• Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Driving Near Recently Sprayed Fields Exposes People to Pesticides
  • LIving Near Fields Increases Pesticide Exposure
  • SNAP Tour of Organic Vegetable Garden
  • Grow a Lush Garden Organically
  • Learn About Pesticides in Foods
  • Learn to Manage Pests Naturally
  • Learn to Keep Insects Out of your Crops
  • Learn To Manage Weeds Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Learn About Colony Collapse Disorder and How to Protect Bees

Latest News...

Friday, June 14, 2024

Wildlife experts urge action on pesticides as UK insect populations plummet

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Wildlife experts urge action on pesticides as UK insect populations plummet    Campaigners say next government must reduce use and toxicity of pesticides before it is too late   (The Guardian,14 June 2024)

In recent years, concerns have been raised over earthworm populations, which have fallen by a third in the past 25 years. A citizen science project that monitors flying insects in the UK, meanwhile, found a 60% decline between 2004 and 2021. The overall trajectory, as government monitoring figures show, has been downwards since the 1970s.       “There is an almost complete lack of effective monitoring of pesticide use in UK agriculture,” said Nick Mole, the policy officer at Pesticide Action Network UK. “What little we do have is incomplete, out of date and on such a broad scale as to be virtually meaningless."      Under the new post-Brexit farming payments, the environment land management schemes, farmers are rewarded for using fewer pesticides. However, agricultural businesses argue that more support and education is needed so farmers do not fear moving away from the pesticides they have long relied on to grow their crops.   SNAP comment: One step forward, two steps back....

Friday, May 31, 2024

Digging deep into herbicide impact on forest ecosystems

glyphosate ecosystem study

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Digging deep into herbicide impact on forest ecosystems (UNBC Stories, 12 February 2024)

Ecosystem Science and Management Associate Professor Dr. Lisa Wood has garnered an Alliance Society grant ... to lead a five-year project aimed at better understanding the extent of the impact of glyphosate-based herbicides on forest systems.

While consistently finding glyphosate residues in forest plants in past studies, Wood and her collaborators have also documented a reduction in forest foods for wildlife, changes in the chemistry of residual foods present after treatment and they’ve noted how environmental conditions such as temperature and photoperiod impact residue breakdown. Building on that body of work, this new project will delve into if, and how, changes to forest vegetation influence the health of wildlife at different levels in the food chain.

“We’re focusing on how GBH influences gut bacteria and hormones in organisms in the ‘wild’ forest food web, which is a new direction as previous studies of this type have been conducted in more controlled settings.”

filed under glyphosate 2 and issues/forestry /herbicides

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Meta-Analysis Catalogues Pesticides’ Adverse Impact on How Genes Function

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Meta-Analysis Catalogues Pesticides’ Adverse Impact on How Genes Function

(Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2024) Researchers found epigenetic changes, including changes relating to “DNA methylation, histone modification, and differential microRNA expression which ‘can alter the expression of many disease-related genes’,” in a systematic review and meta-analysis of existing literature published in Environmental Epigenetics. “Our review did provide evidence that pesticide exposure could lead to epigenetic modifications, possibly altering global and gene-specific methylation levels, epigenome-wide methylation, and micro-RNA differential expression,” researchers share in the conclusion of the study. This study is an amalgamation of various studies on epigenetic changes based on a literature review process: “Article review involved 3,529 articles found through extensive searches across major human health databases,

filed under Gene Function Changes (epigenetics)

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Parkinson’s Disease Explodes as Researchers Find Connection to Pesticide Exposure and Genes

several classes of pesticides including arsenic based

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Parkinson’s Disease Explodes as Researchers Find Connection to Pesticide Exposure and Genes

(Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2024) 'Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the world after Alzheimer’s. Genetic factors account for only a fraction of PD cases, and for decades scientists have been aware of associations between pesticide exposures and PD. Yet, not everyone exposed to pesticides gets PD. Consequently, neither the genetic nor the environmental hypothesis is fully satisfactory; both may be involved. Thus, there has been great interest in identifying gene variants that affect the risks of PD associated with pesticide exposure. Now a team of University of California at Los Angeles researchers led by neurologist Brent Fogel, MD, PhD has traced a connection between certain gene variants and the occurrence and severity of PD in a cohort of central California PD patients who have had long-term exposure to pesticides. The genes are related to autophagy, the process by which cells organize, degrade, recycle or eject molecules to maintain healthy chemical balance. Autophagy is an essential process throughout the body, including regulation of mitochondria, which are also vital for healthy cellular function. The study supports other research suggesting that autophagy is disturbed in neurodegenerative diseases. '

 The cotton cluster includes organoarsenic pesticides, organophosphorus pesticides, and n-methyl carbamates, all of which have “strong epidemiologic association with Parkinson’s disease,” according to the researchers.'    The authors also expressed concern about the other pesticides such as herbicide trifluralin, Prometryn, a persistent herbicide harmful to fish, and the insecitcide phorate. 

