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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Cancer' Category


09
May

Contradicting Scientific Evidence, EPA Releases Interim Decision Denying Glyphosate Carcinogenicity

(Beyond Pesticides, May 9, 2019) On Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed interim decision on glyphosate‚Äôs registration review, ignoring widespread scientific consensus on the herbicide’s carcinogenicity and instead restating the agency‚Äôs firm position that glyphosate is ‚Äúnot likely to be carcinogenic to humans.‚ÄĚ EPA‚Äôs bold statement stands in stark contrast to scientific consensus to the contrary. In 2015, the World Health Organization‚Äôs International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found glyphosate to be a probable human carcinogen. In response to resistance from the European Food Safety Authority, 94 expert scientists published an article in support of IARC‚Äôs methodologies and findings. Since 2015, several more publications have added significant weight to the body of evidence supporting glyphosate‚Äôs carcinogenicity. A February 2018 meta-analysis of studies on glyphosate suggested ‚Äúa compelling link between exposures to GBH [glyphosate-based herbicides] and increased risk of NHL [non-Hodgkin lymphoma]. A February 2019 University of Washington study found that glyphosate increased the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by as much as 41%. Despite attempts by current and former EPA top officials to ‚Äúkill‚ÄĚ their report, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a agency at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,¬†released its […]

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02
May

Neonicotinoid Insecticide Residues in Food and Water on the Rise, According to USDA Data

(Beyond Pesticides, May 2, 2019) Researchers have documented an increase in food and drinking water residues of neonicotinoids, insecticides linked to breast cancer. Using the Pesticide Data Program (PDP), 1999-2015, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the researchers identified near-peak detection frequencies in 2015, after a decline from 2008-2013. Imidacloprid remains the most common neonicotinoid detected across imported commodities, while the neonicotinoids clothianidin, thiamethoxam, acetamiprid, and flonicamid are replacing imidacloprid in domestic production. Authors note that these newer neonicotinoids are potentially more toxic than imidacloprid, raising concerns for understudied human health and environmental impacts. The study, Trends in neonicotinoid pesticide residues in food and water in the United States, 1999‚Äď2015, published in the journal Environmental Health, finds the highest detection frequencies for neonicotinoids in drinking water, with 30% of treated drinking water turning out positive for imidacloprid in 2011. Certain fruits and vegetables are also frequently contaminated by neonicotinoids, with detection frequencies ranging from 20% to as high as 57% in the case of imidacloprid on cauliflower. While the study points to specific fruits and vegetables as posing higher risk, the main message reaches beyond individual commodity or individual neonicotinoid results. Authors uncover a systematic increase in detection of neonicotinoid […]

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20
Mar

A Second Jury Delivers Blow to Bayer/Monsanto’s Claim that Glyphosate/Roundup Is Safe

(Beyond Pesticides, March 20, 2019)¬†In a second verdict against Bayer/Monsanto yesterday, a jury found unanimously that a California man‚Äôs non Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) was substantially caused by the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup). The case being heard in federal court in San Francisco now moves to the damages phase. Last August in San Francisco Superior Court, a California groundskeeper was awarded $39 million in compensatory damages, and $250 million in punitive damages in a case that linked his NHL to Monsanto‚Äôs glyphosate/Roundup. In October, the judge in the case upheld the verdict, but reduced the award to $78 million. According to the Associated Press, the trial judge, U.S. Judge Vince Chhabira ‚Äúis overseeing hundreds of Roundup lawsuits and has deemed [this case] and two others ‚Äėbellwether trials.‚Äú The case was brought by Edwin Hardeman of Santa Rosa, CA. He said he had been using Roundup since the 1980‚Äôs. During the trial, according to The Guardian, Judge Chhabria, ‚Äúapproved Monsanto‚Äôs request¬†to¬†prohibit¬†Hardeman‚Äôs attorneys from raising allegations about the corporation‚Äôs conduct, saying issues about its influence on science and government were a ‚Äėsignificant ‚Ķ distraction.‚Äô‚ÄĚ This set up a limitation that required the plaintiff‚Äôs attorneys to focus solely on studies linking the chemical to cancer […]

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05
Mar

Glyphosate Use in Forestry Drifts on Wild, Edible Plants, Leading to Lasting Contamination

