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

Archives for 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Greenpeace investigation finds academics for hire to promote fossil fuel interests

This article is about fossil fuels but similar pipeline and strategy exist on pesticides, gmos, chemical toxicity, etc

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Greenpeace investigation finds academics for hire to promote fossil fuel interests

By Elizabeth McSheffrey in News, Energy | December 9th 2015

This article is about fossil fuels but similar pipeline and strategy exist on pesticides, gmos, chemical toxicity, etc

more on Industry Shenanigans at http://www.snapinfo.ca/info/industrys-shenanigans

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Triumph of digital toxicology: why the US won't regulate deadly chemicals

EPA relies on easily manipulated toxicology research carried out entirely on computers - and this 'in silico' science often trumps both biology and epidemiology when it comes to regulatory action, or lack of it. The result? Toxic substances remain

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Triumph of digital toxicology: why the US won't regulate deadly chemicals Valerie Brown and Elizabeth Grossman. The Ecologist. 27th November 2015. A six-month investigation finds that the revolving door between government and the chemical industry has led the EPA to rely on easily manipulated toxicology research carried out entirely on computers - and this 'in silico' science often trumps both biology and epidemiology when it comes to regulatory action, or lack of it. The result? Toxic substances remain in everyday products.

Digital modelling allows risks to be systematically downplayed

The section 'A web of influence ...' is particularly informative on strategy:

"Our goal was to do the science that would help the EPA and other regulatory bodies make the policies", explained William Greenlee, Hamner president and CEO, in an interview for a business website. Indeed, over the past 30 years, Hamner and these consultancies have produced hundreds of PBPK studies, often with the support of chemical companies or trade groups. Overwhelmingly, these studies downplay or cast doubt on chemicals' health effects-and delay regulation.

"I have seen how scientists from the Hamner Institutes can present information in a way that carefully shapes or controls a narrative", says Laura Vandenberg, an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at University of Massachusetts Amherst.

more on Industry's Shennigans

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Breaking News: Monsanto to Be Put to Trial in the Hague for Crimes Against Humanity

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Breaking News: Monsanto to Be Put to Trial in the Hague for Crimes Against Humanity

By Nick Meyer On December 3, 2015 

Overseas, the company and its contemporaries in the agrochemical business world are largely shunned and/or banned due to transgressions against both health and the environment.

Monsanto also has a penchant for suing farmers, another item that often goes unreported. But now the multinational company many describe as a legal bully will be placed on trial – this time in international court for Crimes Against Humanity, according to a new report from the website Sustainable Pulse:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Native Bees Found to Have Residues of Pesticides Linked to Their Steep Decline

The study tested for 122 different pesticides. According to study findings, 72% of bees tested positive for pesticide residues, raising concerns for the potential for unintended pesticides exposures where land uses overlap or are in proximity to one anoth

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Native Bees Found to Have Residues of Pesticides Linked to Their Steep Decline (Beyond Pesticides, November 12, 2015. Native bes are exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides, as well as other pesticides, at significant rates.

The study tested for 122 different pesticides. According to study findings, 72% of bees tested positive for pesticide residues, raising concerns for the potential for unintended pesticides exposures where land uses overlap or are in proximity to one another. 

filed under Bee Die-Off

Sunday, November 15, 2015

USDA Scientist Punished for Neonic Study Files Complaint

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USDA Scientist Punished for Neonic Study Files Complaint

(Beyond Pesticides, October 29, 2015) One of the top entomologists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed a whistleblower complaint against a federal agency, citing unprofessional retaliation following the publication of a study linking neonicotinoid insecticides to the decline of monarch butterflies.

“Having research published in prestigious journals and being invited to present before the National Academy of Sciences should be sources of official pride, not punishment,” said PEER Staff Counsel Laura Dumais. “Politics inside USDA have made entomology into a most perilous discipline.”

