• Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemical Pesticides
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  • Learn to Keep Insects Out of your Crops
  • 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
  • SNAP Tour of Organic Vegetable Garden
  • Learn About Pesticides in Foods
  • Learn to Manage Pests Naturally

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought

Scientists identified eight ag chemicals associated with increased risk of infection by the parasite Nosema ceranae

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Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought

“It’s not clear whether the pesticides are drifting over to those plants but we need take a new look at agricultural spraying practices,” says vanEngelsdorp. SNAP Comment: It took bees to finally bring us there...

Researchers collected pollen from hives on the east coast pollinating cranberry, watermelon and other crops and fed it to healthy bees, those bees showed a significant decline in their ability to resist infection by a parasite called Nosema ceranae. The parasite has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder though scientists took pains to point out that their findings do not directly link the pesticides to CCD. The pollen was contaminated on average with nine different pesticides and fungicides though scientists discovered 21 agricultural chemicals in one sample. Scientists identified eight ag chemicals associated with increased risk of infection by the parasite.

Most disturbing, bees that ate pollen contaminated with fungicides were three times as likely to be infected by the parasite. Widely used, fungicides had been thought to be harmless for bees as they’re designed to kill fungus, not insects, on crops like apples.

The study found another complication in efforts to save the bees: US honey bees, which are descendants of European bees, do not bring home pollen from native North American crops but collect bee chow from nearby weeds and wildflowers. That pollen, however, was also contaminated with pesticides even though those plants were not the target of spraying.

SNAP Comment: The abiliy of several registered pesticides to decrease immunity and make animals (and plants) susceptible to disease has been known for some time, at least since they found over 20 years ago that amphibians exposed to DDT in Ontario (including in Point Pelee National Park) were much more susceptible to disease. This is reiterated in Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles, Second Edition, (2010) edited by Donald W. Sparling, Greg Linder, Christine A. Bishop, Sherry Krest, p 281. I guess it took bees to bring it to the general public and most researchers' attention. 

Filed under bee die-off

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

DDT Resistant Fruit Flies Show Reproductive Difficulties

The study raises possible concerns about the effect of pesticide exposure to non-target (not the focus of pesticide use) insects that are integral to a healthy ecology and food web

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DDT Resistant Fruit Flies Show Reproductive Difficulties

(Beyond Pesticides, June 7, 2017) Fruit flies that developed a genetic resistance to the insecticide DDT have lower success at mating than those without similar changes, according to a study published last month in the journal Behavior Genetics. The results were surprising to researchers, given that the resistance developed through changes to a single allele (a variation of a single gene). “It is amazing that even if all the genes are exactly the same, having this one gene expressed at a higher level has all these effects,” said Professor Nina Wedell, PhD, of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation on Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall, UK to Phys.org. The study raises possible concerns about the effect of pesticide exposure to non-target (not the focus of pesticide use) insects that are integral to a healthy ecology and food web...However, it should be noted that the documented effects in this study are only seen in the absence of insecticide exposure.

SNAP Comment: These types of effects are not mandated studies prior to pesticide registration. I also think the study raises possible concerns about genetic engineering (GE). If the change in one naturally occurring allele can cause problems, what can the insertion of a new gene do?...

filed under Reproductive Health, wildlife/insects and gmos/Safety/Health Effects

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Common Mosquito Control Insecticides Decrease Motor Function in Infants

The most striking effects were seen with the chemicals chlorpyrifos and naled at the 9 month old testing.

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Common Mosquito Control Insecticides Decrease Motor Function in Infants

(Beyond Pesticides, June 13, 2017) Prenatal exposure to commonly used mosquito and agricultural insecticides is associated with decreased motor function in infants, according to a study published in Environment International by a team of Chinese and U.S. researchers.

For the current study, over 350 pregnant Chinese mothers were tested for the presence of organophosphate pesticides in their umbilical cord blood. Researchers looked at exposure to the insecticides naled, methamidophos, trichlorfon, chlorpyrifos, and phorate. After giving birth, their children’s motor function was tested at both six and nine months of age. Significant changes were seen at the 9 month testing. For naled, scores for visual motor, fine motor, and fine motor quotients decreased 0.55, 0.85, and 0.90 points lower per 1 ng/mL increase in naled originally detected in an infant mother’s cord blood. With chlorpyrifos, reflexes, locomotion, grasping, VM (visual motor), GM (gross motor), FM (fine motor), TM (total motor), GMQ (gross motor quotient), FMQ (fine motor quotient), and TMQ (total motor quotient) are, respectively, 0.50, 1.98, 0.80, 1.91, 3.49, 2.71, 6.29, 2.56, 2.04, and 2.59 points lower, when comparing exposed and unexposed infants, according to the study.

SNAP Comment: Chlorpyrifos is still used for mosquito control in Edmonton, Alberta. I don't know about naled use in Canada. These are more of a concern when traveling, I guess, including in Florida which is known to use Naled.

filed under children

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Can Organic Food Prevent a Public Health Crisis?

From children’s development to antibiotic resistance, a new European Parliament report charts the many benefits of organic food.

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Can Organic Food Prevent a Public Health Crisis? (civileats.com)

From children’s development to antibiotic resistance, a new European Parliament report charts the many benefits of organic food.

When it comes to pesticides, antibiotic resistance, and cadmium exposure, the authors write, “If no action is taken, an opportunity to address some important public health issues would be missed.”