(Beyond Pesticides, March 5, 2019) Wild, edible plants subject to drift from the herbicide glyphosate during forestry operations can be contaminated with the chemical an entire year after an initial application, according to a new study published in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research. Glyphosate is often used in forestry to knock down unwanted trees, shrubs, and other plants after clear-cutting to provide room for the regrowth of trees deemed valuable. However, this new research shows that ‚Äúnon-target‚ÄĚ species, such as raspberries and blueberries, eaten by wildlife and sometimes wild foraged by humans can retain significant levels of glyphosate contamination due to drift and overspray. Forester Lisa Wood, PhD, from the University of Northern British Columbia began this research based on input and requests from Canadian indigenous First Nations communities. Back in 2013, shrubs foraged by traditional berry-pickers in northeastern British Columbia were sampled and found to contain glyphosate residues, leading to the need for a broader investigation. Dr. Wood sampled the roots and shoots of 10 plant species from an area that had been aerially sprayed with glyphosate a year prior as part of forestry operations to clear aspen and make room for coniferous re-plantings. The 10 plants, which […]

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08
Nov

Study Confirms Chemical-Intensive Production Contaminates Organic with Glyphosate

(Beyond Pesticides, November 8, 2018)¬†Two months after publishing its first series of tests, part two of an Environmental Working Group (EWG) study finds residues of Roundup‚Äôs active ingredient, glyphosate, in all General Mills‚Äô Cheerios and PepsiCo‚Äôs Quaker Oats products sampled. Health advocates are expressing concern about the consequences of chronic glyphosate exposure, and say U.S. federal agencies must limit the herbicide‚Äôs use on oat-based breakfast foods regularly marketed to children. In addition, organic itself is under threat, as chemical-intensive management practices undermine the future of the growing organic movement. In this second round of testing, EWG scientists purchased products around San Francisco and Washington DC. 28 samples of conventional and 16 samples of organic oat products were collected. Approximately 300 grams of each General Mills and PepsiCo product were packaged and shipped to Anresco Laboratories, in San Francisco. Detected glyphosate residues were compared to EWG‚Äôs own health benchmark of 160 parts per billion (ppb). This benchmark is based on risks of lifetime exposure and what EWG scientists consider allowable and protective of children‚Äôs health with an adequate margin of safety.¬† EWG‚Äôs results detected glyphosate residues in all 28 samples of conventionally grown oat products. The vast majority (all but two) […]

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07
Nov

Brazilian Researchers Link Rise in Colon Cancer to Increase in Pesticide Use

(Beyond Pesticides, November 7, 2018) Brazil‚Äôs rapid industrialization of its agricultural sector may be coming at the cost of resident health, according to a new study published in Chemosphere by an international team of scientists. The researchers link the rise in the country‚Äôs pesticide use since the turn of the century to significant increases in colon cancer, particularly in the country‚Äôs most intensive agricultural southern regions. With the recent election of far right president Jair Bolsonaro, who has supported policies that would loosen Brazil‚Äôs pesticide regulations, advocates are concerned the county‚Äôs farming industry is moving in an unsustainable direction. Researchers note that as Brazil‚Äôs agriculture industry has grown over the last two decades, it has become the world‚Äôs leading consumer of pesticides. In the year 2000, roughly 160 million tons of pesticides were used in the country. By 2012, that number reached nearly 500 million tons. Scientists compared pesticides sold to standard mortality rates (SMR) in each Brazilian state. SMR measures mortality by comparing observed mortality to expected mortality when adjusting for age and gender. A rate above one indicates that there is excessive mortality. Despite improvements in detection and treatment, colon cancer deaths recorded in the country increased from […]

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31
Oct

Massachusetts Residents Raise Health Concerns about Creosote Railroad Ties in Their Community

(Beyond Pesticides, October 31, 2018) Residents in the town of Great Barrington, MA are concerned about the health effects that could result from creosote-coated railroad ties stored in their neighborhood. According to a report in the Berkshire Eagle, soon after the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MDOT) parked a load of railroad ties along tracks that cut through a neighborhood, community members began to complain about the smell. Creosote is a mixture of thousands of different chemical compounds. Derived mainly from coal tar and regulated as a pesticide by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the material represents a significant hazard that puts people and the environment in danger, and can be readily replaced by safer, alternative materials. “I would want to roll up my windows immediately,” Beth Rose told the Berkshire Eagle. Another Great Barrington resident, Jeanne Bachetti, told the paper, “I started to smell them right after they moved [them] in there. Sometimes we get a propane smell from [nearby] AmeriGas, so I couldn’t tell. Then it dawned on me ‚ÄĒ that’s not gas.” MDOT is currently in the process of a project to upgrade roughly 40 miles of freight line, and is using 60,000 railroad ties as part […]

