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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Label Claims' Category


22
Oct

EPA Launches Voluntary Rating Program on Pesticide Drift

(Beyond Pesticides, October 22, 2014) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a new voluntary Drift Reduction Technology (DRT) program to encourage the use of spray technologies scientifically verified to significantly reduce pesticide drift. But with the recent approval of increased uses of toxic pesticides, such as 2,4-D, and the general lack of compliance with pesticide labels, many believe that this new program may not go far enough to protect non-target sites and vulnerable communities from drift until serious efforts to reduce widespread use of toxic, highly volatile pesticides are undertaken. Pesticide drift is an inevitable consequence of pesticide use, and has been a problem for communities adjacent to agricultural areas and non-target sites for decades. Many pesticide products are released as foliar sprays into the air, or volatilize from surfaces where particles can travel for miles from their application site. This means that on a windy day pesticide residues can drift far distances, affecting  downwind, vulnerable communities, organic farms and other environments. Legal action has been taken against the agency to protect communities from drift, but EPA has consistently failed to meaningfully address concerns. To address issues of drift, EPA’s new program will attempt to reduce drift by […]

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15
Sep

Local Municipality Requires Labeling of Penta (PCP)-Treated Utility Poles

(Beyond Pesticides, September 15, 2014) The Town of North Hempstead on Long Island, New York has passed a new law requiring warning labels on the utility poles that are treated with the hazardous wood preservative, pentachlorophenol  (PCP). At the town board meeting on September 9, a vote of 7-0 mandated the labeling with the following warning: “This pole contains a hazardous chemical. Avoid prolonged direct contact with this pole. Wash hands or other exposed areas thoroughly if contact is made.” Since the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), operated by Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), installed thousands of new hurricane-resistant utility poles that are thicker and taller, it shed  more light on the community hazards  associated with use of pentachlorophenol. Of the 324,000 utility poles on Long Island, about 95,000 have been treated with PCP. Even though there is a prohibition  of PCP for residential uses within the U.S., it still can be used on utility poles, railroad ties and other industrial uses under  federal law. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines pentachlorophenol as “extremely toxic” to humans even from short-term exposure and is listed as a “probable human carcinogen.” The inhalation or ingestion can lead to cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, […]

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09
Apr

Avon Joins Other Companies in Phasing Out Triclosan from Products

(Beyond Pesticides, April 9, 2014)   Cosmetics giant Avon will join several other notable cosmetics and personal care companies in committing to remove the antibacterial pesticide triclosan from their products. This announcement comes months after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will require manufacturers of antibacterial soaps and other consumer goods to prove that their products are both safe for long-term use and more effective than regular bar soap. Avon is just the latest company to demonstrate the notable market shift away from triclosan which has been occurring quietly over the past few years due to consumer awareness and government stagnation. Avon’s action marks a trend in which companies using toxic chemicals are forced by consumers to switch to nontoxic ingredients and  get out in front of regulators whose actions lags behind the science on adverse health and environmental effects. Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive began reformulating to remove triclosan from their products for a couple years now. Avon joined these companies last week, announcing  it will begin phasing the chemical out of “the few” products in its line that include it.   Avon cites customer concern as its reason for reformulating. On its […]

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08
Apr

See You at “Advancing Sustainable Communities,” National Pesticide Forum, April 11-12, Portland, OR!

(Beyond Pesticides, April 8, 2014) With less than a week until the 2014 National Pesticide Forum, please take a moment to consider three reasons why you should attend this exciting and important event: 1. Learn from Leading Scientists and Experts: Many of the conference speakers are top leading experts in their fields, and you just aren’t exposed to these kinds of people every day. While you’re at the Forum you’ll have the opportunity to listen to them speak and interact with them during panel sessions: Longtime leader and visionary in sustainable organic agriculture, Fred Kirschenmann. Center for Food Safety’s leading environmental attorney George Kimbrell on genetic engineering and pollinators; Pierre Mineau, PhD, world-renowned environmental toxicologist; Cutting edge scientist on transgenerational effects of pesticide exposure, Michael Skinner, PhD; Mace Vaughan, Pollinator Program Director for The Xerces Society; and so much more. These highlighted speakers do not diminish the importance of all the incredible speakers on the program, from lawyers, scientists, town officials, and activists, to the Beyond Pesticides’ board of directors. Check out the full program for more information. 2. Engage with Organic Land Management Practitioners: The Forum presents a unique opportunity to learn and discuss ways to tackle turf, landscape, […]

