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

Archives for 2017

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

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Glyphosate on feed affects livestock: vet

A veterinarian in Shaunavon, Sask., believes feed with glyphosate residue adversely affects cattle health

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Glyphosate on feed affects livestock: vet (Western Producer, 19 October 2017) 

A veterinarian in Shaunavon, Sask., believes feed with glyphosate residue adversely affects cattle health. Dr. Ted Dupmeier, who operates his own practice at Shaunavon, told about 50 people at a recent event he called an awareness seminar that he began investigating after being unable to diagnose problems in a dairy herd in which cows were inexplicably dying. He said after removing feed that had been sprayed with glyphosate the problems were resolved.

SNAP Comment: Positive that this story was actually worth an article in the Western Producer. This "anecdote" supports the facts presented in the video Poisoned Fields - Glyphosate, the underrated risk? (HD 1080p)  (Jan 25, 2016)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Poisoned Fields - Glyphosate, the underrated risk?

a 52 minute video looking at the new evidence of harm

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Poisoned Fields - Glyphosate, the underrated risk? (HD 1080p)  (Jan 25, 2016)

Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used weed killer. Some claim it is completely harmless, others say it is a serious health hazard for man and animals. A topical investigation into a controversial substance.

filed under fact sheets/glyphosate

Friday, October 20, 2017

Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers

Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth

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Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers  (Damian Carrington, Environment editor, The Guardian, 18 October 2017) 

“Insects make up about two-thirds of all life on Earth but there has been some kind of horrific decline,” said Prof Dave Goulson of Sussex University, UK, and part of the team behind the new study. “We appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life, and are currently on course for ecological Armageddon. If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.”

 "In September, a chief scientific adviser to the UK government warned that regulators around the world have falsely assumed that it is safe to use pesticides at industrial scales across landscapes and that the “effects of dosing whole landscapes with chemicals have been largely ignored”."

filed under wildlife/insects

This scientific paper is also covered by the National Post and the Washington Post, 19 October 2017)  Flying insects aren't getting spattlered on your windshield any more - and scientistsare concerned

Friday, October 6, 2017

A worldwide survey of neonicotinoids in honey

We found at least one of five tested compounds in 75% of all samples

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A worldwide survey of neonicotinoids in honey

E. A. D. Mitchell1,2,* et al  (Science  06 Oct 2017: Vol. 358, Issue 6359, pp. 109-111)

We assessed the global exposure of pollinators to neonicotinoids by analyzing 198 honey samples from across the world. We found at least one of five tested compounds (acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam) in 75% of all samples, 45% of samples contained two or more of these compounds, and 10% contained four or five. 

filed under neonicotinoids and  food

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Monsanto banned from European parliament

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Monsanto banned from European parliament (The Guardian, 28 Sept. 2017)
I wish we had rules like that in North America! We coud finally start cleaning up democracy, until compamies find a way around it.

'Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference.'
It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings.'
 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth

How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public,

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Altered Genes, Twisted Truth

Steven Druker talked about his book Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public, in which he discusses the science and regulations behind genetically engineered food. His organization, Alliance for Bio-Integrity, filed a lawsuit that uncovered concerns that some FDA scientists had about risks related to genetically engineered food.

interesting 1 1/2 hour video of the auhor's talk. worth litening to.

files under gmos/Safety/Health Effects

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

U of S defends prof's Monsanto ties, but some faculty disagree

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U of S defends prof's Monsanto ties, but some faculty disagree

'We encourage our faculty to translate their knowledge,' says public policy school director Jeremy Rayner  (By Jason Warick, CBC News  May 10, 2017) 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Pesticides 101

Pesticides 101 (PANNA)

Pesticides are used all around us, in homes and gardens, schools, parks and agricultural fields.

All too often, these chemicals are allowed onto the market before their impacts are fully understood — and harms to our health and the environment are discovered years later. The science is increasingly clear that even low levels of exposure can harm human health, and children are particularly vulnerable.

includes 

  1. What are pesticides?
  2. What is the “pesticide treadmill?”
  3. Which rules govern pesticides?  US and international
  4. Exposure & impacts

filed under pesticides-101-introduction-to-pesticides

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

No doubt that neonicotinoids are killing birds, bees, scientists say

Pesticides also pose deadly risk to frogs, birds, fish, earthworms, French scientist says

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No doubt that neonicotinoids are killing birds, bees, scientists say

Pesticides also pose deadly risk to frogs, birds, fish, earthworms, French scientist says

(By Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press Posted: Sep 19, 2017) 

Since 2013 the European Union hasn't allowed the use of the three most common neonics in any crops which attract bees and is looking at extending that to additional crops.

France is phasing in a complete ban on all agricultural uses of neonics, with the full ban set to take effect next year...Bonmatin said since Europe began barring the use of neonics, there has been success at limiting the exposure honey bees have to the toxic chemicals, without a significant reduction in crop yields.

more on neonicotinoids at pesticide factsheets

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Farmers’ Greater Risk of Diabetes Linked to Pesticide Exposure

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Farmers’ Greater Risk of Diabetes Linked to Pesticide Exposure

(Beyond Pesticides, September, 2017) A recently released report, Gallup-Sharecare State of Well-Being: The Face of Diabetes in the United States, looks at high diabetes rates across various U.S. demographic groups, including those in farming. People working in the transportation sector registered the highest incidence of diagnosed diabetes at 10.6%. But those working as farmers and fishermen came in second, with 8.5% reporting a diagnosis of the disease.

filed under health/dibetes-obesity

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Water is the Connection: Managing Pesticide Risk for Salmon Recovery A Guide for Willamette Valley Farmers

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Water is the Connection: Managing Pesticide Risk for Salmon Recovery
A Guide for Willamette Valley Farmers
  (NCAP, June 2017)

This publication is designed to help pesticide applicators, especially in agriculture, learn about salmon in the Willamette Basin and the pesticides that are harmful to salmon or their
food sources. Pesticide label language that indicates potential for aquatic contamination is explained. Voluntary Best Management Practices (BMPs) to minimize pesticide risk to aquatic habitats are included. Pesticide applicators can choose among these BMPs to reduce the risk of harming salmon.

SNAP Comment: Most of the pesticides discussed here are also used in Saskatchewan and the risk to aquatic environments and other fish species is likely similar. With only 1 provincial  and 2 federal pesticide inspectors in Saskatchewan, most misuse is never reported, and even less prosecuted. The importance of this report is in presenting sucessful alternatives to pesticides.

filed under wildlife/ aquatic organisms and alternatives/overview

Friday, September 1, 2017

Complex mixtures of dissolved pesticides show potential aquatic toxicity in a synoptic study of Midwestern U.S. streams

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Complex mixtures of dissolved pesticides show potential aquatic toxicity in a synoptic study of Midwestern U.S. streams (Science of The Total Environment,online 9 August 2017)

In weekly water samples, 94 pesticides and 89 degradates were detected, with a median of 25 compounds detected per sample and 54 detected per site. Relatively few pesticides in water—atrazine, acetochlor, metolachlor, (the insecticides) imidacloprid, fipronil, organophosphate insecticides, and the fungicide carbendazim—were predicted to be major contributors to potential toxicity. Agricultural streams had the highest potential for effects on plants, especially in May–June, corresponding to high spring-flush herbicide concentrations. Urban streams had higher detection frequencies and concentrations of insecticides and most fungicides than in agricultural streams, and higher potential for invertebrate toxicity, which peaked during July–August.

SNAP Comment: I wonder how many pesticides they actually tested for (i.e. were there any negativ findings?) I suspect that the reason only 7 pesticides were major contributors to potential toxicity is that they are the most heavily used. Hopefully this assertion is examined in the paper.I suspect that most of what is used would be found in an area's streams in Canada, should we check. However we re still in the dark as to pesticides used in each province.

filed under water

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Birth Abnormalities Linked to Pesticide Exposures

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Birth Abnormalities Linked to Pesticide Exposures

(Beyond Pesticides, August 31, 2017) Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara report in a new study that exposure to pesticides as a result of living near agricultural areas increases the risk of giving birth to a baby with abnormalities. These results are more significant for those exposed to very high levels of pesticides, underscoring the continued risks faced by farmworkers and farmworker families, especially mothers living near chemically-intensive treated fields.

The study, “Agricultural pesticide use and adverse birth outcomes in the San Joaquin Valley of California,” looked at individual birth and demographic characteristics for over 500,000 birth observations between 1997 and 2011 in the agriculturally dominated San Joaquin Valley, California. The researchers, who report their findings as, “the most comprehensive to date,

filed under Birth Defects

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Overview: Pesticides & Human Health

Excellent review as a backgrounder document. with references.

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Overview: Pesticides & Human Health  (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. 11 August 2017).

Excellent review as a backgrounder document. with references. 

'That said, based on the consistency of the findings across many different situations and geographic locations, health researchers have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that serious adverse health impacts can be associated with the use of, and exposure to, pesticides, that their use should be reduced, and exposure to them should be minimized.'

filed under health
 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Everything You Need To Know About Poison Ivy

Deals with how to wash clothes, the rash and plants.

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Everything You Need To Know About Poison Ivy
Don't let fear of poison ivy keep you out of the garden. Here's how to get rid of it for good. 

Deals with how to wash clothes, the rash and plants.

filed under alternatives/weeds/ naturalcontrol of individual weeds

Monday, August 28, 2017

Organic Agriculture: Visions and Challenges

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Organic Agriculture: Visions and Challenges –Topic of Article

(Beyond Pesticides, August 25, 2017)  This growth of organic is propelled by consumers and farmers who recognize significant environmental and health advantages of organic, compared to chemical-intensive agriculture. In this context, studies conclude that organic agriculture may be the best way to meet the world’s food security and environmental needs...Global investment in “organic supportive” research and development activity as of 2011 was .5% of the total investment in agricultural R&D.

SNAP Comment: Interesting article.

filed under Organics

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Chip Osborne: "Help! I Don't Know What's in my Lawn

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Chip Osborne: "Help! I Don't Know What's in my Lawn . 1 hour video presentation.  

One of the best presentations I have seen on grass! It compares the current pesticide/fertilizer approach to the successful and cheaper alternative approach  developed by Chip. Lots of examples. Basics: correct the deficiencies and feed the soil, not the plants.

filed under lawn/turf 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

USGS Report Shows Dozens of Pesticides Consistently Found in Midwestern Streams, Underscoring the Need for Organic Practices

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USGS Report Shows Dozens of Pesticides Consistently Found in Midwestern Streams, Underscoring the Need for Organic Practices

(Beyond Pesticides, August 22, 2017) Streams in the Midwestern U,S. are polluted with complex mixtures averaging over 50 pesticides each, according to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report published earlier this month. This is the latest and also most extensive study on pesticide contamination in U.S. streams to date.

SNAP Comment: There are a few Saskatchewan studies of only a few pesticides each (Canada does not have the same resources as the US for testing) also indicating widespread contamination in Saskatchewan. 

filed under water

Some Saskatchewan studies under Pesticides in SK Water

Monday, August 21, 2017

PA needs to move to proper notification of pesticide use and towards alternatives

PA Herald article and SNAP response letters

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August 11-21, 2017 Estelle Hjertaas, a SNAP member, raised the issue of lack of notification for pesticide use in Prince albert, Saskatchewan. Pesticide opponents see greener way to kill weeds - goats I wrote a letter (comment) to the PA Herald about the article. Letter to the PA Herald in response to article on Prince albert'. I followed it up on 21 August with a letter to the mayor and other parties in the city of Prince Albert. Letter on Alternatives to Pesticides and Why to Use Them to PA Mayor

filed uder Presentation and Publications

Friday, August 18, 2017

Beyond Pesticides Journal Articles Link Pesticides to Soil Microbiota and Gut Microbiome Poisoning and Resulting Diseases

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Beyond Pesticides Journal Articles Link Pesticides to Soil Microbiota and Gut Microbiome Poisoning and Resulting Diseases

(Beyond Pesticides, August 15, 2017) With increasing scientific understanding about the importance of beneficial bacteria in soil and the human body —microbiota in the soil and microbiome in the human gut, the summer 2017 issue of Beyond Pesticides’ journal, Pesticides and You, publishes two critical articles to advance the importance of community discussion and action on organic and sustainable practices. The lead article, Sustaining Life: From Soil Microbiota to Gut Microbiome by professor of geomorphology (University of Washington) and author David Montgomery, PhD, contains excerpts from Dr. Montgomery’s talk to Beyond Pesticides’ 35th National Pesticide Forum, documenting the importance of soil microbiota to healthy soil, resilient plants, and sustainability. Also in the Journal, Monsanto’s Roundup (Glyphosate) Exposed, by Terry Shistar, Ph.D., documents the science linking the most widely used herbicide on the planet, Monsanto’s glyphosate, to the blocking of an enzyme that supports the essential pathway for beneficial bacteria, critical to human health.

talks are available for free on Beyond Pesticides youtube channel

Friday, August 18, 2017

Beyond Pesticides Sues Mott’s for Labeling Pesticide-Laden Applesauce “Natural”

The Labeling wars...

