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Industry, Money, and Politics Drive Legislation to Squelch Local Pesticide Restrictions

Thursday, April 7th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, April 7, 2022) Legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) last week would roll back, preempt, and prohibit local jurisdictions from enacting policies that protect resident health and a community‚Äôs unique local environments from hazardous pesticides. The bill, H.R.7266, is a direct attack on the scores of local communities that have enacted common sense safeguards from toxic pesticides, and represents the pesticide industry‚Äôs response to the growing momentum of the pesticide reform movement. Health and environmental advocates are expecting Rep. Davis and his partners in the agrichemical industry to attempt to work the provisions of the legislation into the upcoming 2023 farm bill. The industry had previously attempted to work federal preemption into the 2018 farm bill, an effort that ultimately failed after massive pushback from health advocates, local officials, and Congressional allies. Rep. Davis‚Äô press release for the bill, in which he was joined with quotes from a range of agrichemical industry leaders, is titled ‚ÄúDavis Introduces Legislation to Prevent Liberal Local Governments from Banning or Restricting Pesticide Use,‚ÄĚ striking a partisan tone. Caring about public and environmental health is typically not viewed as a liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican issue. Those monitoring local governments […]

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EPA Considers Future of Bee-Toxic Neonic Insecticides as Scientific Evidence Supports Ban

Monday, April 4th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, April 4, 2022)¬†Recent actions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlight the urgent need to prevent pesticides from further endangering crucial pollinators, including birds, bees, and bats. Tell EPA To Ban Neonics and Protect Against Other Threats to Pollinators. Tell Congress To Insist that EPA Does Its Job. Despite EPA‚Äôs own findings of evidence of serious threats posed by neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides to pollinators, aquatic invertebrates, and other wildlife, it issued interim decisions on these neonics in January 2020 that disregard the science on the pesticides‚Äô impacts and it appears that the agency is prepared to finalize these registrations late in 2022. This would, barring further action, extend the use of these harmful compounds for 15 years. Now is the time to let EPA know that continued use of neonicotinoids is unacceptable. Furthermore, building on a history of unenforceable and impractical pesticide label restrictions resulting in EPA findings of ludicrously small or no risk, the agency spun its approval of the continued use of the deadly organophosphate insecticide malathion as ‚Äúprotecting threatened and endangered species.‚ÄĚ As the nation and world sit on the brink of biodiversity collapse and deadly pesticide-induced diseases, EPA actions continue to protect pesticide […]

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Coverup of Dog Deaths at EPA, According to Internal Emails on Seresto Flea and Tick Collars

Friday, April 1st, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, April 1, 2022)¬†According to reporting by E&E‚Äôs Greenwire, internal emails at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that career scientists at the agency expressed worry about pesticide-laced pet collars, such as the notorious Seresto flea and tick collars, but that EPA managers ‚Äúinstructed them to avoid documenting those worries in publicly accessible records.‚ÄĚ The emails were released pursuant to a 2021 FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) lawsuit, brought by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), that sought records of internal communications. The documents evidence staff concern about the collars that has not been a part of EPA‚Äôs public communications on the subject. EPA staff, in the emails, expressed a range of degrees of outrage at managers‚Äô behavior and at the very registration of the product, given the significant harms. Seresto collars are plastic pet collars embedded with pesticides designed to kill fleas, ticks, and lice; they contain the active ingredients flumethrin and imidacloprid. Flumethrin, a chemical in the¬†pyrethroid class of synthetic neurotoxic insecticides, has been linked repeatedly to neurological issues, such as¬†seizures and learning disabilities in children, to gastrointestinal distress, and to damage to nontarget invertebrates, according to EPA‚Äôs¬†own analysis. Imidacloprid¬†is a commonly used pesticide linked to […]

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Animals in Wildlife Sanctuaries at Greater Risk of Pesticide Exposure from Internal Agricultural Practices