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06
Mar

Groups Sue EPA for Disclosure of Pesticide Inert Ingredients on Product Labels

(Beyond Pesticides, March 6, 2014)  Yesterday, Center for Environmental Health, Beyond Pesticides, and Physicians for  Social Responsibility, represented by Earthjustice, filed a complaint against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to complete rulemaking that would require pesticide manufacturers to disclose  the inert ingredients on  their pesticide product labels. An inert ingredient is any ingredient that is “not active,” or not targeted to killing a pest. “Consumers and users of pesticide products have a right to know all the ingredients that are in products they purchase so that they can make more informed choices in the marketplace,” said Jay Feldman, Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides. EPA’s 2010 proposal noted public disclosure “may lead to less exposure to”¦ hazardous inert ingredient[s] because consumers will likely choose products informed by the label.” In turn, “pesticide producers will likely respond by producing products with less hazardous inert ingredients.” Billions of pounds of pesticides are dispersed throughout the U.S. and enter our food supply, homes, schools, public lands and waterways. The public knows very little about the chemicals contained in most of these pesticides because under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), pesticide manufacturers are only required to list “active” ingredients […]

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02
Jan

Large End-of-Year Penalty for Pesticide Violation Amid EPA’s Record of Few Enforcement Actions

(Beyond Pesticides, January 2, 2014) Near the conclusion of 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement agreement with a Florida-based pesticide producer and distributor, Harrell’s LLC. Alleging multiple violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the agreement requires Harrell’s to pay a hefty civil penalty in the amount of $1,736,560. Under FIFRA, the nation’s primary law governing the manufacture, distribution, and use of pesticides, a pesticide product cannot enter the U.S. marketplace without EPA registration and an approved label that conveys to intended users of the product critical information about its contents, methods and areas of application, and potential hazards. Ideally, the purpose of FIFRA is to ensure that no pesticides are produced, imported, distributed, sold, or used in a manner that pose an “unreasonable risk” to human health or the environment. While there are a number of loopholes and weaknesses in this system, such as conditional registrations, that lead to toxic products entering the marketplace without a full understanding of the potential health hazards and environmental risks associated with those products, FIFRA’s protections are at their core dependent on diligent adherence to the registration and labeling rules. Any product that does not adhere […]

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04
Jan

EPA Proposes to Clarify Exempt Minimum Risk Pesticide Ingredients

(Beyond Pesticides, January 4, 2013) On December 31, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to clarify its labeling requirement for disclosure of all active and inert ingredients in “minimum risk pesticide products,” exempt from registration under Section 25 (b) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The rule (77 FR 250) reorganizes the list of eligible active and inert ingredients by adding identifiers that will clarify for the public, and more importantly for federal and state inspectors, which ingredients are permitted in minimum risk pesticide products. The modification would require labels to use common chemical names in the list of ingredients as well as the contact information for the manufacturer. The lack of clarity on minimum risk pesticide product labels in the past has made it difficult for enforcement officials who must use their own judgment on the applicability of vague descriptors such as cedar leaf oil and cedar wood oil, which are exempt under the current listing of “Cedar Oil” under CFR Section 152.25. While EPA has attempted to improve labeling clarity of minimum risk pesticide products by updating its website, stakeholders have found the measure insufficient. Regulatory Background Currently, EPA is empowered under FIFRA […]

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27
Nov

Leading Pediatrics Group Issues Warning and Recommendations on Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, November 27, 2012) On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a landmark policy statement, Pesticide Exposure in Children, and an accompanying technical report on the effects of pesticide exposure in children. In the documents, released in the December 2012 issue of Pediatrics magazine and online on November 26, AAP makes note of the current shortfalls in medical training, public health tracking, and regulatory action on pesticides. Acknowledging the risks to children from both acute and chronic effects, AAP’s report provides recommendations to both pediatricians and government health agencies. AAP’s policy statement comes on the heels of an October 2012 report citing the benefits of eating organic food in order to reduce pesticide exposure. Lead authors on the documents for the AAP’s Council on Environmental Health are James R. Roberts, MD, MPH, Medical University of South Carolina, and Catherine J. Karr, MD, PhD, University of Washington. AAP’s statement notes that, “Children encounter pesticides daily and have unique susceptibilities to their potential toxicity.” The report discusses how kids are exposed to pesticides every day in air, food, dust, and soil. Children also frequently come into contact with pesticide residue on pets and after lawn, garden, or household pesticide […]

