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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Pesticide Regulation' Category


14
Dec

Repeat Offender Amazon.com Fined $2.5 Million for Illegal Pesticide Sales

(Beyond Pesticides, December 14, 2021) Multinational technology corporation Amazon.com, Inc will pay $2.5 million as part of a settlement with the Washington state Attorney General over illegal sales of highly toxic restricted use pesticides. The company has entered into a consent decree with the state of Washington, requiring the retailer to perform certain actions if it wants to restart pesticide sales, in addition to the fine. This is the second major penalty Amazon has received for illegal pesticide sales in recent years. The company was fined $1.2 million by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2018. Heath advocates are applauding Washington State officials for addressing the issue and urging increased vigilance and enforcement from other states regarding illegal online pesticide sales. According to the legal complaint, between 2013-2020, Amazon sold thousands of both restricted and general use pesticides to individuals in the state of Washington without a pesticide sales license. The company failed to disclose this information to consumers, and also failed to connect information from buyers of restricted use pesticides, a requirement in Washington state. As a result of Amazon‚Äôs illegal activities, there are now thousands of highly hazardous pesticides being used in Washington without documentation on its use […]

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09
Dec

The Expense of Pesticides Significantly Outweigh Economic Benefits

(Beyond Pesticides, December 9, 2021) The cost to maintain crops using conventional pesticides outweighs the economic benefits from crop production and yield, according to a¬†report,¬†Pesticides ‚Äėcost double the amount they yield,‚Äô by the French-based organization Bureau for the Appraisal of Social Impacts for Citizen Information (BASIC). Moreover, the annual cost of increasing organic farms three-fold by 2030 is less than the cost of pesticides to society (i.e., adverse health and ecological effects from pesticide use and contamination). However, the price to pay from pesticide use encompasses much more than the products themselves. Researchers point to the need for government and health officials to consider the billion-dollar costs associated with adverse health effects from pesticide use, especially as studies confirm that pesticides cause cancer, Parkinson’s, and other diseases that are increasing. Thus, this report adds to the growing body of research demonstrating the unsustainability of conventional, chemical-intensive agricultural practices. The National Academy of Sciences identifies four goals of sustainable agriculture‚ÄĒproductivity, economics, environment, and social well-being for future generations. However, current chemical pesticide use threatens sustainable agriculture. Although the primary concerns about pesticide usage centers on health and ecological concerns, including food security, this report provides an economic assessment that offers an […]

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01
Nov

EPA and Congress Must Act to Correct a Failed Pesticide Program

(Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2021)¬†Join with 37 environmental and health groups, farm organizations, and beekeeper councils, who have delivered a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leaders seeking major reforms in the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). They provided a comprehensive list of OPP‚Äôs major failures as the lead federal office for pesticide regulation and management, including: Allowing chlorpyrifos to stay registered for more than 14 years after health experts and affected farmworkers petitioned for its removal based on its known neurological danger, Allowing unlimited use of Roundup (glyphosate) long after it was shown to contribute to deadly non-Hodgkin‚Äôs lymphoma in heavy users and it devastated the treasured monarch butterfly, now driven to near extinction in North America, Approving hundreds of neonicotinoid systemic insecticides, now the most widespread insecticide in the country where they are decimating honey and native bees and other key pollinators and beneficial species; and Registering dicamba in a highly volatile herbicide, a shocking blunder later overruled by a federal court ruling that stated OPP ‚Äúnot only substantially understated the risks ‚Ķ. It also entirely failed to acknowledge other risks, including those it was statutorily required to consider.‚ÄĚ Take action: Tell EPA and Congress that the […]

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20
Oct

EPA to Create Advisory Councils to Restore Scientific Integrity in Pesticide/Chemicals Division