Sunday, November 15, 2015

New SNAP site subpage on NAFTA challenges

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I added a section on NAFTA challenges at http://www.snapinfo.ca/info/legislation. I realized I had no content about Dow's Challenge to the Quebec Pesticide Code which was really important.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Research Finds Hedgerows Reduce Pesticide Use and Promote Biodiversity

Hedgerows serve many other beneficial functions; they can provide ornamental and aesthetic value, sequester carbon, and be a source of food, and more. There is also evidence that they can be an effective barrier against spray drift, reduce soil erosion, a

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Research Finds Hedgerows Reduce Pesticide Use and Promote Biodiversity

(Beyond Pesticides, November 05, 2015) Hedgerows serve many other beneficial functions; they can provide ornamental and aesthetic value, sequester carbon, and be a source of food, and more. There is also evidence that they can be an effective barrier against spray drift, reduce soil erosion, and act as habitat corridors for forest plants in agricultural landscapes. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Industry Celebrates 25 Years of Undermining Public Health

(RISE, an umbrella group representing pesticide manufacturers touted its efforts to roll back critical protections from pesticide use in the U.S.

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Industry Celebrates 25 Years of Undermining Public Health

(Beyond Pesticides, October 21, 2015) Last week, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), an umbrella group representing pesticide manufacturers, celebrated its 25th year anniversary, touting its efforts to roll back critical protections from pesticide use in the U.S. The group emphasizes its role in quashing local government’s right to restrict pesticide use within its jurisdiction after the Supreme Court, in Wisconsin Public Intervenor v. Ralph Mortier (1991), upheld local authority under federal pesticide law.

filed under Industry's Shenanigans

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pesticides in Fruits and Vegetables Linked to Poor Sperm Quality

Men who ate the highest levels of pesticide residue had a 49 percent lower sperm count and a 32 percent lower percentage of normally-formed sperm than men who consumed minimal amounts of pesticide residues

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Pesticides in Fruits and Vegetables Linked to Poor Sperm Quality
(Organic consumer Association, March 2015)

The researchers found that men who ate the highest levels of pesticide residue had a 49 percent lower sperm count and a 32 percent lower percentage of normally-formed sperm than men who consumed minimal amounts of pesticide residues.

filed under Health/ Reproductive Health

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Brazil's National Cancer Institute Names GM Crops as Cause of Massive Pesticide Use

The release of GM crops in Brazil has helped make it the largest consumer of agrochemicals in the world,

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Brazil's National Cancer Institute Names GM Crops as Cause of Massive Pesticide Use (Organic Consumer Association, 9 April 2015)

The release of GM crops in Brazil has helped make it the largest consumer of agrochemicals in the world, according to a hard-hitting new report from Brazil’s National Cancer Institute José Alencar Gomes da Silva (INCA), part of the country’s Ministry of Health.

The report says that national consumption of agrochemicals is equivalent to 5.2 litres of agrochemicals per year for each inhabitant. Agrochemical sales increased from USD 2 billion in 2001 to 8.5 billion in 2011.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Study Finds Neonics “Severely Affect” Health of Honey Bee Queens

Queens in the neonic-exposed group were more likely to not lay worker eggs, a key indicator of queen health and mating success.

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Study Finds Neonics “Severely Affect” Health of Honey Bee Queens (Beyond Pesticides, October 20, 2015 

 Neither the European Union nor U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study the impacts of pesticides on queen health before allowing a pesticide to market. 

After four weeks of queen rearing, researchers recorded 25% fewer neonic-exposed queens alive compared to the control group. Queens in the neonic-exposed group were more likely to not lay worker eggs, a key indicator of queen health and mating success. While roughly 5% of the control group was unsuccessful, over 40% of the neonic-treated queens did not lay eggs. After euthanizing and dissecting remaining queens, researchers discovered than neonic-exposed queens had 20% less spermatozoa than the control group. It was further noted that exposed queens had ovaries which were 6.8% larger than controls. “Increased ovary size suggests that neonicotinoids can affect development of queen reproductive system,” the study notes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Agricultural Crop Density Linked to Childhood Cancer in Midwest

According to a new study, living in crop-dense regions is linked to increased leukemia and central nervous system cancers in children.

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Agricultural Crop Density Linked to Childhood Cancer in Midwest

SNAP note: Relevance to Saskatchewan. Dried beans and oats are common crops here, and so is the use of glyphosate and 2,4-D. In fact, between 2001 and 2003, the reported pesticide sales in SK were close to 50% glyphosate already. Also note that the use of fungicides is apparently commonly used on pulse crops, although not mentioned in the article. Unfortuntely individudal pesticide sales data for Canda and Sk, remain obscure.

