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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'California' Category


05
Jun

Cross-Sectional Study Finds Connection Between Pesticide Exposure and Alzheimer’s Disease

(Beyond Pesticides, June 5, 2024) Individuals living near chemical-intensive agricultural environments have heightened risk of Alzheimer‚Äôs disease relative to the general population, according to a study published earlier this year in Psychiatry Research. This finding builds on existing peer-reviewed studies that document the relationship between chronic pesticide exposure and elevated risk of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer‚Äôs disease, as well as Parkinson‚Äôs disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Huntington‚Äôs disease. In light of the mountains of scientific evidence, advocates continue to demand for a wholesale transformation of agricultural and land management systems to one based in organic principles in alignment with the U.S. National Organic Program. Study Analysis This study was published online on May 1, 2024 with the full entry to be published in July 2024. The researchers are physicians, health professionals, and professors at the University of Almeria in southern Spain, specifically working in the Health Research Center and the Department of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Medicine. There is also a researcher, Cristofer Ruiz-Gonz√°lez, who works at the Torrec√°rdenas University Hospital also located in Almeria, Spain. Researchers gathered case information from over 40,000 patients between 2000 and 2021 living in demarcated health care districts with high and low levels of […]

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28
May

To Make Regenerative Meaningful, It Must Require Organic Certification as a Starting Point, according to Advocates

(Beyond Pesticides, May 28, 2024)¬†Public comments are due May 29, 2024.¬†With 40 percent of all vegetables grown in the U.S. coming from the state of California, the current state level process to define ‚Äúregenerative agriculture‚ÄĚ could have major impact on land management practices that address the current climate, biodiversity, and health crises. That is, according to advocates, if the process, directed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) departs from a history of poorly defined and unenforceable terms like Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Sustainable Agriculture. Virtually all consumers of food have a stake in the outcome of the definition of ‚Äúregenerative,‚ÄĚ so the current public comment period, which closes tomorrow, May 29, 2024, can help influence the outcome. As Beyond Pesticides has reported previously, the term ‚Äúregenerative‚ÄĚ is now increasingly being advanced as a loosely defined alternative to the organic standard and label, which is transparent, defined, certified, enforced, and subject to public input. The ¬†publication¬†AgFunderNews¬†(AFN) in February¬†published¬†its updated ‚Äú2024 list of agrifood corporates making regenerative agriculture commitments,‚ÄĚ a who‚Äôs who of the largest food and agribusiness corporations worldwide. The list includes companies such as ADM, Cargill, Danone, General Mills, Tyson, Unilever, Walmart, and more with commitments […]

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22
May

DDT Persistent in Environment 50+ Years After Ban, Found in Deep Ocean Sediment and Biota

(Beyond Pesticides, May 22, 2024) A study in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology Letters, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is the first to find halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) in deep ocean sediment and biota off the coast of California. The test area, known as the Southern California Bight (SCB), is home to historic offshore DDT waste dumping, with part of the SCB designated as a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund site. 49 HOCs were detected in the sediment and biota, many of which are DDT-related and not previously screened for. The presence of these ‚Äúunmonitored compounds can significantly contribute to the contaminant body burden across a range of marine taxa,‚ÄĚ the study states, which leads to impacts on critical food webs and biodiversity. While this study is the first to specifically analyze previously overlooked DDT+ compounds, the results are nothing new. There is a body of science around the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of harmful pollutants that continue to lead to a decline in biodiversity, negative impacts on water and soil, and detrimental human health effects. ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† To assess the bioavailability of DDT+ and HOCs in the deep ocean food web, this study focused on […]

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03
May

Parkinson’s Disease Explodes as Researchers Find Connection to Pesticide Exposure and Genes

(Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2024)¬†Parkinson‚Äôs disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the world after Alzheimer‚Äôs. Genetic factors account for only a fraction of PD cases, and for decades scientists have been aware of associations between pesticide exposures and PD. Yet, not everyone exposed to pesticides gets PD. Consequently, neither the genetic nor the environmental hypothesis is fully satisfactory; both may be involved. Thus, there has been great interest in identifying gene variants that affect the risks of PD associated with pesticide exposure. Now a team of University of California at Los Angeles researchers led by neurologist Brent Fogel, MD, PhD has traced a connection between certain gene variants and the occurrence and severity of PD in a cohort of central California PD patients who have had long-term exposure to pesticides. The genes are related to autophagy, the process by which cells organize, degrade, recycle or eject molecules to maintain healthy chemical balance. Autophagy is an essential process throughout the body, including regulation of mitochondria, which are also vital for healthy cellular function. The study supports other research suggesting that autophagy is disturbed in neurodegenerative diseases. As Beyond Pesticides discussed in its April 19 Daily News, PD […]

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02
May

Unregulated Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Potent Pesticide Impact Climate Crisis and Public Health

(Beyond Pesticides, May 2, 2024) In the midst of a climate crisis and a lack of government recording of atmospheric measurements of sulfuryl fluoride (SO2F2), a study of the estimated emissions of sulfuryl fluoride¬†throughout the U.S. shows elevated levels being released in California. The study, performed by researchers from Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, University of California‚Äôs Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‚Äôs (NOAA) Global Monitoring Laboratory, uses measurements from the NOAA Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network and a geostatistical inverse model. Sulfuryl fluoride¬†is a fluoride compound and pesticide used primarily for the extermination of drywood termites and beetles‚ÄĒlinked to increased greenhouse gas emissions and having acute exposure consequences‚ÄĒwith little data collected or reported on the amount of sulfuryl fluoride¬†being used and released into the atmosphere. There is a long history of limited protections for the public centered around sulfuryl fluoride, with regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not addressing both dietary and nondietary exposure to fluoride compounds and the body burden this creates. With the dismissal of aggregate risk exposure, public health and safety and environmental sustainability are not prioritized. Organic alternatives have been left out of the conversation, […]

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17
Apr

‚ÄúForever Chemical‚ÄĚ PFAS Drinking Water Rules Issued, Urgency to Shift from Petrochemicals Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, April 17, 2024) With headlines drawing public attention to the contamination of drinking water after years of federal government neglect, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on April 10 new standards to reduce public exposure to PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly referred to as ‚Äúforever chemicals‚ÄĚ because of their persistence. EPA has finalized a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six PFAS, including PFOA and PFOS, which EPA has recognized have no safe level of exposure, regulating new chemicals for the first time since the 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). PFAS persistence and bioaccumulation in humans, wildlife, and the environment is due to the strength of a resulting fluorine‚Äďcarbon atom bond. PFAS contamination of drinking water, surface and groundwater, waterways, soils, and the food supply‚ÄĒamong other resources‚ÄĒis ubiquitous worldwide. PFAS is used in everyday products, including cookware, clothes, carpets, as an anti-sticking and anti-stain agent, in plastics, machinery, and as a pesticide. The action was welcomed by environmentalists and public health advocates as an important step but left many concerned that any level of exposure to these chemicals is unacceptable and critical of EPA‚Äôs ongoing failure to act despite years […]

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16
Apr

California Bill Would Ban Deadly Weedkiller, Paraquat, Linked to Parkinson’s Disease in Face of EPA Inaction

(Beyond Pesticides, April 16, 2024) Citing serious health issues associated with its use, including Parkinson‚Äôs disease, and inaction by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the weed killer paraquat would be banned through legislation introduced in the California Assembly (AB 1963). Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Burbank), in the Assembly‚Äôs leadership, chair of the bicameral Environmental Caucus, and a self-described ‚Äústeadfast advocate for the environment [and] sustainable communities,‚ÄĚ introduced the legislation to phase out and ban the use of paraquat across all uses, including agriculture, by the end of 2025. The introduction of this bill follows a long history of scientific documentation of the pesticide‚Äôs hazards, fits and starts in the regulatory process, and previous efforts to ban the herbicide through legislative action. In 2018, U.S. Representative Nydia Velasquez (D-NY) introduced legislation (Protect Against Paraquat Act) to ban paraquat. In a 1986 factsheet, Beyond Pesticides wrote, “In mammals, paraquat attacks the epithelial tissues (the skin, nails, the cornea of the eye, and the linings of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract). There have also been reports of damage to the heart muscle and to nerves. It is easily absorbed through the skin as well as orally [and through inhalation]. Paraquat causes specific damage […]

