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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'International' Category


02
Feb

The European Union Takes on Greenwashing with a Broad Brush

(Beyond Pesticides, February 2, 2024) Last March, the European Union (EU) Parliament passed a measure to prevent greenwashing in the EU. As public concern about both human and ecosystem health rises, so does greenwashing—corporate efforts to mislead the public with label and marketing language for products and services that is outright dishonest or contains misrepresentations. And so, there has been an explosion of products or practices that are characterized in the market as “eco-friendly,” “green,” “carbon-neutral,” “regenerative,” “sustainable,” “natural,” and “safe”—all with a lack of uniform definition, compliance criteria, and enforcement. To the contrary, in crop/plant production and processing, “organic” does have a legal definition, subject to public review, certification, and enforcement. However, with greenwashing, many corporations aggressively try to gain a share of the $60 billion organic food market and nearly $22 billion organic personal care product market in the U.S. According to ESG Today, the new law passed by the EU Parliament arose because a European Commission-sponsored study found that more than half of green claims are vague or misleading, and another 40% could produce no supporting evidence at all. EU member states have two years to incorporate the measure into their own laws. There is already an EU […]

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31
Jan

Planting the Seeds of Change: Why the European Union Struggles to Meet 2030 Organic Farming Target

(Beyond Pesticides, January 31, 2024) A report published in December 2023 by the European Environment Agency (EEA) details opportunities and challenges to European organic farming targets for 2030. The European Union (EU) has set ambitious targets in its environmental policy—including the Farm to Fork Strategy (F2F) and European Green Deal (EGD)—with the goal to have at least 25 percent of European farmland run on organic land management practices by 2030. The EU’s approach to organic farming and pesticide regulation on agricultural land in comparison to public and private land offers insightful lessons for advocates in the United States to apply to their campaigns. Some countries are ahead of the 25 percent by 2030 target, such as Austria, Estonia, and Sweden, with 20 percent of agriculture organically managed as of 2021. The German government is preparing to exceed the EU goal when the new coalition government presented a strategy last November outlining a 30 percent goal for 2030. Meanwhile, some countries are vastly underperforming—with Poland adding virtually zero farmland to organic production between 2012 and 2021. Overall, approximately 9.9 percent of total EU farmland follows organic standards as of 2021. At this rate, the EU will only meet 15 percent rather […]

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30
Jan

The Fallacy of Glyphosate Exemptions Demonstrates the Importance of Sound Science on Hazards and Solutions

(Beyond Pesticides, January 30, 2024) The City Council of Brighton and Hove (England) is preparing to expand the use of glyphosate after widespread public complaints over the growth of Japanese knotweed and a program of manual clearance. This imminent local land management decision flies in the face of substantial research on the health and ecological impacts of glyphosate-based herbicides, including from Aaron Blair, PhD—former chair of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) working group on glyphosate and former branch chief (now scientist emeritus) of the Occupational Studies Section, National Cancer Institute (NCI). Advocates are concerned that the city council is basing this rationale on the fact that the European Commission reapproved use of glyphosate in 2023 for a ten-year period and not the body of scientific literature on health and ecosystem effects as well as alternative practices and products. According to a recent ENDS Report, “The [City of Brighton and Hove] council banned the use of glyphosate in 2019 – with an exception for killing invasive species [‘in exceptional cases’] such as Japanese Knotweed – after it was linked to health concerns and a decline in bee populations. As part of this it was agreed that the removal […]

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09
Jan

Field Study of Bumble Bees Finds Exposure to Chemical Mixtures, High Hazard, Flawed Regulation

(Beyond Pesticides, January 9, 2024) A “landscape-level” study finds that typical risk assessment studies used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and European regulators fail to “safeguard bees and other pollinators that support agricultural production and wild plant pollination.” The study, published in Nature (November 2023), evaluates the health of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) as a sentinel species placed in 106 agricultural landscapes across Europe. The authors’ conclusions challenge “the current assumption of pesticide regulation—that chemicals that individually pass laboratory tests and semifield trials are considered environmentally benign”—calling into question EPA’s persistent failure to adequately regulate mixtures of chemicals to which organisms are exposed in the real world. This study adds to the body of science on pesticide mixtures adversely affecting bee and pollinator health. See here, here, and here. The failure to capture real-world exposure to pesticide mixtures in its regulatory assessments extends to EPA’s systemic failure to evaluate a range of serious adverse impacts, as noted by the agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) report. And, aquatic environments also have documented mixtures of pesticides, with the U.S. Geological Survey finding 90 percent of water samples containing at least five or more different pesticides. “We can take no comfort […]

