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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Cancer' Category


23
Jul

Pesticide Use Linked to Increased Risk of Lung Cancer

(Beyond Pesticides, July 23, 2020) Chronic pesticide use, and subsequent exposure, elevate a person‚Äôs risk of developing lung cancer, according to a study published in¬†F1000Research¬†by researchers at the Nakhon Sawan Provincial Public Health Office and Naresuan University, Thailand. Globally,¬†cancer¬†is one of the leading causes of death, with over 8 million people succumbing to the disease every year. Notably, the International Agency for Cancer Research¬†(IARC) predicts new cancer cases to rise 67.4% by 2030. Although there is a vast amalgamation of research linking cancer risk to genetic and external factors (i.e., cigarette smoke), there is increasing evidence that pesticide exposure augments the risk of developing lung cancer, as well. This study highlights the importance of understanding how pesticide use can increase the risk of latent diseases, which do not readily develop upon initial exposure. ¬†Study researchers state, ‚ÄúTo our knowledge, the association between lung cancer and pesticides has never been studied before among [Thai] people. The objective of this study was to investigate associations between pesticide exposure and lung cancer among people [living in Nakhon Sawan province, Thailand]. The results can be used for the prevention of lung cancer, and to support the global literature.‚ÄĚ Lung cancer is one of the […]

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20
Jul

Take Action: Tell Public Officials to Stop Mosquito Spraying and Adopt a Safe, Effective Mosquito Management Plan

(Beyond Pesticides, July 20, 2020) Does your community spray toxic pesticides for mosquitoes? In a well-intentioned but ill-informed attempt to prevent mosquito-borne illness such as West Nile virus, many communities spray insecticides (adulticides) designed to kill flying mosquitoes. If your community is one of these, then your public officials need to know that there is a better, more-effective, way to prevent mosquito breeding. Tell your public officials to stop spraying pesticides and adopt a mosquito management plan that protects public health and the environment. The problem with mosquito pesticides. Two classes of insecticides are favored by mosquito spray programs‚ÄĒorganophosphates and synthetic pyrethroids. In order to better target flying mosquitoes, adulticides are generally applied as ultra-low-volume (ULV) formulations that will float in the air longer than usual.¬† Pesticides are toxic chemicals and can exacerbate respiratory illnesses like Covid-19.Organophosphates, which include malathion (Fyfanon), naled (Dibrom), and chlorpyrifos (Mosquitomist for public health uses only) are highly toxic pesticides that affect the central nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. Symptoms of poisoning in humans include numbness, tingling sensations, headache, dizziness, tremors, nausea, abdominal cramps, sweating, incoordination, blurred vision, difficulty breathing, slow heartbeat, loss of consciousness, incontinence, convulsions, and death. Some organophosphates have been linked to […]

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14
Jul

Mexico Announces Glyphosate-Roundup Phaseout

(Beyond Pesticides, July 14, 2020) The Mexican government announced late last month that it plans to phase out the importation and use of glyphosate in the country over the next four years. The announcement means that Mexico will join other countries, such as Luxembourg, Vietnam, Germany in prohibiting the chemical and the toxic consumer products, like Roundup, that contain it as an ingredient. International watchdogs are keeping an eye on reactions from the United States, which in recent years has worked to intervene in other countries’ decision-making over toxic pesticides. The government‚Äôs announcement cites the Precautionary Principle as part of its decision-making. According to the Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle, ‚ÄúWhere an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.‚ÄĚ In the case of glyphosate, there is strong evidence, per a 2015 review by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), that glyphosate is carcinogenic. Since 2015, several more publications have added weight to glyphosate‚Äôs link to cancer. A February 2018 meta-analysis finds ‚Äúa compelling link between exposures to GBH [glyphosate-based herbicides] and increased risk of NHL [non-Hodgkin […]

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21
May

Study Finds an Association between Dicamba Use and Increased Risk of Developing Various Cancers