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, March 30, 2022) An article by the Audubon Society¬†covers ongoing advocacy to end pesticide spraying in wildlife refuges. Wildlife refuges act as a sanctuary, providing habitat and protection essential for the survival and recovery of species nationwide. However, portions of the wildlife sanctuary can have agricultural uses, allowing farmers to cultivate crops on various acres, subsequently applying pesticides. Pesticide spraying in or around wildlife refuges threatens the survivability and recovery of species that inhabit the area. Moreover, many of these pesticides are highly toxic to human and animal health. Analyses like these are significant, especially since the globe is currently going through the¬†Holocene Extinction, Earth‚Äôs 6th mass extinction, with one million species of plants and animals at risk. With the increasing rate of¬†biodiversity loss, advocates say it is essential for government agencies to enforce policies that eliminate pesticide use in wildlife refuges. Ending pesticide applications in sanctuaries can protect the well-being of animals, humans, and the ecosystem. Hannah Connor, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), notes, ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not a huge economic driver of the refuge system, and it is truly problematic in terms of fulfilling its mission and goals[‚Ķ]. That just means it should be […]

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Environmentalists Outraged at Probability that EPA Will Allow Continued Use of Deadly Pesticides, the Neonicotinoids

Friday, March 25th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, March 25, 2022) Recent coverage by The Guardian of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‚Äôs (EPA‚Äôs) plan ‚ÄĒ to extend the registration of several demonstrably harmful neonicotinoid insecticides ‚ÄĒ compels Beyond Pesticides to identify, once again, the agency‚Äôs failures to enact its core mission. That mission is ‚Äúto protect human health and the environment,‚ÄĚ and to ensure that ‚Äúnational efforts to reduce environmental risks are based on the best available scientific information.‚ÄĚ EPA has undertaken a review of the registration of several members of the neonicotinoid (neonic) family of pesticides and, despite the agency‚Äôs own findings of evidence of serious threats to pollinators, aquatic invertebrates, and other wildlife, it issued interim decisions on these neonics in January 2020 that disregard the science on the pesticides‚Äô impacts. EPA appears to be prepared to finalize these registrations late in 2022; this would, barring further action, extend the use of these harmful compounds for 15 years. Neonics are used widely in the U.S., both on crops to kill sucking insects, and as seed treatments with the same goal for the developing plant. These insecticides are systemic compounds, meaning that once applied, they travel to all parts of a plant through the vascular […]

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Pesticide Drift or Chemical Trespass Continue Uncontrolled, Despite Successful Litigation

Friday, March 18th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, March 18, 2022)¬†A 2020 lawsuit related to pesticide drift was resolved on March 8, 2022 in San Joaquin (California) Superior Court with the finding that Alpine Helicopter Services, which specializes in pesticide applications for government and tourism entities, had violated pesticide drift laws and endangered public health and safety. The court further found Alpine liable for damage related to its actions, though penalties in the case, brought by California state prosecutors and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), have yet to be determined. The case exposes a handful of the many instances of pesticide drift, also known as ‚Äúchemical trespass,‚ÄĚ that occur every year in the U.S. In 2004, Beyond Pesticides covered the issue with Getting the Drift on Chemical Trespass; its monitoring of drift issues is ongoing, as can be seen in its ‚ÄúPesticide Drift‚ÄĚ archives. The long history of nontarget exposure, contamination, and poisoning teaches that drift is a function of pesticide use, but not considered adequately by regulators who allow the marketing of poisons that are known to move through the environment uncontrolled. Cases like the Alpine case highlight a relentless problem associated with the daily use of pesticides. Pesticide drift is any airborne […]

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Monoculture Rice Production Outperformed by Traditional Techniques that Integrate Aquatic Animals

Tuesday, March 15th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, March 15, 2022) Adding animal diversity to rice paddy farms reduces weed pressure, increases food production, and makes fertilizer use more efficient, according to a study published late last month in the journal eLife. As chemical-dependent, industrialized agriculture has spread across the world, local farmers are increasingly pressured into eschewing traditional agricultural practices in favor of monocultures in an attempt to meet the demands of global markets. This one-size-fits-all approach oversimplifies the interdependency within ecosystems, failing to incorporate the complexity of nature that many traditional and organic practices embrace. As the present study shows, research and investment into systems that promote natural diversity can provide insights that allow these approaches to leapfrog the chemical-dependent, monoculture paradigm of industrial agriculture. Rice paddy fields are intentionally flooded, and crops are often grown in shallow water. In industrialized fields, monocultures of rice are planted out, and fertilizers and weed killers are applied at regular intervals. However, many traditional rice farmers around the world integrate aquatic animals into their paddies. In the present experiment, researchers conducted a 4-year long evaluation comparing the benefits of monoculture production against co-cultures of rice and aquatic animals. Co-culturing animals and rice differs slightly from traditional practices […]