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Beyond Pesticides Sues Mott’s for Labeling Pesticide-Laden Applesauce “Natural”

(Beyond Pesticides, May 5, 2017)  One of the unfortunate side effects of living in countries where chemical pesticides are at the forefront of agriculture is the widespread contamination of our food and water with them. In this case the neonicotinoid insecticide acetamiprid.
 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Rod Cumberland - Presentation on the effects of glyphosate on deer

Indirect effect but massive.

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Rod Cumberland - Presentation on the effects of glyphosate on deer

A New Brusnwick deer biologist explains how he researched the problem of the tumbling New Brunswick deeer population and what he found. Softwood tree plantations sprayed with RoundUp to eliminate any other growth are the culprit. No food left for deer or most other species.

Indirect effect but massive. Very interesting. the kind of thing one suspects, but to find someone who investigated it is great. A new piece in the puzzle of how we destroy the earth that sustains us.
filed under wildlife/mammals

Monday, August 14, 2017

Popular Pesticides Keep Bumblebees From Laying Eggs

the reduction in reproduction is so large that wild bumblebee populations exposed to these chemicals could enter a spiral of decline and eventually die out.

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Popular Pesticides Keep Bumblebees From Laying Eggs  (The Salt, August 14, 2017)

The scientists, based at Royal Holloway University of London, set up a laboratory experiment with bumblebee queens. They fed those queens a syrup containing traces of a neonicotinoid pesticide called thiamethoxam, and the amount of the pesticide, they say, was similar to what bees living near fields of neonic-treated canola might be exposed to.

Bumblebee queens exposed to the pesticide were 26 percent less likely to lay eggs, compared to queens that weren't exposed to the pesticide. The team published their findings in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.... According to Raine and his colleagues, the reduction in reproduction is so large that wild bumblebee populations exposed to these chemicals could enter a spiral of decline and eventually die out.

filed under wildlife/insects

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Millions of eggs removed from European shelves over toxicity fear

Fipronil is an insecticide used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks on pets but is not allowed in food production

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Millions of eggs removed from European shelves over toxicity fears (The Guardian, 3 Aug.2017)

Food contamination is not an unknown occurrence in Canada either.

Fipronil is an insecticide used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks on pets but is not allowed in food production. If ingested long term the highy toxic can damage the liver, thyroid gland and kidneys.
...but it's OK for pets... When you buy a flea product, pease check the ingredients.

filed under food and pets
 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Crop Damage from Monsanto’s Herbicide Dicamba Being Investigated in 17 States, Pointing to New Formulation Used in GE Fields

Dicamba, a toxic pesticide prone to drift off the target site, has been used in agriculture for decades.

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Crop Damage from Monsanto’s Herbicide Dicamba Being Investigated in 17 States, Pointing to New Formulation Used in GE Fields

(Beyond Pesticides, August 8, 2017) More than 1,400 official complaints of crop damage related to the herbicide dicamba have been recorded across 17 states this year, leading some to question a new formulation of the chemical used in genetically engineered (GE) fields. 

Dicamba, a toxic pesticide prone to drift off the target site, has been used in agriculture for decades. However, new GE crops developed by Monsanto must be paired with specific formulations of dicamba, and until now many believed these drift incidents were the result of illegal formulations of dicamba being applied to fields. But the extent of damage now being observed, covering over 2.5 million acres, is casting doubt on this theory, and raising more questions as to whether the new dicamba formulation is actually the cause of the widespread drift damage.

Fruits and vegetables, as well as other crops that are not genetically engineered to tolerate dicamba are often left cupped and distorted when exposed to the chemical.

SNAP Comments: Last year, the incidents were due to illegal formulations used because the dicamba-resistant crops were put on the market before  the "less volatile" new formulations were approved for use. Looks like the new ones are no better.... Remember that all most chemical lawn herbicide formulations contin dicama as one of 3 active ingredients. 

filed under pesticide drift

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

National Academy of Sciences Urges EPA to Study Low Dose Endocrine Disruption

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National Academy of Sciences Urges EPA to Study Low Dose Endocrine Disruption

(Beyond Pesticides, July 24, 2017) A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) is recommending to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a strategy to evaluate the evidence of adverse human health effects from low doses of exposure to chemicals that can disrupt the endocrine system... In 2013, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals a global health threat. A 2016 report concluded that exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals costs the U.S. more than $340 billion annually in  health care costs and lost wages.

SNAP Comment: As far as I can tell, the test panel mandated to register a pesticide in Canada still dates from 1984. While the US was forced by a law suit to add one endocrine test  few years ago, Canada did not follow suit. Researchers in the field of endocrine disruption were not impressed with the test chosen because it is outdated. So, for all practical purposes, pesticides are not tested in any significant way for endocrine disruption in North America. My other concern is how the Canadian PMRA and US EPA evaluate risk. Their risk assessment is still based on the now outdated concept of "the dose makes the poison" . This cannot fit in the concept of endocrine disruption which shows effects at current environmental exposures and lower, well below the exposures the regulatory approach currently allows.

filed under endocrine disruption

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Glyphosate Stresses Tadpoles to Produce More Venom

both in a laboratory setting, as well as a mesocosm

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Glyphosate Stresses Tadpoles to Produce More Venom  (Beyond Pesticides, August 9, 2017)

Scientists tested the effects of formulated glyphosate products on toad tadpoles through experiments in a laboratory setting, as well as a mesocosm, a controlled outdoor environment that replicates natural conditions. 

This is not the first instance of glyphosate altering the normal development of amphibians. Earlier this year, the same team of researchers found that glyphosate products reduced the survival and growth of common toads, and otherwise slowed down their development. A 2012 study from the University of Pittsburg found that glyphosate induced morphological changes in the development of leopard and wood frogs similar to those seen under significant predatory threat.

The results of accumulated scientific research on stress-induced changes following glyphosate exposure points to underlying flaws in U.S. regulation of pesticides. Ecosystem-wide impacts caused by the secondary effects of pesticide use are rarely, if ever, considered under the risk assessment framework used to register pesticides.

filed under Wildlife/ Frogs

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

EPA Rejects Pesticide Use in Cannabis Production, Paves Way for Organic Marijuana

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EPA Rejects Pesticide Use in Cannabis Production, Paves Way for Organic Marijuana

(Beyond Pesticides, July 25, 2017) With the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in dozens of states, the question of pesticide use in commercial cannabis production and resulting residues in a range of products is a burning issue. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) injected itself into this question when last week it issued a notice of intent to disapprove the planned registration of four pesticides for cannabis production by the state of California...Over the past several years, cannabis production has been marred by consistent reports of contamination with illegal pesticides. States where the substance is legal have experienced large recalls over contamination. In 2015, the Governor of Colorado issued an executive order declaring pesticide-tainted pot “A threat to public safety.” The pesticide most often cited for illegal use on cannabis is a fungicide called Eagle 20, which contains the active ingredient myclobutanil. Myclobutanil is an endocrine (hormone) disruptor that can turn into cyanide gas when ignited. It is also listed as a reproductive toxicant under California’s Proposition 65: Chemicals Known to the State to Cause Cancer or Reproductive Toxicity.

filed under pesticides in drugs

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Uncovered: Monsanto campaign to get Séralini study retracted

The documents also show that the editor of the journal that first published the study entered into a contract with Monsanto in the period shortly before the retraction campaign began.

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From the writings of Monsanto themselves.
Uncovered: Monsanto campaign to get Séralini study retracted 

Internal Monsanto documents released by attorneys leading US cancer litigation show that the company launched a concerted campaign to force the retraction of a study that revealed toxic effects of Roundup. The documents also show that the editor of the journal that first published the study entered into a contract with Monsanto in the period shortly before the retraction campaign began.

EU regulators side with Monsanto

To the public’s detriment, some regulatory bodies have backed Monsanto rather than the public interest and have backed off the notion that long-term studies should be required for GM crops. In fact, the EU is considering doing away with even the short 90-day animal feeding studies currently required under European GMO legislation. This will be based in part on the results of the EU-funded GRACE animal feeding project, which has come under fire for the industry links of some of the scientists involved and for its alleged manipulation of findings of adverse effects on rats fed Monsanto’s GM MON810 maize.

filed under industry shenanigans

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Monsanto Secret Documents

The following secret documents help us better understand the serious public health consequences of Monsanto’s conduct in marketing the herbicide Roundup.

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Monsanto Secret Documents

On June 30, 2017, attorneys from Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, along with the leadership of the Roundup multidistrict litigation (MDL), challenged the protection of the documents below, in an effort to make them available to the public. In a meeting to discuss the matter, Monsanto told the plaintiffs’ attorneys to “go away” and that the company would not voluntarily agree to de-designate any documents.

The documents below allow people to see what is happening “behind the curtain” of secrecy that normally shrouds ongoing litigation. Along with each document, you will find a short description, along with the document’s relevance to the ongoing Monsanto Roundup litigation. These documents tell an alarming story of ghostwriting, scientific manipulation, collusion with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and previously undisclosed information about how the human body absorbs glyphosate. The following secret documents help us better understand the serious public health consequences of Monsanto’s conduct in marketing the herbicide Roundup.

Below, you will find links to internal Monsanto emails, text messages, company reports and other memoranda obtained by Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman. The documents have been sorted into groups based on the following issues:

Ghostwriting, Peer-Review & Retraction
Surfactants, Carcinogenicity & Testing
Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism & Excretion
Regulatory & Government

filed under industry shenanigans

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Transcript From Secret Meeting Illustrates EPA Collusion With the Chemical Industry

a majority of the IBT studies were never intended to be redone, and still underlie the U.S. chemical regulatory system,

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Transcript From Secret Meeting Illustrates EPA Collusion With the Chemical Industry  (By Rebekah Wilce, The Center for Media and Democracy | Report. July 28, 2017)  

Interesting how the IBT scandal comes back to life, even after it was hard to find a mention of it anywhere for decades. Surprisingly, when we had journalists really investigating in Regina, a Leader post journalist, Peter von Stackelberg, broke the IBT story in the Regina Leader Post then published the series of articles in a book of which I have forgotten the title. I looked for this book everywhere and even got hold of Mr von Stakelberg who apparently did not have a copy either. I finally found 2 Canadian libraries, including the Saskatchewan Legislative Library, supposedly with a copy. Neither copy could be found on the shelves, to the librarians' surprise. I did find the book "A Bitter Fog" from van Strum and read it all.

 I also went to the Regina Public Library and started looking through their microfiches of the Regina Leader Post, which I did not complete. The first article I found was on p. 2 of the 3 July, 1980 paper, titled: "Health Minister to Tell Pesticides' Trade Names." That would be the trade names of the pesticides currently registered in Canada based on faulty safety data. It was followed by 2 p 6 opinion article on 8 July 1980. then others by von Stackleberg on 9 July, 1980, p.3, and July 15, 1980. This is apparently as far as I went looking. von Stakleberg apparently published his IBT articles in the Regina Leader Post for over 6 months.

 What is important about this scandal is that:

“Near the outset of the meeting, the EPA's Fred Arnold, Acting Branch Chief of Regulatory Analysis & Lab Audits, assured the chemical company representatives present that no chemicals would be removed from the market, even though the studies supposedly showing their safety had been proven fraudulent”...” “By 1983, EPA had determined that over 90 percent of IBT's studies submitted to them had serious, invalidating problems.”...”Three IBT officials went to prison, closing a chapter on a massive scientific fraud, but the book was never closed.

"As the Howard Johnson transcript reveals, a majority of the IBT studies were never intended to be redone, and still underlie the U.S. chemical regulatory system," said Latham (Director of the Bioscience Resource Project.)  

"The 1978 Howard Johnson transcript records a crucial meeting of EPA, Canadian, and pesticide industry officials to discuss EPA's response to massive fraud in the safety tests for pesticide registrations. At the meeting, Fred T. Arnold, chief of EPA Regulatory Analysis and Lab Auditsassured industry that EPA's discovery of fraudulent, invalid, or nonexistent safety tests would 'not interfere with the ability to control pests and market pesticides.' This document was the linchpin of my book, A Bitter Fog: Herbicides and Human Rights, documenting the government's acceptance of phony industry studies while dismissing reports of human illness, death, involuntary abortions, birth defects, and other effects of pesticide exposure."   