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16
Aug

Independent Science Plus Industry Corruption Convince Jury that Monsanto’s Glyphosate/Roundup Causes Cancer; Take Action in Your Community

(Beyond Pesticides, August 16, 2018) The jury verdict last week awarding groundskeeper Dewayne ‚ÄúLee‚ÄĚ Johnson $289 million in compensatory and punitive damages because of the carcinogenic effect caused by the herbicide glyphosate/Roundup, which he used, brought to the forefront a long standing concern about inadequate regulation of hazardous pesticides and chemical industry corruption. In the case, the jury heard from numerous scientists and medical experts, including Christopher Portier, Ph.D., who has researched the toxicity and carcinogenicity of glyphosate. One of the challenges in the court case was overcoming the lack of regulatory action on glyphosate, despite the overwhelming science indicating its adverse effects, including its connection to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Globally, food safety agencies have spent the past few years insisting that glyphosate is not carcinogenic. Health and environment advocates point to the 2015 International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) designation of glyphosate as a ‚Äúprobable carcinogen‚ÄĚ as the knell to which regulators, pesticide users, and the public should pay attention. The jury listened and considered the scientific facts. Glyphosate has perhaps been the subject of more controversy than any other pesticide in recent memory. Advocates in the scientific and environmental realms note the multiple risks its use represents, while […]

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09
Feb

States Join Monsanto Challenge of California’s Cancer Warning for Glyphosate

(Beyond Pesticides, February 9, 2018)¬†Attorneys General in eleven states join Monsanto and the National Wheat Growers Association last month in challenging California‚Äôs listing of glyphosate as a carcinogen under the state‚Äôs Proposition 65 law. California added glyphosate to the list of cancer-causing chemicals in July 2017, but has since been attacked by Monsanto and its allies for carrying out state law that requires carcinogens to be labeled and monitored. The plaintiffs, led by the¬†National Association of Wheat Growers, argue that listing glyphosate as a carcinogen under Prop 65 will irreparably harm the agriculture industry, adversely affecting farmers and consumers throughout the U.S.¬†The case, seeking a stay of the listing, was filed in the in Federal Court in the Eastern District of California in November, 2017. Earlier last year, Monsanto lost its case before a state Superior Court in which it sought to stay the Prop 65 listing. Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin have filed an amicus brief in support of the preliminary injunction sought by agriculture groups against California’s Prop 65 regulation. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the California Chamber of Commerce filed their own amicus brief in support of […]

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21
Dec

EPA Says Glyphosate ‚ÄúLikely Not Carcinogenic,‚ÄĚ Despite Scientific Findings to the Contrary

(Beyond Pesticides, December 21, 2017) On December 18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared that glyphosate is likely not carcinogenic. Relatedly, after weeks of stalemate on a decision by European countries, the European Union (EU) voted, in late November, to extend the license for the herbicide for another five years, despite massive opposition in member countries. In the U.S., the Center for Biological Diversity charged that the EPA assessment relied heavily on industry studies to arrive it its conclusion, and ignored its own guidelines for assessing cancer risks. Senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity Nathan Donley said, ‚ÄúThe only way the EPA could conclude that glyphosate poses no significant risks to human health was to analyze industry studies and ignore its own guidelines when estimating cancer risk. . . . The EPA‚Äôs biased assessment falls short of the most basic standards of independent research and fails to give Americans an accurate picture of the risks posed by glyphosate use.‚ÄĚ Glyphosate is due for its EPA registration review in 2019, and opponents are concerned that the December 18 announcement portends likely re-registration ‚ÄĒ which advocates say is bad news for human health and the environment. As the chief […]

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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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21
Jun

Citing a Serious Health Threat, Over 200 International Scientists Call for Limit on Antibacterial Triclosan

(Beyond Pesticides, June 21, 2017) More than 200 international scientists and medical professionals have signed the Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban, which states that triclosan and its chemical cousin triclocarban pose a risk to human health, and urges the international community to limit use of these antimicrobials, which are associated with bacterial resistance and no more effective than soap and water. In 2016 after manufacturers failed to prove efficacy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates cosmetic triclosan products, announced that manufacturers must, by September 2017, remove triclosan from¬†over the counter hand soaps. The agency still allows the chemical in toothpastes and other products, such as hand wipes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates triclosan in household items, textiles and plastics, still permits wide use of the chemical in a range of products. The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban is ‚Äúbased on extensive peer-reviewed research,‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúconcludes that triclosan and triclocarban are environmentally persistent endocrine disruptors that bioaccumulate in and are toxic to aquatic and other organisms.‚ÄĚ The statement includes evidence of human health threats, and provides recommendations intended to mitigate harm from triclosan, triclocarban, and other similar antimicrobials. The recommendations are listed below: ‚ÄúAvoid […]