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11
Apr

Chemical-Intensive Practices in Florida Citrus Lead to Harm and Collapse, as Organic Methods Offer Path Forward

(Beyond Pesticides, April 11, 2024) Scientists are moving forward in testing an agroecological method of ‚Äúpush-pull‚ÄĚ pest management (reducing the attractiveness of the target organism and luring pest insects towards a trap) to fight the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) in Florida orange groves, as it spreads a plant disease known as the pathogenic bacteria huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening, which is deadly to citrus trees. The disease is spread by the pathogenic bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). ¬†The chemical-intensive, or conventional, citrus industry is under intense pressure to find alternatives, as synthetic antibiotic use for this purpose has been successfully challenged in court. ACP is the carrier, or vector, for HLB, spreading it through the citrus groves and killing the trees. The chemical-intensive industry has focused on using antibiotics, which the environmental and public health community has rejected because of serious medical concerns associated with life-threatening bacterial resistance to antibiotics used to protect humans. A federal district court decision in December 2023 found illegal the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‚Äôs (EPA) decision to register the antibiotic streptomycin in Florida citrus without adequate review of its impact on endangered species. The streptomycin lawsuit, filed in 2021 by a coalition of […]

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27
Mar

Synthetic Turf Fields, Forever Chemicals and the Safer Alternative: Organic Grass

(Beyond Pesticides, March 27, 2024) A preliminary experiment conducted by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) reveals concerning levels of toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on the skin of soccer players and coaches after playing on artificial turf fields. The Washington Post reported on March 12 on the PEER test results, which found PFAS levels increased on the skin in three out of four participants following soccer matches on artificial turf. In contrast, no similar increase was observed after games on natural grass fields. The presence of PFAS is alarming due to their association with several serious health issues, including cancer, birth defects, and developmental and immune deficiencies, among others. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) writes that PFAS exposure risks are particularly concerning for young children, who are more susceptible due to their developing bodies and at risk for higher levels of exposure than adults. Known as “forever chemicals” for their persistence in the environment, PFAS continue to accumulate in the human body, posing long-term health risks. Kyla Bennett, PhD, science policy director at PEER and a former scientist and lawyer with EPA, emphasized the need for further research. “Although this study is preliminary, it highlights the potential […]

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07
Mar

‚ÄúRegenerative‚ÄĚ Agriculture Still Misses the Mark in Defining a Path to a Livable Future

(Beyond Pesticides, March 7, 2024) As the threats to health, biodiversity, and climate converge in agricultural policy and practices, the question of defining the fundamental changes necessary to reverse these existential crises takes on life-sustaining importance. Despite the existence of an organic community with governing stakeholders (farmers, consumers, conservationists, retailers, processors, inspectors, and scientists) that has evolved over at least seven decades and is codified in the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990, the term ‚Äúregenerative‚ÄĚ is now increasingly being advanced as a loosely defined alternative to the organic standard and label, which is transparent, defined, certified, enforced, and subject to public input. The publication AgFunderNews (AFN) last month published its updated ‚Äú2024 list of agrifood corporates making regenerative agriculture commitments,‚ÄĚ a who‚Äôs who of the largest food and agribusiness corporations worldwide. The list includes companies such as ADM, Cargill, Danone, General Mills, Tyson, Unilever, Walmart, and more with commitments to millions of acres in their supply chain practicing ‚Äúregenerative‚ÄĚ agriculture with target dates ranging from 2024 to 2050. The AFN author reporting on the ‚Äúregenerative‚ÄĚ trend states, ‚Äú[O]ne big challenge is that ‚Äėregenerative agriculture‚Äô still has no set definition. While that still holds true, the bigger observation in […]

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14
Feb

EPA’s Worker Protection Standard Fails to Protect Farmworkers’ Health, Report Finds

