documents ‚ÄĒ the ‚ÄúMonsanto Papers‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ that evidenced questionable research practices by the company, inappropriate ties to a top EPA official, and possible ‚Äúghostwriting‚ÄĚ of purportedly ‚Äúindependent‚ÄĚ research studies. This latest release, of more than 700 documents, came courtesy of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, one of many law firms representing thousands of families who claim that exposure to Roundup caused non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL), a blood cancer, in their loved ones. Such litigation has been triggered, in part, by the 2015 finding of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (a branch of the U.N.‚Äôs World Health Organization) that glyphosate is ‚Äúprobably carcinogenic to humans.‚ÄĚ The plaintiffs allege that the combination of glyphosate and surfactants used in Monsanto‚Äôs Roundup products is even more toxic than glyphosate alone, and that Monsanto has sought to cover up that information. Monsanto has continued to […]

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01
Aug

Government and Chemical Industry Collusion Going Back Decades Showcased in ‚ÄúPoison Papers‚ÄĚ

(Beyond Pesticides, August 1, 2017) A collection of long archived documents dating back to the 1920s were released last week showcasing the efforts of the chemical industry and the federal government to conceal from the public the real dangers associated with the use and manufacture of chemical products. The¬†Bioscience Resource Project¬†and the¬†Center for Media and Democracy¬†released more than 200,000 pages of these documents now accessible on the ‚ÄúPoison Papers‚ÄĚ website. First reported in The Intercept, the project, ‚ÄúPoison Papers,‚ÄĚ makes publicly available documents obtained through legal discovery in lawsuits against Dow, Monsanto, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Forest Service, the Air Force, and pulp and paper companies, among others. Activist Carol Van Strum stored much of these documents in her rural Oregon barn. Ms. Van Strum’s activism on pesticides and other toxic chemicals began in the mid-1970s, when she and her neighbors in Oregon filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service to stop the spraying of 2,4,5-T, a dangerously toxic herbicide that made up one-half of the¬†ingredients in the deadly Agent Orange¬†(the other ingredient was the still widely used herbicide 2,4-D). The spraying directly doused her four children, who developed headaches, nosebleeds, and bloody diarrhea. Miscarriages […]

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21
Jul

Sustained Glyphosate Use Reveals Risks to Soil and Environmental Health

(Beyond Pesticides, July 21, 2017) A March 2017 review of studies on the agricultural use of glyphosate (the active ingredient in ‚ÄúRoundup‚ÄĚ and other formulated herbicides) points to widespread persistence in soils subject to long-term, intensive glyphosate use, and myriad resulting concerns about impacts on soil and environmental health. The review, by Robert J. Kremer, PhD, of the University of Missouri School of Natural Resources, cites concerns that include: reduction of nutrient availability for plants and organisms; disruption to organism diversity, especially in the areas around plant roots; reductions of beneficial soil bacteria; increases in plant root pathogens; disturbed earthworm activity; reduced nitrogen fixing at plant roots; and compromised growth and reproduction in some soil and aquatic organisms. Globally, glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide compound: in 2017, worldwide use is estimated to be approximately 1.35 million metric tons. Use in the U.S. has risen dramatically ‚ÄĒ from 2.72‚Äď3.62 million kg in 1987 to approximately 108 million kg in 2014, and 15-fold since 1996, when genetically engineered (GE) glyphosate-tolerant crops were introduced. Use has grown for a number of reasons, including more-intensive use as resistance to the herbicide grows. Researchers have found that, after years of consistent application to […]