SNAP Comment: After the scandal, new international laboratory standards were apparently set up and supposedly followed. The set of studies mandated by the Canadian government (PMRA) for pesticide registration was set up in 1984 and still stands without any additional testing for effects of mixtures or formulations, or new evidence of harm like endocrine disruption or low dose effects.

I know all the pesticides with fraudulent tests stayed on the market without appropriate testing at the time. However, I am unclear whether the pesticide companies ever had to redo the fraudulent tests, or whether our registration is still based on them...The safety of any pesticide product already registered at that time should therefore be suspect, as well as the safety of any pesticide conditionally registered (without studies submitted) since then.

In the following article, an former EPA scientist reveals that "Most chemicals enter the market without testing," Failure to regulate: Pesticide data fraud comes home to roost (GM Watch, 29 April 2015)

filed under safety 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Poison Papers Expose Decades of Collusion Between Industry and Regulators over Hazardous Pesticides

evidence of secrecy, collusion, deception, cover-up, concealment and intent. Also includes search instructions.

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Poison Papers Expose Decades of Collusion Between Industry and Regulators over Hazardous Pesticides (Global Justice Ecology Project, 27 July 2017)

'Corporate concealment is not a new story. What is novel in the Poison Papers is abundant evidence that EPA and other regulators were, often, knowing participants or even primary instigators of these cover-ups.' They provide evidence of secrecy, collusion, deception, cover-up, concealment and intent. Also includes search instructions.
filed under industry shenanigans 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sustained Glyphosate Use Reveals Risks to Soil and Environmental Health

the chemical accumulates and persists in area soil

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Sustained Glyphosate Use Reveals Risks to Soil and Environmental Health  (Beyond Pesticides, July 21, 2017) 

Researchers have found that, after years of consistent application to agricultural crops, the chemical accumulates and persists in area soil, particularly at the root zone and in the top few millimeters. In part, the accumulation is due to the fact that only 5% of any applied dose tends to reach the weed it is intended to kill, while the rest lands on the soil. In addition, the chemical is likely released in soil from the roots of plants that have absorbed the compound, as well as from decomposing plants that have been exposed to it. This finding of persistence belies the common assumption that the chemical rapidly degrades in soil.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) published results of glyphosate testing that found traces of the chemical in approximately one-third of food products, and residue levels above the acceptable limits in nearly 4% of grain products; bean, pea, and lentil products were particularly likely to show residue. Yet in March of 2017, the USDA canceled scheduled plans to test for glyphosate in the U.S. food supply.

filed under pesticide fact sheets/ glyphosate

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The State of Organics: Federal-Provincial-Territorial Performance Report 2017

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The State of Organics: Federal-Provincial-Territorial Performance Report 2017
(Report prepared by Jill Guerra and Lauren Martin, © Canada Organic Trade Association 2017  July 17, 2017)

The Canadian organic industry is thriving with double-digit growth rates over the past decade. As the industry evolves, policy frameworks, consisting of governmental regulations, policies and programs, are required to support the expansion. This Report analyzes and tracks the existing organic policy frameworks at the federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) levels of government. The Report evaluates four categories of support: Regulation and Enforcement, Production Supports, Market Supports and Data Collection. Expert interviews and corresponding background research were used to score the FPT governments in each category. Each FPT government is given a distinct section where greater detail of specific initiatives in their jurisdiction is discussed.

The final recommendation is for increased organic policies and programs across jurisdictions.

filed under Organics

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Monsanto Spin Doctors Target Cancer Scientist In Flawed Reuters Story

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Monsanto Spin Doctors Target Cancer Scientist In Flawed Reuters Story  (US right to Know, June 19, 2017 by Carey Gillam)
more industry shenanigans! 

Pick and choose information, do not disclose your information sources and your ties with Monsanto and allies, disinform about sources, imply things that are not true, and get Reuters to publish this as independent information. A usual industy story!

filed under industrys-shenanigans/ media manipulation

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Federal Court rejects attempt to block pesticide lawsuit

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Federal Court rejects attempt to block pesticide lawsuit  (OTTAWA — The Canadian Press, Jul. 14, 2017 8:01PM EDT)

A lawsuit that says a federal agency has consistently approved pesticides without enough information on their potential harmful effects has survived an attempt to get it thrown out of court.

The Federal Court has denied applications from the federal government and four chemical companies to block the lawsuit involving so-called neonic pesticides filed by a group of environmental organizations.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Flacking for GMOs: How the Biotech Industry Cultivates Positive Media—and Discourages Criticism

Industry has also secretly funded a series of conferences to train scientists and journalists to fr...ame the debate over GMOs and the toxicity of glyphosate.

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Flacking for GMOs: How the Biotech Industry Cultivates Positive Media—and Discourages Criticism

(by Paul D. Thacker, The Progressive, July 11, 2017)

starts with the story of a journalist harrassed for her articles exposing Monsanto payments to a University professor...

Lawyers in one case told a judge that documents show Monsanto funnels money to the Genetic Literacy Project and the American Council on Science and Health in order to “shame scientists and highlight information helpful to Monsanto and other chemical producers.”

Industry has also secretly funded a series of conferences to train scientists and journalists to fr...ame the debate over GMOs and the toxicity of glyphosate.

An agreement signed by Entine states that the literacy bootcamp at UC-Davis anticipated having many expenses paid by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)...In short, the only traceable money source is the biotech industry. So, what did industry money buy? “Far too many journalists are sliding down the slippery slope of attending conferences that are sponsored by entities with financial interests,” he said. “This practice changes journalism into another form of pay-for-play.” Industry tars public health advocates and reporters as anti-science for raising issues the public needs to understand. That should worry us all.

filed under industry shenanigans/Media manipulation  Could also have been filed under 'character assassination'

Sunday, July 9, 2017

French Prime Minister Retains Bee-Toxic Neonicotinoid Pesticide Ban

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French Prime Minister Retains Bee-Toxic Neonicotinoid Pesticide Ban

(Beyond Pesticides, June 27, 2017) French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, is retaining the neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticide ban, which is set to go into effect in 2018 and is stronger than the current European Union restrictions on neonics.

filed under legislation/regulatory

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Did Dow Chemical Influence the EPA Administrator’s Decision to Reverse Chlorpyrifos Ban?

Mr. Pruitt’s office replied with quotes from trade groups and USDA, but failed to provide any scientific studies on the chemical’s safety.

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Did Dow Chemical Influence the EPA Administrator’s Decision to Reverse Chlorpyrifos Ban?

(Beyond Pesticides, June 30, 2017) Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), met privately with Dow Chemical’s CEO several weeks before reversing EPA’s tentative decision to ban chlorpyrifos...Mr. Pruitt stated that his decision was founded on “meaningful data and meaningful science.” However, AP followed up with EPA to provide details on this science, and Mr. Pruitt’s office replied with quotes from trade groups and USDA, but failed to provide any scientific studies on the chemical’s safety.

filed under legislation/regulatory/ USA

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Aerial Mosquito Spraying Linked to Elevated Autism Rates

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Aerial Mosquito Spraying Linked to Elevated Autism Rates

(Beyond Pesticides, June 15, 2017) Communities exposed to frequent aerial spraying for mosquito control experience elevated rates of autism diagnoses, according to new research. The study identifies the frequent use of synthetic pyrethroid insecticides, which are linked to neurocognitive and behavioral impacts, among other health effects...The study finds that the zip codes with frequent aerial pyrethroid exposure are 37% more likely to have higher rates of childhood developmental delays and autism spectrum disorder. The researchers acknowledge that the study establishes a correlational, not a causal, link between pyrethroid exposure and autism/developmental disorders, it adds to a growing body of research demonstrating an exposure-effect relationship between the two.

filed under nervous system effects/autism

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Common Bug Killers Used in Homes Persist for Over a Year

The pesticides tested, synthetic pyrethroids, have been linked to a range of health effects, most notably in children.

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Common Bug Killers Used in Homes Persist for Over a Year

(Beyond Pesticides, July 7, 2017) The active ingredients in commonly used bug sprays such as RAID leave significant residues that persist for over a year in the home, according to a study published by Brazilian researchers in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. The pesticides tested, synthetic pyrethroids, have been linked to a range of health effects, most notably in children. 

In the recent study, researchers compared the breakdown time of two synthetic pyrethroids, cypermethrin and beta-cyfluthrin, between laboratory conditions and those in an average home. Under lab conditions, with temperature controlled and without sunlight or ventilation, both active ingredients broke down little within the 112 day test period observed. However, the test house, where insecticides were applied according to indoor label conditions, displayed breakdown times similar to the lab results during the first 112 days. Researchers continued their observation of pyrethroids in the home for up to a year, finding after that period 44% of beta-cyfluthrin and 70% cypermethrin remained in household dust samples from the singular, original application.

filed under pesticide exposure

Monday, July 3, 2017

Agricultural Uses of Antibiotics Escalate Bacterial Resistance

Organic Leads in Prohibiting Antibiotic Use.

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Agricultural Uses of Antibiotics Escalate Bacterial Resistance. Organic Leads in Prohibiting Antibiotic Use. (Pesticides and You, winter 2016-17)

Presents information on antibiotic use in animal and fish production as well as in agriculture for the control of bligh and other bacterial crop diseases. Discusses residued in food and water. The use of glyphosate, a registered antibiotic,  in crop production dwarfs knows uses of all other antibiotics by at least 3 times. Gives some of the organic alternatives. Unfortunately only US data with  few international for contaminated fish. 

filed under  Pesticides in Food

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Pesticide roulette

most bedding plants are contaminated by pesticides

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Pesticide roulette (Hartley-Botanic.co.uk, June 26, 2017)

British study but no reason to think it is different here.
"The depressing but not entirely surprising finding is that the large majority of plants being sold to people who want to look after bees and wildlife in their garden actually contained significant levels of pesticides, usually a complex cocktail of different insecticides and fungicides, including neonics, but also pyrethroid and organophosphate insecticides – which are also extremely harmful to bees and butterflies ...and moths and other insects."
"But there were significant levels of some neonics found in the food gathered by bumblebee nests placed in urban areas around Brighton in East Sussex, so there is a risk that bees in urban areas are being exposed to pesticides... It seems unacceptable to be selling plants as bee-friendly that are full of insecticides, but that’s exactly what they’re doing and, as far as I can tell, they have no plans to stop."

filed under wildlife/insects

    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 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 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Saturday, May 27, 2017

    Maine Committee Votes to Reject Governor LePage’s Pesticide Preemption Bill

    Preemption bills are common in US politics

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    Maine Committee Votes to Reject Governor LePage’s Pesticide Preemption Bill

    (Beyond Pesticides, May 22, 2017) Last week, the Maine Legislature’s Committee on State and Local Government unanimously voted to reject a bill that would have prohibited the right of municipal governments to restrict pesticide use on private property. This victory protects the 27 cities and towns across Maine which are exercising their right to adopt pesticide restrictions that incentivize land management practices supporting healthy environments and allows other communities to follow suit

    Thursday, May 18, 2017

    Soft Drink Company Faces Pressure Over Use of Pesticides in its Supply Chain

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    Soft Drink Company Faces Pressure Over Use of Pesticides in its Supply Chain

    (Beyond Pesticides, May 18, 2017) Today, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPS), the American soft drink company that makes Mott’s, 7UP, Snapple, and Canada Dry, is facing pressure from investors regarding the use of toxic pesticides in its supply chain. The shareholder proposal at DPS was filed by the Green Century Equity Fund, a company that offers environmentally and socially responsible mutual funds. According to their press release, the shareholder proposal suggests that DPS “use quantitative metrics to track the amount of pesticides avoided, publish goals to reduce pesticide use or toxicity, and/or provide incentives to growers to minimize the use of pesticides.” .. There is a strong economic argument for the group’s statement, given evidence that it costs more to not protect pollinator species than to allow them to suffer population declines. 

    Wednesday, May 17, 2017

    Fraudulent Claims Undermine Organic Integrity

    in US

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    Fraudulent Claims Undermine Organic Integrity

    (Beyond Pesticides, May 17, 2017) Fraud among producers portraying products of chemical intensive agriculture as organic –including those recently identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP)— is costly to organic producers and consumers. Imported grains –co rn and soybeans that are largely fed to livestock whose products are sold as “organic”— are the focus of claims that USDA is not doing enough to protect the integrity of the organic label.