(Beyond Pesticides, February 14, 2024) The latest in a series of reports on the state of farmworker protection, released last December, highlights the long history of health threats, regulatory failures, and structural racism that is imbued in the chemical-intensive agricultural system that feeds the nation and world. The authors conclude that farmworkers ‚Äúface a level of occupational risk unrivaled by most workers.‚ÄĚ They continue: ‚ÄúFrom repeated exposure to pesticides and extreme heat, to injuries from machinery and repetitive motion, conditions on American farms involve myriad hazards. Meanwhile, a lack of access to healthcare and legal services, low wages, marginalization, language barriers, racism, and the threat of deportation among these largely immigrant communities compound their many challenges.‚ÄĚ Describing the U.S. food system and the workers who serve as its foundation, Precarious Protection: Analyzing Compliance with Pesticide Regulations for Farmworker Safety is the third publication in a series of reports on farmworker health and safety, led by the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) at Vermont Law and Graduate School and written with the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic and the nonprofit group Farmworker Justice. Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and Farmworker Justice partnered on the […]

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07
Feb

Consumers Left High and Dry: Public Health Issues Persist with Cannabis Products and Production Practices

(Beyond Pesticides, February 7, 2024) Sun + Earth Certified (SEC), a West Coast third-party regenerative organic certifier of cannabis products, approved the first certification for an East Coast farm in Brattleboro, Vermont ‚Äď Rebel Grown. The expansion of independent certifications amidst the ongoing legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana usage raises questions on the regulation of toxic petrochemical pesticides found in a range of cannabis products. SEC does establish, in its standards, the use of ‚Äúbiopesticides…[o]nly if the product brand name is approved for use in certified organic farming.‚ÄĚ Additionally, the label goes beyond the stringency of the National Organic Program in its policy on potassium bicarbonate as an approved input. For example, SEC standards dictate that this input should be, ‚Äú[f]or pest control as a last resort only… [and] only if the product brand name is approved for use in certified organic farming.‚ÄĚ Rebel Grown‚Äď the new farm that acquired the SEC label ‚Äď owner reported to Brattleboro Reformer, “Cannabis grown regeneratively, under the sun and in the soil, without toxic chemicals, is not only high quality but also the best for the earth.‚ÄĚ Before delving into the weeds, there is important legal context on current regulations regarding marijuana […]

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18
Dec

Take Action: Tell California You Care about Transparency in How Your Food Is Grown

(Beyond Pesticides, December 18, 2023) Since nearly three-quarters of the country‚Äôs fruits and nuts are grown in California, new regulations being proposed by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), governing public disclosure of pesticide use, concern all food eaters. Food consumers are increasingly concerned about not only the residues of pesticides and other toxic materials in their food, but the impact of the production practices to the workers, the communities, and the environment where their food is grown. While the precedent-setting DPR proposal is an important step in providing the public with information on the chemicals used in California food production, advocates are asking that the regulations include information on the exact location of planned pesticide applications so that people in the toxic chemical application area can take protective action. Tell DPR to require exact field locations for dangerous pesticide applications and commit to improvements based on community input. The DPR proposal, while precedent-setting in providing Californians with the basic right-to-know about planned use of toxic chemicals in their neighborhoods, will not provide the exact location of planned pesticide applications. Under the DPR proposal, the public would be provided with an application location of one square mile‚ÄĒeven though the […]

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05
Dec

Upcoming EPA Review of Nitrates in Waterways Raises Health and Environmental Questions About Synthetic Nitrogen Fertilizer Use

Upcoming EPA Review of Nitrates in Waterways Raises Health and Environmental Questions About Synthetic Nitrogen Fertilizer Use. In  a quiet reversal of a 2018 Trump administration decision, EPA is resuming an evaluation of the health impacts of nitrate in water, reflecting the long-standing and mounting evidence of synthetic nitrogen’s adverse effects on human health and the environment, particularly in vulnerable communities.

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28
Nov

New Federal Law Seeks to Protect Pregnant Workers, Farmworkers at Elevated Risk

With the elevated adverse impacts associated with pesticides and reproductive health, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) law may be used to improve protections for farmworkers and other high-risk employees.