(Beyond Pesticides, October 20, 2021) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week plans to establish a new position and two advisory councils in order to enhance scientific integrity within the agency‚Äôs Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP). The move is being widely seen as a response to recent reporting over how EPA has allowed the chemical industry to distort and unduly influence its process for reviewing and approving toxic pesticides and other chemicals. ‚ÄúScientific integrity is the backbone of the work we do to ensure the safety of chemicals used in our everyday lives,‚ÄĚ said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff, PhD. ‚ÄúStrong, sound science underpins confidence in our decision-making among the public that we serve. Today‚Äôs announcements are the latest in a series of steps OCSPP is taking to reaffirm our commitment to scientific integrity and restore the public trust.‚ÄĚ EPA will create a new internal advisory group called the OSCPP Science Policy Council ‚Äúto provide advisory support and recommendations on science policy and scientific integrity issues that arise within its Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics and Office of Pesticide Programs.‚ÄĚ The chair of this advisory group […]

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28
May

Inspector General Blasts Trump’s Politicized EPA, No Announced Plans to Reverse Unscientific Decisions

(Beyond Pesticides, May 28, 2021)¬†A report by the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concludes that scientific analyses by the agency were altered so as to favor top Trump administration officials‚Äô policy choices in the 2018 reapproval of the highly toxic and problematic pesticide, dicamba. The report, ‚ÄúEPA Deviated from its Typical Procedures in Its 2018 Dicamba Pesticide Registration Decision,‚ÄĚ was publicly released on May 24. It confirms aspects of what Beyond Pesticides and many others in the science, advocacy, public health, and environmental communities have been saying and reporting since 2016: the Trump administration executed a wholesale assault on scientific integrity in federal decision making. In its research on the matter, the Inspector General‚Äôs office (OIG) reviewed EPA‚Äôs 2016 and 2018 decisions on dicamba‚Äôs registration, documentation that purported to support those decisions, and the concerns forwarded in the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and by many stakeholders. (See more in figure below.) It also reviewed EPA internal procedures and guidance on pesticide registration, and agency scientific integrity materials; interviewed career scientists and other agency staff; and communicated with EPA‚Äôs Scientific Integrity (Science Advisor) program staff. As reported […]

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13
May

Advocates Call for Ban of Toxic Pesticides Linked to Deaths from Chemical Suicides

(Beyond Pesticides, May 13, 2021) Scientists are advocating for stricter pesticide bans to lower deaths from deliberate pesticide ingestion. The request for this toxic pesticide ban follows a University of South Australia¬†study¬†detailing discrepancies in World Health Organization (WHO) classifications of pesticide hazards that rely on animal rather than human data. Previous¬†studies¬†demonstrate an increased risk of developing depression, especially among agricultural workers and landscapers who use pesticides. Acute exposure to chemicals, including organophosphate and carbamate pesticides, tends to put farmers at¬†greater risk¬†of suicide than the general population. This research highlights the significance of assessing pesticide toxicity and health effects using human data rather than animals to understand health effects resulting from pesticide exposure. Society tends to rank mental health risks second to physical health. However, pesticide poisonings account for one in five suicides globally. Therefore, it is vital to address the accessibility and necessity of conventional pesticide use to safeguard human well-being, especially in countries lacking adequate chemical regulations. The study‚Äôs scientists note, ‚ÄúThe human data for acute toxicity of pesticides should drive hazard classifications and regulation. We believe that a global benchmark for registration of pesticides should include a less than 5% case fatality after self-poisoning, which could prevent many […]

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03
May

Tell EPA to Remove Risky Disinfectants from Its Recommended List;¬†They’re Not Necessary to Protect from COVID-19

(Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2021)¬†Hazardous disinfectants are not necessary for protection against COVID-19, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is agreeing. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seems to now agree, but has not changed it recommendations and listing for the public. Since last March, EPA has recommended disinfectants on List N for protecting against exposure to surfaces that would spread the virus causing COVID-19. Beyond Pesticides has evaluated the disinfectants, categorizing them as materials to seek out or to avoid. More recently, we evaluated the available evidence and recommended that schools and other institutions concentrate on providing adequate ventilation and protection from airborne virus. Tell EPA to remove risky disinfectants from its recommended list. EPA‚Äôs List N contains products containing toxic chemicals such as chlorine bleach, peroxyacetic acid, alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chlorides, didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride, and other ‚Äúquats,‚ÄĚ sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione, and hydrochloric acid. In addition to their outright toxicity, some of these can also trigger asthma attacks. Now, EPA has recognized this evidence and offered revised recommendations, stressing the need to avoid airborne transmission and stating in an infographic that the risk of contracting disease by touching contaminated surfaces is low and that disinfectants […]

