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Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category


21
Feb

Quebec Tightening Restrictions on Highly Toxic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, February 21, 2018) Officials in Quebec announced this week that the Canadian province will implement new restrictions on the use of five highly toxic pesticides. As part of efforts to fulfill the vision of the Quebec Pesticide Strategy, a progressive, forward-thinking framework for pesticide regulation announced in 2015, atrazine, chlorpyrifos, and the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam will have new limits placed on their use. “Together with the groups involved, we have found a balanced regulatory solution to protect the health of our farmers, aquatic ecosystems and pollinators,” Isabelle Melancon, Quebec’s Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, and the Fight Against Climate Change (Environment Ministry) said in a press release. “We hope to obtain in this way a significant reduction in the use of the most at-risk pesticides in Quebec, in a framework of transparency and integrity.” Quebec’s new rules offer a range of positive developments for human health and wildlife. The changes will require the following: Prior to any application of atrazine, chlorpyrifos, or neonicotinoid class insecticide, farmers will need the approval of a certified agronomist from the Ordre des agronomes du Quebec (OAQ). Agricultural producers will be required to keep a record of all pesticides applied, as […]

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20
Feb

Take Action: Tell Your Governor to Ban Bug Bombs

(Beyond Pesticides, February 20, 2018) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) label restrictions on total release foggers, otherwise known as “bug bombs,” are a public health failure. Bug bombs pose a significant risk of acute illness to individuals even when they attempt to follow new label instructions. Beyond Pesticides has long called for bug bombs to be banned, as there are a myriad of non-toxic alternative strategies to successfully manage household pests. Urge your Governor to ban bug bombs in your state! Bug bombs are small cans primarily comprised of an insecticide, often a synthetic pyrethroid, a synergist such as piperonyl butoxide (PBO), and an aerosol propellant. In addition to the explosion/fire risk if the aerosol product is used in an unattended home near a pilot light or other spark-producing appliance, both synthetic pyrethroids and PBO pose acute and chronic human health risks. PBO is added to pesticide formulations to increase the toxicity of synthetic pyrethroids, and has been linked to childhood cough. Peer-reviewed research associates synthetic pyrethroids with behavioral disorders, ADHD, and delayed cognitive and motor development, and premature puberty in boys. Not only can bug bombs acutely poison, […]

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16
Feb

Saving America’s Pollinators Act To Be Reintroduced in Congress

(Beyond Pesticides, February 16, 2018) U.S. Representatives Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jim McGovern (D-MA) this week announced plans to reintroduce the Saving America’s Pollinators Act, (previously H.R. 3040) which suspends the registration of certain neonicotinoid insecticides until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducts a full scientific review that ensures these chemicals do not harm pollinators. Beyond Pesticides joined Rep. Blumenauer and other experts from environmental, conservation, whistleblower and farmworker health groups on Capitol Hill to urge Congress to take action to protect pollinators in the face of ongoing obstruction by an increasingly industry-influenced EPA. “Pollinators are the backbone of America’s agriculture system. Acting now to protect them and stop their decline is essential to the sustainability of our nation’s food supply,” Rep. McGovern said. “Simply taking the word of the manufacturers that their products are safe is not an option. Consumers need strong oversight. That is why I am proud to join Congressman Blumenauer in demanding the EPA fully investigate the effect that certain harmful pesticides may have on the vitality of our pollinators.” Numerous scientific studies implicate neonicotinoid pesticides as key contributors to the global decline of pollinator populations. EPA’s own scientists have found that neonicotinoids pose far-reaching risks to […]

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14
Feb

‘Bug Bombs’ Still Deadly after EPA Label Changes, says CDC

(Beyond Pesticides, February 14, 2018) Total release foggers, otherwise known as bug bombs, received updated labels from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2011 as part of efforts to reduce accidental poisonings, but a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that EPA restrictions are a public health failure. Bug bombs pose a significant risk of acute illness to individuals even when attempting to follow new label instructions. Beyond Pesticides has long called for bug bombs to be banned, as there are a myriad of non-toxic alternative strategies to successfully manage household pests. CDC’s report, Acute Illnesses and Injuries Related to Total Release Foggers, updates a previous study released in 2008 which found significant safety concerns about bug bombs and ultimately prompted EPA to revise the labels of these products. At the time, CDC found a total of 466 illnesses or injuries associated with the use of total release foggers between 2001-2006. Incidents ranged from failing to leave an area after releasing the bug bomb, reentering the premises too early, use of too many products for the space provided, and even explosions related to the ignition of aerosols released from the product. Bug […]