    Wednesday, May 17, 2017

    Three New “Non-Browning” GMO Apples To Hit Store Shelves! Here Is How To Avoid Them

    a highly controversial product that most people clearly didn’t want.

    view details »

    Apple

    Three New “Non-Browning” GMO Apples To Hit Store Shelves! Here Is How To Avoid Them  In February 2015, just two weeks after the approval of the world’s first genetically engineered apple, the company responsible for its creation cashed in — to the tune of $41 million dollars, ($10 million upfront), all for a highly controversial product that most people clearly didn’t want. 1  In total, three new genetically engineered, non-browning apples have been approved: Arctic Golden, Arctic Granny Smith, and now the Arctic Fuji apple. Gala apples could be the next in line as well. The first two were expected to hit store shelves this fall, and now the Fuji apple could join them soon. Fuji apples are the latest variety that have been genetically engineered. Starting this fall, buying organic is the best way to avoid GMO Fuji apples.

    filed under gmo/crops

    Wednesday, May 17, 2017

    Exposure to Heavy Pesticide Use Can Impact Neurobehavioral Performance in Children

    focus on organophosphate insecticides

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    Exposure to Heavy Pesticide Use Can Impact Neurobehavioral Performance in Children

    (Beyond Pesticides, May 12, 2017) Researchers from the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine, in collaboration with scientists from Ecuador and Minnesota, have found that exposure to heavy pesticide use during peak periods can impact neurobehavioral performance in children. The study focused on exposure to organophosphate pesticides, which have been associated with a broad range of diseases in both children and adults...Dr. Suarez-Lopez continued, “This discovery is novel because it shows that pesticide spray seasons can produce short-term alterations in neurobehavioral performance in addition to the long-term alterations that have been previously described. This is troublesome because the altered mental functions observed are essential for children’s learning, and in May-July, students typically take their end-of-year exams. If their learning and performance abilities are affected in this period, they may graduate from high school with lower scores which may hinder their ability to access higher education or obtain a job.”

    filed under Children

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

    Fact Sheet on Chemically Treated Wood Utility Poles

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    Fact Sheet on Chemically Treated Wood Utility Poles (Beyond Pesticides, no date, I think 2002)

    SNAP Comment: Why put this here? Well, SaskPower will keep on installing more treated wood power poles in the coming months. The poles are treated with the cancer causing pesticide pentachlorophenol. Penta is a known persistent organic pollutant  (POP) which will be banned in 3 years because it is so dangerous to human health and the environment.

    Their line of defense to Rdio-Canada is that penta is better than the pesticide cyanide. This review article does not even mention cyanide to treat power poles, so where does this statement come from?

    The use of cancer-causing treated wood for power poles ignores available alternatives such as cement or steel poles or simply burying power lines.

    filed under treated wood/pentachlorophenol background documents

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

    Why It’s Time to Stop Punishing Our Soils with Fertilizers

    Researcher Rick Haney travels the U.S. preaching the benefits of healthy soils

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    Why It’s Time to Stop Punishing Our Soils with Fertilizers

    Researcher Rick Haney travels the U.S. preaching the benefits of healthy soils. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, he talks about the folly of pursuing ever-greater crop yields using fertilizers and other chemicals and how farmland can by restored through natural methods.

    (Richard Schiffman • YaleEnvionment360, May 3, 2017)

    The soil health movement has been in the news lately, and among its leading proponents is U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) researcher Rick Haney. 

    SNAP Comment: how microbes are essential to soil life and agricultural productivity declines with soil health, requiring more fertilizer and pesticides, and how we can reverse that.

    filed under Organics/Farming

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

    Pesticide drift halts harvest southwest of Bakersfield

    More than 50 farm workers were exposed to drift of the insecticide chlorpyrifos Friday morning southwest of Bakersfield.

    view details »

    Pesticide drift halts harvest southwest of Bakersfield  (Tabatha Mills, newspaper article, May 05, 2017) More than 50 farm workers were exposed to drift of  the insecticide chlorpyrifos Friday morning southwest of Bakersfield. They were harvesting cabbage and the drift came from an overnight sprayed field nearby. It is unfortunate that there is still little consciousness of pesticide drift. Most pesticides drift at application, and many evaporate and drift for weeks after application. Looks to me like these cabbages ready for harvest would also be contaminated with chlorpyrifos...

    filed under Pesticide Poisoning/ individual examplesalso see Pesticide Drift

    Tuesday, May 9, 2017

    San Juan Capistrano, CA Passes Organic Landscape Policy for City Lands

    view details »

    Tuesday, May 9, 2017

    Beyond Pesticides Sues Mott’s for Labeling Pesticide-Laden Applesauce “Natural”

    for false and misleading “natural” labeling of applesauce products containing a toxic pesticide.

    view details »

    Beyond Pesticides Sues Mott’s for Labeling Pesticide-Laden Applesauce “Natural”

    (Beyond Pesticides, May 8, 2017) – A national environmental health organization last Friday sued Mott’s, under consumer protection law, for false and misleading “natural” labeling of applesauce products containing a toxic pesticide. The suit argues that the finding of residues in the company’s applesauce of the neonicotinoid insecticide acetamiprid, which is particularly toxic to pollinators, disqualifies the products from being labeled “natural” or as containing “all natural ingredients.”  There are concerns in the scientific literature and European Food Safety Authority about the effect of acetamiprid on human health, particularly children.

    filed under Pesticides in Food

    Friday, May 5, 2017

    Walmart and True Value Pledge to Phase Out Bee-Toxic Pesticide

    Walmart and True Value have announced that beginning on Wednesday they will be phasing out neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides from all retail supply chains.

    view details »

    Walmart and True Value Pledge to Phase Out Bee-Toxic Pesticide (Beyond Pesticides, May 5, 2017)

    Walmart and True Value have announced that beginning on Wednesday they will be phasing out neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides from all retail supply chains. 

    Friday, May 5, 2017

    answer to SaskPower 2017 Wood Pole Maintenance Program blog post

    power poles are being replaced with wood poles treated with a Dirty Dozen pesticide which is soon to be phased out.

    view details »

    re 2017 Wood Pole Maintenance Program blog post @ re 2017 Wood Pole Maintenance Program facebook post

    5 May 2017

    To SaskPower

    This has to be an open letter because of the importance of the topic.

    Your Facebook post has several important mistakes in #4 and not enough information in #3.

    1) "The poles have a small environmental impact since they are organic and can be recycled."

    To be charitable, this is incorrect. Considering you must know they cannot be 'recycled', it smells of disinformation. Power poles are treated with the pesticide pentachlorophenol, a dangerous cancer-causing chemical. Penta is part of the list of 'Dirty Dozen” pollutants. Most penta uses have already been phased ou,t and its use for power poles is due to be phased out soon. Because power poles are treated with a toxic pesticide, the poles cannot be adequately 'recycled" but have to be incinerated in a proper facility. If by 'recycled' you mean giving them to non-profit organizations for garden posts or to set up nesting platforms, all you are doing is passing on the responsibility and cost of proper disposal of the poles, saving yourself some money in the guise of helping out; greenwashing in other words.


    2) “Wood costs less than other kinds of power pole material (such as steel and concrete).”

    Perhaps this is before you count the cost of properly disposing of each pole at an incinerator for toxic material. That used to be $8000/pole decades ago. I don't know what it is now.

    Because poles are treated with penta, a cancer-causing toxic material, I suspect power line technicians are regularly exposed and have an increased cancer risk. I wonder I they have ever been informed of this.

    #3 “Where we can, we repair or reinforce the pole to extend its life and keep it in service”

    As long as you are not repairing or reinforcing with penta treated wood, or wood treated with some other toxic wood treatment, I applaud your efforts. I would like to have details on the materials used for repair or reinforcement.

    I applaud your efforts to keep our power infrastructure in good order, but would appreciate the use of a less toxic alternative such as steel or concrete for power poles.

    I strongly feel that the choice of material for posts should also take into consideration the toxicity of penta as well as the health, environmental and safety concerns it poses. It should also consider the cost of proper disposal of such poles (likely well over $8000.00/pole currently).

    Sincerely Yours,

    Paule Hjertaas, President and spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Network for Alternatives to Pesticides (SNAP) and our Facebook page

    filed under presentations and publications and  treated wood which will be updated soon with new materials and a link to this letter.

    Wednesday, May 3, 2017

    Study finds link between neonic pesticides and decline of bumblebee queens

    The queen’s initial solitude makes her species particularly vulnerable to such threats as climate change, loss of habitat and pesticides

    view details »

    Study finds link between neonic pesticides and decline of bumblebee queens  (Eric Atkins,The Globe and Mail, May 02, 2017) 

    The queens were fed sugary water laced with real-world levels of the neonic thiamethoxam for two weeks, observed for another two weeks and then frozen, dissected and examined.

    The queens were less able to develop their ovaries and, in two of the species, ate less nectar. Both are responses likely to reduce their – and their colony’s – chances of survival, Dr. Raine said by phone.

    The effects of neonics on honeybees has been well-studied. But missing from the studies was the bumblebee queen, which occupies a unique position among bees, beginning each spring as a lone nester, egg layer and forager before breeding a colony that can reach several hundred by late summer.

    The queen’s initial solitude makes her species particularly vulnerable to such threats as climate change, loss of habitat and pesticides.

    filed under wildlife / insects

    Monday, May 1, 2017

    Common pesticide damages honey bee's ability to fly

    view details »

    Common pesticide damages honey bee's ability to fly
    (phys.org. April 26, 2017)

    A study published April 26 in Scientific Reports by UC San Diego postdoctoral researcher Simone Tosi, Biology Professor James Nieh, along with Associate Professor Giovanni Burgio of the University of Bologna, Italy, describes in detail how the neonicotinoid pesticide thiamethoxam damages honey bees.

    "Our results provide the first demonstration that field-realistic exposure to this pesticide alone, in otherwise healthy colonies, can alter the ability of bees to fly, specifically impairing flight distance, duration and velocity" said Tosi. "Honey bee survival depends on its ability to fly, because that's the only way they can collect food. Their flight ability is also crucial to guarantee crop and wild plant pollination."

    filed under neonicotinoids


     

    Sunday, April 30, 2017

    Glyphosate labels to change, Health Canada announces

    It means that current label use is not health protective.

    view details »

    Glyphosate labels to change, Health Canada announces  (CBC News,  Apr 28, 2017)

    As I said to a Western Producer reporter when 2,4-D was re-licensed for lawn use in Canada in lower concentration, with less use frequency and an increased buffer zone:

    1. It means that use according to current and previous label on product packaging is not is not protective of human health.

    2. Manufacturers have 2 more year to update labels during which time the products are sold with a label (which is the legal document) known not to be protective of human health.

    A new question to ask is whether it will only be changed on new labels, or if the retailers will have to update the labels of all the unsold products in the store.

    Regardless, the Canadian and US regulatory systems are still based on the outdated concept of “the dose makes the poison” which underlies what the PMRA finds acceptable or not. Under this model, enough dilution should be enough to make any product low risk. However, we know of negative effects at low dose for glyphosate. 'Because “The effects of low doses cannot be predicted by the effects observed at high doses", the reality of endocrine disruption and the proportion of tested chemicals producing these effects puts into question the current regulatory approach based on the belief that 'the dose makes the poison'.' 

    EPA (and the PMRA) 'are' applying a threshold model to endocrine disruption, pointing to a major deficiency in EPA’s risk-assessment process used to evaluate the effects of chemicals on human health and the environment. A threshold model is not appropriate for hormonally-active substances, which often show opposite effects at higher or lower doses.'... (EPA at Odds with Scientists on Endocrine System Effects of Weedkillers Atrazine and 2,4-D (Beyond Pesticides, July 6, 2015)

    In addition, the PMRA is legally obligated to consider risk-benefit assessment in making its decisions. As stated in this decision: “Health Canada said glyphosate continues to be an important herbicide in Canadian agriculture and is the most widely used herbicide in the country”(benefits) and that, in their view, will trump any negative health effects.

    Conclusion: The fact that a pesticide is licensed in Canada will mean little for protection of human health until the regulatory system is updated to properly consider and evaluate low dose effects. 

    Saturday, April 29, 2017

    Carcinogenic Contaminant in Common Pesticide

    Dow Chemical Company and Shell Chemical Company knowingly sold and marketed fumigants contaminated with a cancer-causing chemical that had a strong propensity to leach into and remain in groundwater

    view details »

    Carcinogenic Contaminant in Common Pesticide   (Beyond Pesticides, April 27, 2017) Multinational chemical companies Dow Chemical Company and Shell Chemical Company knowingly sold and marketed fumigants contaminated with a cancer-causing chemical that had a strong propensity to leach into and remain in groundwater... 