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02
Apr

Lawsuit Challenges EPA Allowance of Antibiotic Streptomycin in Citrus

(Beyond Pesticides, April 2, 2021) Having raised the alarm for many years (and most recently in November 2020) on the dangers of the burgeoning antibiotic resistance crisis, Beyond Pesticides has joined a coalition of public interest groups in a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its approval of use of the medically important antibiotic streptomycin on citrus trees. Beyond Pesticides executive director Jay Feldman comments: ‚ÄúIt is past time to take urgent action to transition away from practices in agriculture that are dependent on antibiotics, advance organic farm management, and avoid new deadly pandemics. This lawsuit is an important action to reverse the previous administration‚Äôs decision to ignore the science and allow expanded use of an antibiotic in agriculture.‚ÄĚ According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the suit charges that EPA ‚Äúfailed to ensure that the approved uses of streptomycin as a pesticide would not cause unreasonable harm to human health or the environment and failed to adequately assess impacts to endangered species.‚ÄĚ The coalition of plaintiffs includes Beyond Pesticides, NRDC, Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida, Farmworker Association of Florida, Farmworker Justice, Migrant Clinicians Network, and U.S. PIRG. The coalition is represented […]

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21
Dec

Stop EPA from Limiting State Pesticide Restrictions as Corporate Deception on Hazards Continues

(Beyond Pesticides, December 21, 2020) The toxic herbicide dicamba is once again at the center of a larger story about states’ authority to regulate pesticides more stringently federal dictates and a response to corporate corruption in the marketing of pesticide products. The Trump EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) has just made it much harder for state regulations to be more protective than federal rules. It did so via a footnote embedded in dozens of pages of regulatory documents related to EPA’s registration of three new dicamba products.¬† Tell the Biden transition team that EPA must respect states’ rights to protect people and property in their states. Meanwhile, a report by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found Monsanto and BASF, a German chemical company that worked with Monsanto to launch the system coupling dicamba with resistant crops, knew their dicamba herbicides would cause large-scale damage to fields across the U.S., but decided to push them on unsuspecting farmers anyway, in a bid to corner the soybean and cotton markets with their dicamba-resistant seeds. For nearly 30 years, state regulators have used Section 24 (‚ÄúSpecial Local Needs‚ÄĚ section) of FIFRA, the Federal, Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act‚ÄĒthe law that gives EPA […]

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18
Dec

Investigation on Weed Killer Dicamba Adds to Pattern of Corporate Deception on Pesticide Hazards

(Beyond Pesticides, December 18, 2020)¬†The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting published a story in early December on yet another example of the corporate malfeasance that exalts profit far above concerns for safety, health, and ecosystems. The Midwest Center‚Äôs investigation finds that Monsanto and BASF, makers of the extremely problematic herbicide dicamba, engaged in a variety of deceitful, unethical, and possibly fraudulent practices to enable its use. The bottom line is that the companies knew, before they released dicamba, about the massive damage it would cause ‚ÄĒ and then put it on the market. Beyond Pesticides has reported on the corporate greed that fuels the downstream public health, environmental, and economic devastation these pesticides cause, and advocated for their removal from the market. Such unscrupulous behavior is not confined to these companies; Bayer (which now owns Monsanto) and Syngenta are also implicated in similar actions related to other pesticides: glyphosate and atrazine, respectively. Over the course of the past couple of decades, large agrochemical corporations have pursued not only extreme market penetration for their toxic products, but also, vertical integration that, in the case of Bayer/Monsanto, ‚Äúrepresents a near-monopoly on the agriculture supply chain.‚ÄĚ Corporate ownership of the patent on genetically […]

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22
Sep

EPA Reapproves Toxic Weedkiller Atrazine with Fewer Protections for Children’s Health

