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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Holidays' Category


20
Nov

Tips for an Organic, Least-Toxic Thanksgiving

(Beyond Pesticides, November 20, 2012) Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for family and friends to eat, drink and be thankful for the bounty of the organic harvest. Unfortunately, there are a host of pesticides, genetically engineered materials, and others in conventional Thanksgiving foods that not only impact human health, but threaten the environment. Read below for some easy tips and suggestions for a healthful Thanksgiving day feast. Organic, free-range, and local turkeys The turkey is the symbol of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. However, turkeys are often fed grains treated with pesticides, medicated with antibiotics, and engorged with steroids and hormones. Additionally, turkeys are often fed an inorganic arsenic, a known carcinogen, which is used to promote growth and for pigmentation. In order to avoid all these, your best bet is to invest in an organic free-range turkey (pictured right), which is free of hormones, steroids or antibiotics. Want to forgo the turkey altogether? Be sure to choose an organic meatless option. Avoid Genetically Engineered Food: Go Organic There are additionally, a number of Thanksgiving products that probably contain genetically-engineered (GE) ingredients (although the formulations are often considered proprietary trade secrets). According to GMO Inside, some common GE foods used during Thanksgiving […]

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30
Oct

Avoid GE Tricks by Buying Organic Treats

(Beyond Pesticides, October 31, 2012) On Halloween, scarier things then spooky ghouls and goblins may be lurking in places that you don’t expect; places like your child’s candy bag. Over 80% of processed food in the U.S. contains genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, and most major candy products are no exception. As responsible parents and adults, none of us willingly intend to pass out candy that contains GE ingredients to our children, but as it currently stands we don’t have the right to know whether we are or not. However, nobody wants to be “those neighbors” who give out pennies or pamphlets instead. Luckily, alternatives like candy with all organic ingredients can keep trick-or-treaters happy and give you piece of mind. Halloween candies can contain a wide variety of GE ingredients. According to Green Halloween the top GE ingredients in candy are sugar (GE sugar beets), high fructose corn syrup (GE corn), corn starch (GE corn), soy lecithin (GE soy), soybean oil (GE soy), modified food starch (GE corn), fructose, dextrose, glucose (GE corn, cottonseed oil (GE cotton), and canola oil (GE canola). GE crops have become ubiquitous in U.S. agriculture with 93% of soy, 93% of cotton, and 86% of […]

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23
Dec

Happy Holidays from Beyond Pesticides!

Beyond Pesticides wishes our members and friends a healthy, happy and organic New Year! Beyond Pesticides’ Daily News is taking a holiday break and will return on Monday, January 3, 2012 with restored energy and vision to continue charging ahead. After three decades, we are in deep gratitude to our members for their continued support, as well as those who have joined us through online efforts to defend clean water from pesticides, get the antibacterial triclosan out of consumer products, or fight for strong organic standards as an alternative to pesticide-intensive and genetically engineered food. That’s why we’re reaching out to ask you, as we do twice a year, to support our work and make a donation this holiday season. Please consider a tax-deductible donation to Beyond Pesticides to help support work in these areas: Ӣ Children’s Health. Children are even more vulnerable to pesticides than adults. Studies link exposure to cancer, respiratory illness, neurological and immune system problems, ADHD, lower IQ and more. We fight to protect kids from pesticides at schools, in the community, and on the food they eat. Ӣ Organic Food. Pesticides pose a hazard to your family, as well as farmworkers and the environment. Our […]

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24
Nov

Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving

(Beyond Pesticides, November 24, 2011) On Thanksgiving, thank you for being a part of Beyond Pesticides and sharing and contributing to the vision necessary to protect the web and fragility of life. We believe that there is no time like Thanksgiving to think about how we can more effectively join together as families and communities across divisions and different points of view to find a common purpose in protecting the health of the environment and all that inhabit it. Best wishes for a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving  

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23
Dec

Happy Holidays from Beyond Pesticides!

Beyond Pesticides wishes our members and friends a healthy, happy and organic New Year! Beyond Pesticides’ Daily News is taking a holiday break and will return on Monday, January 3, 2010 with restored energy and vision to continue charging ahead. As we reflect on the successes of the last year and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, one thing is clear —your support of Beyond Pesticides is instrumental to what we do. We continue to reaffirm the critical importance of grassroots advocacy in a political climate prone to compromises that adversely affect people and the environment. As a result, our efforts in support of people and communities across the country are a critical factor in advancing the protections that people want and need for their family and community. This holiday season, consider a donation to Beyond Pesticides in support of our continued work at a very practical level —giving people the tools that are needed to adopt safe land and building management practices, and advocate for a legacy of policy changes in our towns, cities, and nation. While our job has become more challenging since the last election, we must not lose the momentum that we have developed to […]