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Despite Past Findings of Insecticide’s Threat to 1,284 Species, EPA Reverses and Allows Continued Use

Friday, March 11th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, March 11, 2022) With a history of unenforceable and impractical pesticide label restrictions resulting in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) findings of ludicrously small or no risk, the agency is at it again with its latest announcement that allows the continued use of the deadly organophosphate insecticide malathion. This just the latest example of what advocates see as an irresponsible federal agency falling far short, as the nation and world sit on the brink of biodiversity collapse and deadly pesticide-induced diseases.¬†¬† In a head-spinning development, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced on March 8 its final Biological Opinion (BiOp) on malathion, which opinion claims that the commonly used insecticide poses no extinction risk to any protected animal or plant. The FWS review and BiOp are part of EPA‚Äôs evaluation of whether malathion ‚ÄĒ an organophosphate insecticide that causes serious damage to many organisms ‚ÄĒ should retain its registration. The Executive Summary of the BiOp concludes: ‚ÄúOur findings suggest that no proposed species or candidate species would experience species-level effects from the action [i.e., registration and thus, permitted use of malathion], and, therefore, are not likely to be jeopardized. We also conclude the proposed action is not […]

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Pesticide Use on Crops for Meat and Dairy Feed Further Threatens Endangered Species

Tuesday, March 1st, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, March 1, 2022) A report by the¬†Independent¬†finds chemical-intensive farming of crops for animal feed puts thousands of endangered species at risk. U.S. farmlands use more than 235 million pounds of pesticide (i.e., herbicides and insecticides) solely for animal feed production, many of which are¬†highly hazardous pesticides¬†(HHPs). Several HHP hazard categories include acutely toxic, chronic health hazards, and environmental hazards. Therefore, animal feed production intensifies global pollution, increases pesticide exposure, and degrades human, animal, and ecological health.¬† Although the report demonstrates a need to eliminate toxic pesticide use for the sake of human, animal, and ecosystem health, it will take more than eliminating the worst chemicals to address the impending biodiversity collapse and the climate crisis. Experts highlight the need for an urgent shift to organic land and agricultural management practices. The study¬†notes, ‚ÄúThese pesticides are taking a toll on our environment and biodiversity. Endangered species like the highly imperiled whooping crane, monarch butterflies, all species of salmon, the rusty-patched bumble bee, the San Joaquin kit fox, and the northern long-eared bat, as examples, all face significant threats from industrial agricultural operations and the chemicals applied. In order to conserve biodiversity and better protect vulnerable species and their habitats, […]

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PFAS Adds to the Legacy of Persistent Toxics Hurting Generations of People and the Environment

Friday, February 18th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, February 18, 2022)¬†A new analysis conducted by Safer States, and reported on by Environmental Health News (EHN), concludes that in 2022, at least 32 states will consider 210 potential laws to ban or restrict one category of so-called ‚Äúlegacy‚ÄĚ chemicals ‚ÄĒ the PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) family of compounds. ‚ÄúLegacy‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúforever‚ÄĚ chemicals are those whose historical use, including many decades ago in some instances, has led to their toxic persistence in the environment and in organisms. In recent years, scientists, health and environment advocates, and policy makers have begun to recognize these as very serious contaminants, and to call attention to their ubiquity and impacts. Beyond Pesticides has identified multiple instances of such ‚Äúlegacies‚ÄĚ (including those related to the production of pesticides and particularly, the infamous DDT), and will here discuss both PFAS, and concerns about such legacy chemicals as they may impact food producers. The term ‚Äúlegacy‚ÄĚ often connotes the ongoing influence or impact ‚ÄĒ generally salutary ‚ÄĒ of an individual‚Äôs activity, or a set of principles or activity inherited from one‚Äôs forebears. It is an apt description, minus the ‚Äúsalutary‚ÄĚ part, for legacy chemicals ‚ÄĒ toxic ‚Äúgifts that keep on giving‚ÄĚ via persistent contamination […]

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Review Provides New Insight into How Pesticide Exposure Disrupts Bee Gut Microbiome