(Beyond Pesticides, September 22, 2020) Use of the highly hazardous, endocrine disrupting weed killer atrazine is likely to expand¬†following¬†a decision made¬†earlier¬†this month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under the guise of ‚Äúregulatory certainty,‚ÄĚ the agency is reapproving use of this notorious herbicide,¬†as well as its cousins simazine and propazine in the triazine family of chemicals,¬†with fewer safeguards for public health, particularly young children. Advocates are incensed by the decision and vow to continue to put pressure on the agency.¬†‚ÄúUse of this extremely dangerous pesticide should be banned, not expanded,‚ÄĚ Nathan Donley,¬†PhD,¬†a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity¬†said¬†in a press release. ‚ÄúThis disgusting decision directly endangers the health of millions of Americans.‚ÄĚ Beyond Pesticides has long argued against the continued use of the triazine herbicides, which includes¬†atrazine. Triazines¬†are well known to interfere with the body‚Äôs endocrine, or hormonal system. Disruptions within this delicately¬†balanced process in the body can result in a range of ill health effects, including cancer, reproductive dysfunction, and developmental¬†harm.¬†These weedkillers¬†interfere with the pituitary gland‚Äôs release of luteinizing hormones,¬†which regulate the function of female ovaries and male gonads.¬†In comments¬†written by Beyond Pesticides to EPA, the organization notes, ‚ÄúOf the¬†numerous adverse effects associated with this disruption, […]

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28
Aug

EPA Threatens Public Health, Waiving Safety Review of Disinfectants To Be Used by American Airlines and Health Care Facilities; Need Questioned while More Uses Expected

(Beyond Pesticides, August 28, 2020)¬†The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted ‚Äúemergency‚ÄĚ permission to the State of Texas to allow the use of SurfaceWise¬ģ2, an unregistered pesticide, as an anti-viral surface coating. The manufacturer, Allied Bioscience, says the compound can kill coronaviruses (including SARS-CoV-2) starting at two hours post application and for up to seven days, but it is not included on EPA’s List N, of disinfectants effective against SARS-CoV-2.¬†EPA has permitted this use via the authority of Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which allows for ‚Äúemergency‚ÄĚ use of non-registered pesticides, typically to deal with extreme threats to agricultural activities. It is rarely used for public health emergencies. Beyond Pesticides recognizes the need for protection from transmission of the novel coronavirus, and maintains that it ought to and can be done without exposing people to toxic synthetic pesticides that have not undergone evaluation for safety. See Beyond Pesticides‚Äô guidance on effective and safe precautions against the novel coronavirus. The Texas Department of Agriculture secured the EPA exemption, making the state the first to do so; Allied BioScience is pursuing this emergency waiver across all 50 states. The exemption grants American Airlines and two health […]

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17
Jun

Court Victory on Three Dicamba Weed Killers Underscores the Need to Reform Pesticide Law

(Beyond Pesticides, June 17, 2020) The June 3 decision in a high-profile ‚Äúdicamba case‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and for the plaintiffs, a coalition of conservation groups ‚ÄĒ was huge news in environmental advocacy, agriculture, and agrochemical circles. The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated EPA‚Äôs 2018 conditional registration of three dicamba weed killer products for use on an estimated 60 million acres of DT (dicamba-tolerant through genetic modification/engineering) soybeans and cotton. There is, however, a related issue that accompanies this and many other pesticide cases. When EPA decides to cancel or otherwise proscribe use of a pesticide (usually as a result of its demonstrated toxicity and/or damage during litigation), the agency will often allow pesticide manufacturers to continue to sell off ‚Äúexisting stocks‚ÄĚ of a pesticide, or growers and applicators to continue to use whatever stock they have or can procure. Beyond Pesticides has opposed, covered, and litigated against this practice. To greenlight predictable harm is a violation of any recognized moral code, never mind of the agency‚Äôs mission ‚ÄĒ ‚Äúto protect human health and the environment.‚ÄĚ According to Beyond Pesticides, EPA should never permit continued use of a dangerous pesticide once that compound‚Äôs […]

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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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06
May