(Beyond Pesticides, May 21, 2020) Use of the herbicide dicamba increases humans’ risk of various acute and chronic cancers, according to¬†research¬†published in the¬†International Journal of Epidemiology¬†by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Many pesticides are¬†‚Äúknown or probable‚Ä̬†carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), and their widespread use only amplifies chemical hazards, adversely affecting human health. However, past research lacks comprehensive information regarding human health effects associated with long-term pesticide use. This study highlights the significant role that long-term research plays in identifying potential health concerns surrounding registered pesticides, especially as¬†the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to reaffirm¬†its decision to allow dicamba use on genetically engineered (GE) crops. Nathan Donley, Ph.D., a scientist with the environmental health program at the Center for Biological Diversity, comments: ‚ÄúThis sweeping study exposes the terrible human cost of the EPA‚Äôs reckless decision to expand the use of dicamba. [‚Ķ]For the EPA to approve widespread use of this poison across much of the country without assuring its safety to people and the environment is an absolute indictment of the agency‚Äôs persistent practice of rubber-stamping dangerous pesticides.‚ÄĚ Dicamba‚ÄĒa benzoic acid chemical that controls broadleaf weeds‚ÄĒis one of the most widely applied herbicides in corn production. As a result of¬†weed resistant to […]

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07
May

Court Requires EPA to Respond to Petition to Ban Toxic Pesticide in Pet Products

(Beyond Pesticides,¬†May 7, 2020) On April 22, 2020,¬†the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals¬†granted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 90 days to respond to Natural Resources Defense Council‚Äôs (NRDC) petition requesting cancellation of¬†tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP), a toxic organophosphate pesticide in pet products. The order followed the Ninth Circuit‚Äôs decision to grant NRDC‚Äôs petition for a¬†writ of mandamus (a court‚Äôs order requiring a lower court or public authority to perform its statutory duty) as EPA withheld action to fulfill NRDC‚Äôs judicial review of TCVP, for over a decade. A favorable ruling on NRDC‚Äôs mandamus petition can influence other petitioners that hope to coerce agency action, especially when public health is at risk. The court states, ‚ÄúRepeatedly, the EPA has kicked the can down the road and betrayed its prior assurances of timely action, even as it has acknowledged that the pesticide poses widespread, serious risks to the neurodevelopmental health of children.‚ÄĚ NRDC petitioned EPA to cancel TCVP pesticide registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) in April 2009, after studies indicated humans absorb TCVP through contact with pesticide-treated pet products. EPA failed to respond to the initial petition after five years, and NRDC filed a 2014 mandamus requiring […]

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15
Apr

Household Pesticide Use During Pregnancy Linked to Nephroblastoma Kidney Cancer

(Beyond Pesticides, April 15, 2020) Home pesticide use during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of a child developing the kidney cancer nephroblastoma, or Wilms‚Äô tumor, according to research published in Cancer Epidemiology by a team of French scientists. Wilms‚Äô tumor is one of the most common childhood cancers but has an inscrutable etiology. This study adds weight to the theory that pesticides are a driver of the tumor‚Äôs development, as pesticide use was more strongly associated than other widely investigated causes, including parental smoking and alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Families enrolled in an ongoing nationwide French study were questioned by phone about their lifestyle, including smoking habits, mother‚Äôs alcohol consumption, and household pesticide use. Participants were further segmented by their frequency of these risk factors, and pesticide use was narrowed down by type, including herbicide, fungicide, and insecticide use, as well as where the chemicals were used (indoor/outdoor). Researchers ultimately enrolled 117 families whose children developed nephroblastoma, and included 1100 families as a control. A regression analysis found no association between either parent smoking and incidence of the disease. Similarly, no pattern was found in the relation between maternal alcohol consumption and Wilms‚Äô tumor. However, use of any […]

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07
Apr

EPA Registers Toxic Pesticide for Use on GE Soybeans without Required Opportunity for Public Comment

(Beyond Pesticides, April 7, 2020) Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered a carcinogenic herbicide for new uses without following¬† the required public notification and comment process, the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting (MCIR) reports. The chemical in question, isoxaflutole, is a broadleaf weedkiller that can now be applied to genetically engineered (GE) soybeans in half of U.S. states. Health and environmental groups are outraged by EPA‚Äôs furtive move, accusing the agency of colluding with the pesticide industry. ‚ÄúClearly no one from the public health community knew about this because no one commented,‚ÄĚ said Nathan Donley, PhD, of the Center for Biological Diversity to MCIR. ‚ÄúYet there was all these industry comments, all these positive comments. Someone was tipped off that this docket had been opened. One side was able to comment, the other wasn‚Äôt.‚ÄĚ Without public notification, only 54 comments were received. In its decision document, the agency touted how most of the input ‚Äúwere generally in favor of the decision to register the new use.‚ÄĚ When questioned about its move, EPA simply told MCIR that it ‚Äúrequested public comment on the proposed registration decision.‚ÄĚ The Federal Register provides the public notice of a proposed rulemaking by […]