Wednesday, February 16th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, February 16, 2022) Pesticide exposure disturbs the gut microbiome of social bees, leading to a range of alterations that could affect fitness in the wild, finds a major literature review recently published by researchers at the University of Ottawa, Canada. With research on bee gut microbiomes is still in its infancy, the review provides a centralized overview of data collected to date, and highlights areas for further research to fill in remaining knowledge gaps. “Social bees have gut microbiotas that contribute to their health, just like we (humans) do,‚ÄĚ said Michelle Hotchkiss, a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Science at the University of Ottawa. ‚ÄúFurther research on the interactions between pesticides, bee gut microbiotas, and bee hosts will help us better understand how pesticides affect bee health and performance.” To conduct their review, scientists collected research relating to bee gut over the last 50 years. “The earliest studies we found were published in the 1970s and the most recent ones in 2020,” said Dr. Hotchkiss. “We summarized what methods were used to collect data, including which bee hosts and pesticides were examined. To summarize how the abundances of core microbes changed after pesticide exposure, we looked at […]

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USDA Food Pesticide Residue Survey Raises Alarm, while Pesticide Industry and EPA Mislead Public

Friday, February 4th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, February 4, 2022)¬†In January, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its 30th Pesticide Data Program (PDP) Annual Summary report (which evaluates each year the presence of pesticide residues on produce) and misleads the public on the safety of food and agricultural practices. This 2020 report concludes that more than 99% of the produce samples tested showed residues below established U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) benchmark levels. At first blush, this sounds very reassuring, but Beyond Pesticides maintains that there is (always) more to the ‚Äúsafety‚ÄĚ story, not least of which are serious deficiencies in EPA‚Äôs establishment of those ‚Äútolerances.‚ÄĚ Those flaws include a lack of risk assessment for vulnerable sub-populations, such as farmworkers, people with compromised health, children, and perhaps, cultural/ethnic and regional sub-groups of the general population, and a failure to fully assess serious health outcomes such as disruption of the endocrine system (which contributes to numerous serious diseases). For everyone, Beyond Pesticides recommends choosing organic produce whenever possible ‚ÄĒ the vast majority of which does not contain synthetic pesticide residues. The PDP report asserts that ‚Äúthe data . . . illustrate that residues found in agricultural products sampled are at levels that do not pose […]

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Your Garden and Town Landscapes Are the Change that Pollinators Need, Study Finds

Friday, January 28th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, January 28, 2022)¬†Do city dwellers, who typically have smaller-sized greenspaces on their lots, have any role to play in supporting pollinators? Absolutely, according to a recent study of Bristol, England residential gardens. The researchers find that the amount of ‚Äúfloral resource‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ the abundance of actual blooms, which translates roughly to amount of nectar production ‚ÄĒ varies widely across gardens and yards, and that small urban gardens and greenspaces are actually some of the most pollinator-friendly resources. The study notes that that several factors influence how well these resources provide food for pollinators, most important among which are pollinator-friendly management practices. Beyond Pesticides notes that there are multiple resources in the¬†U.S. on making gardens and greenspaces ‚Äúfriendly‚ÄĚ and useful to pollinators, including its own BEE Protective guidance on garden and landscape management, and that employing organic management practices is critical. The researchers hope to ‚Äúdevelop evidence-based management recommendations to support pollinator conservation in towns and cities.‚ÄĚ Their paper, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, reports that the size of the Bristol gardens they studied actually had minimal relationship to the amount of nectar produced by the plants in them. There are factors beyond size that determine the […]

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Officials in New Jersey and New York Act to Protect Pollinators by Restricting Neonic Pesticides

Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, January 26, 2022) Officials in New Jersey and New York are taking action to protect their states’ declining pollinator populations by restricting¬† outdoor uses of neonicotinoid (neonic) insecticides. In New York, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced it would make these pesticides “restricted use,” and only available to state certified applicators. In New Jersey, A2070/S1016, sponsored by state Senator Bob Smith and Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese, was signed by Governor Phil Murphy last week after years of advocacy from national, state, and local pollinator and environmental groups. “The law relies on the most up-to-date science to ban the largest uses of neonics in the state,‚ÄĚ said Lucas Roads, staff attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. ‚ÄúThis is great news for not just pollinators that are poisoned by neonics, but for all the farmers who depend on insect pollination and for all New Jerseyans that value thriving ecosystems.” A2070/S1016 provides for a targeted phase-out of outdoor uses of bee-toxic neonicotinoids, chemicals implicated not only in the decline of pollinators, but also the collapse of entire ecosystems. Beginning 12 months after passage, the bill requires state agencies classify neonicotinoids as ‚Äúrestricted use.‚ÄĚ Under this designation, only certified pesticide applicators […]