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08
Jan

Commentary: We Can and Must Stop Antibiotic Pesticide Use in the Interest of Public Health Worldwide

(Beyond Pesticides, January 8, 2024) Despite successful litigation that stopped the unnecessary use of an antibiotic (streptomycin) in citrus production in December 2023, the court’s reasoning fails to grasp the science behind the biggest emerging threat to U.S. and global health—antibiotic resistance. What is most disturbing and challenging is that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), responsible for applying science in the protection of the public’s health, misled the court on the overwhelming worldwide scientific consensus on the contribution of agricultural antibiotic use to the human death and disability rate linked to antibiotic resistance. On this subject, Beyond Pesticides has written extensively about horizontal gene transfer, which explains the movement of antibiotic resistant bacteria throughout the environment, ultimately making their way to people, as medically necessary drugs become ineffective. As we’ve written, “The human pathogenic organisms themselves do not need to be sprayed by the antibiotic because movement of genes in bacteria is not solely “vertical,” that is from parent to progeny—but can be “horizontal”— from one bacterial species to another.” [Regarding the reliance of the court on EPA’s misrepresentation of the science, the court found, ”EPA emphasized that ‘there is no data that antibiotic use in agriculture leads to […]

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05
Jan

UN Climate Crisis Conference Calls for Phaseout of Fossil Fuels, which Are Used to Produce Pesticides and Fertilizers

(Beyond Pesticides, January 5, 2023) The 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) wrapped up in Dubai on December 13 with what some hailed as a breakthrough agreement among almost 200 countries to reduce fossil fuel consumption that signals “the eventual end of the oil age.” To be successful and assure human survival, eliminating oil, gas, and coal use, Beyond Pesticides is calling for the elimination of petrochemical pesticides and fertilizers and support for organic, regenerative agriculture around the world. Because of the insurmountable crises that are caused or exacerbated by petrochemical pesticides and fertilizers, the adoption of organic land management practices and the need for foundational change in federal, state, and local policies and practices has come into focus. Under organic management, healthy soil can absorb and store 1,000 pounds of carbon per acre foot of soil annually. This translates to about 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide per acre drawn down from the air and sequestered into organic matter in soil. (It is noteworthy that use of synthetic fertilizers actually compromises the carbon-capture ability of some kinds of terrain, such as salt marshes.) A fact often overlooked by policy makers in generating climate strategies is that carbon-sequestering soil practices […]

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02
Jan

Commentary: New Year Calls for Transformational Change Starting with Chemical Use Rejection

(Beyond Pesticides, January 2, 2024) [photo credit: Alessandro Marongui, Bhopal Medical Appeal, Bhopal, 2009] The new year begins with numerous critical decisions before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its Office of Pesticide Programs, along with other federal agencies and the U.S. Congress, that determine whether the agency will continue to erode its leadership position in meeting the existential crises that threaten health, biodiversity, and climate. Given these crises, EPA under its current authority could take the action necessary to advance a transition away from the use of petrochemical pesticides, since under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) the hazards associated with pesticides are “unreasonable”—given the availability and viability of organic systems that do not utilize toxic pesticides. As EPA fails to meet the catastrophic environmental and health challenges of the day, communities and states across the U.S. are increasingly exercising their authority to restrict pesticides more stringently than the federal government. FIFRA, as affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Wisconsin Public Intervenor v. Mortier (1991), does not prohibit or preempt local municipalities from adopting more stringent pesticide restrictions throughout their jurisdictions than the federal government. The U.S. Congress over the next several weeks will continue […]

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15
Dec

Int’l Group of Scientists Calls for Restraints on Conflicts of Interest in Publications and Regulation

(Beyond Pesticides, December 15, 2023) Drawing on a recent gathering of international scientists, a group of 34 scientists published a call for much stricter scrutiny of researchers’ conflicts of interest by agencies that regulate and register chemicals, with recommendations for the newly formed Intergovernmental Science Policy Panel. Writing in Environmental Science & Technology, the authors, led by Andreas Schäffer of Aachen University in Germany and Martin Scheringer of Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, cite an abundance of examples of chemical companies and their trade associations manufacturing doubt via an array of techniques, resulting in agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) dropping certain provisions from rulemaking, ignoring scientific consensus, and keeping chemicals on the market—and in the environment—that many scientists say should be entirely banned. The authors produced the article in response to this webinar to discuss how to ensure that U.N. panels dealing with global crises get the most sound scientific advice conducted by the International Panel on Chemical Pollution. Over the last four decades or so, the notion that conflicts of interest affect the validity of scientific research and professional opinions has been steadily eroded. Regulators wallow in compromised research, hamstrung by political pressure and […]