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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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03
Mar

Chemical-Intensive Agriculture Increases Pregnant Mother’s Risk of Her Child Developing Leukemia

(Beyond Pesticides, March 3, 2020) Pregnant mothers living in areas where carcinogenic pesticides have been used are at increased risk of their child developing an acute form of leukemia, according to research published last month in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles. The findings are based on a review of pesticide use data in rural, agricultural areas of California, where many minority, low-income and farmworking communities live. Under current laws, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permits the use of cancer-causing pesticides with an expectation that a certain number of cancers (anywhere from 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 1,000,000, based on the pesticide in question) should be considered ‚Äėacceptable risk.‚Äô While past studies have shown similar connections between pesticide exposure in the womb and the development of childhood cancer, this is one of the first to utilize geographic information systems (GIS) data, rather than parental interviews on past exposures. Researchers used California public records of cancer incidence from 1998-2011, alongside statewide pesticide use reports (California is the only state to make this information publicly accessible and searchable). A list of 65 pesticides were investigated for their specific connection […]

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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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10
Jan

Study Links Pyrethroid Insecticides to Cardiovascular Disease and Other Health Hazards

(Beyond Pesticides, January 10, 2020) A new study by researchers out of the University of Iowa College of Public Health, published in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) Internal Medicine, demonstrates that greater exposure to pyrethroid insecticides is associated with higher risks of death from all causes and from cardiovascular disease. These compounds can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin; they are highly neurotoxic, and have also been linked to certain cancers, endocrine disruption, and suppression of the immune system, as well as respiratory and reproductive impacts. The researchers gathered data, for 2,116 adults aged 20 or older, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Each of those subjects had contributed a urine sample at some point between 1999 and 2002. Urine samples reflect levels of a pyrethroid metabolite (3-phenoxybenzoic acid) present, which in turn offer information about pyrethroid exposure. The researchers followed the participants until 2015; the research analysis was performed in the summer of 2019. Data were adjusted to accommodate multiple factors (age, sex, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, diet and lifestyle, smoking status, body mass index, and urinary creatinine levels). The co-authors report that subjects with the highest levels of metabolites had a 56% […]

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09
Jan

At a Time of Precarious Military Actions, Trump Administration Delays Benefits to Agent Orange Veterans

(Beyond Pesticides, January 9, 2020) United States military veterans suffering from bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, hypertension and Parkinson‚Äôs-like symptoms after their exposure to Agent Orange will remain unprotected and uncompensated until at least late 2020, a letter sent by Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie to U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) indicates. 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. This is seen by advocates for veterans as a serious lack of support and compensation just at a time when the current administration mobilizes the military. According to Military Times, 83,000 veterans suffer from bladder cancer, Parkinson‚Äôs-like symptoms or hypothyroidism, and an untold number have high blood pressure. The paper interviewed Army Sgt. Maj. John Mennitto, who explained, ‚ÄúSince we first spoke in 2016, I have been diagnosed with bladder cancer. . . I also have hypothyroidism. My greatest concern for me and my fellow veterans who have debilitating diseases caused by exposure to Agent Orange is that our family members will be left with nothing.‚ÄĚ A robust 2014 review by the National Academy of Medicine recommended including […]

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05
Nov

Increased Risk of Skin Cancer Tied to Use of Weed Killers, as Researchers Call for a Precautionary Standard

(Beyond Pesticides, November 5, 2019) Herbicide use is associated with an increased risk of developing cutaneous melanoma, a skin cancer, according to a meta-analysis published last month in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. For those working on farms and in other occupations with frequent exposure to herbicides, the risk is another in a long list of pesticide-induced diseases. Ultimately, researchers suggest, ‚ÄúA precautionary public health safety policy that includes preventive individual counselling and surveillance to workers exposed to pesticides may be advisable.‚ÄĚ Authors of the study conducted a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature on pesticide exposure and skin cancer, finding nine acceptable studies for analysis. These studies represent nearly 185,000 individuals, and included enough data to make a risk estimate and determine 95% confidence intervals. Although pesticides and insecticides in general were not associated with increased risk of skin cancer, general use of herbicides was (relative risk 1.85; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-3.36). Spouses whose partners work as pesticide applicators are also found to be at higher risk of developing cutaneous melanoma. As skin cancer has increased significantly over the past 50 years, many appropriately point to the link between sun exposure and development of […]