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Banned Pesticides in Well Water Linked to Declines in Kidney Function

Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, January 12, 2022) Well water in agricultural regions of Sri Lanka is contaminated with highly hazardous insecticides and associated with a decline in kidney function, according to research published in npj Clean Water this month. This finding is the latest piece in an ongoing ‚Äėpuzzle‚Äô regarding the epidemic of chronic kidney disease of unknown origins in Sri Lanka and other developing countries in agricultural regions. Although the exact etiology of the disease has not been confirmed, a number of scientific studies have pointed the finger at industrial agriculture, increasingly finding evidence of chronic pesticide exposure in affected populations. ¬† To better understand the connection between agrichemical exposure and kidney health, researchers enrolled 293 individuals from Wilgamuwa, Sri Lanka into a prospective study. Baseline data was retrieved on occupational and environmental exposure factors, focusing in on the water source individuals used at their homes. Samples of each participant’s household wells were taken and analyzed for the presence of pesticides. Of the wells sampled, 68% were found to contain pesticides. Further, every well where pesticides were detected had at least one pesticide recorded above global drinking water guidelines. The chemicals found were also some of the most toxic pesticides to […]

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Neonicotinoids Pass Through Aphids, Contaminating Honeydew and Killing off Pest Predators

Thursday, January 6th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, January 6, 2022) Seeds treated with neonicotinoid insecticides contaminate honeydew, often the biggest source of food for pest predators, according to recent research published in the journal Environmental Pollution. Concerned advocates for pollinators and pesticide reform are likely familiar with fact that neonicotinoids are systemic, and once applied to a seed or sprayed on a plant are taken up by the plant and distributed throughout the pollen, nectar and dew drops that a plant produces. But there is another systemic effect that is not included in that picture, and in monoculture crops, it could be the biggest source of carbohydrates for beneficial pest predators ‚Äď honeydew. Honeydew is produced from phloem-feeding (sap sucking) pests like aphids, whiteflies, leafhoppers, and other hemipteran insects. The waste that these insects produce is liquid, and full of sugars. “This rich carbohydrate source is a common food for many beneficial insects, including pollinators, such as bees and flies, and some natural enemies of pests, such as ants, wasps and beetles,” said John Tooker, PhD, coauthor of a recent literature review published in Biological Reviews. “Honeydew often is more abundant than nectar in agroecosystems.” In 2019, a study published in the Proceedings of the […]

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Call for Serious Change of Pesticide Law in the New Year, as Health Threats Escalate

Monday, January 3rd, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, January 3, 2022) Environmentalists and public health advocates are calling for an aggressive program of policy change in 2022‚ÄĒchange they say is critical to addressing existential crises of public health threats, biodiversity collapse, and severe climate disruption that is not being taken seriously by policy makers. On November 23, 2021, Senator Cory Booker introduced legislation to eliminate many of the current problems with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which regulates the registration and use of pesticides in the U.S. It corrects some of the worst mistakes in registering pesticides and removes some of the worst loopholes in the law. However, in order to prevent future pesticide problems, we need reform that goes deeper. Urge your Senators to co-sponsor legislation to reform the toxic core of federal pesticide law. Specifically, the bill, the¬†Protect America‚Äôs Children from Toxic Pesticides Act of 2021 (PACTPA), would provide some desperately-needed improvements to FIFRA to better protect people and the environment, including: Bans some of the most damaging pesticides scientifically known to cause significant harm to people and the environment: Organophosphate insecticides, which are designed to target the neurological system and have been linked to¬†neurodevelopmental damage in children; Neonicotinoid insecticides, which […]

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Beyond Pesticides Wishes You A Healthy New Year

Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

**We’re taking a break for the holidays. Daily News will be back on January 3, 2022** (Beyond Pesticides, December 23, 2021) We at Beyond Pesticides wish our members, supporters, and collaborators all the best for the holiday season and new year. We look forward to working with you in the new year to meet the serious environmental and public health challenges with truly organic solutions. Our accomplishments are your victories. We are seeing the outcomes in communities across the country‚ÄĒthe adoption of organic land management policies and practices that eliminate toxic pesticides, protect children, pets, and families, and protect the local ecology. With your support of Beyond Pesticides, we strive to reverse the destructive environmental and public health path that we‚Äôre on and advance the adoption of organic practices and policies that respect life. To view our accomplishments, see Beyond Pesticides‚Äô 2021 Year in Review. Beyond Pesticides‚Äô program supports a clear message: End toxic pesticide use and embrace organic practices and policies that respect the power of nature to heal‚ÄĒ in the face of devastating and destructive toxic chemical-dependency. This past year has again elevated important public discourse on the threats that pesticides pose to health and the environment. Table […]