(Beyond Pesticides, October 16, 2015) According to a new study, living in crop-dense regions is linked to increased leukemia and central nervous system cancers in children. Although there is a litany of scientific literature that highlights the link between pesticide exposure and childhood illness, this study is one of few that examines the relationship between residential exposures to agricultural pesticides via crop density and adverse health outcomes, and may serve as a basis for further investigation into childhood cancer rates in areas where agricultural pesticides are highly used. 

The study, titled Agricultural crop density and the risk of childhood cancer in the Midwestern United States: an ecologic study, was published in the journal Environmental HealthUsing crop density as a surrogate for residential exposure to agricultural pesticides, the study linked county-level agricultural census data and cancer incidence data for children between the ages 0 to 4 in six Midwestern states and found evidence of an association between childhood cancer incidence and the production of crops such as dry beans, oats, and sugar beets. Researchers found statistically significant exposure-response relationships for dry beans and total leukemias and acute lymphoid leukemias, oats and acute myeloid leukemias, and sugar beets and total leukemias. State-level analyses discovered additional positive associations for total leukemia and central nervous system (CNS) tumors.While researchers were not able to examine specific pesticides used in these regions, they cited atrazine, glyphosate, 2,4-D, and MCPA as some of the most highly-used chemicals during the study period.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Toxic Influence: How a Chemical Industry Trade Group You've Never Heard of Threatens Your Health

An article about the American Chemistry Council and how it exerts its influence to weaken and prevent regulations, in thiscase regarding formaldehyde. Several pesticide manufacturers are members.

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Toxic Influence: How a Chemical Industry Trade Group You've Never Heard of Threatens Your Health.Huffington Post.10/19/2015 

An article about the American Chemistry Council and how it exerts its influence to weaken and prevent regulations, in thiscase regarding formaldehyde. Several pesticide manufacturers are members. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Another Study Confirms Eating an Organic Diet Lowers Pesticide Levels in Children

children, especially those in low-income and agricultural families, who switched to an organic diet reduced their bodies’ level of pesticides.

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Another Study Confirms Eating an Organic Diet Lowers Pesticide Levels in Children

(Beyond Pesticides, October 14, 2015) New research from the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH) shows that children, especially those in low-income and agricultural families, who switched to an organic diet reduced their bodies’ level of pesticides. This California study is one of several that documents the benefits of eating an organic diet, especially for children who are especially vulnerable to pesticide exposures due to the developing bodies...

Overall, among the most frequently detected pesticides, metabolites of organophosphates (OPs) decreases by nearly 50 percent when children are on an organic diet, and levels of 2,4-D falls by 25 percent. Pyrethroid metabolites however, did not significantly decrease during an organic diet. The researchers hypothesize that this is due to the overwhelming use of pyrethroids in and around homes, and children are exposed to pyrethroids from their living environment, not solely through diet. Pyrethroids are also more frequently detected in children from the urban area, which also reports higher use of pesticides in the home. Conversely, the most frequently detected metabolites are generally higher in children from the agricultural region compared to those from the urban area, suggesting higher exposure levels for children living in agricultural communities.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Monsanto Faces Lawsuits on Cancer Linked to Roundup

Monsanto, the major producer of Roundup (glyphosate), has found itself in hot water recently, as personal injury lawsuits pile up over the link between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL).

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Monsanto Faces Lawsuits on Cancer Linked to Roundup

(Beyond Pesticides, October 19, 2015) Monsanto, the major producer of Roundup (glyphosate), has found itself in hot water recently, as personal injury lawsuits pile up over the link between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL).

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Study Finds Wildflowers Contain More Neonics than Treated Fields

wildflowers bordering fields that are treated with neonicotinoids contain a higher concentration of the bee-toxic pesticides than the actual treated fields, pointing out an often overlooked avenue of exposure for bees

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Study Finds Wildflowers Contain More Neonics than Treated Fields

SNAP note: Relevance to Saskatchewan. Neonicotinoids are now widely used as seed treatment on most major cros including canola. This is obviously a European study because of the species of flowers bordering the fields. The species concentrated different levels of neonicotinoids so I don't know how to extrapolate what levels would be present in SK wildflowers or weeds bordering fields. Of course, in the Regina Plains, many fields go right to the edge of the road with no room for weeds or wildflowers...

(Beyond Pesticides, October 15, 2015) A new study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, has found that wildflowers bordering fields that are treated with neonicotinoids contain a higher concentration of the bee-toxic pesticides than the actual treated fields, pointing out an often overlooked avenue of exposure for bees. 