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02
Nov

Childhood Leukemia Linked to Pesticides Used in Vineyards

(Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2023) A study published in Environmental Health Perspective finds the risk of acute childhood leukemia (AL), specifically acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), slightly increases with exposure to pesticides (i.e., insecticides and herbicides) from uses on vines, a crop subject to intensive pesticide use. Within 1 kilometer [km] of vineyards, the risk of ALL among children increases in areas with a higher density of vines. Although medical advancements in disease survival are more common nowadays, childhood AL remains the secondary cause of child mortality following physical injury. Furthermore, childhood leukemia survivors can suffer from chronic or long-term health complications that may be life-threatening. The etiology or cause of childhood AL involves the interaction of multiple components, including lifestyle and genetics; emerging evidence indicates that environmental contaminants (e.g., pesticides, air pollution, solvents, diet, etc.) play a role in disease. Pesticide contamination is widespread in all ecosystems, and chemical compounds can accumulate in human tissues, resulting in chronic health effects. Children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of pesticide exposure as their developing bodies cannot adequately combat exposure effects. Already, studies find low levels of pesticide exposure during pregnancy or childhood cause adverse health effects, from metabolic disorders to mental and physical disabilities. Moreover, […]

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24
Oct

Depleted Soils and Petrochemical Fertilizers Destabilize Africa and Globe

(Beyond Pesticides, October 24, 2023) Sub-Saharan Africa, often celebrated for its rich cultural diversity and stunning landscapes, is also home to a growing crisis beneath its surface – the depletion of its ancient soils. These soils–some of the oldest in the world–have undergone long periods of weathering and erosion, leading to severe nutrient deficiencies. Potassium, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus, vital for crop growth, are notably absent from these soils. Due to this and a dependency on synthetic fertilizers, along with an absence of soil and water conservation programs and other complex issues stemming from poor infrastructure, pervasive government instability, and colonialism, African soils have a markedly decreased ability to sustain high-yielding food crops. As a result, restoring soil health through the nurturing of microbial activity and the natural cycling of nutrients is identified as the number-one priority to improve agricultural productivity and ensure food sovereignty. While it might seem that African farmers could turn to organic or chemical fertilizers to address soil nutrient deficiencies, the reality is quite different. The high costs associated with these fertilizers make them largely inaccessible to most African farmers. Even though the average fertilizer application rate In Sub-Saharan Africa is 22 kilograms per hectare, significantly […]

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19
Oct

U.N. Special Rapporteur on Toxics and Human Rights and Environmental Justice Historian to Speak at Forum, October 24

(Beyond Pesticides, October 19, 2023) The second session of the 40th National Forum, Forging a Future with Nature, will focus on environmental justice and offer a unique conversation with the United Nations Rapporteur on Toxics and Human Rights and an environmental justice history professional. Both celebrated speakers have studied and written about the long-standing social, economic, and health problems related to pesticides and disproportionate harm to people of color. The Forum will take place at 2:00 pm EDT on Tuesday, October 24, 2023. (See free registration information HERE.)   Beyond Pesticides brings together this Forum session with the inspiration of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who wrote in Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963), “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Sixty years later, people of color—in the U.S. and around the world—still struggle with those same inequities that impose disproportionate risks interwoven in the fabric of economic and social systems in the United States and worldwide. The Forum takes place in the context of widespread toxic chemical exposure throughout communities and all strata […]

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09
Oct

On Indigenous Peoples Day, Highlighting Indigenous Knowledge To Address the Biodiversity Crisis