    The contaminant of concern, 1,2,3-trichloropropene (TCP), was a manufacturing by-product found in Dow’s Telone and Shell’s D-D fumigant pesticide products with the active ingredient 1,3-Dichloropropene. The products, used to kill soil-dwelling nematodes, are toxic in their own right, but contained TCP in their formulation from the 1940s until the mid-1980s. EWG’s report details widespread contamination of drinking water in California’s agricultural regions, with detections found in 562 wells, and 94 public water systems identifying TCP above legal limits. Thirty-seven additional public water systems serving nearly 4 million U.S. residents throughout the country were also found to contain TCP.

    SNAP Comment: Canada has much less money for testing than the US and, as a result, many fewer chemicals have been tested for. I don't know if TCP has ever been tested for iin Canada but I do know that Telone has been used...

    Tuesday, April 25, 2017

    Study Finds Substantial Risks to Honey Bees During and After Crop Pollination

    Honeybees at risk from insecticide and fungicide use in surrounding land. The study fills a gap in knowledge.

    view details »

    Study Finds Substantial Risks to Honey Bees During and After Crop Pollination

    (Beyond Pesticides, April 25, 2017)

    Honeybees at risk from insecticide and fungicide use in surrounding land. The study fills a gap in knowledge.
    Cornell researchers conducted a massive study that analyzed both the pollen source and pesticide residue found therein for 120 experimental hives placed near 30 apple orchards in New York State. The landscapes surrounding each orchard were classified based on the amount of natural area or agricultural land that was present. Scientists analyzed risk to honey bees by collecting information about pesticide use during the growing season as well as the amount of pesticide contamination in “beebread,” pollen tightly packed unto pellets by bees used as food or in the production of royal jelly. In 28 out of 30 orchard sites, pesticides not sprayed during that year are detected, totaling 64% of total pesticides found, with roughly 2.8 novel pesticides discovered at each site.
    Overall, 17% of colonies have pesticide levels so high they present an acute hazard to honey bees, while 73% contain residues that indicate a chronic exposure risk. Ultimately, researchers determined that neonicotinoids as well as a range of other insecticides present significant risks to pollinating honey bees. 

    filed under bee die-off

    Tuesday, April 25, 2017

    Dow Urges Trump Administration to Ignore Pesticide Impacts on Endangered Species

    view details »

    Dow Urges Trump Administration to Ignore Pesticide Impacts on Endangered Species (Beyond Pesticides, April 24, 2017) 

    In letters sent to government officials, lawyers for Dow urge Administration officials and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set aside “biological evaluations” that detail how three highly toxic organophosphate insecticides –chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon– harm nearly all 1,800 threatened and endangered animals and plants, claiming the process to be “fundamentally flawed.”

    filed under Legislation/Regulatory and Industry Shenanigans

    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    International Legal Opinion Details Monsanto’s Violation of Human Rights

    view details »

    International Legal Opinion Details Monsanto’s Violation of Human Rights

    (Beyond Pesticides, April 20, 2017) On Tuesday, the judges presiding over the International Monsanto Tribunal presented their legal opinion, delivering conclusions on the multinational corporation’s impact on issues ranging from human rights, food access, environmental health, to scientific research. In addition to Monsanto’s impact on human rights, the judges concluded that if ecocide were recognized as an international criminal law, the corporation would possibly be found guilty.

    The international judges determined that, based on a legal analysis of the questions asked, Monsanto has engaged in practices that have negatively affected the right to a healthy environment, to food, and to health. In addition to these infringement of rights, Monsanto has had a negative effect on the right to freedom indispensable for scientific research with “conduct such as intimidation, discrediting independent scientific research, and suborning false research reports.” In the third part of its advisory opinion, the Monsanto Tribunal interprets the “widening gap between international human rights law and corporate accountability” and calls for both the UN and non-state authoritative bodies to protect international human and environmental rights law.

    SNAP comment: Much easier to read and access than the video rleased yesterday. 

    filed under Industry Shenanigans

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

    Glyphosate Use Could be Linked to Pregnancy Problems

    the active ingredient in the popular Roundup weed killer, is detected in pregnant women and could lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes, including shorter gestation times and lower birth weights.

    view details »

    Glyphosate Use Could be Linked to Pregnancy Problems

    (Beyond Pesticides, April 11, 2017) New data presented last week at a children’s health conference show that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular Roundup weed killer, is detected in pregnant women and could lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes, including shorter gestation times and lower birth weights. Researchers tested and tracked 69 expectant mothers and found that the presence of glyphosate levels in their bodily fluids correlated with unfavorable birth outcomes. 

    filed under children

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

    Monsanto Sued for Misleading Labeling of Popular Herbicide Roundup

    view details »

    Monsanto Sued for Misleading Labeling of Popular Herbicide Roundup

    (Beyond Pesticides, April 10, 2017) Two nonprofit organizations on Friday filed a lawsuit against Monsanto for misleading the public by labeling its popular weedkiller Roundup as “targeting an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets.” This lawsuit charges that this statement is false, deceptive, and misleading, because the enzyme targeted by glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is, in fact, found in people and pets.

    filed under 

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

    The Same Pesticides Linked to Bee Declines Might Also Threaten Birds

    Neonicotinoids are washing off of their host seeds and into water bodies—threatening not just aquatic insects but the birds that rely on them.

    view details »

    The Same Pesticides Linked to Bee Declines Might Also Threaten Birds  (Elizabeth Royte, Audubon, Spring 2017)

    Neonicotinoids are washing off of their host seeds and into water bodies—threatening not just aquatic insects but the birds that rely on them. 

    In Canada, neonics are used on 44 percent of cropland, including some 21 million acres of canola, the nation’s second-most-cultivated crop. But their delivery system has a major flaw. “Only about 5 percent of the compound is taken up by the plant,” Morrissey says. The rest leaches off the seed, accumulates in soil, and sluices via snowmelt, rain, and groundwater seepage into ponds and wetlands, where insects like midges and caddis flies—a staple for billions of grassland birds—start their lives.

    All about the research of Christy Morrissey, a wildlife ecotoxicologist at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon. With a small army of students, Morrissey designed a Hydra-like research program that is exploring, piece by piece, how neonics move from farm fields to waterways, how they affect the invertebrates that live there, and how these aquatic insects—their abundance, diversity, and health—in turn affect birds.

    filed under wildlife/ birds

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

    Report Documents Threats to Aquatic Life, Calls for Phase-Out of Neonicotinoid Use

    The report also highlights current regulatory failures of EPA aquatic standards

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    Report Documents Threats to Aquatic Life, Calls for Phase-Out of Neonicotinoid Use

    (Beyond Pesticides, April 14, 2017) – As pollinators nationwide suffer severe declines tied to widespread exposure to pesticides, particularly a family of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, a new report details the chemicals’ dramatic impacts on aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity. This report coincides with findings of neonicotinoids in drinking water.

    The new report, Poisoned Waterways, documents the persistence of neonicotinoids in U.S. waterbodies and the danger they cause to aquatic organisms, resulting in complex cascading impacts on aquatic food web. The report supports previous calls for the restriction of neonicotinoid pesticides, given their high toxicity to bees, and now aquatic life. Poisoned Waterways reviews the current scientific literature on the effects of neonicotinoids in waterways and the life they support. 

    The report also highlights current regulatory failures of EPA aquatic standards, which continue to underestimate risks to sensitive species due to a reliance on test protocols that do not reflect real-world exposures or susceptibilities. Further, the impacts of chemical mixtures and synergistic interactions are not considered.

    filed under neonicotinoids

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

    Nearly a third of food samples tested in Canada contain glyphosate residues

    Levels of herbicide exceeded acceptable limits in 1.3% of all foods, 3.9 of grains among 3,188 foods tested.

    view details »

    Nearly a third of food samples in CFIA testing contain glyphosate residues (CBC News. Apr 13, 2017)

    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's report on testing of glyphosate is titled "Safeguarding with Science: Glyphosate Testing in 2015-2016, and was published on its website this week. Levels of herbicide exceeded acceptable limits in 1.3% of all foods, 3.9 of grains among 3,188 foods tested. Over 1/3 of grain products tested contained glyphosate and close to 1/3 of infant cereals and infant food. Glphosate is the most widely sold pesticide ingredient in Canada, according to Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency, which said in a report obtained by CBC News that more than 25 million kilograms of it were sold in 2014 (the most recent year for which data is available). No food recalls were issued as even the foods exceeding the MRL were considered safe.

    SNAP Comment: Health Canada relies on the outdated model of "the dose makes the poison" to determine toxicityof a pesticide. It is now known that glyphosate has effects at concentrations well below the Canadian Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) which varies between .1 to 20 ppm depending on the food.  Seralini showed negative health effects at .1 ppb (1000 times lower than .1 ppm)

    see also Canadian Food Inspection Agency Finds Residues of Glyphosate in One-Third of Food Products Tested   (Beyond Pesticides, April 17, 2017)

    filed under food

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

    Pyrethroid Insecticides Cause Premature Puberty in Boys

    view details »

    Pyrethroid Insecticides Cause Premature Puberty in Boys

    (Beyond Pesticides, April 4, 2017) Exposure to commonly used pyrethroid insecticides results in the early onset of puberty in boys, according to a study presented at the 99th meeting of the Endocrine Society in Orlando, Florida this week. Pyrethroids, which exhibit endocrine disrupting properties, have the ability to interfere with the proper regulation of the human body’s hormonal system. This research is the first to investigate not only the association between pyrethroids and accelerated puberty, but also the causal mechanisms involved in the physiological changes taking place within the human body.

    filed under endocrine disruption/ Puberty and Reproduction

    Saturday, March 25, 2017

    USDA Drops Plan to Test for Monsanto Weed Killer in Food

    view details »

    USDA Drops Plan to Test for Monsanto Weed Killer in Food (The Huffington Post, 03/23/2017)

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has quietly dropped a plan to start testing food for residues of glyphosate, the world’s most widely used weed killer and the key ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s branded Roundup herbicides.

    Saturday, March 25, 2017

    How to Detox From Toxic Roundup Weedkiller

    Roundup is EVERYWHERE! Here's how to help heal your body.

    view details »

    How to Detox From Toxic Roundup Weedkiller (Rodale Wellness, 15 April 2015)
    Roundup is EVERYWHERE! Here's how to help heal your body.

    One of the rare articles I saw on pesticide detox. Link to Ginko biloba extract study indicating its protective effect on cells and metabolism.

    Filed under Health/Detoxification

    Friday, March 24, 2017

    GM potatoes are going in the ground

    Genetically engineered potatoes could claim acreage in Canada in 2017

    view details »

    GM potatoes are going in the ground
    Genetically engineered potatoes could claim acreage in Canada in 2017 (Grainews. March 14, 2017

    The four potato varieties — Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet, Atlantic and Snowden—are intended for the fresh and chipping sectors.

    “There are advantages that make these potatoes suited for Canada,” says Cole. “One is that they have less bruising and there would be significantly higher packouts in Canada — more Grade 1 potatoes for use in the fresh market.”

    The second trait is lower acrylamide, a chemical compound linked to cancer that forms in starchy foods cooked to high temperatures. Asparagine, the amino acid that forms acrylamide when potatoes are fried or baked, is reduced in Simplot’s potatoes.

    The same four commercial varieties were deregulated by the United States Department of Agriculture in in 2014, with FDA approval in 2015. 

    Second generation Innate potatoes, which contain a late blight resistance trait, received FDA approval in the U.S. in January 2016. Simplot has also submitted generation 2 potatoes for review in Canada, with approval expected in 2017.

    SNAP Comment: worth having a look at Kim's web page compiling research on negative health effects of gmo foods.She has done a lot more work than I have on the issue. Organic seed potatoes are available from West Coast Seeds.

    filed under gmo/ crops

    Friday, March 24, 2017

    Europe poised for total ban on bee-harming pesticides

    Exclusive: Draft regulations seen by the Guardian reveal the European commission wants to prohibit the insecticides that cause ‘acute risks to bees’

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    Europe poised for total ban on bee-harming pesticides (The Guardian, 23 March 2017)

    Exclusive: Draft regulations seen by the Guardian reveal the European commission wants to prohibit the insecticides that cause ‘acute risks to bees’ 

    The documents are the first indication that the powerful commission wants a complete ban and cite “high acute risks to bees”. A ban could be in place this year if the proposals are approved by a majority of EU member states. 

    “The amount of scientific evidence on the toxicity of these insecticides is so high that there is no way these chemicals should remain on the market,” said Martin Dermine, at Pesticide Action Network Europe, which obtained the leaked proposals and shared them with the Guardian. “PAN Europe will fight with its partners to obtain support for the proposal from a majority of member states.” A petition to ban neonicotinoids, from Avaaz, has gathered 4.4m signatures.

