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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category


02
Dec

Climate-Friendly Organic Systems Are More Profitable for Farmers than Chemical-Intensive Agriculture

(Beyond Pesticides, December 2, 2022) The longest-running — four-decade — investigation comparing organic and conventional grain-cropping approaches in North America is reporting impressive results for organic. Recently announced in the Rodale Institute’s Farming Systems Trial — 40-Year Report are these outcomes: (1) organic systems achieve 3–6 times the profit of conventional production; (2) yields for the organic approach are competitive with those of conventional systems (after a five-year transition period); (3) organic yields during stressful drought periods are 40% higher than conventional yields; (4, 5, and 6) organic systems leach no toxic compounds into nearby waterways (unlike pesticide-intensive conventional farming), use 45% less energy than conventional, and emit 40% less carbon into the atmosphere. Beyond Pesticides reported in 2019 on similar results, from the institute’s 30-year project mark, which have been borne out by another three years of the trials. The current report builds on results from the FST that were shared in the RI’s 2020 white paper, Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change: A Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming,” which integrated the newest research data and offered action steps for consumers, policymakers, farmers, and others. That report asserted that a global switch to a regenerative food system could not […]

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01
Dec

Federal Court Sets Deadline for EPA to Implement Endangered Species Protections from Toxic Insecticide

(Beyond Pesticides, December 1, 2022) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must put measures in place to protect endangered species from the hazardous insecticide cyantraniliprole before September 2023. The requirements stems from a recent federal appeals court ruling that found EPA in violation of its statutory obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The agency originally lost its legal case on this chemical in 2017, but has since done nothing to fulfill the initial court order, necessitating further litigation by conservation groups. “It’s outrageous that the EPA is thumbing its nose at a federal court order even as cyantraniliprole wreaks havoc on our most endangered wildlife,” said Jonathan Evans, environmental health legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The EPA has acknowledged that this pesticide is incredibly toxic to bees and other invertebrates, but the agency is so accustomed to putting the profits of the pesticide industry ahead of its duty to protect human health and our environment that for years it simply ignored a direct court order.” Cyantraniliprole is a systemic insecticide registered for use in 2014. It presents similar risks to pollinators and wildlife as other widely used systemics, such as the neonicotinoid class of chemicals. Its […]

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30
Nov

Petition Urges U.S. Fish and Wildlife to List Manatees as Endangered After Massive Declines

(Beyond Pesticides, November, 30, 2022) A petition filed last week with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) urges increased protections for the West Indian manatee after dramatic declines in its population over the last several years. In 2017, the USFWS downgraded protections for the manatee, a move that was widely criticized by conservation groups as premature. That sentiment has become a reality, with nearly 2,000 manatees dying over the last two years from a range of preventable factors. West Indian manatees, a species of manatee that includes the Florida and Antillean Manatee subspecies, were first listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973, at a time when there were less than 1,000 individual animals in the United States. By 2017, the number of manatees had increased to over 6,000, leading then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to downlist (downgrade) the animals from endangered to threatened under ESA. ESA works to protect species by listing them as either threatened or endangered. A species classified as endangered is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant a portion of its range and a threatened classification means the species is likely to be endangered within the foreseeable future.  Endangered species are given […]

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29
Nov

Continued Reduction in Sperm Count Raises Call for Action

(Beyond Pesticides, November 29, 2022) Based on new international research adding weight to previous research on falling sperm counts, it is critical that environmental agencies address this and other problems related to endocrine disruption. The study by Levine et al. finds that the drop in sperm count—a drop of 51.6% from 1973 through 2018—is global and that the rate of decline is accelerating. Tell EPA and Congress that pesticide use cannot continue without findings of no endocrine disruption.  The documented (average) drop in sperm counts is approaching the level at which the ability to cause a pregnancy begins to plummet dramatically. The reduction in male fertility may have profound psychological and social impacts, including anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression. These psychological problems have health impacts of their own. Equally serious are connections of anxiety and depression with violent behavior and suicide. Compounding the problem is the fact that men are unlikely to seek fertility-related social support. The drop in sperm counts is just one example of endocrine disruption largely due to exposure to toxic chemicals. The endocrine system consists of a set of glands (thyroid, gonads, adrenal and pituitary) and the hormones they produce (thyroxine, estrogen, testosterone, and adrenaline), which […]