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10
Jul

California Lists Glyphosate as a Carcinogen but Controversy Remains

(Beyond Pesticides, July 10, 2017) The state of California has listed glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular Roundup, as a known carcinogen under its Proposition 65 law. This listing went into effect July 7, 2017. Now, state officials have to develop guidelines for product labels and determine what level of exposure to the pesticide will put people at risk for developing cancer. Some have argued that the state‚Äôs proposed levels are not protective enough. Meanwhile, the state continues to face pressure from Monsanto, maker of glyphosate, which continues to challenge the decision to list the chemical as a known cancer-causing agent. California‚Äôs decision to list glyphosate as a carcinogen was prompted by the International¬†Agency for Research on Cancer‚Äôs (IARC) finding in 2015 that it is a ‚Äúprobable‚ÄĚ human carcinogen. This classification was based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. Later that year, California Environmental Protection Agency‚Äôs Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)¬†announced¬†that it intended to list glyphosate as a cancer-causing chemical under California‚Äôs Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65).¬† Under California law, Proposition 65 requires that certain substances identified by IARC be listed as known cancer-causing chemicals. Glyphosate‚Äôs listing became effective […]

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22
Jun

Consumers Sue Monsanto for Misleading Labeling of Roundup Herbicide

(Beyond Pesticides, June 22, 2017)¬†On Tuesday, a lawsuit was filed in a Wisconsin federal court against Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup brand herbicides, and Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, a marketer of Roundup brand products. The complaint, filed by six consumers from states around the country, focuses on the promotion, marketing, and sale of Roundup brand products, rather than physical injury from the pesticide products. The lawsuit alleges that the Monsanto and Scotts label, advertise, and promote their Roundup products with the ‚Äúfalse statement that Roundup‚Äôs active ingredient, glyphosate, targets an enzyme that is not found ‚Äėin people or pets.‚Äô‚ÄĚ Plaintiffs assert that this is a false and deceptive claim, as this enzyme is found in the gut bacteria of people and pets and glyphosate can disrupt the health and functioning of their immune system. This suit follows on the heels of and mirrors the lawsuit filed by Beyond Pesticides and Organic Consumers Association in April 2017 against Monsanto for misleading the public by labeling the weedkiller Roundup as ‚Äútarget[ing] an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets.‚ÄĚ Monsanto aggressively markets Roundup as safe for humans and animals, despite newer studies indicating that glyphosate may be carcinogenic and affect […]

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12
Jun

Crops Damaged by Drift Widespread from Herbicide Dicamba Applied to GE Plants

(Beyond Pesticides, June 12, 2017) Once again, there are reports that soybean and cotton fields are being damaged by off-site drift of the toxic herbicide dicamba. Last summer,¬†farmers in Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee¬†reported widespread crop damage from dicamba drift, which led to reduced yields. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a criminal investigation at several Missouri locations into what they said was the illegal spraying of dicamba in October 2016.¬†This year, reports of dicamba drift and damage are already being reported in Arkansas, and 25¬†formal complaints have already been filed, according to the state Plant Board. In summer 2016, illegal applications of dicamba damaged thousands of acres of soybeans, cotton, ornamental trees and fruits and vegetables. After numerous complaints, EPA launched a criminal investigation into the illegal spraying of dicamba, an investigation that is still ongoing. Many suspect that farmers who planted Roundup Ready 2 Xtend¬ģ and XTENDFLEX¬ģ Cotton, the new dicamba-tolerant genetically engineered (GE) seeds in the region, when faced with a proliferation of pigweed, illegally sprayed dicamba across their fields leading to drift and off-site crop damage to other farmers.¬†This year, although it is too early to say how many acres have been affected or what specific […]

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09
Jun

Inspector General Investigates Alleged Monsanto-EPA Collusion to Reject Glyphosate Cancer Classification

(Beyond Pesticides, June 9, 2017) Last week, it was revealed that the inspector general for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is investigating potential collusion on glyphosate-related matters between Monsanto and former EPA official, Jess Rowland. In a letter sent to U.S. Representative Ted Lieu, obtained by HuffPost, EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr. stated that he has asked the ‚ÄúEPA OIG Office of Investigations to conduct an inquiry into several agency glyphosate review-related matters.‚ÄĚ According to Michael Hubbard, a retired Special Agent in Charge for the EPA‚Äôs criminal investigations division, in an interview with HuffPost, ‚ÄúInspectors general have wide-ranging authority to investigate matters of corruption at federal agencies. With confirmation that the IG‚Äôs office is taking up a probe, it‚Äôs likely that IG investigators will begin interviewing Rowland‚Äôs former colleagues and bosses, pulling records and looking through his emails.‚ÄĚ In March 2017, Congressman Lieu issued the following statement regarding the released files and questions on glyphosate safety. ‚ÄúReports suggest that a senior official at the EPA worked to suppress a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services review of glyphosate, and may have leaked information to Monsanto. I believe that a Department of Justice investigation is warranted to look […]