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03
Nov

States Step In to Restrict Bee-Toxic Pesticides, California the Latest in Absence of EPA Action

(Beyond Pesticides, November 3, 2023) California joined 10 other states that have laws partially restricting use of bee-toxic neonicotinoid (neonic) insecticides with the enactment of CA AB 363 into law in October, 2023.¬† California‚Äôs new law will ban over-the-counter sales of lawn and garden neonics by 2025, limiting their use to licensed pesticide applicators. The legislation gives the state‚Äôs Department of Pesticide Regulation (CA EPA) until June 30, 2029 to take broader action on neonics, if it determines restrictions are necessary. CA 363 will take neonics out of the hands of homeowners, while allowing lawn care companies to continue use. The California law falls short of the strongest state laws in Nevada, New Jersey, and Maine that eliminate all outdoor (nonagricultural) uses of these chemicals, even by lawn care companies. In June, 2023 Nevada became the third state to ban lawn and garden uses of neonics, while Colorado prohibited homeowner use of land and garden neonic products, similar to laws in Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont.¬† Minnesota recently banned neonic use on state lands and granted its home-rule subdivisions the authority to ban ‚Äúpollinator-lethal pesticides‚ÄĚ (those with bee warning labels) under its state law preempting local authority […]

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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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10
Jul

Take Action: Pro-Pesticide Lobby Attacks Local Democratic Process to Protect Health and Environment

(Beyond Pesticides, July 10, 2023) [Editor’s note to readers: The local, democratic decision-making process to adopt restrictions on pesticide use, now under attack in Congress, has historically been critical to the protection of health and the environment when federal and state governments have failed in their responsibility. This local democratic right has not only protected communities where action is taken, but it has driven state and federal policy to do better‚ÄĒto do what is required in a society that cares about a sustainable future. While federal and state pesticide policy sets a floor on minimum protections and rights, there is nothing more important than nurturing the local democratic process to increase and strengthen protections that elude government agencies that are unduly influenced by the powerful chemical industry. As we face existential crises of health threats, biodiversity collapse, and the climate emergency resulting from gridlock in legislative bodies that ignore the scientific facts documenting harm and solutions that are within our grasp, there is nothing more important than empowering local communities to embrace meaningful changes that eliminate pesticides and adopt organic land management practices. These changes embrace nature and ecosystem services. While the federal regulatory process is skewed toward assumptions of […]

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22
May

Take Action: Air Contamination from Agricultural Fumigants Threatens Farmworkers and Their Communities

(Beyond Pesticides, May 22, 2023) Since most of the domestically produced fresh produce we eat comes from California, what happens in the state is of concern to most consumers. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has made minor adjustments to its proposal to remove existing limits on the use of 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D or Telone), allowing Californians to breathe much more 1,3-D than state toxicologists at the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment‚ÄĒcharged with establishing safe limits of exposure and enforcing Prop 65‚ÄĒsay is safe, highlights the dangers to which farmworkers are routinely exposed. It is outrageous that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would allow farmworkers‚ÄĒwhose labor was judged ‚Äúessential‚ÄĚ during the pandemic‚ÄĒto be routinely exposed to highly toxic pesticides, which could be replaced by organic practices. You may have¬†commented¬†on this early in the year, and now we need to follow up with a strong message to protect those who harvest the nation’s food.¬† Tell EPA, Congress, and CDPR to cancel the registration of all toxic soil fumigants and encourage organic alternatives. 1,3-D¬†is a pre-plant soil fumigant registered for use on soils to control nematodes. It is allowed on all crops and is often¬†used with¬†chloropicrin, another highly toxic […]

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10
Feb

Four Pesticides Restricted to Protect Salmon, Thousands of Other Endangered Species Imperiled

(Beyond Pesticides, February 10, 2023) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced, on February 1, new measures to protect 28 endangered salmon species (including steelhead trout) from the use of four pesticides that threaten them and their critical habitats. Those compounds comprise three herbicides ‚ÄĒ metolachlor, bromoxynil, and prometryn, and one soil fumigant, 1,3-Dichloropropene. The protections, aimed at salmon populations in Washington, Oregon, and California, are meant to reduce impacts from pesticide runoff and spray drift, and to minimize potential ‚Äútake.‚ÄĚ (Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), ‚Äútake‚ÄĚ means, essentially, the unintentional harming or killing of an individual of a protected species ‚ÄĒ in this case, harm or death from exposures to these toxic pesticide compounds.) Beyond Pesticides and other advocates have for years warned that multiple pesticides are threats to Northwest salmon and other species at risk. This EPA announcement is the second of two, recently, that offer slight redress to the agency‚Äôs historical failures to act (see more below). Indeed, advocates have engaged in multiple litigation efforts over the years to try to force EPA to take action; EarthJustice in 2001 noted some early instances. As Chemical and Engineering News says pointedly, ‚ÄúEnvironmental groups, which have been suing […]