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09
Nov

Prop 37 Defeated at Polls, but Battle Against GE Food Remains Strong

(Beyond Pesticides, November 9, 2012) Proposition 37, the statewide proposition California voted on to label foods produced with genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, was narrowly defeated at the polls on Wednesday night by a margin of 6.2 percentage points, however uncounted votes may shift the results. Had it been approved, Californians would have required labels for raw or processed food with GE ingredients and it would have prohibited the labeling and advertising of foods using the misleading term “natural.” Though campaign organizers and most news outlets are announcing defeat, the fight is not over yet. Organizers of the “Yes on 37” campaign have begun to regroup, focusing on 4.2 million Californians that voted yes and building a grassroots movement with 10,000 volunteers. Their campaign’s optimism is highlighted by their campaign statement that was released yesterday online: Yesterday, we showed that there is a food movement in the United States, and it is strong, vibrant and too powerful to stop. We always knew we were the underdogs, and the underdogs nearly took the day. Dirty money and dirty tactics may have won this skirmish, but they will not win the war. If Prop 37 passed, California would have been the first state […]

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11
Sep

Scotts Miracle-Gro Caught Again, This Time a Record $12.5m Penalty Levied for Pesticide Violations

(Beyond Pesticides, September 11, 2012) Lawn company giant, Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., pleaded guilty to numerous charges of misleading consumers with unapproved labels and falsifying insecticide registrations, including using toxic chemicals in wild bird food. Scotts was ordered to pay $12.5 million in criminal fines, the largest penalty ever set under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Scotts admitted to using Storcide II and Actellic 5E to prevent insects from damaging the bird food in storage, even though it knew both chemicals were toxic to birds, fish, and other wildlife. In 2008, Scotts Miracle-Gro ceased sales of the tainted birdseed but not before 70 million units of the pesticide-tainted food was sold. The sentence imposed in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, includes a $4 million criminal fine, the Justice Department said. Separately, the company agreed to pay more than $6 million in civil penalties to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and contribute $500,000 to organizations to protect bird habitats and restore and protect 300 acres of land to prevent runoff of pesticides into waterways —valued at $2 million. EPA has identified more than 100 products produced or sold by Scotts Miracle-Gro that violated the federal pesticide laws over […]

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03
Nov

State of Ohio Drops Label Restrictions on Organic Milk

(Beyond Pesticides, November 3, 2011) The State of Ohio announced Friday, October 28 it will rescind a regulation that has prohibited organic dairy product labeling from declaring that antibiotics, pesticides or synthetic hormones are not used. In a lawsuit filed by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found that proposed restrictions violate the First Amendment of the constitution. As a result, Ohio has abandoned the rule, thus allowing labeling to proudly state that organic dairy products are produced in accordance with federal organic standards under the Organic Foods Production Act, and therefore without the use of synthetic growth hormones or antibiotics. “This is significant for all of us who support what the organic foods are about, and for consumers who carefully read food labels to find out what’s in their food and how it’s produced,” said Christine Bushway, Executive Director and CEO for OTA. “The Sixth Circuit opinion made it clear that states cannot unduly restrict organic labels or consumers’ right to know how their food is produced, and the State of Ohio’s actions today make it clear that the fight to keep labels accurate by OTA, its members, farmers, and consumers was worth it.” […]

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13
Oct

New Report Charges “Natural” Cereal Industry Is Deceptive

(Beyond Pesticides, October 13, 2011) A new report released by The Cornucopia Institute reveals the deceptive marketing practices in the natural foods industry by some of the nation’s largest breakfast cereal manufacturers, demonstrating the importance of the organic label in order to avoid synthetic pesticides and genetically engineered food. In some cases, companies are selling products contaminated with toxic agrichemicals and Monsanto’s genetically modified organisms while promoting them as “natural.” The new report, Cereal Crimes: How “Natural” Claims Deceive Consumers and Undermine the Organic Label””A Look Down the Cereal and Granola Aisle, explores in-depth this growing trend of marketing conventional foods as “natural” to lure health-conscious and eco-conscious consumers and their shopping dollars. As Beyond Pesticides has pointed out in previous Daily News entries and our fact sheet, “Making Sure Green Consumer Claims Are Truthful,” the report also acknowledges that there are no restrictions for foods labeled “natural.” Unlike the organic label, no government agency, certification group, or other independent entity defines the term “natural” on processed food packages or ensures that the claim has merit. Analysis by Cornucopia of wholesale and retail cereal and granola prices reveals that “natural” products often are priced similarly or higher than equivalent organic […]