(Beyond Pesticides, October 9, 2023) On this Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the world turns its attention to the invaluable wisdom that Indigenous communities possess, highlighting their crucial role in addressing the global biodiversity crisis.  While facing disproportionate harm from unjust policies and practices that pollute, Indigenous communities are gaining federal and international recognition as key players in preserving the planet’s ecological balance.  Many Indigenous communities have a profound connection to, and unique relationship with its land, carrying with them ancestral wisdom that has sustained their ecosystems for generations. Indigenous knowledge, passed down through centuries, emphasizes the intricate relationships between species, the balance of ecosystems, and the importance of coexistence with nature. This knowledge has allowed Indigenous Peoples to thrive sustainably for millennia.  In the face of the growing biodiversity and climate crises, Indigenous wisdom and traditional insights are a part of the solution. During the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) unveiled historic guidance for federal departments and agencies regarding Indigenous Knowledge. This guidance, accompanied by an implementation memorandum, acknowledges the importance of valuing and adopting Indigenous Knowledge into federal decisionmaking to enhance scientific and […]

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08
Sep

[Reflection] Climate March on September 17 and Action: Interconnection between Climate Change and Petrochemical Pesticides and Fertilizers

(Beyond Pesticides, September 8, 2023) In a united effort, climate and environmental justice movements from around the world have come together to announce a global “end to fossil fuels,” including the end of pesticides. The “March to End Fossil Fuels” is scheduled for September 17 and the Secretary General’s Summit in New York City on September 20. See the full map for other marches around the world. At the Beyond Pesticides, 2022 National Forum session on climate (November, 2022), we discussed the science and the urgent need for a strategic response to the climate crisis as part of a constellation of crises that intersect. Whether we are talking about a health crisis borne out of chemical-induced diseases, the collapse of life-sustaining biodiversity, or the dramatic catastrophes caused by greenhouse gases and rising temperatures—the interconnectedness of the crises requires strategic solutions that are holistic and nurturing of our relationship with nature —a relationship we have minimized as a matter of policy and practice. The data on climate calls on us to be audacious in our demand for urgent change in our households and communities, and from decision makers at all levels of government. At Beyond Pesticides, our audacious goal is to […]

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23
Aug

Serious Water Contamination from Pesticides Used on Pets, Ignored by Regulators, Again Confirmed

(Beyond Pesticides, August 23, 2023) The use of pesticides on pets for fleas and ticks (parasiticides) has been traced to environmental contamination in a study that confirms earlier work both by the authors and internationally, according to researchers Rosemary Perkins, a veterinary surgeon, and David Goulson, PhD at the University of Sussex. The results are published in their recent study, “To flea or not to flea: survey of UK companion animal ectoparasiticide usage and activities affecting pathways to the environment,” which concludes that, “[T]he potential cumulative impact of parasiticide emissions [into the environment] from many millions of pets treated multiple times each year is of serious concern.” The UK provides an opportunity to pinpoint water contamination from pet use for ectoparasites (e.g., fleas and ticks) of hazardous pesticides since, unlike in the U.S., the country has banned outdoor use of those chemicals commonly detected—the insecticides fipronil and imidacloprid (the same neonicotinoid bug killer tied to devastating losses of bees and other organisms). These findings confirm the historical peer reviewed scientific literature and defy the assumption of regulators that home or veterinary use of pesticides do not reach levels of concern for environmental contamination, either through exposure from down-the-drain (DTD) contamination […]

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09
Jun

EU and U.S. Pesticide Regulators Ignore Developmental Neurotoxicity of Pesticides, Industry Hides Data

(Beyond Pesticides, June 9, 2023) Glyphosate, usually marketed as the herbicide Roundup, has long been the poster child for shoddy regulation by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In a study published June 1, 2023 in Environmental Health by Axel Mie and Christina RudĂ©n, PhD, of Stockholm University and the Centre for Organic Food and Farming in Uppsala, the authors followed up on earlier work that documented deficiencies in information provided to European Union (EU) regulators by manufacturers. They identified nine studies on developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) that had been submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) but were not disclosed to EU authorities. According to the research, seven of these studies would have “actual or potential regulatory impact.” According to the authors: “Of the nine undisclosed DNT studies, three were sponsored by Bayer and performed in their own laboratory. Three studies were sponsored by Syngenta and performed in their Central Toxicology Laboratory. One study each was sponsored by Nissan Chemicals and Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha (ISK), and these were performed at Huntingdon Life Sciences. For the remaining study, the sponsor and laboratory are unknown to us.” This study is a new example […]

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02
Jun

Scientists Identify 97 Pesticides and Chemical Pollutants in Study of Primate Population