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05
Jun

Continued Use of Glyphosate Herbicide in EU Called into Question by Renowned Toxicologist

(Beyond Pesticides, June 5, 2017)¬†Following the recent proposed 10-year extension for the approval of glyphosate use in the European Union (EU), internationally recognized toxicologist Dr. Christopher Portier, Ph.D. has delivered a letter to the European Commission (the Commission), calling the scientific findings of these agencies into question. Dr. Portier is former associate director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and director of NIEHS’ Office of Risk Assessment Research. According to the letter, both the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (EChA) ‚Äúfailed to identify all statistically significant cancer findings in the chronic rodent carcinogenicity studies with glyphosate.‚ÄĚ Previously, the Commission, which is in charge of the approval of glyphosate, was forced to issue a limited license extension for the chemical because member states could not reach a consensus. The Commission was holding out for further information on carcinogenicity, which was assessed by the ECHA, and¬†whose report was issued in March 2017. According to ECHA‚Äôs most recent assessment, glyphosate is not carcinogenic. Dr. Portier asks that the evaluations by EFSA and EChA be ‚Äúrepeated for all toxicological endpoints and the data underlying these evaluations be publicly released.‚ÄĚ Based on these failures in data analysis, […]

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19
May

European Union Plans to Propose a 10-year Extension for the Approval of Glyphosate Use

(Beyond Pesticides, May 19, 2017) In spite of a growing body of evidence implicating glyphosate in a wide range of human illnesses and environmental impacts, the European Union (EU) plans to propose a 10-year extension for the approval of glyphosate use. Previously, the European Commission (the Commission), which is in charge of the approval, was forced to issue a limited license extension for the chemical because member states could not reach a consensus. The Commission was holding out for further information on carcinogenicity, which was assessed by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), and whose report was issued in March 2017. According to ECHA‚Äôs assessment, glyphosate is not carcinogenic. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto‚Äôs Roundup brand of weed-killers, and research by the World Health Organization‚Äôs International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has found that it is a probable human carcinogen. Since IARC‚Äôs findings were released, Monsanto has made several efforts to discredit the research of this well respected, international body, including attempting to influence government agencies. According to a Bloomberg BNA article, ‚ÄúThe commission will discuss with EU member nations the prospect of a 10-year reauthorization, said Anca Paduraru, spokeswoman for the commission.‚ÄĚ Once the Commission proposes the […]

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16
May

Spending Bill Found to Include Taxpayer-Funded Program to Promote GMOs

(Beyond Pesticides, May 16, 2017) Buried in the spending bill passed earlier this month to avert a government shutdown is a provision that allots $3 million for a federal outreach campaign promoting agricultural biotechnology and genetically engineered (GE) crops. The bill tasks the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in coordination with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), to use these funds, ‚Äúfor consumer outreach and education regarding agricultural biotechnology and biotechnology-derived food products and animal feed‚Ķ‚ÄĚ According to the Washington Post, Democrats in Congress made a failed bid to move the funding towards FDA-run pediatric medical projects, but faced unanimous Republican opposition. Under the provision, FDA and USDA will spend taxpayer money to create, ‚Äúscience-based educational information on the environmental, nutritional, food safety, economic, and humanitarian impacts of such biotechnology, food products, and feed.‚ÄĚ If such an endeavor were made truly in the public interest, educational materials produced by these agencies would reveal significant adverse effects in every listed topic. GE crops, particularly those engineered to tolerate continuous applications of herbicides like glyphosate, are damaging to the environment. Significant increases in herbicide use as a result of these crops has been linked to the loss of milkweed habitat […]