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05
Oct

EPA Fines Logitech for Antibacterial Claims, Consumers Are Misled by Marketing of Products with Antimicrobials

(Beyond Pesticides, October 5, 2011) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered computer peripherals maker Logitech, Inc. to pay a fine of $261,000 for illegally advertising one of its keyboards as protecting users from bacteria and microbes. EPA found that the company made unsubstantiated public health claims about its keyboard, a violation of federal law. However, the widespread marketing of hundreds of products that are advertised as containing antibacterial ingredients (without a health claim), which EPA maintains is not technically illegal, underscores the misconception consumers have when purchasing products that incorporate ”˜antibacterials.’ Beyond Pesticides has ueged EPA to prohibit more broadly advertising references to these antibacterial ingredients, since they imply that public health protection extends to the user when in fact it does not. Logitech”˜s keyboard incorporates a pesticide- AgION silver -and then alleges protection from bacteria and other microbes. According to EPA, the company marketed the keyboard as protecting the user from bacteria and microbes. However, to promote the health benefits in this way, before products can be sold their product efficacy must be established in compliance with EPA guidelines under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Evidence found online and during an investigation in 2008 […]

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12
May

Groups Submit Policy Recommendations to Strengthen Environmental Right to Know

(Beyond Pesticides, May 12, 2011) Beyond Pesticides joined 112 organizations in endorsing a 102-page set of environmental right-to-know recommendations, which OMB Watch presented on Tuesday, May 10 to the Obama administration. The recommendations, collaboratively drafted by advocates from across the country, aim to expand access to environmental information, equip citizens with data about their environmental health, and empower Americans to protect themselves, their families, and their communities from toxic pollution. The recommendations are contained within a report titled An Agenda to Strengthen Our Right to Know: Empowering Citizens with Environmental, Health, and Safety Information, drafted as part of the Environmental Information Initiative project. OMB Watch compiled the report following a year of work that culminated in a conference of almost 100 environmental, health, and safety advocates held in November 2010. Sean Moulton, OMB Watch’s Director of Federal Information Policy, said, “Many of the recommendations laid out in the report are ambitious, but they are also needed. Environmental and right-to-know advocates believe that much more information, presented in more searchable and usable formats, is necessary in order to adequately protect Americans’ environmental health.” Three key priorities are woven throughout the recommendations: 1. Environmental justice must always be considered — Minority and […]

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07
Jan

EPA Cited for Ineffective Regulation of Antimicrobials

(Beyond Pesticides, January 7, 2011) The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a report criticizing the agency’s lack of regulation concerning antimicrobial products. Citing a number of failures, the report finds that the EPA’s Antimicrobial Testing Program (ATP) has been largely inadequate in testing products to ensure safety and efficacy, and has failed to remove products that did not meet program standards. This report is especially of concern because some antimicrobials, such as triclosan, are known to cause dangerous public health and environmental hazards. Triclosan is one of the most prevalent antibacterial compounds found in products ranging from soaps and toothpastes to fabrics and toys. Studies have increasingly linked triclosan (and its chemical cousin triclocarban), to a range of adverse health and environmental effects, from skin irritation, allergy susceptibility, bacterial, endocrine disruption and compounded antibiotic resistant, tainted water, and dioxin contamination to destruction of fragile aquatic ecosystems. Through ATP, antimicrobial products including hospital disinfectants and tuberculocides are meant to be tested to ensure that they meet health standards and that the claims on the product labels are accurate. However, OIG has found that “EPA’s implementation of the ATP has not delivered […]