(Beyond Pesticides, June 2, 2023) Scientists have identified 97 different types of pesticides and flame retardants in primate fecal samples, recently reporting their results in the journal Biology Letters. In Uganda’s Kibale National Park, researchers studied the chemical exposure of four species of primates (chimpanzees, Ugandan red colobus, olive baboons and red-tailed monkeys), adding to previous research on the subject. The chemicals demonstrate a measurable effect on primate growth and development, sparking considerable unease as to the future health of these critical species. This study shows how even within a protected national park, wildlife species are at risk from chemical pollution. According to advocates, the use of dangerous pesticides and flame retardants, therefore, must be entirely stopped in order to protect the future viability of wildlife species.  Scientists collected a total of 71 fecal samples from the four chosen species to measure levels of chemicals and hormones in a noninvasive manner. After sample analysis, researchers highlight three main groups of chemical pollutants: organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), brominated flame retardants (BFRs), and organophosphate esters (OPEs). Although in a protected area, wildlife species encounter humans through tourism, research, and human development surrounding the park. As these pesticides are so prevalent in areas of […]

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26
May

Study Shows 50% Decline in Butterfly Population Across the European Union, 1990-2011

(Beyond Pesticides, May 26, 2023)The use of pesticides in agriculture, transportation, and domestic settings has created a disastrous conflict for the human species. Two irreconcilable facts confront humans as they try to adapt to the consequences of earlier choices: One, industrial civilization came to believe that because some insects, fungi, and other organisms like to eat the same plants humans eat, humans can kill them with impunity; two, because some insects and other organisms are necessary to the health and reproduction of plants, humans need to protect them. At no point in history have people acknowledged that it is very difficult to kill the “bad” actors while protecting the “good” ones. There are not really two sides to the biological fact; rather, pesticides and biodiversity meet each other on a single plane, like a Möbius strip. Among the most dire effects of pesticides are their ruination of pollinators. Bees spring to mind as our primary pollinators, but they are by no means the only ones. Butterflies, often regarded as mere ornamental additions to a landscape, are actually significant pollinators themselves. Monarchs pollinate many flowers, including calendula and yarrow. Other butterflies pollinate dill, celery, fennel, cilantro, lettuce, peas, and basil, among […]

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19
May

Agricultural Pesticide Use the Primary Driver of Bird Declines in Europe

(Beyond Pesticides, May 19, 2023) Agricultural intensification is the leading factor driving declines in bird populations across Europe, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this week. Among all potential anthropogenic impacts, agricultural intensification, in particular pesticide and fertilizer use, was found to be more dramatic than forest alterations, urbanization, and climate change. “I don’t think a study has looked at all these factors in one go, in such a sophisticated fashion, correcting for one variable alongside another; and it comes out with a very clear message,” lead author Richard Gregory, PhD, of UK nonprofit The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, told The Guardian. Researchers utilized data dating back to the early-1980s, including annual bird surveys and national and supranational analyses, as well as information on land use cover, farm inputs, and temperature changes within the time frame. Bird habitat and ecological traits were also considered in the context of declines, and a statistical analysis aided researchers in capturing trends over time. Results confirmed that birds are overall experiencing significant declines in Europe, with data recording 25% losses in bird abundance since 1980. However, certain groups of birds are faring worse […]

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17
May

Efficacy and Health Issues Stop Release of Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes in California; Florida Continues

(Beyond Pesticides, May 17, 2023) British biotechnology company Oxitec is withdrawing its application to release billions of genetically engineered mosquitoes in California, according to a recent update from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. The withdrawal is a victory for environmental and health campaigners concerned about the release of a novel mosquito that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had previously authorized under an “experimental use” permit. “Genetically engineered mosquitoes are an environmental justice issue for Tulare County residents who should not be human experiments,” said Angel Garcia, codirector of the statewide coalition Californians for Pesticide Reform and Tulare County resident in a press release. “We are already impacted by some of the worst pollution problems in the state and deserve prior informed consent to being part of an open-air biopesticide experiment. Ahead of any future proposal for genetically engineered insects, DPR needs to have robust regulations in place that protect community members, and meaningful, inclusive public participation in any decision making.”     Oxitec began releasing its GE mosquitoes over a decade ago, first introducing the insects in the Brazilian town of Itaberaba. The company has made efforts to launch its mosquitoes in the United States, likely as a way […]

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15
May

Allowance of “Forever” or “Legacy” Chemicals Causes Insurmountable Multi-Generational Poisoning