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12
Feb

Take Action: Tell EPA to Ban Paraquat

(Beyond Pesticides, February 12, 2018)  The most recent findings on the development of Parkinson’s disease after exposure to the highly toxic paraquat add to the well-established body of scientific literature linking the herbicide to Parkinson’s — which should lead to finally eliminating the use of the herbicide in the U.S. The chemical was banned in the European Union in 2007, and many health groups, including Beyond Pesticides and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, are calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop the use of paraquat by denying its upcoming reregistration. In addition to its connection with Parkinson’s disease, paraquat is known to be highly acutely toxic. By generating free radicals, it essentially burns its way through the body, targeting the lungs —causing lung fibrosis— and other organs. Most acutely toxic exposures result in death, sometimes delayed by as much as three weeks. Although paraquat is a restricted use pesticide (RUP), EPA is proposing to eliminate the minimum age for applying RUPs, which would permit teenagers to use it. Tell EPA and Congress to ban paraquat! This link will send the following message to EPA and your Congressional delegation: I urge EPA to join other countries […]

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09
Feb

States Join Monsanto Challenge of California’s Cancer Warning for Glyphosate

(Beyond Pesticides, February 9, 2018) Attorneys General in eleven states join Monsanto and the National Wheat Growers Association last month in challenging California’s listing of glyphosate as a carcinogen under the state’s Proposition 65 law. California added glyphosate to the list of cancer-causing chemicals in July 2017, but has since been attacked by Monsanto and its allies for carrying out state law that requires carcinogens to be labeled and monitored. The plaintiffs, led by the National Association of Wheat Growers, argue that listing glyphosate as a carcinogen under Prop 65 will irreparably harm the agriculture industry, adversely affecting farmers and consumers throughout the U.S. The case, seeking a stay of the listing, was filed in the in Federal Court in the Eastern District of California in November, 2017. Earlier last year, Monsanto lost its case before a state Superior Court in which it sought to stay the Prop 65 listing. Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin have filed an amicus brief in support of the preliminary injunction sought by agriculture groups against California’s Prop 65 regulation. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the California Chamber of Commerce filed their own amicus brief in support of […]

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07
Feb

Western Monarch Butterfly Count Lowest this Decade, Raising Fears of Extinction

(Beyond Pesticides, February 7, 2018) New data from the California monarch butterfly count indicate that the western population of the species is continuing to decline at an alarming rate, with scientists and conservation groups pointing to man-made factors like logging, climate change, and herbicide use on genetically engineered (GE) crop fields as primary drivers. The annual California count of western monarch butterflies stationed volunteers at 262 sites, more than ever before, yet at 200,000 butterflies counted, the numbers nearly matched the lowest level recorded this decade, when only 145,000 butterflies were seen in 2012. The decline of these iconic butterflies demands swift action from lawmakers and regulators to protect their dwindling numbers. Dramatic declines in monarch populations mirror continuing declines in honey bees and other wild pollinator species. Species declines may be even broader than pollinators, affecting all insects in general. Research from Germany recently found that insect abundance declined 75% over the last 30 years, owing the results primarily to agricultural intensification. The western population of monarch butterflies – those found west of the Rocky Mountains – overwinter in coastal California forests. Throughout the warmer months, female butterflies will lay eggs only on milkweed, making these plants critical to […]

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06
Feb

EPA Sued over Policy that Limits Public Interest Group Participation on Fed Advisory Boards

(Beyond Pesticides, February, 6, 2018) Scientists, doctors, and environmental groups are pushing back against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) efforts to purge academic scientists who had previously received EPA grants from sitting on the agency’s advisory committees. Last October, EPA issued a new policy that changes the makeup of its advisory boards by limiting the participation of scientists from academia and nonpartisan nonprofit organizations. Critics say the change attempts to fill these advisory committees with more industry-friendly officials whose belief systems are anti-environmental protection. On January 23, 2018, a group of scientists filed suit against EPA, citing the directive as arbitrary, without any factual or legal grounding and in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires advisory committees to be fairly balanced and protected from inappropriate influence by the appointing authority. In 1978, Congress directed the EPA to establish the Science Advisory Board, which today is a 47-member panel, to provide scientific advice to the Administrator. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced in October that he would exclude anyone from serving on any of the 23 EPA scientific advisory boards if they had received EPA grants to fund any of their research. Administrator Pruitt claims the policy change will prevent conflicts of interest. But, […]