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29
Oct

Misleading Claims Found on Plethora of “Green” Products

(Beyond Pesticides, October 29, 2010) According to a new report by the North American environmental-marketing company TerraChoice, 95% of consumer products examined that claim to be eco-friendly are guilty of greenwashing, including: vague language such as “all-natural,” no proof of environmental claims, and the use of fake labels designed to imply that the product has a third party endorsement. Interestingly, the study found that “big box” retailers tend to stock more “green” products and more products that provide legitimate environmental certifications (like organic) than smaller “green” boutique-style stores. This report comes on the heels of FTC’s announcement to revise its “Green Guides” guidelines. In an effort to reduce confusion among consumers trying to decipher the wide variety of green claims, the commission is revising its guidelines for companies seeking to promote their products as environmentally friendly. The report, The Sins of Greenwashing: Home and Family Edition, examines over 5,000 consumer products in 34 stores in the U.S. and Canada and finds 12,061 “green” claims. Researchers documented product details, claim details, any supporting information on labels or store shelves, and any explanatory details or offers of additional information or support. Those claims were tested against best practice and guidelines provided by […]

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12
Oct

FTC to Revise Green Marketing Guidelines, Public Comment Invited Until December 10, 2010

(Beyond Pesticides, October 12, 2010) In an effort to reduce confusion among consumers trying to decipher the wide variety of green claims, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is revising its “Green Guides,” guidelines for companies seeking to promote their products as environmentally friendly. As consumers have become more aware of the environmental effects of the products they use, “green” marketing claims have become more prevalent. When a product carries the organic label, consumers can be confident that it has met strict standards and was certified by an independent organization, but many other labels are simply attempts at “green washing” conventional products to charge a premium to environmentally conscience consumers. Market research has shown that consumers often misunderstand the intentions of some green claims. Some labels make claims that are too broad and difficult to quantify. The revised guidelines advise producers not to make such broad claims on labels such as “environmentally friendly,” because according to an FTC consumer perception study, consumers often assume the product has far reaching environmental benefits. “What companies think green claims mean and what consumers really understand are sometimes two different things,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. The proposed guidelines are also intended to clarify claims […]

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29
Sep

Antibacterial Soap Hit with Class Action Suit for False Anti-Germ Claims

(Beyond Pesticides, September 29, 2010) A class action complaint claims Dial Corp. defrauds consumers about its Dial Complete soap by falsely claiming that it ‘kills 99.99% of germs,’ when in fact the product provides no benefit over washing with regular soap and water. The suit states that Dial Corp.’s claims are deceptive and misleading, designed solely to cause consumers to buy the product. Dial Complete contains triclosan, a registered pesticide, which is linked to numerous adverse effects including hormone disruption and water contamination. The suit wants Dial Corp. enjoined from continuing its deceptive advertising, disgorgement and damages for consumer fraud and deceptive business practices. The plaintiff, David Walls, in his suit states there are no reliable studies that show Dial Complete lives up to these claims. His complaint states: “Through its extensive and comprehensive nationwide marketing campaign, defendant claims that Dial Complete ‘kills 99.99% of germs’, is the ‘#1 Doctor Recommended’ brand of antibacterial liquid hand wash and ‘kills more germs than any other liquid hand soap’, when in actuality, it does not, a fact which Dial knew and purposely misrepresented and failed to disclose to consumers. To this day, Dial has taken no meaningful steps to clear up consumer […]

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15
Sep

Take Action: EPA Seeks Feedback on New Pesticide Labeling Guidance

(Beyond Pesticides, September 15, 2010) On September 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) unveiled “Enable the Label,” an online discussion forum established to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas related to the labeling of pesticides. EPA will facilitate a monthly discussion focusing on one or two chapters of the Label Review Manual, an educational tool for understanding the pesticide labeling process. Beyond Pesticides has criticized EPA’s pesticide labeling program in the past for not providing full disclosure on potential health and environmental effects, ingredients and breakdown products, data gaps and other missing information. Each month several questions will be posed for discussion and the public is welcome to post thoughts and ideas on the topics and provide feedback on any other subject covered in that month’s chapter. According to EPA, the goal is to improve the clarity and usefulness of the Label Review Manual for its users – primarily people who draft, review, or enforce labels in the field. Pesticide manufacturers and their representatives, State pesticide regulators, and pesticide users are expected to be interested in participating in EPA’s new “Enable the Label” online discussion forum. The Label Review Manual is a tool […]