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27
Nov

Tackling Climate Crisis with Elimination of Toxic Pesticides and Fertilizers, Webinar Nov. 29—What Is Practical Now

(Beyond Pesticides, November 27, 2022) On Tuesday, November 29 (at 1:00-2:30pmEST), two preeminent researchers will present their research and worldwide collaborative work to fully characterize the effects of the climate crisis and the viable solutions associated with land management. The Forum headliners are (i) Rachel Bezner Kerr, PhD, Cornell University professor just back from COP 27 [27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] and co-author of the definitive United Nations (UN) report on climate and food production and (ii) Andrew Smith, PhD, chief operating officer of the Rodale Institute and coauthor of several landmark reports on soil biology and carbon sequestration, including the just released Farming Systems Trial—40-Year Report. With livability of the planet on the brink, the speakers at the upcoming Forum make the case to immediately reverse the increase of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane to stop the changes on the horizon that destroy life—from floods, fires, and associated climate-induced hazards to food production. The good news, according to the scientists, is that there are solutions available now in the agricultural and land management sectors that can reverse the threat if dramatic changes are made. Dr. Bezner Kerr, […]

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24
Nov

Joining Together to Give Thanks as We Confront the Challenges Ahead

(Beyond Pesticides, November 24, 2021) On Thanksgiving, thank you for being a part of Beyond Pesticides and sharing and contributing to the vision necessary to protect the web and the fragility of life. We believe that there is no time like Thanksgiving to think about how we can more effectively join together as families and communities across divisions and different points of view to find a common purpose in protecting the health of the environment and all that inhabit it. Unfortunately, a host of pesticides, genetically engineered materials, and others in conventional Thanksgiving foods impact human health and threaten the environment. With far too many adverse health and ecological effects associated with toxic chemicals, organic practices are viable solutions to mitigate pesticide contamination and subsequent exposure. Read on as we consider the range of challenges we must confront and the solutions that can bring us all together. Additionally, you can help Beyond Pesticides in educating and building a movement that will bring long-needed protection to humans, animals, and the entire environment by attending the third seminar on November 29 on Climate during the 2022 National Forum Series, Health, Biodiversity, and Climate: A Path for a Livable Future. The National Forum […]

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23
Nov

Study Finds that Pollinators, Not Pesticides, Are More Important to Higher Crop Yields

(Beyond Pesticides, November 23, 2022) A new study throws into question the value of the pest management concept of setting action levels around pest infestations. In the course of watermelon production over a span of two years, pollination, not pest levels, was the key determining factor for yield. “These data advocate for a reprioritization of management, to conserve and protect wild bee pollination, which could be more critical than avoiding pest damage for ensuring high yields,” the study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, indicates. Action levels are considered an important aspect of an integrated pest management (IPM) approach in agriculture, whereby a pest infestation reaches levels considered economically unacceptable, leading to a decision to engage in pest control. The concept of IPM however has been influenced by the chemical industry over the decades since its original definition and recent data indicates that it has failed to stop toxic pesticide use. The original intent of IPM was the adoption of preventive practices and utilization of nonchemical tools, placing pesticide use as a last resort when pest control is warranted. However, farms that self-identify as IPM operations use pesticides, sometimes as the first line of defense, while attempting to […]

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22
Nov

Fungi that Survive Fungicide Use Multiply and Thrive

(Beyond Pesticides, November 22, 2022) Fungus that survive a fungicide application may be able to multiply and thrive, putting plant yields at risk. This finding comes from research recently published by scientists at University of Illinois, focusing on the impact of fungicide use on soybean yields and the disease Septoria brown spot, caused by the fungus Septoria glycines. The research underlines the danger of preventive chemical applications in an attempt to protect yield and shows how precarious pesticide use can be when subject to the complexity seen in field conditions. Scientists began with the intent of analyzing the soybean’s phyllosphere mycobiome, the fungal microbial make-up of the outside of the plant, including all its surfaces above-ground. A field trial was established near Urbana, Illinois, and soybeans plants were separated into four different plots according to their treatment. One group was inoculated with Septoria glycines, another inoculated and sprayed with a fungicide, a third not inoculated yet sprayed with a fungicide, and a final control group neither inoculated nor treated with a fungicide. A range of different analyses were conducted to view changes in the disease development and mycobiome composition over time. Soybean plants that had been inoculated with Septoria showed […]