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Community Pesticide Use Restrictions Expand; Organic Takes Root Across the Country

Friday, December 17th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, December 17, 2021) Los Alamos, New Mexico is the latest locality to act on some degree of protection of the community from pesticides. Its County Council passed a proposal on December 15 that will ban use of glyphosate-based herbicides on county properties, among other provisions (outlined below). Cities, towns, and counties (and occasionally, a state) across the U.S. are moving to protect their parks, playing fields, other green spaces, and the communities broadly from the harms of synthetic pesticide and fertilizer use. The approaches vary: sometimes comprehensive, though often piecemeal, i.e., tackling the problem one compound, one category of pesticide, or one or two kinds of properties at a time. Beyond Pesticides endorses comprehensive approaches that embrace the transition to organic land management. Because these can sometimes be more challenging for localities to enact, Beyond Pesticides has announced its program ‚ÄĒ Parks for a Sustainable Future ‚ÄĒ that helps localities learn about, secure training in, and benefit from the guidance of experts on, organic management. Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are used widely in agriculture, but also, in a large variety of public spaces ‚ÄĒ on and in playgrounds, parks, and playing/recreational fields and courts; along roads, sidewalks, and […]

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Pesticides and Parkinson’s Disease: The Toxic Effects of Pesticides on the Brain

Thursday, December 16th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, December 16, 2021) A study by¬†Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, finds Parkinson‚Äôs Disease (PD) risk increases with elevated levels of organochlorine (OCP) and organophosphate (OP) pesticides in blood. Among patients with PD, specific organochlorine compounds have greater associations with cognitive impairments, including depression and brain function. Research finds exposure to chemical toxicants, like pesticides, can cause neurotoxic effects or exacerbate preexisting chemical damage to the¬†nervous system. Although the mechanism by which pesticides induce disease development remains unclear, researchers suggest changes in protein enzyme composition and cellular dysfunction from pesticide exposure interrupt normal brain function. Parkinson‚Äôs disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, with at least one million Americans living with PD and about 50,000 new diagnoses each year. The disease affects 50% more men than women, and individuals with PD have a variety of symptoms, including loss of muscle control and trembling, anxiety and depression, constipation and urinary difficulties, dementia, and sleep disturbances. Over time, symptoms intensify, but there is no current cure for this fatal disease. While only 10 to 15 percent of PD incidences are genetic, PD is quickly becoming the world‚Äôs fastest-growing brain disease. Therefore, research like this highlights the need to examine alternate […]

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

Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

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

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Court Steps In to Stop Pesticide Use Not Adequately Regulated, Protects Bees

Friday, December 10th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, December 10, 2021)¬†In a win for pollinators, a California Superior Court has issued a ruling that sulfoxaflor, a systemic pesticide that is ‚Äúfield legal‚ÄĚ but ‚Äúbee lethal,‚ÄĚ can no longer be used in the state. The suit was brought by the Pollinator Stewardship Council and the American Beekeeping Federation. The ruling of the Superior Court of the State of California for Alameda County finds that the argument of the petitioners ‚ÄĒ that sulfoxaflor approval decisions by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) ‚ÄĒ is valid. Eliminating this highly bee-toxic pesticide from use in the state is expected to protect not only native bees and other pollinators (including Monarch butterflies in early Spring), but also, the many millions of managed-colony bees that are transported to California for pollination of almond and other crops. The suit was filed against DPR, Corteva inc., Dow Agrosciences LLC, the Siskiyou County Department of Agriculture, and James E. Smith as Siskiyou County Agricultural Commissioner. Having found for the petitioners‚Äô request for a Writ of Mandate (a court order requiring a lower court or public authority to perform its statutory duty), the court instructed the petitioners to […]

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The Expense of Pesticides Significantly Outweigh Economic Benefits

Thursday, December 9th, 2021

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

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