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17
Aug

Blueberry Farmers’ Suit Against Pesticide Maker Moves Ahead

(Beyond Pesticides, August 17, 2010) A federal appeals court has revived the fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims by blueberry farmers in New Jersey, who say that a pesticide made by Novartis Crop Protection, Inc. reacted badly with fungicides and ruined their crops. Declaring that the lower court improperly dismissed the farmers’ state law claims as preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the federal court concluded that farmers were not suing over the alleged flaws in the warning label-which is federally regulated -rather were complaining about misrepresentations in Novartis’ marketing brochure. The case, Indian Brand Farms Inc. v. Novartis Crop Protection Inc. was filed in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Jersey. Blueberry farmers said Novartis should have warned them that a new version of its pesticide, including diazinon as the active ingredient, also included a surfactant that reacts badly with fungicides. The promotional brochure failed to mention this reaction and when farmers mixed the diazinon pesticide with the fungicides Captan and Captec, it caused phytotoxic damage, including blotches, depressions and spots, and in some cases killed their plants. It was not clear to the appeals court that the practice of combining pesticides with […]

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25
Mar

Vague Pesticide Labels May Cause Excessive Use

(Beyond Pesticides, March 25, 2010) A new study finds that the absence of a maximum dose on some household pesticides labels leave consumers with the impression that “if a little is good, more is better.” According to the study that was presented at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), label directions are written in a way that may result in consumers using excessive amounts of pesticides, subjecting their family and pets to increased exposures. The new study, which was lead by California Environmental Protection Agency researcher Linda M. Hall, Ph.D., and her colleagues, finds that while minimum and maximum doses are clearly listed on labels for agricultural pesticides, labels for some household pesticides, such as para-dichlorbenzene (pDCB) mention the minimum amount for consumers to use but do not indicate the maximum. Para-dichlorobenzene (pDCB) is the active ingredient in mothballs and other products used to protect silk, wool, and other natural fibers against moths and beetles; caged birds against lice and mites; mildew prevention; and is also used in air fresheners and bathroom deodorizers. Exposure to moth repellents, which include other toxic chemicals such as naphthalene and camphor, can cause eye and respiratory irritation, headaches, confusion and […]

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23
Dec

Public Comment Needed for Inert Ingredient Disclosure Guidelines

(Beyond Pesticides, December 23, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting public comment on options for disclosing inert ingredients in pesticides. In this anticipated rulemaking, EPA is seeking ideas for greater disclosure of inert ingredient identities. Inert ingredients, which can be highly toxic, are part of the end use product formulation, but not defined as active against the target organism. Revealing inert ingredients will help consumers make informed decisions and may lead to better protection of public health and the environment. “Consumers deserve to know the identities of ingredients in pesticide formulations, including inert ingredients,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. “Disclosing inert ingredients in pesticide products, especially those considered to be hazardous, will empower consumers and pesticide users to make more informed choices.” Public disclosure is one way to discourage the use of hazardous inert ingredients in pesticide formulations. The agency is inviting comment on various regulatory and voluntary steps to achieve this broader disclosure. Pesticide manufacturers usually disclose their inert ingredients only to EPA. Currently, EPA evaluates the safety of all ingredients in a product’s formulation when determining whether the pesticide should be registered. On October 1, 2009, […]

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24
Sep

Antimicrobial Claims Prompt Lawsuit by EPA under Pesticide Law

(Beyond Pesticides, September 24, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just announced that it filed suit against San Leandro based VF Corporation for the sale and distribution of unregistered pesticides through its retail company, The North Face. An AgION silver treated footbed, which the company claims has antimicrobial properties, is featured in over 70 styles of shoes by the company. These claims, according to the EPA, are in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The company could face up to $1 million in fines. While these products do not purport to usie nano-sized silver materials, the claims that are made for these products are suspiciously similar to those made by manufacturers for other nano-based antimicrobial products. These claims include: inhibiting the growth of disease-causing bacteria; preventing bacterial and fungal growth; and the continuous release of antimicrobial agents. Because of the lack of regulation, nanotechnology products are not always easy to recognize in the marketplace, and even the best lists do not include everything. Consumer products that include nano-based technologies, however continue to grow. EPA has taken a few regulatory actions against other manufacturers whose products made similar claims as this case, including action against […]

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