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21
Nov

EPA’s Deficient Pesticide Analysis Contributes to Ecological Decline

(Beyond Pesticides, November 21, 2022) Once again, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered a new pesticide without performing a thorough review of its impacts on biodiversity as well as threatened and endangered species. Inpyrfluxam was registered in 2020 and only after being sued by the Center for Biological Diversity for failure to comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) did EPA commit to completing draft effects determinations by Fall 2022. Once again, EPA’s draft biological evaluation is incomplete and inadequate. EPA is accepting comments on its draft biological evaluation at Regulations.gov.  Tell EPA and Congress that Pesticide Registrations Require Complete Science. The Review of Inpyrfluxam is Incomplete and Inadequate.  The agency’s draft effects assessment is flawed and incomplete. We share the details because it shows that EPA is out of step with the science and its regulatory responsibility when it comes a thorough review for ecosystem effects of pesticides.   The agency used fish early life stage (ELS) tests to estimate chronic fish toxicity. This is inappropriate. The fish ELS is a sub-chronic test of sensitive life stages. Although it is often used as a surrogate or predictor of chronic toxicity, it does not adequately address potential adverse effects on reproduction or transfer of the test chemical to eggs/offspring […]

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18
Nov

Sperm Count Documented To Be in Substantial and Persistent Decline

(Beyond Pesticides, November 18, 2022) A new meta-analysis, from researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the University of Copenhagen, among others, finds that the drop in global sperm count is accelerating and the problem has become global. The study shows that sperm count (until this study measured largely in North America, Europe, and Australia) has dropped by 51.6% from 1973 through 2018, and that the rate of decline is gaining speed worldwide.  A primary culprit, among a plexus of factors, is widespread exposure to toxic chemicals, including pesticides, in the environment. Beyond the implications for individuals and families, this global decline in sperm counts has the potential for population-level impacts and, according to Dr. Shanna Swan, an expert environmental–reproductive epidemiologist, could mean that “in the coming decades, large swaths of the global population of men could be subfertile or infertile.” Beyond Pesticides has long highlighted the relationship between reproductive anomalies and toxic pesticides, particularly the role of endocrine-disrupting (ED) compounds. Most recently, we covered a meta-study on pesticides and fertility that “finds exposure associated with lower semen quality, DNA fragmentation, and chromosomal abnormalities.” The new study is covered in Environmental Health News (EHN). From 1972 […]

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16
Nov

Pesticide Spraying of Urban Trees Found to Disrupt Natural Biological Management of Landscapes

(Beyond Pesticides, November 16, 2022) Putting up with moderate pest levels can attract and maintain predators and parasitoids that provide important biological control services throughout the landscape, according to research recently published in Environmental Entomology. While scale insects can be a problem in urban areas, dropping sticky ‘honeydew’ on cars and structures, they also play a critical role in maintaining native populations of pest predators. Scientists at NC State University (NCSU) set out to understand just how important these pest populations are at maintaining their own natural enemies. To do so, researchers worked through a series of three hypotheses on the connection between urban trees, scale insects, and pest predators. Focus was first placed on investigating different oak species and comparing the number of predators between trees infested and not infested with scale. Twigs from willow oaks, sawtooth oaks, and overcup oaks were collected from scale infested and scale uninfested trees on the NCSU campus over the course of spring, and counted for their scale abundance. Then, through the summer, researchers used a sampling tool that effectively shook insects out of the tree and into a funnel collection. Unsurprisingly, scale infested oaks contain more scale insects. But these trees also […]

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15
Nov

Synthetic Fertilizers and Pesticides Make Plants Less Attractive to Bumblebees, Research Shows

(Beyond Pesticides, November 15, 2022) Spraying a flowering plant with synthetic fertilizers makes it less attractive to bumblebees, according to research published this month in PNAS Nexus.  “A big issue is thus—agrochemical application can distort floral cues and modify behaviour in pollinators like bees,” said study author Ellard Hunting, PhD, of the University of Bristol, UK. The findings underscore the limited understanding that proponents of chemical agriculture have for the complex processes that food production relies upon and reinforce calls for a broad scale transition to regenerative, organic farming practices. Scientists began with the knowledge that spray applications of various agrichemicals affect the visitation patterns of bumblebees and other pollinators through a range of different processes. Past research finds that notorious bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticides not only kill bees outright, but also result in a range of complex damage, including their ability to impede bees’ olfactory senses and adversely affect their vision and flying ability. Other chemicals like glyphosate weaken bees’ ability to distinguish between colors.   A growing area of research is investigating the ways in which pollinators use static electric fields surrounding flowers to find food sources. A 2013 study found that bumblebees use floral electrical fields to discriminate […]