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20
Apr

International Legal Opinion Details Monsanto’s Violation of Human Rights

(Beyond Pesticides, April 20, 2017)¬†On Tuesday, the judges presiding over the International Monsanto Tribunal presented their legal opinion, delivering conclusions on the multinational corporation‚Äôs impact on issues ranging from human rights, food access, environmental health, to¬†scientific research. In addition to Monsanto‚Äôs impact on human rights, the judges concluded that if ecocide were recognized as an international criminal law, the corporation would possibly be found guilty. According to the Organic Consumers Association‚Äôs press release, one of the organizing groups behind the creation of the Tribunal, ‚ÄúIt is likely that the [legal] conclusions will lead to more liability cases against Monsanto and similar companies. This will shine a light on the true cost of production and will affect Monsanto (Bayer) shareholder value in the long run.‚ÄĚ The international judges determined that, based on a legal analysis of the questions asked, Monsanto has engaged in practices that have negatively affected the right to a healthy environment, to food, and to health. In addition to these infringement of rights, Monsanto has had a negative effect on the right to freedom indispensable for scientific research with ‚Äúconduct such as intimidation, discrediting independent scientific research, [and] suborning false research reports.‚ÄĚ In the third part of its […]

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11
Apr

Glyphosate Use Could be Linked to Pregnancy Problems

(Beyond Pesticides, April 11, 2017) New data presented last week at a children‚Äôs health conference show that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular Roundup weed killer, is detected in pregnant women and could lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes, including shorter gestation times and lower birth weights. The researchers here are calling for more biomonitoring of the presence of glyphosate in the public, in spite of industry and government efforts to undermine the science surrounding the human health impacts of the herbicide. Researchers tested and tracked 69 expectant mothers and found that the presence of glyphosate levels in their bodily fluids correlated with unfavorable birth outcomes. The research is still in preliminary stages and is a project of the¬†Children‚Äôs Environmental Health Network (CEHN), which is studying the reproductive and children‚Äôs health impacts of rising herbicide use in the Midwest. The preliminary results were presented at CEHN‚Äôs conference last Thursday in Washington DC. Learn more about the project here. This is a huge issue,‚ÄĚ said Paul Winchester, M.D., member of the research team involved with this study, medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at the Franciscan St. Francis Health system and professor of clinical pediatrics at Riley Hospital for […]

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28
Mar

USDA Cancels Plans to Test for Glyphosate Residues in U.S. Food this Year

(Beyond Pesticides, March 28, 2017) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has abandoned its plans to test the U.S. food supply for the presence of glyphosate residues, according to a story from veteran reporter Carrey Gillam in The Huffington Post. The decision comes amid heated controversy over the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, which was cleared by a California judge for listing under California‚Äôs Prop 65 earlier this year. The federal government‚Äôs pesticide monitoring program, which is run jointly by USDA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was criticized by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2014 for its failure to test for the widely used herbicide. In early 2016, Beyond Pesticides met with EPA regulators to discuss testing for glyphosate residues in the U.S. food supply. At the time, officials said¬†that FDA was testing honey, and USDA would be conducting more extensive food testing beginning in 2017. USDA had tested soybeans for glyphosate residue in 2011, finding that 90% of samples contained residues between .26 ppm and 18.5 ppm, barely under the allowed food tolerance level of 20ppm. A 2014 Boston University study had indicated that both organic and conventional honey contained glyphosate concentrations despite […]

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16
Mar

Monsanto and EPA Collude to Fight Cancer Classification of Roundup (Glyphosate), according to Court Released Documents

(Beyond Pesticides, March 16, 2017) In¬†a lawsuit filed by cancer victims, a federal judge on Tuesday unsealed documents that raise questions of collusion between officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Monsanto to fight a cancer classification for¬†the company’s flagship product, Roundup (glyphosate). The judge’s ruling comes in a lawsuit against Monsanto, charging that the company’s herbicide caused the plaintiffs’ non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. According to the New York Times, the court documents ‚Äúinclude Monsanto‚Äôs internal emails and email traffic between the company and federal regulators [and] suggested that Monsanto had ghostwritten research that was later attributed to academics.‚ÄĚ The California lawsuit was brought on following the determination and listing of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization‚Äôs International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015. The¬†released files show that Monsanto was ‚Äútipped off to the [IARC] determination by a deputy division director at the EPA, Jess Rowland, months beforehand. That led the company to prepare a public relations assault on the finding well in advance of its publication,” according to the released documents. According to Monsanto‚Äôs internal emails, Mr. Rowland had promised to fend off efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services […]