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11
Sep

Germany Moves to Phase-Out Glyphosate/Roundup; EPA Unmoved

(Beyond Pesticides, September 11, 2019)¬†Germany is the latest entity to take action on getting glyphosate-based pesticides out of the marketplace. Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that, beginning in 2020, the country will phase out herbicides that contain glyphosate by the end of 2023. The phase-out will occur through a series of scheduled reductions in amounts allowed for use, with a goal of a 75% reduction over the next four years. The announcement comes after ‚Äúnation-wide protests and demands from [Merkel‚Äôs] junior coalition partner, the Social Democrats, for more decisive action on environmental issues.‚ÄĚ This action stands in telling contrast to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‚Äôs (EPA‚Äôs) repeated failures to protect people, ecosystems, and our food supply, from this toxic compound. The German government also plans to oppose any European Union (EU) request for renewal of licensing of these herbicides, according to the environment ministry. Bayer AG, maker of glyphosate-based herbicides and owner of original manufacturer Monsanto, has pushed back, saying that the government is ‚Äúgetting ahead of itself‚ÄĚ by banning glyphosate-based herbicides prior to any decision by the relevant EU authority, and that EU laws disallow unilateral decisions by member states. (Pesticide licensing decisions lie with EU governance in Brussels, […]

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04
Sep

Health and Environmental Groups Call on EPA to Revoke Glyphosate’s Registration

(Beyond Pesticides, September 4, 2019) Sixteen organizations representing health, environmental, farmer, and farmworker communities joined together yesterday to call on EPA to remove glyphosate from the marketplace. The groups cite a combination of high-profile lawsuits, environmental impacts, increasing reports of weed resistance, and growing public concern over the health effects of glyphosate in their comments on EPA‚Äôs interim reregistration review decision for the chemical. The comments warn that EPA is at risk of damaging the public‚Äôs trust in the agency‚Äôs review process for toxic pesticides. ‚ÄúEPA‚Äôs myopic review and response to the dangers posed by glyphosate does a disservice to American farmers, farmworkers, and commercial landscapers wishing to use least-toxic products that do not put them at risk of health impacts, and consumers aiming to make the safest choice in regards to what to feed their family and how to manage their yards,‚ÄĚ the comments read. The document likewise replies to EPA‚Äôs attacks against the World Health Organization‚Äôs International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which determined glyphosate to be a probable carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental organisms. EPA has indicated that its process for evaluating glyphosate, ‚Äú‚Ķis more transparent than IARC‚Äôs process‚ÄĚ and that IARC‚Äôs […]

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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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04
Jun

Starbucks Sued for Illegally Using Carcinogenic Pesticide Near Food and Beverages

(Beyond Pesticides, June 4, 2019) A class-action lawsuit is accusing Starbucks stores in New York of misusing a highly toxic, carcinogenic pesticide near food, putting the health of customers and employees at risk. ¬†‚ÄúStores throughout Manhattan have for many years been permeated with a toxic pesticide called Dichlorvos [DDVP], which is highly poisonous and completely unfit for use in proximity to food, beverages and people,‚ÄĚ the suit reads. According to the lawsuit, Hot Shot brand No Pest Strips were placed in food areas in violation of labels that prohibit the pesticide‚Äôs use in ‚Äúthe food/feed areas of food/feed processing or food/feed manufacturing or food/feed service establishments.‚ÄĚ A pest control operator found the illegally placed products on a number of separate occasions, hidden under bagels or in pastry display cases, during a five year period from 2013 to 2018. This was not at only one location, but appeared to be a common occurrence at nearly every one of the 100+ stores serviced by the pest control operator. The case brings to light a number of issues with the use of synthetic pesticides. The unsanitary conditions permitted to persist within Starbucks stores, per the pictures provided in the suit (see page 14), […]

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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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