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14
Nov

Findings Add to Crisis, Antibiotics in Agriculture, Lawns, and Landscapes Threaten Health

(Beyond Pesticides, November 14, 2022) Glyphosate weed killers induce antibiotic resistance in deadly hospital-acquired bacteria, according to a new study published late last month in the journal Scientific Reports. This is the latest finding connecting commonly used herbicides to the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria. To put this finding in context, antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world, according to the World Health Organization. In the May 1, 2022, issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Samira Choudhury, PhD, et al. writes, “Often referred to as the silent pandemic, antimicrobial resistance claims the lives of over 700,000 people annually.” The authors continue, “A study suggests that if no actions are taken, antimicrobial resistance will cause 10 million deaths per year by 2050 and an economic impact of over 100 trillion United States dollars.” Tell EPA and Congress that antibiotic pesticides in agriculture, lawns, and landscapes must be eliminated. Use of antibiotics in animal agriculture has long been recognized as a contributor to widespread antibiotic resistance. More recently, recognition of the contribution of antibiotics in plant agriculture has led to pressure to eliminate agricultural uses of antibiotics used in medicine. However, two facts […]

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11
Nov

Weed Killer Use Destroys Soil Life and Ecosystems, Paper Finds

(Beyond Pesticides, November 11, 2022) A paper published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution in late October sounds an unnerving alarm about the globally ubiquitous use of herbicides and the ecological destruction being caused. It asserts that widespread environmental contamination with these herbicide compounds is influencing soil, plant, and animal microbiomes in ways that are not only not well understood, but also, can have significant impacts on the functioning of organisms and their ecosystems — with evolutionary implications. Impacts of herbicides on microbiota in soils include, for example, those on nutrient cycling, and altered organism and plant performance, which can affect pollination and animal consumption of plants. This research reinforces what Beyond Pesticides wrote in covering a 2021 study: “The popular herbicide glyphosate negatively affects microbial communities, indirectly influencing plant, animal, and human health. Exposure to sublethal concentrations of glyphosate shifts microbial community composition, destroying beneficial microorganisms while preserving pathogenic organisms.” Herbicides are a category of pesticide used to control weeds in agriculture and commercial forests, on managed landscapes, byways, gardens, and lawns, and directly on surface waters to control aquatic weeds. They are designed to kill “target” plant species considered undesirable in any of those circumstances. Herbicide use has exploded […]

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09
Nov

“RobotFalcon” Takes to the Skies to Replace Pesticides and Lethal Tactics to Deter Birds at Airports

(Beyond Pesticides, November 9, 2022) A team of Dutch researchers has developed an artificial predator dubbed the RobotFalcon that can quickly and successfully scare bird flocks away from fields, providing a new practical, ethical tool to deter bird strikes near airports. Although it sounds like a conspiracy theory, in the skies above Workum, The Netherlands, for a period of time, some of the birds were not real. Current data indicate there are over 17,000 wildlife strikes to aircraft each year in the U.S., costing an estimated $500 million in economic losses, yet these problems are ongoing despite the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program killing hundreds of thousands of birds in and around airports each year through a range of lethal means, including the use of guns and pesticides. As a result, new management approaches that focus on effective, nonlethal alternatives to the use of toxic chemicals are urgently needed. Scientists began their research with the understanding that most bird deterrent methods “suffer from some degree of habituation: after repeated exposure, birds respond less.”  While habitation can be reduced through natural threats, the authors note that approaches like falconry are lethal and can be prohibitively expensive and difficult to […]