SNAP Comment: There are still 10 arsenic based pesticides registered in Canada mostly for wood treatment (from a historical 20), 28 trifluralin (from 47), 3 (from 5) Prometryn, 4 phorate (from 8). There are still many organophospahtes and carbamate pesticides registered as of 2024.

filed under nervous system effects/Parkinson's

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Sticky trick: new glue spray kills plant pests without chemicals

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Sticky trick: new glue spray kills plant pests without chemicals   Edible oil droplets trap bugs without the harm to people and wildlife that synthetic pesticides can cause. (Damian Carrington Environment editor, The Guardian,  18 May 2024)

'Tiny sticky droplets sprayed on crops to trap pests could be a green alternative to chemical pesticides, research has shown.

The insect glue, produced from edible oils, was inspired by plants such as sundews that use the strategy to capture their prey. A key advantage of physical pesticides over toxic pesticides is that pests are highly unlikely to evolve resistance, as this would require them to develop much larger and stronger bodies, while bigger beneficial insects, like bees, are not trapped by the drops.

Pests destroy large amounts of food and chemical pesticide use has risen by 50% in the past three decades, as the growing global population demands more food. But increasing evidence of great harm to nature and wildlife, and sometimes humans, has led to a rising number of pesticides being banned.

... the new sticky drops are thought to be the first such biodegradable pesticide to be demonstrated.

The drops were tested on the western flower thrip, which are known to attack more than 500 species of vegetable, fruit and ornamental crops. More than 60% of the thrips were captured within the two days of the test, and the drops remained sticky for weeks.'

link to the research paper in the article.

filed under alternatives/insects

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pesticide Residues in Food Do Not Tell the Full Story on Hazards and the Importance of Organic

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Pesticide Residues in Food Do Not Tell the Full Story on Hazards and the Importance of Organic

(Beyond Pesticides, May 1, 2024) According to a new analysis by Consumer Reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pesticide Data Program (PDP) Annual Summary has once again failed to accurately portray the safety of some of the most commonly sold fruits and vegetables in the United States. A review of seven years of PDP data show that 20% of the foods tested pose a “high risk” to the public and 12 specific commodities are so dangerous that children or pregnant people should not eat more than one serving per day, according to Consumer Reports analysis. Consumer Reports contend that U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) pesticide residue tolerances are too lenient. To better evaluate potential health risks associated with various foods, Consumer Reports applied stricter residue limits than the EPA tolerances (see here for CR’s analytical methodology).

Scientists at Consumer Reports note that EPA’s calculations of “tolerable” levels of pesticides in food are at least 10 times higher than they should be to adequately ensure the health and safety of the public and the country’s ecosystems.

filed under pesticides in foods 2

Monday, May 6, 2024

Coffee grounds might be the answer to agricultural contamination: Here’s how

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Coffee grounds might be the answer to agricultural contamination: Here’s how (by 
By Harriet Reuter Hapgood, euronews.green , 25/03/2024)

'On a domestic level, try directing your cafetiere contents to your garden, not your bin: used coffee grounds are excellent as an addition to home compost bins and wormeries, a mulch for roses and a deterrent to snails. And on a global scale, science might have the answer.

Scientists from Brazil’s Federal Technological University of Paraná found that leftover coffee can absorb bentazone, a herbicide frequently used in agriculture.

When old coffee grounds are activated with zinc chloride, their carbon content becomes 70 per cent more efficient in removing the herbicide.

The European Environment Agency has highlighted dangerous levels of bentazone in surface water, exceeding levels set in the Water Framework Directive and putting European Green Deal targets for pesticide use in jeopardy.

The UK’s Environment Agency cites bentazone as having the potential to affect long-term water quality and lead to an increased need to treat the UK’s drinking water sources. The herbicide has been shown to impact human health if it is inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin.'

