• Learn to Manage Pests Naturally
  • Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Learn to Keep Insects Out of your Crops
  • Learn About Pesticides in Foods
  • Learn About Colony Collapse Disorder and How to Protect Bees
  • Learn To Manage Weeds Without Chemical Pesticides
  • LIving Near Fields Increases Pesticide Exposure
  • Driving Near Recently Sprayed Fields Exposes People to Pesticides
  • SNAP Display at Event
  • Link to SK Organic Resources

Latest News...

Monday, February 26, 2018

California Court Ruling Ends Decades of State Pesticide Spraying

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California Court Ruling Ends Decades of State Pesticide Spraying (EcoWatch)

"The judge has told the state that harmful pesticides simply can't be sprayed indiscriminately, without robust consideration of impacts on people, animals and water," said Bill Allayaud, California director of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group. "The ruling also affirms that Californians have the right to know about pesticides being sprayed around them and the ability to challenge spraying that endangers public health and natural resources."

filed under Legislation/Regulatory/ USA

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Facility planned for GTH would burn chemically-soaked railway ties to produce electricity.

Neighbours concerned about possible environmental effects, says RM of Sherwood

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Facility planned for GTH would burn chemically-soaked railway ties to produce electricity. Neighbours concerned about possible environmental effects, says RM of Sherwood (CBC Investigates)

Creosote is a registered pesticide used in treating wood in Canada. It is toxic and cancer-causing. Proper disposal of treated wood is a huge can of worms around the world as we keep producing more and there is no safe way of re-using, recycling or disposing.

Any kind of smoke is already known to be cancer-causing. When it is laced with additional cancer-causing chemicals, it is even more unacceptable. and upwind from a center of population? even more unacceptable. I don't know if anyone has used the term incinerator for this project, but most recent incinerator projects have been vehemently opposed because of the pollution they cause.

filed under and more info under treated wood  

also see Creosote on wikipedia

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Organic Food and Farming Movement Calls for the Regulation of New Genetic Engineering Techniques as GMOs

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The Organic Food and Farming Movement Calls for the Regulation of New Genetic Engineering Techniques as GMOs

The current absence of regulation for these new technologies in many parts of the world means that genetically modified plants and animals can be released in the environment with no risk assessment and no information for breeders, farmers and consumers. The organic movement calls on regulators to ensure transparency and traceability, and to safeguard producers’ and consumers’ freedom not to use untested genetic engineering techniques.”

filed under gmos/general

Saturday, January 20, 2018

New German Government Would Ban Glyphosate Herbicides in Shock to Monsanto-Bayer Merger

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New German Government Would Ban Glyphosate Herbicides in Shock to Monsanto-Bayer Merger  (12 January 2018)

In a shock announcement Friday, Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) have agreed on a blueprint for formal grand coalition negotiations, which includes a complete ban on glyphosate herbicides. Details of the suggested ban are yet to be announced.

filed under legislation/Europe

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Literature review of impacts of glyphosate herbicide on amphibians: What risks can the silvicultural use of this herbicide pose for amphibians in B.C.?

B.C. study of the risks of glyphosate use in forestry.

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Literature review of impacts of glyphosate herbicide on amphibians: What risks can the silvicultural use of this herbicide pose for amphibians in B.C.?

by
Purnima P. Govindarajulu, Ph.D.

includes an EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. "the expected environmental concentration (EEC) of glyphosate herbicides of 1.43 mg a.e./L is at or above the estimated LC50 (lethal dose kiling 50% of the study animals) value for some amphibians." Many serious sublethal effects are known to occur well below this concentration. Indirect impacts also occur...The formulant POEA appears more toxic to amphibians. Alternative formulations that do not use POEA are now available in some parts of the world (but not in Canada) and these formulations have been shown to have much lower toxicity to amphibians. There is insufficient information on the levels of glyphosate contamination in small ephemeral wetlands, which are favoured habitats of amphibians, and which may be exposed to direct overspraying with herbicide under current use guidelines."