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08
Nov

Glyphosate Induces Antibiotic Resistance in Deadly Hospital-Acquired Infection

(Beyond Pesticides, November 8, 2022) Glyphosate weed killers induce antibiotic resistance in deadly hospital-acquired bacteria, according to a new study published late last month in the journal Scientific Reports. This is the latest finding connecting commonly used herbicides to the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria, with prior research showing glyphosate, 2,4-D, and dicamba able to create resistance in Salmonella and E. coli. While federal regulatory agencies continue ignore the role of pesticides in the development of antibiotic resistance, it is critical for states and localities to take action to protect their most vulnerable both from toxic exposure to these herbicides and the multitude of indirect effects caused by their use. This is all happening as antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world, according to the World Health Organization. In the May 1, 2022 issues of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Samira Choudhury, PhD, et al. writes, “Often referred to as the silent pandemic, antimicrobial resistance claims the lives of over 700,000 people annually.” The authors continue, “A study suggests that if no actions are taken, antimicrobial resistance will cause 10 million deaths per year by 2050 and an economic impact of […]

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07
Nov

Take Action: Bill Addresses PFAS; Remediation Needed for All Legacy Chemicals

(Beyond Pesticides, November 7, 2022) The Maine Congressional delegation — Senators Collins (R) and Angus King (I), and Representatives Chellie Pingree (D) and Jared Golden (D), along with New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D) — have  introduced a bipartisan bill — the Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act — to help farmers who have been adversely affected by the scourge of PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) chemicals. The bills are the identical S. 5070 and H.R. 9186, both titled “Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act.” Tell your U.S. Senators and Representative to cosponsor the Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act. If they are already cosponsors, thank them. Tell EPA to stop the spread of legacy chemicals. PFAS chemicals, also known as “forever chemicals,” are legacy contaminants or those whose historical use, including many decades ago in some instances, has led to their toxic persistence in the environment and in organisms. PFAS chemicals are not the only legacy contaminants. Others include wood preservatives, DDT, dioxins, and the termiticide chlordane. Unfortunately, some of these continue to be added to the environment, sometimes inadvertently, but also intentionally, particularly through pesticide use. As indicated by the title of these bills, farmers […]

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04
Nov

Life On or Near Chemical-Intensive Farms Associated with Increase in Respiratory Diseases

(Beyond Pesticides, November 4, 2022) Rural populations in the U.S., a new study finds, are particularly at risk for agriculture-related exposures associated with respiratory diseases and other kinds of airway inflammation. The exposures include those to pesticides, livestock facilities, smoke from biomass burning, agricultural dust, and endotoxin. The study paper also looked at potential protective roles for dietary DHA, and for raw milk consumption (early in life). Beyond Pesticides has regularly covered the relationships between pesticide exposures and asthma (including the outsized risks for children), COPD (chronic, obstructive pulmonary disease), and other respiratory anomalies. See our webpage on Pesticide-Induced Diseases: Asthma/Respiratory Effects for more information. Published in Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America [please note: this research paper is behind a paywall], and authored by a team from the Division of Allergy and Immunology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, the study used data from the past five years plus literature reviews of research on asthma and respiratory issues in rural populations. The team notes that multiple studies have suggested that “farming-related exposures as an adult increase the risk of asthma or asthma-like symptoms development,” adding that agricultural workers are exposed to “a complex working environment […]

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02
Nov

Chemicals Added to Herbicides to Reduce Drift Actually Drift Themselves, Are Significant Air Pollutants

(Beyond Pesticides, November 2, 2022) Inert ingredients called “amines” that are added to pesticides in attempts to reduce drift and volatility are themselves highly volatile and may represent a significant source of air pollution, according to research recently published in Environmental Science and Technology. The findings and implications for public health are unexpected, as research until now has not considered herbicide use as a source of amine emissions. “Researchers have looked at industrial applications, animal operations and environmental sources of amines, but no one has looked at herbicides at all, as far as we have seen, despite the fact that large quantities of herbicide-amine mixtures are being sprayed onto crops across the country,” said study author Kimberly Parker, PhD, of Washington University in St Louis (WUSL). “We were really surprised to see that this source had been overlooked.” Amines are chemical compounds derived from ammonia and often added to herbicide formulations for glyphosate, dicamba, and 2,4-D products to increase solubility and reduce volatilization. In theory, amines reduce volatilization by forming herbicide-amine salts which lock the herbicide vapors in place. However, the team of scientists conducting this research had previously found evidence that even new forms of dicamba billed by the […]