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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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27
Apr

Chemical Companies Knowingly Allowed Carcinogenic Contaminant in Common Pesticide

(Beyond Pesticides, April 27, 2017) Multinational chemical companies Dow Chemical Company and Shell Chemical Company knowingly sold and marketed fumigants contaminated with a cancer-causing chemical that had a strong propensity to leach into and remain in groundwater, according to a¬†recent report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and a lawsuit against the companies. The contaminant of concern, 1,2,3-trichloropropene (TCP), was a manufacturing by-product found in Dow‚Äôs Telone¬†and Shell‚Äôs D-D fumigant pesticide products with the active ingredient 1,3-Dichloropropene. The products, used to kill soil-dwelling nematodes, are toxic in their own right, but contained TCP in their formulation from the 1940s until the mid-1980s. EWG‚Äôs report details widespread contamination of drinking water in California‚Äôs agricultural regions, with detections found in 562 wells, and 94 public water systems identifying TCP above legal limits. Thirty-seven additional public water systems serving nearly 4 million U.S. residents throughout the country were also found to contain TCP. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has never set maximum contaminant levels for TCP in drinking water, but requires public reporting above the infinitesimally small amount of 30 parts per trillion, roughly six times higher than what the state of California requires. However, even proposed limits of 5 parts per trillion […]

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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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22
Mar

Environmental and Farm Groups Challenge Toxic Pesticides Used in Genetically Engineered Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, March 22, 2017) Today, a coalition of farmers and environmental and public health organizations filed a lawsuit against the¬†Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approving agrochemical giant Dow Chemical‚Äôs toxic pesticide combo, Enlist Duo, among the newer more highly toxic pesticide mixtures used in genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-tolerant crops. Comprised of glyphosate and 2,4-D (50% of the mixture in the warfare defoliant Agent Orange), Enlist Duo is typically marketed alongside commercial crops like corn, cotton and soybeans that are engineered to withstand pesticide exposure, leading to problems of resistance and driving the evolution of super weeds. This is the third lawsuit challenging EPA approval of Enlist Duo by petitioners, which include Beyond Pesticides, National Family Farm Coalition, Family Farm Defenders, Pesticide Action Network North America, Center for Food Safety, and Center for Biological Diversity, represented jointly by legal counsel from Earthjustice and Center for Food Safety. The lawsuit charges that approval of Enlist Duo ‚Äúwill lead to sharply increased spraying of toxic pesticides, harming farmers, neighboring crops, and wildlife.‚ÄĚ Specifically farmers‚Äô health and financial positions stand to be heavily impacted by the approval of Enlist Duo, as increased use will result in increased pesticide drift, an alarming concern especially […]

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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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27
Feb

Poisoning Feral Hogs Raises Safety and Environmental Concerns

(Beyond Pesticides, February 27, 2017)¬† Texas has been dealing with a feral hog issue for many years, however recently Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller approved the use of a toxic¬†rodenticide in an effort to control feral hog populations, a decision hunters and trappers oppose because¬†the pesticide will poison prey and wreak havoc on ecosystems where the hogs live. The estimated population of the feral hog population is about 1.5 million in the state of Texas, where they can cause extensive damage to property, crops, and native wildlife. Wild hogs have been considered to be one of the most destructive invasive species in the U.S. The feral hog population, close to six million, span 39 states and four Canadian provinces. Commissioner Miller, in announcing the widespread use of toxic pesticide referred to the problem as the ‚Äúferal hog apocalypse.‚ÄĚ Damage caused by wild hogs has been estimated to reach well into the millions. Smithsonian Magazine has reported the annual damage caused by feral hog populations to be around $400 million. The Texas Parks and Wildlife website states that hogs are opportunistic omnivores.¬† Feral hogs enjoy eating domestic agricultural crops, such as corn, soybeans, peanuts, potatoes, watermelons and cantaloupe. They can cause […]