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Glyphosate herbicides are the most widely used non-selective broad-spectrum herbicides in the world. In Canada they are extensively used in forestry for site preparation and for conifer release. This report summarizes current literature on the non-target impacts of glyphosate herbicides on amphibians. This review of published studies, combined with a review of the application guidelines and the use patterns of this herbicide in silviculture in B.C., identifies knowledge gaps in the assessment of herbicide impacts on native amphibians in this province. Recent studies have shown that amphibians are one of the most sensitive vertebrate groups to the toxicological effects of this herbicide. The LC50 (lethal concentration) value for many amphibians is between 10 and 1 mg a.e./L, and for some amphibians the LC50 is between 1 and 0.1 mg a.e./L (acid equivalent, a.e., is a measure of the amount of the active glyphosate ingredient in herbicide formulations). Therefore, glyphosate herbicides are classified as moderately to highly toxic to amphibians. In addition, the expected environmental concentration (EEC) of glyphosate herbicides of 1.43 mg a.e./L is at or above the estimated LC50 value for some amphibians, particularly when water pH is above 7. Amphibians may also suffer from a variety of sublethal effects (e.g., impaired growth and development, behaviour, physiological parameters, and genomic characteristics) and indirect impacts (e.g., mediated through interaction with competitive and predatory stress, and changes to the food resources, temperature, pH, and UV light) arising from the use of glyphosate herbicides. There is evidence to suggest that the surfactant (polyethoxylated tallow amine or POEA) rather than the active ingredient (isopropylamine salt of glyphosate) in these formulations is responsible for the toxic effects in amphibians. Alternative formulations that do not use POEA are now available in some parts of the world (but not in Canada) and these formulations have been shown to have much lower toxicity to amphibians. In most jurisdictions, the use of glyphosate herbicides in silviculture requires that label directions are followed and also that sensitive areas are protected by a buffer zone. In B.C. pesticide-free zones (PFZ) are required around sensitive areas and buffer zones are required to protect these PFZs around the sensitive areas. In B.C. these requirements apply to large and moderate-sized wetlands and streams and are intended to protect aquatic organisms from impacts of glyphosate herbicides. Although most waterbodies and many riparian areas are afforded protection, glyphosate may be sprayed over dry creeks as well as over certain types of temporary isolated ponds that are habitats frequently used by amphibians. British Columbia ranks second in Canada in the use of glyphosate in forestry. In B.C. glyphosate herbicides are used over approximately 20,000 ha of forested land, primarily for conifer release. Most of this area is in the Northern Interior Forestry Region and this region accounts for 95% of the aerial application and 57% of the ground application of this herbicide. The commercial formulation most commonly used is Vision (Monsanto, Winnipeg, Manitoba), although Monsanto recently introduced a more concentrated formulation, VisionMax. Other manufacturers now also supply glyphosate-based herbicides to the Canadian market. Glyphosate herbicides are applied once during the silvicultural cycle (50 to 80 years), primarily during summer and early fall (July to September), but applications may be repeated if further weed suppression is required. ii This review suggests that the silvicultural use of glyphosate needs to be re-evaluated with respect to non-target impacts on amphibians in B.C. In addition, knowledge gaps hinder effective and realistic assessment of these impacts. Glyphosate impacts can be species-specific in amphibians, but acute toxicity values are known for only two native B.C. amphibians (the Wood Frog, Rana sylvatica, and the Leopard Frog, R. pipiens). The impact of glyphosate herbicides on salamander species and on terrestrial stages of amphibians is not well understood. There is insufficient information on the levels of glyphosate contamination in small ephemeral wetlands, which are favoured habitats of amphibians, and which may be exposed to direct overspraying with herbicide under current use guidelines. Although the surfactant in glyphosate herbicides, POEA, has been identified as potentially the primary ingredient causing toxicity to amphibians, the option of using surfactants of lower toxicity has not been assessed. These knowledge gaps need to be addressed so that best management practices can be developed to minimize non-target impacts on amphibians from the use of glyphosate herbicides in forestry. 

filed under fact sheets/ glyphosate and Wildlife/Frogs and amhibians

Friday, November 17, 2017

Baking Soda Washes Pesticides from Apples

from the surface only, not what had penetrated the skin

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Baking Soda Washes Pesticides from Apples (By Janet Pelley, for C&EN, 15 NOv. 2017)

'The scientists compared the efficacy of the germicidal bleach to rinsing with tap water or a sodium bicarbonate solution, which is alkaline. “Most pesticides are not stable at an alkaline pH, which breaks down the compounds and helps to wash them away,” she explains.'  The researchers applied two common pesticides, the fungicide thiabendazole and the insecticide phosmet, at concentrations used by farmers. 