The report was prepared for a European audience, but its findings clearly apply to the U.S. “They did a really comprehensive job of a global literature search, so I don’t think anything in the report wouldn’t be applicable,” said Boise State University assistant professor of community and environmental health Cynthia Curl, who researches links between diet and pesticide exposure. Lots of links.

filed under organic/food

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Prevent Cancer Now and the Coalition for a Healthy Calgary Concerned With City Report on Pesticides

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Prevent Cancer Now and the Coalition for a Healthy Calgary Concerned With City Report on Pesticides
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2017Calgary - Calgary's once-in-a-generation examination of its use of weed killers is blowing by, with no substantive improvements proposed.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Court Revokes Federal Approval of Nanotech Pesticide

(EPA) failed to show that its conditional registration of the antimicrobial, nano-silver pesticide product “NSPW-L30SS” (previously “Nanosilva”) is in the public interest and revoked its registration.

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Court Revokes Federal Approval of Nanotech Pesticide  (Beyond Pesticides, June 6, 2017) Last week, the U .S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to show that its conditional registration of the antimicrobial, nano-silver pesticide product “NSPW-L30SS” (previously “Nanosilva”) is in the public interest and revoked its registration. 

According to the Center for Food Safety, the Court’s decision is the first of its kind to address EPA’s responsibilities in issuing conditional registrations of new pesticide products like NSPW-L30SS...This case also highlights the deficiencies of the controversial conditional registration process at EPA. EPA’s conditional approval of the nanoproduct exemplifies the agency’s allowance of products into the market without sufficient and legally required data.

SNAP Comment: Apparently, there are no more conditional pesticide registrations in Canada as of 1 June 1916, but we are still stuck with the 1% of pesticides approved under those such as neonicotinoids. A conditional registration essentially means that a pesticide is approved before all mandatory tests are performed and submitted and the registration does not undergo public consultation.

filed under Legislation/Regulatory/USA

Friday, June 2, 2017

Levels of Triclosan Spike in Children Following Hand Washing or Tooth Brushing

Remember to check labels!

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Levels of Triclosan Spike in Children Following Hand Washing or Tooth Brushing

(Beyond Pesticides, June 2, 2017) 

The researchers found triclosan in over 70% of samples taken. In the group of 8 year olds, they report that levels were 66% higher in the children that used hand soap. For those that wash their hands over five times a day, the levels increase more than four times in comparison to children who wash their hands once or less per day. For toothpaste, researchers find that children who had brushed their teeth and then been tested within 24 hours had concentrations of triclosan that were 167% higher than those who had not brushed their teeth in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, EPA, which has jurisdiction over non-cosmetic consumer products containing triclosan (microban), continues to allow the use of this hazardous chemical in numerous plastic and textile products, from toys, cutting boards, hair brushes, sponges, computer keyboards to socks and undergarments

SNAP comment: I believe triclosan and triclocarban have to be listed on labels. Perhaps the product only mentions antibacterials like the shoes I bought last year. I have not been able to find out which anti-bacterial was used. 

filed under antibacterials

Friday, June 2, 2017

Neonicotinoid Seed Coatings Create Exposure Hazards for Honey Bees and Fail to Increase Yields

The data demonstrate the movement of neonic residues outside the borders of planted fields,

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Neonicotinoid Seed Coatings Create Exposure Hazards for Honey Bees and Fail to Increase Yields  (Beyond Pesticides, May 31, 2017)

This article deals with corn and soy. In Saskatchewan, most of our canola is treated with neonics and U of S studies have shown widespread contamination of sloughs.

“There was a misconception that any bees not living near corn were likely to be fine. But that’s not true, and it’s clear that these insecticides are reaching into the places bees forage and putting them at risk.” The research team set up neonic dust collection traps at 12 corn fields around Indiana and collected samples over two years to determine the levels of pesticide dust at increasing distances from the corn field edges. The data demonstrate the movement of neonic residues outside the borders of planted fields, and the researchers estimate that residues on non-target lands and waterways will be deposited on over 42% of the state of Indiana during the corn planting season."

filed under neonics

Friday, June 2, 2017

G20 Health Ministers Craft Plan to Address Antimicrobial Resistance

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G20 Health Ministers Craft Plan to Address Antimicrobial Resistance

(Beyond Pesticides, May 23, 2017) Health ministers from the G20 nations, the largest advanced and emerging economies, identified Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) as a “current and increasing threat and challenge to global health” and committed the member countries to several actions aimed at reducing the occurrence of AMR.

filed under antibacterials

Monday, May 29, 2017

Snopes Takes Money From Monsanto To ‘Debunk’ Cancer Claims

How Snopes lost its objectivity

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Snopes Takes Money From Monsanto To ‘Debunk’ Cancer Claims  (YourNewsWire, May 26, 2017)  

'It was brought to my attention that after Snopes first called our piece a “MIXTURE” of truth, Monsanto’s operative (aka Kevin Folta) swept in and started bullying the reporter at Snopes into changing his article to claim that the information we presented was “FALSE”'.

An interesting account of the text and gist of Snope's assessment before and after correspondence with Folta. How removing a few words, the sin of omission, and small tweeks rewriting can change the meaning and understanding of an issue. 

filed under Industry Shenanigans/ Media Manipulation