(Beyond Pesticides, May 15, 2023) Say “legacy contaminant” or “forever chemical” and most people today think “PFAS” (perfluoroalkyl substances), but PFAS are just the latest persistent toxic chemicals recognized as presenting an alarmingly difficult cleanup problem. Fortunately, steps are being taken by governments and businesses to eliminate use of PFAS. (Organic farmers concerned about the integrity of their products have been leaders in these efforts.) Although government officials often devote considerable energy and resources to cleaning up contamination, the continued manufacturing of these chemicals and their release into the environment creates a futile situation. The U.S. is a signatory to the 2001 Stockholm Convention, which provides an international framework for moving persistent organic pollutants out of commerce, but the U.S. Senate never ratified it.     Ask your Senators to ratify the Stockholm convention. Tell EPA that persistent toxic pesticides must be considered to pose an “unreasonable risk to the environment under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA),” which must result in cancellation of their registrations.  PFAS contamination is just the latest chapter of a very old story. Legacy contamination of our bodies and the environment is partly a result of a slow piecemeal approach to eliminating these toxic chemicals. […]

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12
May

Persistent Pesticides and Other Chemicals Have Made “Legacy” a Dirty Word as “Forever” Chemicals

(Beyond Pesticides, May 12, 2023) With the growth of chemical-intensive land management over the last century, the world has been held captive by pesticide companies. For part of that time, it could be said the modern society has suffered from Stockholm Syndrome, a theory about abusive relationships in which one party exerts power over the other using threats, fear, and lies and the victim comes to depend on the perpetrator emotionally. During the so-called “Green Revolution” (circa 1945-1985), the world came to depend on vast amounts of fertilizers and herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. Many people believed that food, clothing, and shelter made from naturally-occurring materials such as fruit, flax and wood could not be provided to the world without pesticides. It seemed that science and commerce could indefinitely raise the standard of living around the world, perhaps leading to world peace. This is not what happened. Soon observers noticed the harmful effects of many pesticides, including their persistence in the environment, their tendency to accumulate in the bodies of humans and wildlife, and their influence on the risk of contracting many diseases, from cancer to asthma—not to mention the Darwinian inevitability of pest resistance. By the turn of the 20th […]

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02
May

Europe Moves to Disclose and Restrict Endocrine Disruptors, While U.S. Rejects Action

(Beyond Pesticides, May 2, 2023) On April 20, the European Commission’s new rules on endocrine disrupting chemicals took effect. Called “Classification, Labelling & Packaging” (CLP), the rules create four new hazard categories for endocrine disruptors. The categories range from “suspected of causing” or “may cause” endocrine disruption in the environment to “suspected of causing” or “may cause” endocrine disruption in humans. After a transition period, users will have to indicate on labels and packaging if a substance falls into any of the hazard classes. All actors in the supply chain are obligated to provide the information to every downstream participant. The  new CLP rules, implementing a 2022 measure adopted by the European Commission and then the European Parliament, also specify a minimum font size for the hazard information and for the first time include standards for labeling in online commerce and in places where customers use refillable containers to transport, store, and use the chemicals. According to the EU Directorate-General for the Environment: “The new hazard classes are the result of extensive scientific discussions and will provide easier access to information to all users of such chemicals, notably consumers, workers and businesses. They allow further action to address and mitigate […]

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18
Apr

France’s Drinking Water Contaminated with Toxic Fungicide Chlorothalonil, Banned in EU but Widely Used in U.S.

(Beyond Pesticides, April 18, 2023) Health officials in France are alerting the public that a majority of drinking water samples tested by the government contain the presence of the highly toxic fungicide chlorothalonil. The findings highlight a stark divide between regulations and public health management in the European Union and United States. While EU member states have banned this chemical and are working to understand and address lingering effects, tens of millions of pounds of chlorothalonil continue to be sprayed throughout the U.S. annually. French officials say they conducted this research after researchers in Switzerland found evidence of the fungicide in drinking water. A few years ago, Swiss scientists released a report showing Evian bottled water, touted for its claims of purity, was found to contain measurable levels of chlorthalonil.  “The fact that even the Evian springs in the French Alps, which are hardly affected by humans, contain pesticide residues is alarming and shows the far too careless handling of these substances,” Roman Wiget, president of the international drinking water association AWBR told the German-language Swiss weekly at the time. The EU banned uses of chlorothalonil in 2019, due to concerns over water contamination, the effects of such contamination on fish […]

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