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24
Nov

Be Merry This Holiday Season with an Organic Christmas Tree

(Beyond Pesticides, November, 24, 2010) ‘Tis the season to be merry, but how merry can it be if your Christmas tree is leaving not so pleasant presents under and on the tree? Toxic pesticides linked to numerous adverse human health effects are used on Christmas trees, with residues contaminating indoor air and surfaces. So for this Christmas season, go green and avoid the toxic chemicals. Visit the Christmas Trees and Pesticides web page to help find an organic Christmas tree near you! Over 25 million homes in the U.S. bring in a fresh Christmas tree each year. The natural fresh scent of pine has become a hallmark of the season. However, the tree may be hiding other surprises among its needles and branches. Insecticides are commonly used on Christmas trees during its 10 year life span to control pests such as mites, adelgids and aphids which cause cosmetic damage to the trees, thus reducing their value. Herbicides are also used to control weeds surrounding trees. Of the pesticides that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered for use on Christmas trees, most are linked to one or more adverse effects, including cancer, hormonal disruption, neurotoxicity, organ damage, reproductive/birth defects, asthma, […]

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23
Apr

Dow Chemical Named Top Earth Day Greenwasher

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

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24
Dec

Beyond Pesticides Wishes Our Members and Friends a Healthy New Year!

Beyond Pesticides wishes our members and friends a happy and organic New Year! Beyond Pesticides’ Daily News is taking a holiday break and will return on Monday, January 4, 2010 with restored energy and vision to continue charging ahead. In the meantime, we hope you will tell us your wishes and vision for change in the New Year as we seek to protect our health and the environment. Please also consider a contribution to Beyond Pesticides this year. If you have already donated to Beyond Pesticides’ program, we thank you deeply because you make it possible for us to continue our important work! While you are writing your wish list and resolutions for 2010, consider Beyond Pesticides’ vision for the New Year: 1. Public recognition that it is a human right not to be poisoned by pesticides. 2. Engage residential, medical, public health and health-impacted communities in obtaining a pesticide-free environment and lead the pesticide reform movement. 3. Encourage individuals, institutions, corporations and local governments to routinely use least-toxic pest control methods. 4. Promote better understanding of the connection between chronic health issues, such as cancer, and pesticide exposure by the general public and health care community. 5. Help governments […]

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10
Dec

Avoid Hazardous Pesticides, Buy An Organic Christmas Tree

(Beyond Pesticides, December 10, 2008) Most families don’t realize that they might be bringing more than holiday cheer into their homes this Christmas season. Families celebrating this holiday season with the time-honored tradition of a Christmas tree can choose to go green and avoid the toxic chemicals that are typically used to grow it. Beyond Pesticides recently launched a Christmas Trees and Pesticides web page to help inform consumers this holiday season. Of the pesticides that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered for use on Christmas trees, most are linked to one or more adverse effects, including cancer, hormonal disruption, neurotoxicity, organ damage, reproductive/birth defects, asthma, environmental effects and more. Their use results in exposure to workers, wildlife, and waterways. Beyond Pesticides has compiled a list of 25 pesticides commonly used or recommended for use by state agricultural extension services, including: 2,4-D, bifenthrin, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, esfenvalerate, glyphosate, simazine and more. Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Washington, New York, and Virginia are the nation’s top Christmas tree producing states, and together account for more than half of the trees grown in the U.S. The Cooperative Extension Service of North Carolina reports that glyphosate -a pesticide linked to increased risk […]

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22
Apr

Happy Earth Day, Celebrate with an Earth Dinner

(Beyond Pesticides, April 22, 2008) Earth Day, traditionally celebrated by the United Nations on the spring equinox, became a U.S. national holiday proclaimed by Senators Gaylord Nelson and John McConnell on April 22, 1970. It is a time to celebrate our planet, and all the life giving natural resources and beauty that the Earth provides and which we too often take for granted. Most memorable holiday traditions involve family, friends, and of course, food. Building on this idea, the folks at the Organic Valley Family of Farms Cooperative joined with environmental and sustainable agriculture organizations to develop the Earth Dinner celebration. In developing the Earth Dinner idea, the organizers wondered, “Why doesn’t Earth Day have a tradition?” The Earth deserves a celebration too, and it made sense that an Earth Day tradition should revolve around local, sustainable and organic cuisine, and especially meaningful discussion about the impact farming has on the environment. Buying foods grown and distributed locally supports the local farmers, allowing them and their families to stay on the land. Buying foods that were grown using sustainable agricultural practices protects the soil and environment in countless ways. Going organic ensures that you are feeding your loved ones foods […]