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05
Feb

Take Action: Tell Congress that EPA Must Not Allow Children To Apply Toxic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, February 5, 2018) We are all concerned about the workers who grow and harvest our food. A sustainable food system must protect the land and the people who work the land, including the children and families of farmworkers. In two related actions, EPA is proposing to remove age requirements for application of pesticides. The actions involve changes to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS), which went into effect this January and covers farmworkers hired to apply pesticides, and the Certification of Applicators (CA) rule, which will go into effect May 22 and covers those allowed to apply highly toxic restricted use pesticides (RUPs), the most toxic pesticides. The proposals to remove the age requirements present unacceptable risks to teenagers, who “are still developing in critical physical and emotional areas, with particular regard to their brains and reproductive systems,” according to the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP). Tell your Congressional delegation that EPA must not eliminate the minimum age requirement. Under the Obama administration, EPA added a minimum age requirement of 18 to both rules. A 16-year-old may apply RUPs under the supervision of a certified applicator under the CA rule. Reportedly, the reason for removing the age requirement is […]

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02
Feb

Nitrogen Fertilizer Found To Be a Significant Source of Air Pollution

(Beyond Pesticides, February 2, 2018) California regulators may be drastically underestimating chemical-intensive agriculture’s contribution to nitrogen oxide (NOx) caused air pollution, acid rain, and respiratory illness in the state, according to a new study published in Science Advances by researchers at University of California, Davis. While NOx  pollution is usually associated with energy production and vehicle emissions, fertilizer use on crop fields is contributing to significant air pollution problems. Advocates say that the study is an urgent call for farmers to eliminate dependency on soluble, synthetic, nitrogen-based fertilizers and adopt the use of insoluble soil amendments that support soil biology that provide plants with nutrients. NOx gasses are major sources of pollution in the U.S. and throughout the world, and include the compounds nitrogen oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Chemical-intensive, synthetic nitrogen fertilizers are applied in a form that is readily available to plants, while organic nitrogen fertilizers require the biological life in the soil to break down the fertilizer into a form that plants can use. These nitrogen fertilizers that are not immediately taken up by plants can cause pollution problems. Natural nitrogen in the atmosphere must be transformed to be able to be used by organisms as […]

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01
Feb

Herbicide Paraquat Again Linked to Parkinson’s Symptoms in Brain

(Beyond Pesticides, February 1, 2018) Scientists at the European Institute for the Biology of Aging are finding new information about how Parkinson’s disease manifests itself after exposure to the herbicide paraquat, in hopes of finding ways to prevent the progression of the disease. Despite a well-established body of scientific literature linking the paraquat to Parkinson’s, and a ban on the use of the chemical in the European Union that dates back to 2007, its use is still permitted in the U.S. Many health groups, including Beyond Pesticides and organizations like the Michael J Fox Foundation are calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stop the use of paraquat by denying its upcoming reregistration. Published in the journal Cell Reports, this new research on Parkinson’s investigates the impact of “senescent” cells in the body. Senescent cells are those which, despite being able to divide, stop doing so in response to stress. This is an anti-cancer mechanism, as stress would otherwise cause the cells to multiply unchecked and create malignancies. Researchers suspected that despite the benefit of stopping cancer, senescent cells may be causing other problems in the body. Rather than dying, these cells can cause inflammation in the area around where […]

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29
Jan

Tell Congress: This Is No Way to Balance a Budget; Trump Administration Set to Slash EPA Staff in Half

(Beyond Pesticides, January 29, 2018) Scientists, public health managers, and others charged with protecting the health of the public and the environment at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are being encouraged to exit the agency –as EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt plans to meet his goal of cutting agency staff and programs by 50 percent. Tell your Congressional delegation that EPA’s staff and budget cuts are false economy! Aides to Mr. Pruitt confirmed to the Washington Examiner that by the end of President Trump’s first term, the agency’s staff will be cut by nearly half. Administrator Pruitt told the Washington Examiner he was “proud” of his efforts to dismantle –some say cripple— the very agency he leads. This is false economy. It endangers the American public and its air, land, water, and biodiversity. EPA is responsible for enforcing the Safe Drinking Water Act, with a goal of making the nation’s waters fishable and swimmable. EPA enforces the Clean Air Act, which has cleaned up American cities, reducing illness and property damage from smog. And EPA is responsible for overseeing the clean-up of contaminated sites, thus preventing further pollution and illness. The agency also regulates pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and […]

