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

Latest News...

Friday, March 6, 2020

New picloram page added

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Friday, March 6, 2020

Chemical-Intensive Agriculture Increases Pregnant Mother’s Risk of Her Child Developing Leukemia

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Chemical-Intensive Agriculture Increases Pregnant Mother’s Risk of Her Child Developing Leukemia   (Beyond Pesticides, March 3, 2020) 

'The findings are based on a review of pesticide use data in rural, agricultural areas of California, where many minority, low-income and farmworking communities live. Under current laws, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permits the use of cancer-causing pesticides with an expectation that a certain number of cancers (anywhere from 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 1,000,000, based on the pesticide in question) should be considered ‘acceptable risk.’

"A statistical analysis conducted by researchers found that use of any carcinogenic pesticides within 4,000m (~2.5 miles)" (or 4 km for Canadians) "during a mother’s pregnancy increases the odds of the child developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia nearly two-fold and three-fold, respectively. Urea-based herbicides, such as diuron and linuron, are found to be particularly troubling, substantially increasing the risk of childhood cancer.

Scientists also considered the cancer connection for several pesticides not considered carcinogenic by EPA, but widely used in California. Among those, glyphosate and and paraquat dichloride were both found to increase the risk of leukemia.'

filed under cancer/ link to individual pesticides and cancer. 

Friday, March 6, 2020

Glyphosate Causes Biodiversity Loss in Freshwater Ecosystems, According to Study

Experimental ponds in Gault Nature Reserve

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Glyphosate Causes Biodiversity Loss in Freshwater Ecosystems, According to Study  Experimental ponds in Gault Nature Reserve. Photo credit: Vincent Fugère (Beyond Pesticides, March 5, 2020)

'Researchers found that algae can develop resistance to contamination, but surviving phytoplankton communities are much less diverse. Diversity loss is cause for concern as it could hinder adaptation to other potential stressors, such as climate change.

Using experimental ponds, researchers first exposed some phytoplankton communities to low levels of Roundup over time, then dosed the ponds with a lethal amount. Groups that had been given low doses survived the lethal phase whereas unpolluted, control ponds did not. Researchers observed “community rescue,” where genetic changes avert population collapse in a lethal environment. In fact, glyphosate eventually became a fertilizer in resistant ponds as it is a significant source of phosphorus. Other studies, too, have noted that phosphorous loading is an overlooked impact of glyphosate contamination.    The resulting damage to genetic diversity causes concern. Andrew Gonzalez, Ph.D., says, “We observed significant loss of biodiversity in communities contaminated with glyphosate. This could have a profound impact on the proper functioning of ecosystems and lower the chance that they can adapt to new pollutants or stressors.'

filed under water/algae blooms 

Friday, March 6, 2020

Baby Bees’ Brain Growth Adversely Affected by Neonicotinoid Insecticides

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 Baby Bees’ Brain Growth Adversely Affected by Neonicotinoid Insecticides

(Beyond Pesticides, March 6, 2020) 
This research, however, examines how exposure to the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, through consumption of contaminated nectar and pollen during the larval stage, affects bumblebees (Bombus terrestris audax). It finds that these exposures cause abnormal brain growth in some parts of the bees’ brains, and significantly impairs learning ability compared to bees who were not exposed....The brains of nearly 100 bees were examined, and the team found that an important part of the bee brain involved with learning — the mushroom body — was smaller in those exposed to the neonics. Smaller mushroom body volume is correlated with poorer performance in learning tasks. Bees fed with contaminated food in the larval stage show significantly impaired learning ability compared to those that are not.

Further, bee larvae have been shown to be vulnerable not only to a single pesticide, but also, to synergistic effects of the plethora of pesticides that may end up in the colony’s hive, plus the so-called “inert” ingredients in pesticide compounds. Researchers in one study noted, “One hundred and twenty-one different pesticides and metabolites were identified in the hive with an average of seven pesticides per pollen sample, including miticides, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and insect growth regulators.”

'The amount of pesticide residue present inside colonies following exposure appears to be an important measure for assessing the impact on a colony’s health in the future.”'

SNAP Comment: In my view, if it is affecting the development of bumblebee's brains, there is no reason it can't affect humans.

filed under neonicotinoids and wildlife/insects

Friday, March 6, 2020

Soil-Based Organic Agriculture Takes on the Climate Crisis, Economic Insecurity, and Health Inequity

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Soil-Based Organic Agriculture Takes on the Climate Crisis, Economic Insecurity, and Health Inequity (Beyond Pesticides, March 4, 2020) 

'California produces the most food of any state in the U.S. – more than half of all domestic fruits and vegetables – but only 4% of its agriculture is organic. After releasing a report on the benefits of organic agriculture last year, the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) Foundation is continuing to offer a “Roadmap to an Organic California” with an extensive policy report. The document proposes a wealth of concrete strategies for California lawmakers to employ. Organic agriculture, the authors skillfully reason, can respond to three pressing issues in California: climate resilience, economic security, and health equity.'

filded under organics/ Economy

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Report Finds Top Chemical Companies Making Billions Off Poisoning the Earth

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Report Finds Top Chemical Companies Making Billions Off Poisoning the Earth

(Beyond Pesticides, February 27, 2020) A new report finds that as birds and pollinators continue to decline, and chronic diseases remain on the rise, the global agrichemical industry is raking in billions of dollars from hazardous pesticides that contribute to these crises. A joint investigation from Unearthed and Public Eye finds that 35% of pesticide sales from the largest agrichemical corporations are made from the most toxic pesticides on the market