Trump EPA Waives Requirement to Monitor Waterways for Hazardous Weedkiller

(Beyond Pesticides, May 6, 2020) The Trump Administration announced late last month that it is waiving a requirement that multinational chemical company Syngenta-Chemchina continue to monitor Midwest waterways for the presence of the weedkiller atrazine throughout 2020. While rationalized by the Administration as ‚Äúdue to the unanticipated impact of Covid-19,‚ÄĚ the move will instead put residents health at increased risk. Atrazine is one of 78 pesticides that has been linked to the development of respiratory ailments like wheeze. ‚ÄúThe public will now have no idea whether dangerous levels of atrazine are reaching rivers and streams throughout the Midwest. That‚Äôs absurd and reckless,‚ÄĚ said Nathan Donley, PhD a senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. ‚ÄúSyngenta should suspend the sale and use of this extremely toxic pesticide until it can safely ensure it‚Äôs not polluting Corn Belt waterways.‚ÄĚ Syngenta, which merged with state-owned China Nation Chemical Corporation (Chemchina) in 2016, has been bound by EPA to monitor Midwestern waterways since a 2004 review by the agency. This is because atrazine is a potent groundwater contaminant. Just two years ago, an analysis by the Environmental Working Group found atrazine to be exceeding legal limits in drinking water for many Midwestern states. […]

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28
Feb

Idaho Legislation Advances to Eliminate Even Minimal Protections from Pesticides, including Drift

(Beyond Pesticides, February 28, 2020)¬†State legislators in Boise, Idaho have advanced House Bill 487, An Act Relating to Pesticides and Chemigation, out of the House Agricultural Affairs Committee. If passed, the statutory alterations in this bill would, according to the Idaho Statesman, loosen some rules on aerial application by crop-dusting airplanes, and reduce state agricultural investigators‚Äô ability to regulate the spraying of pesticides. The legislation replaces sections of current rules and deletes language regarding drift, including ‚ÄúChemicals shall not be applied when wind speed favors drift beyond the area intended for treatment or when chemical distribution is adversely affected.‚ÄĚ Such changes will exacerbate the already-significant issue of pesticide drift. In an overview of the pesticide dicamba, Beyond Pesticides recently reported on this legislative development, as well as on a precipitating exposure event in an Idaho hops field. Banning of aerial spraying, as has been attempted by some localities, would go a long way toward eliminating the harms of pesticide drift. The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is the following: As the problem of drift grows and farmers‚Äô crops and people are put at risk, this legislation attempts to define away serious problems and eliminate protections. The Idaho […]

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30
Jan

Croplands’ Toxicity to Pollinators Has Skyrocketed Since the Turn of the Century

(Beyond Pesticides, January 28, 2020) The practice of coating seeds with insecticides, now widely adopted as a result of the agrichemical industry, has created increasingly toxic conditions for pollinators foraging on US cropland, finds a study published in Scientific Reports by Penn State University scientists. The data finds that even as overall volume of insecticide use has decreased, the total ‚Äúbee toxic load‚ÄĚ ‚Äď a term branded by researchers – has increased markedly due in large part to the use of hazardous seed coatings. The switch from one toxic chemical to another is indicative of a chemically-driven agricultural system that, in order to reverse insect, pollinator and bird declines, must undergo rapid changes over the next several decades. Researchers used information from multiple US databases to determine regional patterns in pesticide use and corresponding toxicity loads to pollinators. Thus the term ‚Äúbee toxic load‚ÄĚ was determined by combining the area of land where insecticides were applied with the total toxicity of the particular insecticide used. To compare the impact of changes in the mode of action of the insecticides used, toxicity data was separated between oral and contact toxicity. ¬†¬† Findings indicate that from 1997-2012, contact bee toxic load remained […]

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18
Oct

EPA Directive to End Animal Testing of Pesticides Welcomed and Challenged as Not Addressing Inadequate Reviews of Adverse Effects

(Beyond Pesticides, October 18, 2019)¬†The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a directive in September, under Administrator Andrew Wheeler, that changes its pesticide approval process and aims to reduce (mammalian) animal testing significantly by 2035. The agency also announced awards totaling $4.25 million to four universities for development of alternative methods to evaluate chemicals, including pesticides. The move will likely be seen both as an advancement of animal rights, and as a setback for the kinds of testing that can have important implications for human health. Resolution of this issue could be found in a shift away from chemical agriculture and to organic and regenerative practices, which eschew toxic chemicals and synthetic fertilizers, and obviate need for them. The directive affects not only the agency‚Äôs own research, but also, as the memo says, EPA will ‚Äúcome as close as possible to excluding from its approval process any reliance on mammal studies conducted after January 1, 2035, including those performed by third parties.‚ÄĚ The schools receiving EPA funds to work on alternative testing are Johns Hopkins University, Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt‚Äôs Medical Center, Oregon State University, and the University of California-Riverside. President of the International Science Consortium for People for the […]