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26
Jan

Antibacterial Triclosan Accumulates in Toothbrush Bristles

(Beyond Pesticides, January 26, 2018) Triclosan may be on its way out in soaps and disinfectants, but its presence on toothbrushes could stick around for a long time, according to research published in Environmental Science and Technology by a group of scientists from University of Massachusetts, Amherst (UMass Amherst). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of over the counter triclosan-containing soap in 2016, and late last year extended the ban to include health care and hospital settings, but the toxic antibacterial can still be found in toothpaste and other consumer products. Many may have have checked their toothpaste label and switched to a non-triclosan toothpaste after the recent news, but scientists say that exposure to this persistent chemical may continue through toothbrushes, if triclosan toothpaste was previously used. To test triclosan absorption while brushing, researchers purchased 22 different toothbrushes, each with different components, from bristles only, to those with polishing cups, gum protectors, or tongue cleaners. Different toothpastes, including six with and 15 without triclosan, were also used.  A mixture used to imitate saliva was added to toothpaste and put into a vial that was then brushed with different toothbrushes over a 3 month period – the […]

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25
Jan

Arkansas Officially Bans Use of Monsanto’s Dicamba Herbicide Linked to Crop Damage

(Beyond Pesticides, January 25, 2018) Monsanto’s herbicide dicamba, widely used on genetically engineered crops, will be prohibited from use in agriculture from April 16 to October 31, 2018 in Arkansas, following a vote this week by the state’s Legislative Council. Action by lawmakers was the last step needed to make the ban official after the Arkansas State Plant Board (ASPB) voted last year to continue a temporary ban on the drift and damage-prone herbicide into 2018. The ban is a win for farmers and health advocates who have suffered from drift, health effects, and crop damage as a result of widespread dicamba use, as over 29,000 people, including many Beyond Pesticides supporters, voiced their support for ASPB’s proposal when it was announced in October. Prior to the vote by the Arkansas Legislative Council lawmakers had delayed a vote on the ban, sending the proposal back to ASPB for review and potential revision. Under state law, the Legislative Council, which acts as a decision making body when the state legislature is not in session, must either approve or disapprove of regulations promulgated by ASPB; lawmakers cannot amend ASPB’s rules. Despite concerns from lawmakers friendly to the chemical industry, ASPB refused to […]

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22
Jan

Take Action: Tell EPA to Ban Three Pesticides that Threaten Endangered Species

(Beyond Pesticides, January 22, 2018) The organophosphate pesticides chlorpyrifos, malathion, and diazinon are likely to jeopardize the continued existence of endangered species and adversely modify their critical habitats, according to the newly released report from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). By law, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must not allow their use. Tell EPA to ban chlorpyrifos, malathion, and diazinon unless it can restrict uses to protect endangered species. Under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), any agency action requires a finding that the action “is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of habitat.” The December 31, 2017 Biological Opinion from NMFS followed an ecological assessment that relied upon multiple lines of evidence to determine effects on species and their designated habitats. These impacts include: • “the direct and indirect toxicity of each chemical to aquatic taxa groups (e.g., fish, mammals, invertebrates); • specific chemical characteristics of each pesticide (e.g., degradation rates, bioaccumulation rates, sorption affinities, etc.); • expected environmental concentrations calculated for generic aquatic habitats • authorized pesticide product labels; • maps showing the spatial overlap of listed species’ habitats with […]