    There is a strong scientific consensus that bees are exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides in fields and suffer serious harm from the doses they receive. There is only a little evidence to date that this harm ultimately leads to falls in overall bee populations, though results from major field trials are expected soon.

    Monday, February 27, 2017

    Italy Bans Toxic Glyphosate

    Italy's Ministry of Health have placed significant restrictions on toxic glyphosate, for pre-harvest and in many public areas.

    view details »

    Italy Bans Toxic Glyphosate

    (Soil Association, 27 August 2016)

    Italy's Ministry of Health have placed significant restrictions on toxic glyphosate, for pre-harvest and in many public areas. 

    Sunday, February 26, 2017

    Why Is Glyphosate Sprayed on Crops Right Before Harvest?

    In Canada, glyphosate is not registered for dessication (or as a dessicant), but for "pre-harvest spraying"

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    Why Is Glyphosate Sprayed on Crops Right Before Harvest? (EcoWatch, 5 March 2016)

    ...The pre-harvest use of glyphosate allows farmers to harvest crops as much as two weeks earlier than they normally would, an advantage in northern, colder regions...The practice spread to wheat-growing areas of North America such as the upper Midwestern U.S. and Canadian provinces such as Saskatchewan and Manitoba...“It does help hasten dry down and controls grain weeds and other material that slows down the threshing practice," Ransom said. “It has an important role in areas where it's wet." 

    SNAP Comment: This article calls the use of glyphosate prior to harvest dessication. In Canada, glyphosate is not registered for dessication (or as a dessicant), but for "pre-harvest spraying", which amounts to the same thing without saying the word...For instance the Vantage label indicates to apply at "30% or less grain moisture content. This stage typically occurs 7 to 14 days before harvest." "For control of quackgrass, Canada thistle, common milkweed, toadflax and dandelion; and season-long control of perennial sow thistle, Vantage can be applied prior to harvest of wheat, barley (including malting barley), oats, canola (rapeseed), flax (including low linolenic acid varieties), lentils, peas, dry beans, soybeans and forages. DO NOT apply to crops if grown for seed production." 

    filed under pesticides fact sheets/ glyphosate

    Saturday, February 25, 2017

    GMO-ethanol corn contamination raises concerns about another “StarLink” disaster

    Food corn buyers say Syngenta’s Enogen GMO corn is contaminating non-GMO white corn fields, creating a potential “trainwreck;”

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    GMO-ethanol corn contamination raises concerns about another “StarLink” disaster  (By Ken Roseboro,The Organic and Non-GMO Report, February 22, 2017)

    Food corn buyers say Syngenta’s Enogen GMO corn is contaminating non-GMO white corn fields, creating a potential “trainwreck;” may be linked to bad masa flour in California.Enogen, a genetically modified corn for ethanol production, has contaminated non-GMO white corn grown in Nebraska that is used to make flour for tortillas and other products...Enogen’s GMO trait was detected in the white corn using GMO strip tests, says Rovey...Enogen GMO corn can contaminate food corn through cross pollination in the field or improper segregation during grain handling. Enogen is genetically engineered with an enzyme that converts starches in corn to sugars, the first step in the process of making corn ethanol. The problem is that Enogen could mix with corn grown for food and break down its starches and ruin the corn for processing, which would lead to crumbly corn chips and soggy cereals.It would only take one kernel of Enogen corn mixed with 10,000 kernels of food corn to ruin the food processing abilities of food corn, according to the North American Millers Association.

    filed under gmo/ general

    Saturday, February 25, 2017

    Scientist’s ground-breaking research uncovers new risks of GMOs, glyphosate

    causative link between an environmentally relevant level of daily ingestion of Roundup and a serious disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

    view details »

    Scientist’s ground-breaking research uncovers new risks of GMOs, glyphosate  (By Ken Roseboro, The Organic and Non-GMO Report, January 26, 2017) Interview of the author of the study Dr. Michael Antoniou presenting the results. The study was based on cutting-edge molecular profiling methods that provides a spectrum of different types of proteins and small molecule metabolites. It’s a very in-depth analysis."Our analysis found over 150 different proteins whose levels were different between the GMO NK603 and its non-GMO counterpart. More than 50 small molecule metabolites were also significantly different in their amounts. They indicate that there were changes in the protein profile that were reflective of an imbalance in energy metabolism and oxidative stress... the rats consumed a glyphosate-equivalent level of Roundup that is 75,000 times lower than what is permitted in Europe and 437,500 times lower than that allowed in the U.S... For the very first time we have established a causative link between an environmentally relevant level of daily ingestion of Roundup and a serious disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease."

    filed under gmo/ safety

    Saturday, February 18, 2017

    Suppressed EPA toxicologist: 'it is essentially certain that glyphosate causes cancer'

    view details »

    Suppressed EPA toxicologist: 'it is essentially certain that glyphosate causes cancer' (The Ecologist, Carey Gillam,14 February 2017)

    Letters from an EPA toxicologist to the EPA official in charge of assessing whether glyphosate, the active ingredient of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, causes cancer, reveal accusations of 'staff intimidation' and 'political conniving games with the science' to favour pesticide corporations...The communication, if authentic, could be an explosive development in the snowballing multi-district litigation that now comprises more than 60 plaintiffs from around the United States accusing Monsanto of covering up evidence that Roundup herbicide could cause cancer...Lawyers for the plaintiffs want the federal judge in the case to lift a seal on documents that detail Monsanto's interactions with Rowland regarding the EPA's safety assessment of glyphosate.

    The article also mentions that, in a separate filing made on Feb. 8, Monsanto submitted a court brief arguing that the IARC classification of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen is not relevant to the question of whether or not Roundup caused the plaintiffs' cancers.

    SNAP's Comment: Political games are far from new in the regulatory field. A revolving door between industry and the regulatory agency regulating them has been documented for years. In Canada, the case for the hormone BGH to be injected to cows to increase milk production brought the whole thing to light after three (recently vindicated) scientists were fired because they would not play political games and approve it. The burden of proof placed on plaintiffs already makes it almost impossible to prove harm. The new court brief by Monsanto is a political game played in court. A new legislation preventing class action suits is a political game played at highest levels of government.

    filed under Industry Shenanigans/ Regulatory

    Friday, February 17, 2017

    Julie Kelly Cooks Up Propaganda for the Agrichemical Industry

    Connect the dots on the chemical and junk food industries’ PR campaigns to manufacture doubt about science, promote risky products and dismantle environmental health protections.

    view details »

    Julie Kelly Cooks Up Propaganda for the Agrichemical Industry (Organic Consumers Association, February 13, 2017)

    Connect the dots on the chemical and junk food industries’ PR campaigns to manufacture doubt about science, promote risky products and dismantle environmental health protections. Also lists other articles in this series.

    Julie Kelly’s writings since 2015 have followed typical tobacco-industry style PR tactics deployed by the chemical industry — manufacturing doubt about science; attacking academics, reporters and transparency advocates; and calling for deregulation of polluting industries.

    Julie Kelly’s husband, John Kelly Jr., is a lobbyist for the agribusiness giant ADM, among other corporate clients including Blackstone and CVS; and government clients including DuPage County where Julie Kelly formerly worked as a policy consultant to county board chairman Dan Cronin.

    SNAP's comments: Learn the names of industry advocates so you can safely discount their one-sided writings.

    filed under Industry Shenanigans

    Friday, February 17, 2017

    Health benefits of organic food, farming outlined in new report

    Three long-term birth cohort studies in the U.S. suggest that pesticides are harming children’s brains.

    view details »

    Health benefits of organic food, farming outlined in new report February 8, 2017 – A report prepared for the European Parliament, co-authored by Harvard Chan School’s Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health, outlines the health benefits of eating organic food and practicing organic agriculture.

    Three long-term birth cohort studies in the U.S. suggest that pesticides are harming children’s brains... The report listed several policy options the European Parliament could consider to support and extend organic food production.

    filed under organics/health

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

    update to the SK Pest Control Products Regulations to the 2015 version

    view details »

    Pest Control Products Regulations (link updated to 2015 regulations)

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

    Class Action Cases Against Monsanto Move Ahead, Charging Cancer Effects of Roundup

    view details »

    Class Action Cases Against Monsanto Move Ahead, Charging Cancer Effects of Roundup

    (Beyond Pesticides, February 15, 2017)

    SNAP comment: I guess when one's position becomes indefensible, let's prevent anyone from attacking us so we don't have to defend. Question: If you prevent people from getting justice from the courts, what other recourses will they have?
    "Ms. Gillam, Research Director for U.S. Right to Know, uncovers more to the story, pointing out that, as the evidence against Monsanto continues to mount, Congress may be stepping in to curtail class action lawsuits. Just last week, legislation was introduced by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to limit the ability of individuals to challenge powerful corporations in court with the stated goal of “diminishing abuses in class action and mass tort litigation.” Entitled the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017,” the bill will apply to pending as well as future class action lawsuits."

    filed under industry shenanigans

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

    Herbicide Use Contributes to Declines in Monarch Populations

    the reduction of 27% from last year is due to herbicide use and other factors.

    view details »

    Herbicide Use Contributes to Declines in Monarch Populations

    (Beyond Pesticides, February 13, 2017)  A study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and others  attributes the reduced number of overwintering monarch butterflies –a reduction of 27% from last year—to herbicide use and other factors.

     Along with threats from glyphosate use and habitat loss, the use of neonoicotinoid pesticides has also been linked to monarch declines. In addition to monarch butterflies, honey bees and wild bees have also been experiencing a drastic decline in numbers  that has been linked to the prevalent use of neonicotinoids.

    Among the other factors considered were a series of extreme weather events in Mexico last fall, and  unusually cold and wet weather last March of 2016 limited the success of the butterflies return migration back to the United States and Canada. Habitat loss and illegal logging operations in Mexico’s Oyamel forest are also being looked at as a possible driver for monarch population decline. 

    Saturday, February 11, 2017

    New study: Monsanto GM corn damaged intestines of rats

    view details »

    New study: Monsanto GM corn damaged intestines of rats (The Organic and NOn-GMO Report, December 27, 2016) (Source: GM Watch)

    Rats fed GM Bt corn MON810 for only 90 days suffered serious damage to the surface mucous membranes of the jejunum (part of the small intestine), according to a new study.

    An Egyptian study, on a variety developed and sold in Egypt by Monsanto. The GM-fed rats ate a diet containing 30 percent MON810: Ajeeb YG corn. Control rats were fed the same amount of non-GM corn. The study was published in the journal Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology.

    The researchers concluded that “consumption of GM-corn profoundly alters the jejunal histological microscopic structure.” They added, “Results from the current study could show that in spite of the assuring reports on GM products, GM corn has profoundly altered the histological structure of the jejunal mucosa at many levels and revealed several alarming signs, as the proliferative and eroded hemorrhagic lesions in addition to several ultrastructural alterations described here for the first time for jejunum under GM corn influence.” Signs of inflammation—white blood cell infiltration—were seen around areas of damage. In addition, the cells of the intestinal lining were abnormal in structure.

    SNAP Comment:  The corn variety studied here is a Bt corn and different from previous varieties causing health damage.

    filed under gmos/ safety/health effects

    Saturday, February 11, 2017

    Health Canada Will Begin Pesticide Testing of Cannabis After Recalls and Consumer Exposure

    to ensure that only registered products are being used in medical marijuana production

    view details »

    Health Canada Will Begin Pesticide Testing of Cannabis After Recalls and Consumer Exposure

    (Beyond Pesticides, February 9, 2017) The failure of the U.S. pesticide regulatory system to protect marijuana users was highlighted as Health Canada announced Tuesday that it would begin conducting random pesticide residue testing of marijuana products to ensure that only registered products are being used in medical marijuana production This comes on the heels of voluntary recalls in 2016 by two licensed Canadian cannabis producers due to the presence of the prohibited pesticides bifenazate, myclobutanil, and pyrethrins in or on marijuana products. Especially concerning is the detection of myclobutanil, a powerful fungicide that, when heated, converts to the hazardous gas hydrogen cyanide. The detection of these toxic chemicals in medical marijuana products is distressing since many users have compromised immune systems or health conditions that make them more susceptible to toxic chemicals.