SNAP Comment: Bentazone is widely used for a variety of crops including soybeans, alfalfa, beans, corn, peas, peppers, and sorghum. It is used in Europe and approved in the US, but not in Canada at present. As the test has only been done with bentazone, it is unknown at present whether this method would work for other herbicides or pesticides in general. 

filed under pesticide fact sheets/herbicide and remediation/removal

Monday, May 6, 2024

EPA Draft Herbicide Strategy Update Further Weakens Plan to Protect Endangered Species

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EPA Draft Herbicide Strategy Update Further Weakens Plan to Protect Endangered Species

(Beyond Pesticides, April 24, 2024) . The update outlines three types of modifications to the Draft Strategy, including “simplifying” its approach, increasing growers’ “flexibility” when applying mitigation measures, and reducing the mitigation measures required in certain situations. By reducing the stringency of the Strategy, advocates are again questioning EPA’s commitment to fulfilling legal requirements under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) or protecting endangered species and their habitats in the midst of an unprecedented rate of global extinction. ESA is celebrated as one of the most far-reaching conservation laws globally, credited with preventing the extinction of 99 percent of those species the government targets for protection, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 

filed under legislation/regulatory/ USA p2

Monday, May 6, 2024

Study of Chemical Mixtures at Low Concentrations Again Finds Adverse Health Effects

heptachlor and triallate and trifluralin and lindane at lower concentrations,

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Study of Chemical Mixtures at Low Concentrations Again Finds Adverse Health Effects

(Beyond Pesticides, April 10, 2024) Researchers in a 2024 Chemosphere study find synergistic relationships in certain chemical mixtures, particularly heptachlor and triallate and trifluralin and lindane at lower concentrations, respectively.... “According to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) assessment, more than 50 pesticides are detected in blood or urine samples from the US population,” Researchers point to a cause for concern.... Researchers “used the exposure data from a complex operating site with legacy pesticide pollution.

 “Only volatile COPCs... in soil and groundwater were included in this study (triallate, trifluralin, lindane, heptachlor, dieldrin, and aldrin,” the researchers indicate in the Methods section. Quantitative risk assessment for pesticide exposure was rooted on oral exposure... which demands a higher dose to induce an identifiable adverse effect relative to inhalation exposure. In other words, using an oral reference dose may underestimate the potential risk.

Researchers did find values suggesting “significant health concerns” to toddlers, infants, teenagers, and adults in “commercial and industrial land use.”... “Nine of the 15 tested binary mixtures of pesticides synergistically reduced cell viability. Seven mixtures (Trifluralin/Heptachlor, Trifluralin/Aldrin, Lindane/Heptachlor, Lindane/Aldrin, Heptachlor/Dieldrin, Heptachlor/Aldrin and Dieldrin/Aldrin) were synergistic at higher concentrations. However, two mixtures of herbicides and OCPs (organochlorine pesticides) (Trifluralin/Lindane and Triallate/Heptachlor) interacted synergistically at lower concentrations'.

SNAP Comment: All the pesticides listed were historically registered in Canada except dieldrin and two still are:trifluralin and triallate. 'There are 23,078 federal sites listed in the FCSI maintained by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, including 5,337 active contaminated sites and 2,355 suspected sites. 15,386 are listed as closed because remediation is complete or because no action was necessary following assessment.' Inventory of federal contaminated sites.    'Research shows adverse health effects most likely occur within a 1.8 mile boundary around a Superfund site.' Millions of Americans Live Near Toxic Waste Sites. How Does This Affect Their Health?(February 16, 2022)

   filed under organochlorines, health/low dose, and mixtures effects

Monday, May 6, 2024

ALS Risk Elevated from Toxic Petrochemical Landscape Pesticides, Study Adds to Previous Findings

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ALS Risk Elevated from Toxic Petrochemical Landscape Pesticides, Study Adds to Previous Findings

(Beyond Pesticides, April 18, 2024) University of Michigan researchers have found a statistically significant relationship between heightened risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and household exposure to lawn care products and pesticides. The study results were published earlier this month in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration

The researchers in this study find that pesticide storage, lawn care product storage, and woodworking supplies storage indoors have a statistically significant relationship with poorer ALS survival.

filed under immune/ MS and ALS