Saturday, February 29, 2020

The World of Organic Agriculture Keeps Growing

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The World of Organic Agriculture Keeps Growing  (Organic Without Boundaries, February 20, 2020)

'The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) published its latest statistical yearbook “The World of Organic Agriculture“ featuring global data on organic farming worldwide from 2018. As we took a closer look at the figures, we remain optimistic about what the future of organic holds for us all.'

filed under organic/farming

 
 

The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) published its latest statistical yearbook “The World of Organic Agriculture“ featuring global data on organic farming worldwide from 2018. As we took a closer look at the figures, we remain optimistic about what the future of organic holds for us all.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Longest Field Trials Show Organic Practices Yield Higher Returns than Chemical-Intensive Agriculture

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Longest Field Trials Show Organic Practices Yield Higher Returns than Chemical-Intensive Agriculture  (Beyond Pesticides, February 24, 2019)

 nearly 40-year research project are these:

  • after a five-year transition period, organic yields are competitive with conventional yields
  • in drought years, organic yields are as much as 40% higher than conventional yields
  • farm profits are 3–6 times higher for products from organically managed systems
  • organic management systems use 45% less energy than conventional, and release 40% fewer carbon emissions into the atmosphere
  • organic systems leach no toxic chemicals into waterways
  • organic systems build, rather than deplete, organic matter in soil, improving soil health

filed under organic/farming

Monday, February 24, 2020

Experts Identify Fireflies as the Latest Victim of the Ongoing Insect Apocalypse

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Experts Identify Fireflies as the Latest Victim of the Ongoing Insect Apocalypse  (Beyond Pesticides, February 19, 2020) 

'In an article published this month, “A Global Perspective on Firefly Extinction Threats,” experts are sounding the alarm over declines in fireflies attributed to habitat loss, light pollution, and indiscriminate pesticide use.

Pesticide use is particularly pernicious in the context of firefly ecology. While direct contact with pesticide sprays is a concern, exposure in soil and water represent greater hazards. This is because many firefly species lay their eggs in soil, and many spend the first years of their life in aquatic habitats like mangroves and other riparian vegetation (vegetation along the banks of waterways). Pesticides, like the neonicotinoid class of insecticides also implicated in pollinator declines, are known to drift once applied, and persist in soil and waterways.'

filed under wildlife/insects

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Hey Farmer Farmer, Put Away that Dicamba Weed Killer

A round up the plethora of recent news on dicamba — the toxic and destructive culprit behind each of these stories.

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“Hey Farmer Farmer, Put Away that” Dicamba Weed Killer

(Beyond Pesticides, February 14, 2020) US story. 'The weed killer dicamba has been blamed for killing or damaging millions of acres of non–genetically modified crops and other plants that have no protection against the compound.

This article 'round(s) up the plethora of recent news on dicamba': regulations, complaints, law suits, history, health effects.'

'Originally developed in the 1950s, dicamba is a benzoic acid herbicide that, when absorbed by plant tissue, ultimately causes the plant to outgrow its nutrient supply and die. Plants poisoned by dicamba typically exhibit curled, cup-shaped leaves, and often, stunted growth. Dicamba’s health effects on animal organisms can manifest as developmental, reproductive, neurological, hepatic, or renal harms. It also is a particular threat to birds, insects, fish, and aquatic organisms, as well as to non-target plants.'

'Dr. Ford Baldwin (a herbicide damage expert) who has previously testified on behalf of Monsanto and BASF), testified that “air in parts of the Midwest and South has become so contaminated with the weed killer dicamba that it has caused widespread damage to soybeans and other crops... It didn’t just come from one field.’” This happens because everyone sprays around the same time, dicamba evaporates, and there is an inversion, keeping the chemical near the ground overnight.

 State agencies and laboratories cannot cope with the mumber of complaints and “meanwhile, because they’re fully occupied with dicamba complaints, inspectors don’t have time for all their other work, such as routine inspections of pesticide use at schools, golf courses or businesses. (NPR)  'The volume of complaints and losses associated with dicamba use has not moved the current EPA to address the compound’s toxicity in any significant way... But the EPA actually extended its approval of dicamba just a year ago, before the 2019 growing season. The agency decided the problems could be addressed with a few new restrictions on how and where dicamba can be sprayed, along with more training for people who use it... Those changes did not fix the problem, Reed says. ‘As a matter of fact, the complaint numbers went up’ in Indiana and several other states.”'

The 'EPA made a low-key announcement on March 19 suggesting that it may change its handling of requests from states to exert stricter controls on use of pesticides than the federal agency sets out in its registration of the compounds — by disapproving them. This issue of preemption of localities’ desires to protect their populations and environment has become an increasingly dynamic frontier at the nexus of pesticide use, health, and environment.'

SNAP Comment: It seems like the US EPA is treating dicamba like a public relations problem rather than a chemical one. Dicamba is volatile, period. The new regulations in place for spraying have not changed the number of complaints. If anything they are going up. So, the EPA's answer is to make it impossible for states to set up more stringent regulations? Really? This alone indicates an out of touch regulatory system. How can one trust a regulatory system that attempts to suppress evidence rather than taking into consideration in regulation? Keep that in mind when industry uses registration of a particular pesticide to imply safety.

filed under dicamba