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03
Feb

With Environmental Collapse on the Horizon, California’s Sustainable Pest Management “Roadmap” Misses Mark

(Beyond Pesticides, February 3, 2023) On January 26, California‚Äôs Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR), and Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced a new ‚Äúroadmap‚ÄĚ for sustainable pest management (SPM). The plan is promoted by the agencies as an accelerator of the state‚Äôs commitment to transitioning away from ‚Äúhigh-risk pesticides‚ÄĚ and toward ‚Äúadoption of safer, sustainable pest control practices,‚ÄĚ and to eliminating ‚Äúpriority [high-risk] pesticides‚ÄĚ by 2050. Although Sustainable Pest Management: A Roadmap for California obviously recognizes the state (and federal) failure of current pesticide policies and land management practices to restrict pesticides sufficiently, advocates say that even this plan does not ‚Äúmeet the moment.‚ÄĚ Its relative ambition (compared to what most states are doing), still does not, according to those advancing transformative change, adequately address the current existential health, biodiversity, and climate crises. ¬†With these crises being especially urgent, advocates identify meaningful change as the adoption of approaches predicated on ensuring healthy soil biology. This calls for the deployment of a plan for the wholesale transition to organic systems that eliminate all materials/inputs that are harmful to soil health, ecosystems, natural resources, and the health of humans and all living organisms. The California roadmap was […]

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03
Jan

Hazardous Fumigant in Food Production Harmful to Farmworkers, Groups Call for Ban

(Beyond Pesticides, January 3, 2023) The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced new rules that remove existing limits on the use of 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D or Telone), allowing Californians to breathe much more 1,3-D than state toxicologists in the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) say is safe and highlighting the dangers to which farmworkers are routinely exposed. It is outrageous that the state of California and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would allow farmworkers‚ÄĒwhose labor was judged ‚Äúessential‚ÄĚ during the pandemic‚ÄĒto be routinely exposed to highly toxic pesticides, which could be replaced by organic practices. While the state of California describes its action as increasing protection, advocates point to continued use, unacceptable harm, and the availability of alternative organic agricultural production methods that eliminate the use of 1,3-D. Since over a third of the country‚Äôs vegetables and three-quarters of the country‚Äôs fruits and nuts are grown in California, most people who buy their food in a grocery store have a stake in how food is grown in the state and the impact that it has on those who live and work there. Tell the state of California, U.S. EPA, an the U.S. Congress to cancel the registration […]

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26
Aug

As Thyroid Cancer Cases Rise, Study Finds Pesticides Link

(Beyond Pesticides, August 26, 2022) New research from a team in California finds one-third of pesticides it reviewed ‚ÄĒ including glyphosate, paraquat dichloride, and oxyfluorfen ‚ÄĒ to be associated with the development of thyroid cancer. Researchers investigated the links between exposure to pesticides ‚ÄĒ including 29 that cause DNA cell damage ‚ÄĒ and the risk of this cancer. The researchers also find that in all the single-pollutant models they employed, paraquat dichloride ‚ÄĒ a widely used herbicide ‚ÄĒ was linked to this cancer. In 2021, Beyond Pesticides covered research by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) that demonstrated that exposures to lindane and metalaxyl also cause heightened risk of thyroid cancer. These study findings add to the already considerable concern about pervasive pesticide exposure ‚ÄĒ not only among farmers and applicators, but also in the general population. It is worth noting that, in addition to elevated thyroid cancer risks, multiple pesticides can cause other health damage. Paraquat is also acutely toxic, and can cause longer-term reproductive, renal, and hepatic damage to humans; it is toxic to birds, fish, and other aquatic organisms, and slightly so to honeybees. Glyphosate, as Beyond Pesticides has written frequently, is carcinogenic, and is associated […]

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