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18
Jan

Neonicotinoids Found in UK Honey Despite Partial Ban

(Beyond Pesticides, January 18, 2018) Research published in early January 2018 has shown that — despite a partial ban on neonicotinoid insecticides instituted in 2014 — 25% of British honey is still contaminated with residue of these “potent, bee-killing” pesticides. The partial ban, which extended to flowering crops, such as oilseed rape (from which canola oil is made), was instituted by the European Union (EU) in response to evidence of serious threats to bee populations. Samples for this study came from beekeepers and were each from a single location. After the partial ban went into effect, scientists had seen some reduction in the contamination rate of neonicotinoids in honey, from greater than 50% prior to the ban. This study demonstrates that these powerful pesticides nevertheless remain common in agricultural areas, posing serious threats to bees (and other pollinators). This discovery is likely to accelerate pressure on the EU to ban all outdoor use of neonicotinoids, with a vote coming perhaps as soon as in the next few months. “While the frequency of neonicotinoid contaminated samples fell once the EU ban was in place, our data suggest that these pesticides remain prevalent in the farming environment,” said Ben Woodcock, of the UK’s […]

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16
Jan

Take Action: Tell EPA that Neonics Pose Unacceptable Ecological Threats!

(Beyond Pesticides, January 16, 2018) In spite of findings that neonicotinoid (neonic) insecticides pose both acute and chronic risks to pollinators, aquatic life, and birds, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking comment that could support their continued use. Comments are due by February 20, 2018.  Tell EPA that neonics pose unacceptable risks to pollinators, aquatic life, and birds! And, ask your Congressional delegation push EPA to do the right thing. Last month, EPA released preliminary ecological (non-pollinator) assessments for the neonicotinoids clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinotefuran, and the terrestrial ecological assessment for imidacloprid, finding that these pesticides pose both acute and chronic risks to aquatic life and birds. Treated seeds are identified as posing the highest dietary risks to birds, confirming previous research that neonics are highly hazardous not only to bees, but also, to birds, aquatic life, and other non-target organisms. However, EPA’s assessments also cover spray treatments. EPA opened the public comment period for these assessments on December 15, 2017. Along with outlining the risks identified in the assessments, the agency is especially requesting feedback on the benefits of continued use of the neonics on cotton and citrus crops, identified in last year’s pollinator assessments as posing risks to honey bees. […]

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12
Jan

Honey Bees Attracted to Glyphosate and a Common Fungicide

(Beyond Pesticides, January 12, 2018) Honey bees display a concerning attraction to the herbicide glyphosate and the fungicide chlorothalonil at certain concentrations, new research from scientists at the University of Illinois (UIL) reveals. Results are reminiscent of a 2015 study published in the journal Nature, which found that honey bees display a preference for foods treated with neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides implicated in global pollinator declines. Since the crisis became public knowledge in 2006, managed honey bees have experienced unsustainable levels of colony loss, and one in four species of native bees in North America and Hawaii are at risk of extinction. This new research adds to growing concerns that, while neonicotinoids continue to play a primary role in the pollinator crisis, their elimination would still leave a myriad of other toxic chemical threats to the recovery of these critical species, upon which so much of our food supply relies. UIL scientists investigated honey bees’ preference for a range of pesticides as well as a number of naturally occurring chemicals that honey bees would likely encounter in the field. In the experiment, pollinators were put in a large enclosure and allowed to fly to different feeders stocked with either […]

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11
Jan

Court Rejects California’s Blanket Approval for Pesticide Applications

(Beyond Pesticides, January 11, 2018) A California court has halted a state program allowing pesticide spraying at schools, organic farms, and backyards across California because of inadequate public disclosure of the chemicals’ adverse effects. The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) statewide “pest management” program required no site-specific analysis of risks before the application of 79 pesticides, including some known to cause cancer and birth defects and to be highly toxic to bees, butterflies, fish and birds. Relating to the broad application of pesticide use allowances under the state’s required Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR), issues of concern in the case included: i) a failure to conduct site-specific environmental impact asssessment, while allowing the “substantially similar” uses without environmental review; (ii) broad application of a PEIR to subsequent activities without a Notice of Determination ; (iii) includes an inadequate project description; (iv) a failure to adequately describe the baseline environmental conditions; (v) a failure to adequately analyze the Project’s environmental impacts (including biological, water, human health, and farming impacts); (vi) a failure to adequately analyze cumulative impacts; (vii) legally inadequate mitigation measures; (vii) a failure to consider a reasonable range of alternatives; and (viii) a failure comply with public agency consultation […]

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10
Jan

Carlsbad, California Adopts Ordinance Prioritizing an Organic and “Least-Toxic” Approach