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22
Feb

Pesticide Spills and Accidents Put Pesticide Applicators at Increased Risk for Prostate Cancer

(Beyond Pesticides, February 23, 2017) Male pesticide applicators who experienced a pesticide spill or another related accident are more likely to harbor changes in their DNA associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, according to a recent paper published in the journal, Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. While the relationship between pesticide exposure and prostate cancer is not new, this study adds to the growing body of evidence that high exposure to specific pesticides may lead to the development of prostate and other cancers. The analysis finds¬†that after experiencing one of these exposure events, men are more likely to have higher DNA methylation of a gene linked with an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. DNA methylation is a form of gene regulation that, if disturbed, can result in gene expression changes that can cause cancer. The researchers used data from the ongoing Agricultural Health Study (AHS), which is a long-term cohort study evaluating cancer and other health outcomes of pesticides applicators and their¬†spouses in North Carolina and Iowa. This paper, High pesticide exposure events and DNA methylation among pesticide applicators in the agricultural health study, analyzed a sample size of 596 male pesticide applicators who underwent three phases of […]

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06
Feb

California Regulators Sued for Allowing Increased Use of Toxic Fumigant without Public Input

(Beyond Pesticides, February 6, 2017) California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) rules that allow greater use of the highly toxic fumigant Telone, while decreasing protections for the public, have been challenged in California court. On January 31, attorneys representing Juana Vasquez, a farmworker in Ventura County, along with Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR) and Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA), filed suit in the Superior Court of California against the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR). The suit claims that CDPR failed to follow required public procedures in developing new rules for 1,3-Dicholopropene (1,3-D), which is an active ingredient in the product Telone and has many documented health risks, including cancer and kidney and liver damage. In October 2016, CDPR released new rules that allow the continued use of Telone and decrease protections for public health by permitting increased usage. CDPR and many news outlets reported the rule change as a tightening of the restrictions, but in reality, the new rules increase the previous annual cap from 90,250 pounds to 136,000 pounds per township, a defined area of 6√ó6 miles. These new rules went into effect on January 1, 2017, allowing for 1,3-D‚Äôs continued use in strawberry fields, vineyards, almond […]

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31
Jan

Judge Rules Against Monsanto, Allows California to List Glyphosate Products as Cancer Causing

(Beyond Pesticides, January 31, 2017) A tentative ruling last week by Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Culver Kapetan moves California closer to listing glyphosate (Roundup) as a carcinogen under the state‚Äôs Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65). Monsanto, a leading manufacturer of glyphosate under its Roundup brand, sued California to stop the listing, as it would require cancer warning labels be placed on its end-use product. The company indicates it will challenge the tentative ruling. California‚Äôs proposed to list glyphosate as a carcinogen¬†after a 2015 determination of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a United Nations body under the World Health Organization, that the chemical is a cancer-causing agent for humans based on laboratory studies. Monsanto refutes these claims, and since the determination has worked directly, and through proxy organizations, to discredit and attack IARC, as well as individual scientists that have participated in its decision-making process. Shortly after IARC‚Äôs Monograph on glyphosate, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), a Monsanto-supported group, released a report dismissing glyphosate‚Äôs link to cancer. In October of last year, the U.S. House of Representatives‚Äô Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, led by Rep. Jason Chaffetz […]

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23
Dec

72 Toxic Inert Ingredients No Longer Used in Pesticide Products Cancelled, 300 Others Still Not Listed on Labels

(Beyond Pesticides, December 23, 2016) The Environmental Agency (EPA) has finalized a proposal to ban 72 inert (or secret hazardous) ingredients from use in pesticide formulations¬†following a long fight with environmentalists who, in 2006, asked that pesticide product labels disclose any of 371 inert ingredients that could be in products. While this finalization is a step in the right direction, ultimately the move is viewed by advocates as inadequate. The original petition, submitted by Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, along with Beyond Pesticides, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and nearly 20 other organizations, called on the agency to require disclosure of inerts. To put the announcement in perspective, EPA is acting on 72 inert ingredients that are no longer being used, such as¬†turpentine oil, and nitrous oxide. An inert ingredient is defined as any ingredient that is ‚Äúnot active,‚ÄĚ or specifically targeted to kill a pest. According to a 2000 report produced by the New York State Attorney General, The Secret Ingredients in Pesticides: Reducing the Risk, 72 percent of pesticide products available to consumers contain over 95 percent inert ingredients and fewer than 10 percent of pesticide products list any inert ingredients on their labels. The report also found […]

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