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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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29
Jul

EPA’s Office of Inspector General Must Investigate EPA’s Failure to Fully Assess Pesticide Hazards

(Beyond Pesticides, July 29, 2019)¬†A research study, published in March in¬†Scientific Reports, uncovers a pesticide effect on a sugar-metabolizing enzyme common to all cells that has broad health ramifications ignored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) safety testing protocol. This finding raises a¬†larger question regarding the need for EPA to test for the synergistic effects of pesticides, whereby pesticides and chemicals in combination have an even greater effect than they do by themselves. The research, by T. Tristan Brandhorst, PhD, Iain Kean, PhD, and others in the lab of Bruce Klein, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin‚ÄďMadison and UW School ofMedicine and Public Health, specifically sheds light on the mode of action of the fungicide¬†fludioxonil. Fludioxonil, a phenylpyrrole fungicide, was developed to treat seeds during storage, and has come to be used commonly on grains, vegetables, fruits, and ornamental plants during cultivation, and produce after harvest to extend ‚Äúshelf life.‚ÄĚ As reported by the American Association for the Advancement of Science publication,¬†EurekAlert, ‚ÄúThe ability of [the fungicide] fludioxonil to act on a sugar-metabolizing enzyme common to all cells, and to produce the damaging compound methylglyoxal, may mean that the pesticide has more potential to harm non-fungal cells than previously […]

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17
Mar

Take Action: What’s In the Bottle, Bag, or Box Is Not Tested Fully for Adverse Effects

(Beyond Pesticides, March 17, 2019) Forget about single-pesticide issues: this affects every single one of them. EPA is allowing massive data gaps to persist for each and every pesticide product it registers by conducting the bulk of its health and environmental risk assessments using active ingredients alone. With its current practices, EPA is failing its federal mandate to protect public health and the environment and misleading the public about what is ‚Äúsafe.‚ÄĚ Tell your Congressional delegation that EPA must assess the real risks of pesticide use, not rely on false representations of risk based on tests of isolated ingredients. When pesticides are sprayed on our crops, lawns, and roadsides, and enter into our waterways, groundwater and drinking water, we are exposed to whole formulations, whole tank mixtures, and whole pesticide combinations, not just active ingredients (those that the manufacturer claims are the only ingredients that attack the target pest). It is the whole formulation that makes the poison, and that whole formulation must be regulated. Active ingredients are far from the whole story of pesticide poisoning. Despite their name, ‚Äúinert‚ÄĚ ingredients are very often not chemically, biologically, nor toxicologically inert or innocuous. According to a¬†peer-reviewed study, as of 2006, more […]

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11
Feb

Tell Oregon Department of Agriculture to Ban Tree-Killing Herbicide, Aminocyclopyrachlor (ACP) [Perspective]

(Beyond Pesticides, February 11, 2019)¬†Aminocyclopyrachlor (ACP) is a tree-killing pesticide masquerading as a broadleaf herbicide. The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has the opportunity to lead the country in banning this inherently dangerous chemical. According to ODA, nearly 1,500 dead or dying trees have been reported along Oregon‚Äôs iconic Interstate 20, home to old growth ponderosa pines. Many of these 150- to 300-year old trees are now dead from ACP exposure. ODA indicated that ‚Äúbecause [ACP] is a relatively new herbicide it is unknown how many trees stressed from past applications of [ACP] will die in the future.‚ÄĚ Even at tiny levels, ACP run-off and drift kills trees. Tell Oregon‚Äôs Department of Agriculture to lead the country in completely banning its use. In 2014, DuPont chemical company settled a nearly $2 million lawsuit with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after the herbicide (under the brand name Imprelis¬ģ) was found to kill trees at golf courses, homeowners associations, businesses, and private residences. Despite this history, regulators left ACP on the market. Its use was banned on lawns and turfgrass, but allowed for roadside rights-of-way. A couple years ago, Bayer purchased the rights to ACP from DuPont and continues to market […]

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