(Beyond Pesticides, January 10, 2018) At the end of 2017, the City of Carlsbad, CA voted unanimously to adopt a policy prioritizing the use of organic and defined “least-toxic” pesticides to manage pest problems on city-owned and controlled property and public rights-of-way. Buoyed by a strong and growing coalition of  Non Toxic advocates fighting for a healthier environment for their children, pets, and wildlife, Carlsbad is the newest in a string of southern California communities that are implementing safer pest control practices. In recognition of the significant progress and activity in southern California communities, Beyond Pesticides’ 36th National Pesticide Forum, Organic Neighborhoods: For healthy children, families, and ecology, will take place in Irvine, CA from April 13-14, 2018 (stay tuned to Beyond Pesticides’ website for additional updates!). Carlsbad’s new policy is, in fact, an update of an Integrated Pest Management plan the City last reviewed in 2003. While its previous policy only addressed City parks, the new plan will include all City maintained or operated land and facilities. The policy also takes a much tougher approach against toxic pesticides, prioritizing the use of organic products first and foremost when pest problems arise. Importantly, the policy also places pesticides last on the list […]

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09
Jan

Take Action: Fight back for organic integrity and animal welfare!

(Beyond Pesticides, January 9, 2018) Comments are needed by January 17 on plans announced by the Trump Administration to scuttle the final rule on organic animal welfare (the Organic Livestock Poultry Practices rule, or OLPP) that was adopted as a final rule a year ago. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue has repeatedly delayed implementation of the final rule on animal welfare in organic production. The effective date of the final rule published on January 19, 2017, delayed on February 9, 2017, and again on May 10, 2017, is now delayed until May 14, 2018. By setting minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements and defining “outdoors,” the rule would make it more difficult for factory egg and poultry farms to be certified organic. Although many wished it to be stronger, the rule received widespread support. More than 40,000 agriculture groups, farmers, and others urged USDA to finalize the standard; only 28 commenters opposed it. The Organic Trade Association sued USDA in September for failing to finalize the standard. Now, USDA proposes to withdraw the rule altogether. Tell USDA to implement the Organic Livestock Poultry Practices rule now!  Then give your message to your U.S. Senators and Representative. The OLPP […]

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08
Jan

Protections from Agricultural Pesticide Drift over Schools Take Effect in California

(Beyond Pesticides, January 8, 2018)  With a long-documented history of children’s exposure to pesticides that drift from agricultural fields to school yards, California’s new regulations establishing no-spray buffers took effort January 1, as labor and public health groups acknowledged the progress and inadequacy of the measure. The new rule, DPR 16-004 Pesticide Use Near Schoolsites, adopted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), prohibits many pesticide applications within a quarter mile of public K-12 schools and licensed child day-care facilities during school hours, Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. This includes all applications by aircraft, sprinklers, air-blast sprayers, and all fumigant applications. In addition, most dust and powder pesticide applications, such as sulfur, will also be prohibited during this time. The new rule was announced in November, 2017. Advocates say the new rules fail to address persistent low-level exposures associated with the use of the pesticides near schools, which are in agricultural areas that are disproportionately Latino and from farmworker families. There is continuing concern about children’s exposure to hazardous pesticides because children use school grounds after school hours and on weekends and residues from drift may remain on school grounds. Many pesticides used are persistent and systemic, lingering […]

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05
Jan

Portland, ME Becomes an Organic City, Banning Toxic Pesticides on Public and Private Property

(Beyond Pesticides, January 5, 2018) After 11:00 pm on January 3, the City Council of Portland, ME voted unanimously (9-0) to restrict the use of toxic pesticides on all lawns and landscapes within the City, both public and private. Passage of the new pesticide ordinance, one of the strongest in the country, represents the culmination of nearly two and a half years of intense debate and discussion between residents, advocates, opponents, and City of Portland officials. Local and national health and environmental groups are praising the City for its diligence in addressing the issue, and its ultimate decision to restrict hazardous pesticide use in the face of insufficient protections from federal and state regulators. Read Beyond Pesticides’ and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s (MOFGA) op-ed in the Portland Press Herald. Outside of Maine, the City of Portland now joins neighboring South Portland and other jurisdictions in the state of Maryland (the City of Takoma Park and Montgomery County ), which have taken similar action. Twenty-eight jurisdictions throughout Maine have restricted pesticides in various ways, including on public property, but the comprehensive Portland-style ordinance stops virtually all hazardous pesticide use in the community, on private and public property. In support […]

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