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14
Mar

EPA to Investigate Civil Rights Abuses Over Pesticide Use in Hawaii

(Beyond Pesticides, March 14, 2017) ¬†The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is opening an investigation into whether the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and the state Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) are discriminating against Native Hawaiians in their administration of the state‚Äôs pesticide program. The investigation comes after a number of local community groups, represented by the nonprofit environmental law organization Earthjustice, filed a complaint in September 2016 asking EPA to take action against systemic abuses of Native Hawaiian peoples. Local efforts to protect pesticide-exposed communities have been repeatedly stymied by giant pesticide corporations operating on the island, which filed lawsuits that ultimately struck down local laws. EPA’s investigation will focus on the state‚Äôs activity on the islands of Kauai and Moloka‚Äôi. ‚ÄúThe External Civil Rights Compliance Office will investigate whether in administering the pesticides program and the leasing and licensing of the state land program the HDOA and/or ADC discriminated on the basis of race and/or national origin against farm workers and residents of West Kauai and Molokai, in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and EPA‚Äôs implementing regulation,‚ÄĚ wrote Lilian Dorka, director of EPA‚Äôs External Civil Rights Compliance Office(ERCO), in a letter to Earthjustice. Under Title […]

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15
Feb

Lawsuit Charges that Monsanto and EPA Colluded to Stop Agency from Reaching Cancer Finding for Glyphosate (Roundup)

(Beyond Pesticides, February 15, 2017) Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Monsanto, charging that its product Roundup caused their non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL), have cited the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) collusion with the company to block the agency from concluding that the manufacturer’s product Roundup causes cancer, according to investigative reporter Carey Gilliam, writing in the Huffington Post. The filing states that EPA¬†made an effort ‚Äúto protect Monsanto‚Äôs interests and unfairly aid the agrichemical industry.‚ÄĚGlyphosate has been linked to cancer¬† in the independent scientific literature and is listed as a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer¬†(IARC). Issues of suppression have also been uncovered, as Monsanto’s lawyers have filed claims to prevent information ¬†turned over to plaintiffs’ lawyers during discovery¬†from inclusion on the public record. This is just the latest development in a variety¬†of lawsuits aimed at Monsanto, including a challenge by a peach farmer over the illegal spraying of the herbicide Dicamba and the recent victory by the state of California to list glyphosate products as cancer causing. In the current case, a multitude of personal injury claims made by those suffering from, or that have lost loved ones to, NHL¬†have been condensed into […]

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02
Feb

Common Pesticide Ingredient Labeled “Inert” Increases Honey Bee Susceptibility to Virus

(Beyond Pesticides, February 2, 2017) A commonly used inert pesticide ingredient negatively affects the health of honey bees by making larvae more susceptible to a virus, according to a recently published study in the journal, Nature. One of the authors of the study, Julia Fine, PhD candidate, stated that the findings, ‚ÄúMirror the symptoms observed in hives following almond pollination, when bees are exposed to organosilicone adjuvant residues in pollen, and viral pathogen prevalence is known to increase. In recent years, beekeepers have reported missing, dead and dying brood in their hives following almond pollination, and exposure to agrochemicals, like adjuvants, applied during bloom, has been suggested as a cause.‚ÄĚ The study assessed honey bee larval development after exposure to a continuous low dose of Sylgard 309, a surfactant, in their diet. This organosilicone surfactant is commonly used on agricultural crops, including tree fruits, nuts, and grapes. Their results reveal that honey bee exposure to chemical surfactants such as Sylgard 309 led to higher levels of Black Queen Cell Virus and when the bee larvae were exposed to the surfactant and virus simultaneously, ‚Äúthe effect on their mortality was synergistic rather than additive.‚ÄĚ This research comes at a time when […]

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