    According to Health Canada, as of February 1, 2017, there are “13 registered pesticides approved by Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) for use on cannabis (marijuana) that is produced commercially indoors.” These include multiple insecticidal soaps, biological fungicides, and mycoinsecticides, or insecticides containing live fungi.

    filded under Issues/ Drugs/ Pesticides in

     

    Tuesday, February 7, 2017

    North Miami Passes IPM Plan in Response to Local Activism

    view details »

    North Miami Passes IPM Plan in Response to Local Activism

    (Beyond Pesticides, February 1, 2017) Last week in North Miami, the City Council took a significant step that could reduce pesticide use in the community. The Council adopted an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) policy modeled after a plan developed by San Francisco in the mid-90’s. The plan does not ban pesticides and herbicides, but instead aims to reeducate citizens and county workers on least-toxic pest management strategies with the goal of eliminating toxic pesticide use on city property.  The IPM plan does not address pesticide use on private property, due to state preemption of local authority...However, as with most IPM plan, the success of the program will likely rely on strict oversight of executive implementation, as this is often a downfall of ordinances that do not incorporate complete bans or stringent guidelines for allowed products...As part of a joint project with Organic Consumers Association, Beyond Pesticides developed a Map of U.S. Pesticide Reform Policies to track state and local efforts to eliminate hazardous pesticides from public and private spaces...Local jurisdictions in many states, Florida included, are limited in their ability to regulate pesticides on private property due to state preemption laws.

    SNAP Comment: Hopefully, the IPM definition adopted is the correct one which includes starting with the lest toxic method with a definite goal of reduction. It seems to be. Regina's IPM committee failed because of lack of knowledge and lack of reduction goal. 

    filed under legislation/regulations/ USA

    Tuesday, February 7, 2017

    Glyphosate Implicated in Fatty Liver Disease

    at ultra-low doses

    view details »

    Glyphosate Implicated in Fatty Liver Disease

    (Beyond Pesticides, January 11, 2017) Ultra-low doses of glyphosate formulations fed to rats is linked to an increased likelihood of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to a recently published study in the journal Nature.

    filed under health/digestive tract

    Tuesday, February 7, 2017

    Study Links Carbamate Insecticides to Diabetes and other Metabolic Diseases

    carbaryl and carbofuran, are notoriously dangerous carbamate insecticides. Carbaryl is still registered in Canada.

    view details »

    Study Links Carbamate Insecticides to Diabetes and other Metabolic Diseases

    (Beyond Pesticides, January 25, 2017) A study conducted at the University of Buffalo recently revealed a connection between two common insecticides and an increased risk for certain metabolic diseases, including diabetes. Researchers found that by binding to and disrupting melatonin receptors that control numerous physiological functions, chemicals such as insecticides can affect melatonin levels, creating a higher risk for metabolic diseases to develop. The study, Carbamate Insecticides Target Human Melatonin Receptors, was published in Chemical Research in Toxicology and was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

    The implicated chemicals in this research, carbaryl and carbofuran, are notoriously dangerous carbamate insecticides.

    SNAP Comment: Independent research once more finding helath issues with pesticides. As of this writing, there are still 30 carbaryl insecticide products available in Canada and none with carbofuran. Canada's Cabofuran registration expired at the end of 2012. 

    filed under heath/diabetes

    Tuesday, February 7, 2017

    Common Pesticide Ingredient Labeled “Inert” Increases Honey Bee Susceptibility to Virus

    Inert/Formulant ingredients often make up the majority, by weight, of the pesticide mixtures that are sold.

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    Common Pesticide Ingredient Labeled “Inert” Increases Honey Bee Susceptibility to Virus

    (Beyond Pesticides, February 2, 2017) A commonly used inert pesticide ingredient negatively affects the health of honey bees by making larvae more susceptible to a virus,

    The study assessed honey bee larval development after exposure to a continuous low dose of Sylgard 309, a surfactant, in their diet. This organosilicone surfactant is commonly used on agricultural crops, including tree fruits, nuts, and grapes. Their results reveal that honey bee exposure to chemical surfactants such as Sylgard 309 led to higher levels of Black Queen Cell Virus and when the bee larvae were exposed to the surfactant and virus simultaneously, “the effect on their mortality was synergistic rather than additive.” 

    Surfactants are added to pesticide formulations to increase their efficacy by reducing surface tension and aiding in overall absorption of the product in the target plant. These inert ingredients often make up the majority, by weight, of the pesticide mixtures that are sold. Despite the uncertainties and potential hazards from inerts, pesticide manufacturers are only required to list the active ingredients in a pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). This leaves consumers and applicators unaware of the possible toxicity present in a vast majority of the pesticide formulations they are using, unless the EPA Administrator determines that the chemical poses a public health threat.

     A separate study released by Pennsylvania State University researchers in 2012 observes that bee learning behavior is impaired by exposure to low doses of surfactants –other ingredients commonly found in pesticide formulations. 

    SNAP Comment: In Canada, inerts are called formulants. Surfactants are also used in Canadian sold pesticides. More on formulants in Canada. According to Sylgard 309's MSDS (Dow Chemical) its CAS number is 125997-17-3. This product is currently not in the 2010 PMRA Formulant's List. Likely others listed in the Compendium of Organo-Silicone Surfactants are but I don't have the time to check them all at this time. The number of formulants allowed in pesticide products in Canada dropped from 1588 formulants (REG 2004-01) to1379 (2007), of which 74 (5.38%) had no CAS identification number. The 2010 list increased that number to 3173 products of which 4 were in list 1, 593 in list 2, 1393 in list 3, 464 in list 4A and 716 in List 4B. Of  these 3173 formulants, only 25 have to be listed on labels with the 9 allergens subdivided in 35 formulants for a total of 51 (1.6%) formulants that have to be listed on labels The 593 list 2 (potentially toxic) formulants remain secret, as do known toxins in other categories. 43% of registered formulants are on list 3, which means we know little of their potential effects or toxicity. 

    filed under wildlife/ Insects

    Tuesday, February 7, 2017

    EPA Finds Widely Used Pesticides Could Harm 97 Percent of Endangered Species

    Three organophosphate insecticides (malathion,chlorpyrifos and diazinon) affect most endangered species.

    view details »

    EPA Finds Widely Used Pesticides Could Harm 97 Percent of Endangered Species

    (Beyond Pesticides, January 23, 2017) Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  released its final Biological Evaluations of Three Chemicals’ Impacts on Endangered Species, which finds that chlorpyrifos and malathion likely have detrimental effect on 97 percent of all species listed and protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), while diazinon adversely affects 78 percent. According to EPA’s release on the subject, this is the “first-ever draft biological evaluations analyzing the nation-wide effects” of these registered chemicals on endangered species after decades of widespread use. The evaluations stem from a legal settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) in which CBD sued EPA in April 2014 for its failure to comply with ESA, which requires the agency to carry out consultations with federal wildlife agencies while registering pesticides.

    According to Nathan Donley, Ph.D., a CBD senior scientist, “We’re now getting a much more complete picture of the risks that pesticides pose to wildlife at the brink of extinction, including birds, frogs, fish and plants.

    SNAP Comment:  As of this writing, there are still 8 registered diazinon, 23 malathion including 8 for domestic use i.e.sold to regular consumers) and 29 chlorpyrifos formulations registered in Canada. Not only are these 3 organophosphates used in agriculture, but chlorpyrifos is still used in Edmonton for mosquito control and is the active ingredient in 2 domestic bait formulations. Malathion is still used in fogging for mosquito, for instance by the town of Eastend in Saskatchewan, and widely in the United States and through the world. When West Nile virus came to New York, an analysis of dead birds found many more dead of pesticide poisoning than West NIle.

    filed under info/wildlife

    Tuesday, February 7, 2017

    American Chemistry Council Attacks Independent Science Conducted by International Agency

    once more, using PR to invalidate good science

    view details »

    American Chemistry Council Attacks Independent Science Conducted by International Agency

    (Beyond Pesticides, January 30, 2016) The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the World Health Organization’s (WHO) cancer research branch, is again under attack. The most recent assault comes from the American Chemistry Council (ACC), which represents major U.S. chemical companies such as Bayer, Dow, Dupont and Monsanto and is calling on WHO to rein in IARC, claiming the agency of “dubious and misleading work” when classifying potential carcinogens. According to the ACC’s website, the Council launched the Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research this past Wednesday and it is unclear what steps it will take try to undercut the agency. The ACC is specifically criticizing IARC’s monograph program, claiming that the program “suffers from persistent scientific and process deficiencies.” see also : Monsanto’s Mind-Meld; Spin Machine in High Gear (Huffington Post, 31 January, 2017) 

    SNAP Comment: Once more, using PR to invalidate good science. Beware of the green washing from this new group and understand their origin and goal. We are likely to see more and more letters to the editor in media or have their media releases disguised as news. 

    filed under Industry Shenanigans

    Tuesday, February 7, 2017

    Ruling Affirmed in Colorado Pesticide Trespass Case

    view details »

    Ruling Affirmed in Colorado Pesticide Trespass Case

    (Beyond Pesticides, February 7, 2017) After years of legal battle, the Colorado Court of Appeals last week affirmed a ruling that Colorado rancher, James Hopper, must serve two days in jail and pay a $7,500 fine for spraying pesticides that drifted unto his neighbor’s farm in violation of a 2012 court order protecting his neighbors.

    Tuesday, February 7, 2017

    University Scientists Dispute Syngenta Study Conclusion that Pesticide Is Low Risk to Bees

    no worthwhile conclusion can be reached from uninformative data...

    view details »

    University Scientists Dispute Syngenta Study Conclusion that Pesticide Is Low Risk to Bees

    (Beyond Pesticides, January 24, 2017) An analysis conducted by scientists at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland is calling into question the conclusions reached in a study conducted by multinational chemical company Syngenta, which indicated that honey bees were not at risk from the widely used neonicotinoid insecticide thiamethoxam. The challenge to the Pilling et al 2013 study is important because while many experiments have been performed in the lab or semi-lab environment, this study was a field experiment developed to test pollinator exposure under normal agricultural conditions. The conclusions of such real-world experiments are weighed more heavily by regulators when making safety and use determinations.

    St. Andrews’ scientists focus in on the Pilling et al claim that because its study did not have high levels of replication, that it would have been misleading to perform formal statistical analysis. They respond that this would indeed be the case if Pilling et al had intended on finding statistical significance and concluded that there was no effect based on those tests...The authors of the St. Andrews’ study assert that Syngenta’s treatment of its data is “not just misleading in this case but also are unacceptable in principle, for if data are inadequate for a formal analysis (or only good enough to provide estimates with wide confidence intervals), then they are bound to be inadequate as a basis for reaching any sound conclusions.”..The scientists stated in conclusion, “Given that the data in this case are largely uninformative with respect to the treatment effect, any conclusions reached from such informal approaches can do little more than reflect the prior beliefs of those involved.”

    SNAP Comment: Experimental research designed to find no effects from a chemical is commonly  paid for by industry. see in industry shenanigans. A great article describing how far the drug industry will go to falsify results in order to register drugs can be found at Snakes, Ladders, And Spin HARLOT plc: an amalgamation of the world's two oldest professions. BMJ 2003;327:1442 . Here we see it is also true of the pesticide industry. 

    filed under Industry shenanigans

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

    Monsanto’s Mind-Meld; Spin Machine in High Gear

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    Monsanto’s Mind-Meld; Spin Machine in High Gear (Huffington Post, 31 January, 2017)

    Alternative facts, indeed. Less than two weeks into the presidency of Donald Trump it appears we are seeing the ushering in of a new era of twisted truths, fake news, and selective science. That should be good news to the corporate spin doctors who are deep into a campaign now to try to combat global concerns about the world’s favorite weed killer.

    The latest move, the formation of a group called “Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research”, (CAPHR) clearly promotes an agenda opposite to that which its name implies. Formed this month by the American Chemistry Council, whose membership includes Monsanto and other chemical industry titans, the group’s express purpose is to discredit the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a unit of the World Health Organization made up of independent scientists. 

    With a well researched link to U.S. Right to Know investigation of the food and agrichemical industries, and the secrets they are hiding about our food. Findings so far – including tens of thousands of documents received via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – offer a rare look behind the scenes at how the food and chemical corporations, their front groups, PR operatives and academics work together to promote industry propaganda.

    filed under Industry Shenanigans

    Tuesday, January 31, 2017

    Court Rules Against Monsanto, Allows California To Put Cancer Warning On Roundup

    California would be the first state to order such labeling if it carries out the proposal.