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01
Nov

Pesticide Mixtures Reduce Life Span of Honey Bees, Damage Gut Microbiome

(Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2022) Honey bees exposed to a combination of multiple pesticides suffer a reduced lifespan and experience adverse changes to their gut microbiome, increasing susceptibility to pathogens and disease. This finding comes from a study published recently in Science of the Total Environment, which examines the interactions between the insecticides flupyradifurone and sulfoxaflor and the fungicide azoxystrobin on honey bee health. Both insecticides studied are considered substitutes for notorious bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticides, which move through the vascular system of the plant and contaminates its pollen, nectar, and guttation droplets. As declines in pollinator and insect life continue throughout the world, it is critical not only to understand and restrict widely used chemicals like neonicotinoids, but also the regrettable and deleterious substitutions the agrichemical industry has developed to replace them. As the present study reveals, pesticide risk assessments do not inadequately capture the range of harm that can result when pesticides are combined, necessitating a shift toward safer, alternative, and regenerative organic farming systems that do not use these dangerous chemicals. To better understand the impacts of combined pesticide exposure on honey bees, researchers employed three colonies located in Germany’s Martin Luther University that were inspected and free […]

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31
Oct

EPA Opens Door to Indoor Air Contamination with Virus Spray, Efficacy Questioned

(Beyond Pesticides, October 31, 2022) Just as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a request for information on improving indoor air quality, it approved 32 varieties of a new “air sanitizer” to kill bacteria and viruses in the air. These products contain 14% dipropylene glycol and 86% secret (“other”) ingredients, including fragrances. Tell EPA that clean air, NOT “sanitized” air, protects against disease. Through its approval of such sanitizers, EPA promotes the false reasoning that a chemical that kills a pathogen necessarily protects health. Although disinfectants and sanitizers kill viruses, bacteria, and other microbes, they can also negatively affect the immune system, thus reducing resistance to disease. People who have a preexisting condition or are of advanced age, who may have a weakened immune or respiratory system, are more vulnerable to the effects of the virus. Children are at elevated risk from exposure. When managing viral and bacterial infections, chemicals that exacerbate the risk to vulnerable individuals are of serious concern. EPA opened a 60-day public comment period “to solicit information and recommendations from a broad array of individuals and organizations with knowledge and expertise relating to the built environment and health, indoor air quality, epidemiology, disease transmission, social sciences […]

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28
Oct

Bill in Congress Will Pay for Treating Illness and Financial Impact Caused by PFAS

(Beyond Pesticides, October 28, 2022) The Maine Congressional delegation — Senators Collins (R) and Angus King (I), and Representatives Chellie Pingree (D) and Jared Golden (D) — along with New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D), have introduced a bipartisan and bicameral bill — the Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act — to help farmers who have been impacted by the scourge of PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) chemicals. (The Senate version of the bill is available; the House version should be soon.) PFAS contamination has, as Beyond Pesticides documented in two Daily News Blog articles (here and here), become a huge, life-altering problem for agricultural producers in Maine and many other states. An early 2022 Safer States analysis of state-level legislation on PFAS demonstrated the extent of the problem via the response: more than 32 states have begun to act on the issue. Beyond Pesticides has covered the presence of PFAS in pesticides and pesticide containers, and in so-called “biosludge” or “biosolids”— realities that only reinforce the call for a rapid transition off of chemical-dependent agriculture and to regenerative organic agricultural practices that do not carry the enormous health and environmental risks of pesticide products and contaminated fertilizers. There […]

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26
Oct

Common Herbicide Contributes to Development of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

(Beyond Pesticides, October 26, 2022) Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may be exacerbated by exposure to the herbicide propyzamide, used in both agriculture and on ornamental lawns and landscapes, according to research published in the journal Nature this month. As the rate of autoimmune diseases continues to increase rapidly in the U.S. and the world, it is critical for scientists to better understand the etiology behind these diseases and the environmental factors contributing to their development. Recent data show that the number of people living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, common types of IBD, have risen annually by 3.4% and 2.8% respectively, between just the years 2001 to 2018. “As we learn more about the environmental factors that might contribute to disease, we can develop state- and national-level strategies to limit exposures,” said study coauthor Francisco Quintana, PhD. “Some chemicals don’t seem to be toxic when tested under basic conditions, but we do not yet know about the effect of chronic, low-level exposures over decades, or early-on in development.” Researchers did not begin their study investigating propyzamide. Initial intent focused on better understanding environmental factors that may be contributing to IBD. Using a range of different models, scientists cross-referenced data […]

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