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05
Feb

Show Your Love with an Organic, Fair Trade Valentine’s Day

(Beyond Pesticides, February 5, 2008) Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is less than ten days away. Millions of flowers and chocolates will soon be bought and given to loved ones. Unfortunately, these gifts come at a cost much higher than the one on the price tag. Conventional roses and chocolate sold in the United States are produced using toxic pesticides, with little regard for the workers or the environment.The United States imports about 70 percent of its flowers from foreign countries, mostly from Ecuador and Columbia. Roses analyzed in the past few years were found to contain a myriad of harmful pesticides that ranged from organophosphates such as Dimethoate, carbamate- Aldicarb, to organochlorines like Captan, Bravo, Tedion, Iprodione and Procymidone. Organophosphates are considered to be the most likely pesticide to cause an acute poisoning. They are a highly toxic class of pesticides that affect the central nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Symptoms of exposure include: numbness, tingling sensations, headache, dizziness, tremors, nausea, abdominal cramps, sweating, incoordination, blurred vision, difficulty breathing, slow heartbeat, unconsciousness, incontinence, convulsions and fatality. Some organophosphates have been linked to birth defects and cancer. Organochlorines are known estrogenic pesticides and have been linked […]

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27
Nov

Christmas Tree Pesticide Use Down, But Still Used by Most Growers

(Beyond Pesticides, November 27, 2007) While there is a trend towards less pesticide use in Christmas tree production, most trees are still treated with one pesticide or another — many of which are prohibited for residential use. In it’s 2007 survey results, North Carolina State University’s Mountain Horticultural Research and Extension Center, reports that glyphosate was the pesticide applied most commonly. The Center found that almost 90 percent of the state’s tree growers had applied glyphosate last season. The following tables summarize the state’s results, listing the pesticides that are used on at least 5% of the Christmas tree acreage. Nearly 40 different active ingredients are registered for tree production nationwide. Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Washington, New York, and Virginia are the nation’s top Christmas tree producing states. Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture, which published a list of insecticides for Christmas tree production in February 2007, recommends carbaryl, carbofuran, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, endosulfan, imidacloprid, malathion, permethrin and many more. Many of these pesticides have been “banned” or have always been prohibited in residential settings, however EPA’s registration process and phase-out deals with manufacturers allows continued use on Christmas trees and other agricultural products. For information on the toxicity of these […]

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25
May

Happy Birthday Rachel Carson!

(Beyond Pesticides, May 25, 2007) Rachel Carson, a timely and key voice responsible for warning the public about the dangers of chemical pesticides, would be turning 100 this weekend. Despite succumbing to breast cancer in 1964, her legacy lives on – Rachel Carson’s fight continues today, as her work is more relevant than ever. Rachel Carson authored the seminal book of the modern environmental movement, Silent Spring, published in 1962. The book detailed detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment, focusing on bird decline and DDT use. Her message had and continues to have a profound effect, calling on people to think beyond wilderness conservation efforts when protecting the environment – to think about what is happening in every ecosystem, including our own backyards. Silent Spring was instrumental in setting off a chain of events, including Earth Day and the formation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which subsequently banned almost all DDT use in 1972. Despite all of the honors, awards and praise that have been given in the memory of Rachel Carson, her cause continues to be controversial, especially regarding the dangers of DDT. The latest row has surfaced over claims that the decline in DDT use internationally […]

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20
Apr

Earth Day 2007: Pesticide Ponderings on Past, Present and Future

(Beyond Pesticides, April 20, 2007) As we celebrate Earth Day this weekend, Beyond Pesticides would like to take this moment to reflect on exactly where pesticides fit into the current environmental picture, including victories of the past and victories needed for a healthy future. Over the last year, the organic movement has seen many successes, with school pesticide reduction victories in North Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and California; new organic parks in New Jersey; increasing numbers of sustainable vegetable and cotton growers; and even hospitals and schools purchasing organic food. As we celebrate these victories, we look ahead to ways we can continue this trend toward organics, and opportunities for connecting with other environmental causes. Global climate change is the major focus of Earth Day this year, as well as a major focus of the environmental movement as a whole. But rather than being a separate issue from pesticides, the two are actually very much related. In fact, the Rodale Institute has figured organic farming requires 63% less energy (fossil fuels) than “conventional” methods. Top this off with the fact that industrial agricultural methods also reduce the amount of carbon that can be sequestered in soil, and the organic connection becomes […]

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13
Feb

It’s the Organic Thought That Counts This Valentine’s Day

(Beyond Pesticides, February 13, 2007) As Valentine’s Day approaches, dozens of roses and bouquets are being stocked at stores nationwide. The intentions may be sweet but many of the flowers are not — most of them have been treated with toxic chemicals. Pesticides are used on most conventionally grown flowers. A good portion of this use takes place in the waterlogged savannah surrounding the capital of Colombia, which has the world’s second-largest cut-flower industry after the Netherlands, producing 62 percent of all flowers sold in the United States. With 110,000 employees — many of them single mothers — and annual exports of US$1 billion, the industry provides an important alternative to growing coca, source crop of the Andean nation’s better known illegal export: cocaine. But these economic gains come at a cost to workers’ health and Colombia’s environment. Colombia’s flower exporters association has attempted to respond by launching the Florverde program, but with limited success; its members have reduced pesticide use by 38 percent since 1998, to an average of 97 kilograms (213 pounds) of active ingredient per hectare (2.4 acres) per year. However, 36 percent of the chemicals used by Florverde farms in 2005 were still listed as “extremely” […]

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