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    Court Rules Against Monsanto, Allows California To Put Cancer Warning On Roundup  (CBS Sacramento, January 27, 2017)

    California would be the first state to order such labeling if it carries out the proposal. 

    see also Judge Rules Against Monsanto, Allows California to List Glyphosate Products as Cancer Causing (Beyond Pesticides, January 31, 2017)

    SNAP comment: The article is msleading however on how roundUP is applied. If truly used on 250 crops, it is likely to dessicate (pre-harvest spraying) or chem fallowing. Using it on non RoundUP resistant crop would kill the crops as well as weeds. The US EPA evaluation is outdated and the EPA has been trying to set up a review committee with Monsanto opposing several scientists on the panel.

    filed under info/legislation/ USA

    Thursday, January 26, 2017

    Monsanto, EPA Seek to Keep Talks Secret On Glyphosate Cancer Review

    view details »

    Monsanto, EPA Seek to Keep Talks Secret On Glyphosate Cancer Review (USRTK- US Right to Know,19 January 2017)

    Monsanto Co. and officials within the Environmental Protection Agency are fighting legal efforts aimed at exploring Monsanto’s influence over regulatory assessments of the key chemical in the company’s Roundup herbicide, new federal court filings show...

    Lawyers for the plaintiffs want the court to lift a seal on documents that detail Monsanto’s interactions with former top EPA brass Jess Rowland regarding the EPA’s safety assessment of glyphosate, which is the key ingredient in Roundup. Monsanto turned the documents over in discovery but marked them “confidential,” a designation plaintiffs’ attorneys say is improper. They also want to depose Rowland. But Monsanto and the EPA object to the requests, court documents show.

    SNAP Comment: The chummy relationship industry-regulator has been shown as well for the PMRA and industry in Canada.

    filedd under Industry Shenanigans

    Friday, January 20, 2017

    Diffuse Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Lawsuit Filed Over Roundup Use

    view details »

    Diffuse Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Lawsuit Filed Over Roundup Use (AboutLawsuits.com January 16, 2017 by: Irvin Jackson)  A Colorado man alleges he developed diffuse non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from Roundup use over a period of nearly 40 years, according to a lawsuit filed earlier this month against Monsanto over the health risks linked to the popular weedkiller. 

    Holmes’s lawsuit will be consolidated with all other Roundup cases pending in the federal court system, which are centralized before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California, for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.

    Monday, January 16, 2017

    Dow Chemical Wants Farmers to Keep Using a Pesticide Linked to Autism and ADHD

    Reviews the history of Chorpyrifos regulation, evidence of harm to children and industry's efforts to derail regulations.

    view details »

    Poison Fruit    Dow Chemical Wants Farmers to Keep Using a Pesticide Linked to Autism and ADHD (The Intercept, 14 January 2017) A fascinating article reviewing the history of the organophosphate chlorpyrifos regulation in the United States. Reviews the research directly linking it to autism and several other disorders, the need for suing the US EPA to get action and Dow's constant efforts to keep chlorpyrifos on the market including bad studies, threats to sue the EPA, and success in changing the law. Long and lots of links." While the US nationwide autism rate is now one in 68, for women who lived near fields where chlorpyrifos was sprayed during their second trimester, the chance of having a child with autism was closer to one in 21." Effects on children's brains occur at levels 20 times below the EPA’s safety level. In spite of the evidence linking autism to environmental causes, the National Institute of Health (NIH) is only funding studies on environmental causes at 1/20th of the genetic ones. Dow's latest efforts: "Instead, the chemical industry has renewed its efforts to derail the proposed regulation. On November 29, (2016)  CropLife America launched a Hail Mary effort to stop the ban. The business group petitioned the head of the office of pesticide programs to “cease regulatory decision making” on chlorpyrifos until it has developed standards “for acceptance of epidemiologic studies in human health risk assessment,”" a process that could easily take several years.". However, there are still several potential ways it (Dow) could circumvent the regulation without technically defying the law.

    SNAP comment: Here we have it from the mouth of industry: there is currently no process “for acceptance of epidemiologic studies in human health risk assessment.” That is why it is so easy for regulatory agencies to ignore or set aside epidemiological studies in their pesticide re-evaluations, especially when the committees consist of several 'regulatory' scientists or others deriving their income from the pesticide industry. I don' t believe there is much of a mechanism or standard for regulatory agencies to evaluate anything but the studies mandated for registration. As of 16 January 2017, there are still 29 chlorpyrifos products registered for use in Canada.

    files under pesticide fact sheets/chlorpyrifos

    Saturday, January 14, 2017

    Pesticide ban: New evidence shows 'strong case' for ban on chemicals linked to bird and bee deaths

    Scientists say the EU should consider extending a partial ban on the use of neonicotinoids amid evidence they are lethal to partridges and can stop house sparrows from flying

    view details »

    Pesticide ban: New evidence shows 'strong case' for ban on chemicals linked to bird and bee deaths   (Ian Johnston,  Independent, 11 January 2017)

    But one study found red-legged partridges fed seeds treated with one neonic died within days. Other researchers found house sparrows became “uncoordinated and unable to fly” and Japanese quail suffered DNA damage after being exposed to the pesticides.

    “Whatever shape Brexit will take, this is an early test of whether the UK government is willing to stand up for nature and the common good in the face of heavy lobbying from corporations and vested interests.”

    SNAP comment: Neonics started as weed coatings but their use has extended to sprays over the years on more and more crops. Canada is currently reviewing

    Friday, January 13, 2017

    Consultation on Imidacloprid, Proposed Re-evaluation Decision

    view details »

    Consultation on Imidacloprid, Proposed Re-evaluation Decision PRVD2016-20

    The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) invites the public to submit written comments on the proposed re-evaluation decision for imidacloprid. Proposed Re-evaluation Decision PRVD2016-20 is a consultation document that summarizes the science evaluation for imidacloprid and presents the reasons for the proposed decision. The PMRA will consider any the comments received. A science-based approach will be applied in making a final decision on imidacloprid.

    How to Get Involved

    This consultation is open for comment from 23 November 2016 to 21 February 2017 (90 calendar days). Open the "Consultation Summary" to access the document.

    If you would like to comment, see the Pest Management Regulatory Agency Publications Section page for contact information. Please be sure to include the title of the consultation document on which you are commenting. Interested parties are encouraged to provide comments and suggestions by 21 February 2017.

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

    Co-Formulants in Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Disrupt Aromatase Activity in Human Cells below Toxic Levels

    It was demonstrated for the first time that endocrine disruption by GBH could not only be due to the declared active ingredient but also to co-formulants.

    view details »

    Co-Formulants in Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Disrupt Aromatase Activity in Human Cells below Toxic Levels  (Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 264; doi:10.3390/ijerph13030264)

    All co-formulants and formulations were comparably cytotoxic well below the agricultural dilution of 1% (18–2000 times for co-formulants, 8–141 times for formulations), and not the declared active ingredient glyphosate (G) alone. The endocrine-disrupting effects of all these compounds were measured on aromatase activity, a key enzyme in the balance of sex hormones, below the toxicity threshold. Aromatase activity was decreased both by the co-formulants alone (polyethoxylated tallow amine—POEA and alkyl polyglucoside—APG) and by the formulations, from concentrations 800 times lower than the agricultural dilutions; while G exerted an effect only at 1/3 of the agricultural dilution. 

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

    Mosquito spray affects bird reproduction

    House martin numbers hit by 'environmentally friendly' insect control.

    view details »

    Mosquito spray affects bird reproduction (Nature, 15 June 2010 | doi:10.1038/news.2010.296, Natasha Gilbert)

    House martin numbers hit by 'environmentally friendly' insect control.

    The effect of Bacillus thuringensis israelensis on House Martins is indirect. It is apparently so effective at reducing mosquito populations that birds had to switch food source to ants which are seemingly less nutritious.

    filed under wildlife/birds

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

    Perinatal exposure to glyphosate based herbicides causes thyroid disorders

    view details »

    Perinatal exposure to glyphosate based herbicides causes thyroid disorders 
    (Toxicology, Volume 377, 15 February 2017, Pages 25–37)

    Several genes regulated by TH or involved in TH metabolism and transport presented varying degrees of gene expression alteration that were probably programmed during intrauterine exposure to GBHs and reflects in peripheral metabolism. In conclusion, the role of GBH exposure in HPT axis disruption should be considered in populations exposed to this herbicide.

    filed under health/endocrine disruption 

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

    Roundup Proven to Cause Liver Disease - Recall Must be Enacted

    Roundup causes liver disease in rats after being exposed to doses lower than allowed by the EPA to be present on American food and feed crops.

    view details »

    Roundup Proven to Cause Liver Disease - Recall Must be Enacted

    (Moms Across America, Zen Honeycutt,  January 09, 2017) 

    -January 9, 2016 a new study reveals that the weedkiller Roundup causes liver disease in rats after being exposed to doses lower than allowed by the EPA to be present on American food and feed crops. The story was published by Claire Robinson of GMWatch.

    According to the Liver Foundation, at least 30 million people—or one in 10 Americans—now have some form of liver disease.

    study: Roundup causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease at very low doses

    filed under glyphosate and health/liver disease

    Friday, January 6, 2017

    Little Things Matter: The Impact of Toxins on the Developing Brain

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    Little Things Matter: The Impact of Toxins on the Developing Brain from Canadian Environmental Health Atlas 

    Great short video visually illustrating the effects of toxins, including organophosphate insecticides, on the child's developing brain. To Watch

    filed under endocrine disruption

    Friday, January 6, 2017

    Death of Four Texas Children Linked to Inadequately Regulated Pesticide, Follows Other Deaths

    The incident demonstrates the deficiency of managing risks of highly toxic chemicals by labeling them “restricted use.”

    view details »

    Death of Four Texas Children Linked to Inadequately Regulated Pesticide, Follows Other Deaths  (Beyond Pesticides, January 4, 2017)

    The New Year saw its first pesticide-related tragedy yesterday when four children, ranging in age from 7-17, died from a toxic pesticide treatment on their house in Amarillo, Texas. The pesticide at issue, aluminum phosphide, was illegally applied under a mobile home where at least ten people were living. The chemical, classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a restricted use pesticide (RUP), is restricted for use by certified applicators (and those under their supervision) and it is a violation to use it within 100 feet of residential structures. CNN reports that a family member used water to try and wash away the pesticide after it was applied, and the combination of water and aluminum phosphide increased the release of toxic phosphine gas.

    The incident demonstrates the deficiency of managing risks of highly toxic chemicals by labeling them “restricted use.” 

    SNAP comment: There are currently 16 registered aluminum phosphide pesticides registered in Canada, also classified as restricted.

    filed under pesticide poisoning/ Individual Cases of Pesticide Poisoning

    Tuesday, January 3, 2017

    France Bans Pesticides in Public Green Spaces

    while non-professional gardeners will no longer be able to buy pesticides over the counter.

    view details »

    France Bans Pesticides in Public Green Spaces

    (The Associated Press, Dec 29, 2016)

    French children will soon be able to frolic in the grass without risk of intoxication.

    Pesticides will be banned in all public green spaces from Sunday while non-professional gardeners will no longer be able to buy pesticides over the counter.

    The new measure is part of a larger green program adopted by French lawmakers that also includes a ban on plastic bags for vegetables.

    The pesticide ban covers public forests, parks and gardens, but local authorities are still allowed to use pesticides in cemeteries.

    The new law also stipulates that pesticides will be prohibited in private gardens from 2019.

    filed under Bylaws/ International

    Tuesday, January 3, 2017

    Texas winegrowers fear new herbicides will wipe out industry

    view details »

    Texas winegrowers fear new herbicides will wipe out industry (Texas Tribune.by Elena Mejia Lutz. Jan 2, 2017)

    Competing against millions of acres of cotton, winegrowers fear federal approval of new herbicides to be used on genetically modified cotton seeds will wipe out the wine industry in the Texas High Plains. 

    The herbicides discussed are 2,4-D and dicamba. The weeds in GMO cotton crops are developing resistance to glyphosate.

    Monday, January 2, 2017

    Scientists Loved and Loathed by an Agrochemical Giant

    With corporate funding of research, “There’s no scientist who comes out of this unscathed.”

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    Scientists Loved and Loathed by an Agrochemical Giant With corporate funding of research, “There’s no scientist who comes out of this unscathed.”  (New York Times, By DANNY HAKIM, Dec 31, 2016)

    Details relationships between pesticide companies and Universities, their researchers and governments. Three case studies. Confidentiality agreements, how industry shapes and influences research...

    filed under Industry Shenanigans

    Monday, January 2, 2017

    What to Do About GMOS in the Trump Era

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    What to Do About GMOS in the Trump Era (the Food Revolution Network - a special guest post from Institute for Responsible Technology founder Jeffrey Smith) states current state, reviews the history of gmos, FDA scientists were in favour of more health tests for gmos before approval, and the best current strategy. lots of links.

    filed under gmos/ general