'Immersing the apples in a sodium bicarbonate solution for 15 minutes followed by a freshwater rinse removed all pesticide residues from the surface of the apples, whereas the tap water and bleach treatments removed some, but not all. Sodium bicarbonate degrades the pesticides, boosting the physical removal force of washing, He says.' However some residue had penetrated the peel and could not be removed.

filed under Pesticide Remediation/Removal



Monday, November 13, 2017

'On life support:' Research shows common pesticides starve, disorient birds

Th birds lost wight and their sense of direction with low dose exposure

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'On life support:' Research shows common pesticides starve, disorient birds

SNAP Comment: Another great study from Christy Morrissey at University of Saskatchewan.Low dose studies are typically not required for pesticide registration, and neither are behavioral studies. Looks like she is now on the radar of CropLife Canada. I wish her the best!

"Morrissey studied the effect of two widely used pesticide types — neonicotinoids and organophosphates. Both are used on more than 100 different crops, including wheat and canola, and are found in dozens of commercial products. Both are known to be lethal to birds in large doses, but Morrissey wanted to study the impact of smaller amounts. The results were dramatic.

After three days, the low-dose birds lost 17 per cent of their weight. The high-dose birds lost 25 per cent.

The birds exposed to organophosphates kept their weight, but they lost something else — their ability to find north. Both the high-dose and low-dose group lost all orientation and didn’t get it back after the tests ended.

The neonics also disoriented the sparrows, but the effect faded when the exposure stopped.

filed under wildlife/ birds

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Sulfoxaflor and flupyradifurone: Neonicotinoids or not ?

This factsheet has demonstrated how pesticide companies make use of pseudo-science to give their new pesticides a more positive image

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Sulfoxaflor and flupyradifurone:  Neonicotinoids or not ? (PAN Europe, Sept 2016)

The pesticide industry is trying to hide the reality behind two new chemicals that are similar to the notorious group of neonicotinoids linked to massive bee death all over the world.
Their properties clearly show that they should be classified as neonicotinoids.

General conclusion
This factsheet has demonstrated how pesticide companies make use of pseudo-science to give their new pesticides a more positive image. In the frame of the ever greater interest of the general public in the relation between pesticide use and health damage, including bee health, the fact that pesticide companies themselves decide what category a pesticide belongs to, for mere regulatory or marketing purposes should not be authorised.
Sulfoxaflor and flupyradifurone are neonicotinoid insecticides. They should be treated accordingly by regulator, taking into account their systemicity and the harm they could cause to non-target organisms such as bees.

filed under pesticide fact sheets

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Press Release: New Study: Glyphosate persists! And European top soils are contaminated with it.

The concentrations of glyphosate and AMPA found in the study have been shown to be toxic to soil organisms

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Press Release: New Study: Glyphosate persists! And European top soils are contaminated with it. (PAN Europe, October 13, 2017)

"45% of Europe’s top soil contains glyphosate residues, demonstrating the over-reliance of the EU agricultural model on this harmful herbicide chemical. In contrast to what its manufactures2 purport, glyphosate persists in soils affecting not only soil fertility and crop quality, but also human and environmental health." 

"The concentrations of glyphosate and AMPA found in the study have been shown to be toxic to soil organisms such as earthworms3, beneficial bacteria4 and fungi5 , as glyphosate weakens down plants’ natural defences making them susceptible to pathogens6." 

filed under pesticide fact sheets / glyphosate

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Long-term yield trends of insect-pollinated crops vary regionally and are linked to neonicotinoid use, landscape complexity, and availability of pollinators

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Long-term yield trends of insect-pollinated crops vary regionally and are linked to neonicotinoid use, landscape complexity, and availability of pollinators (Heikki M. T. Hokkanen et al,  Arthropod-Plant Interactions, June 2017, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 449–461, First Online: 21 April 2017) a Finnish study.

 'It appears that only the uptake of neonicotinoid insecticide seed dressing about 15 years ago can explain the crop yield declines in several provinces, and at the national level for turnip rapeseed, most likely via disruption of pollination services by wild pollinators.'

filed under Bee Die-Off and neonicotinoids