The study, titled Neonicotinoid Residues in Wildflowers, A Potential Route of Chronic Exposure for Bees, discovered neonicotinoid insecticides in wildflowers, including Hogweed and Poppy pollen (up to 86ppb and 64ppb, respectively). The study’s authors found higher concentrations of neonicotinoids in wild flowers in field margins than in Oilseed rape flowers in the adjacent neonicotinoid treated crop – on average 15ppb vs. 3ppb. They also found that more than 97% of the neonicotinoids being brought into the hive by honey bees are from wildflowers, while only 3% are from the crop.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Harvard Meta-Analysis Ties Childhood Cancer to Pesticide Use

A study released this week in the journal Pediatrics finds that children’s exposure to pesticides in and around the home results in an increased risk of developing certain childhood cancers.

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Harvard Meta-Analysis Ties Childhood Cancer to Pesticide Use

(Beyond Pesticides, September 15, 2015) A study released this week in the journal Pediatrics finds that children’s exposure to pesticides in and around the home results in an increased risk of developing certain childhood cancers. 

Authors found that cancer risks were connected most closely to the type of pesticide used and the location where it was applied. For example, while residential herbicide use was associated with an increased risk of leukemia, the link between outdoor insecticide use and childhood cancers was not found to be statistically significant. However, exposure to insecticides inside the home was significantly associated with an increased risk of childhood leukemia and lymphoma.

filed under cancer under Links between individual pesticides and cancer or pesticides and individual cancers

Monday, September 14, 2015

Germany to Ban Neonic Treated Cereal Seeds

Federal Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt wants to improve the protection of bees. As the "Bild" newspaper reported on Tuesday, Schmidt signed for this reason Emergency Ordinance, which prohibits the trading and sowing with insecticides-treated winte

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Germany to Ban Neonic Treated Cereal Seeds 
August 21, 2015. Organic Consumers Association.

Federal Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt wants to improve the protection of bees. As the "Bild" newspaper reported on Tuesday, Schmidt signed for this reason Emergency Ordinance, which prohibits the trading and sowing with insecticides-treated winter cereal seeds.

A recent British article reports expected bumper crops after a neonic ban...

filed under bee die-off

Monday, September 14, 2015

Roundup Damages Earthworms and Soil Biota, Contributes to Nutrient Pollution

glyphosate, the controversial and toxic active ingredient in Roundup, reduces activity and reproduction in two species of earthworms and increases soil nutrient concentrations to dangerous levels.

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Roundup Damages Earthworms and Soil Biota, Contributes to Nutrient Pollution

(Beyond Pesticides, August 17, 2015) A study published in Scientific Reports has found that glyphosate, the controversial and toxic active ingredient in Roundup, reduces activity and reproduction in two species of earthworms and increases soil nutrient concentrations to dangerous levels.

 Researchers found that after the application of glyphosate, the casting activity of vertically burrowing earthworms essentially ceased. Cast mound mass also decreased by 46%. In contrast, casting activity of this species remained constant when there was no application of glyphosate. In the second species, the soil dwelling earthworms, reproduction decreased by 56% after glyphosate application.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Country-wide Field Study Links Pollinator Decline to Pesticide Use

evidence of confirming the link between neonicotinoid pesticides and continually increasing honey bee colony losses on a landscape level.

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Country-wide Field Study Links Pollinator Decline to Pesticide Use

(Beyond Pesticides, August 26, 2015) A study performed by the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) in the United Kingdom (UK) provides evidence of confirming the link between neonicotinoid pesticides and continually increasing honey bee colony losses on a landscape level.

filed under Bee die-off

Monday, September 14, 2015

Insecticides Similar to Nicotine Found in about Half of Sampled Streams across the United States

USGS discovered insecticides known as neonicotinoids in a little more than half of both urban and agricultural streams sampled across the United States and Puerto Rico

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Insecticides Similar to Nicotine Found in about Half of Sampled Streams across the United States 8/18/2015.U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS discovered insecticides known as neonicotinoids in a little more than half of both urban and agricultural streams sampled across the United States and Puerto Rico, according to a study by the agency published today in Environmental Chemistry. 

“In the study, neonicotinoids occurred throughout the year in urban streams while pulses of neonicotinoids were typical in agricultural streams during crop planting season,” said USGS research chemist Michelle Hladik, the report’s lead author.

filed under pesticide fact sheets under neonicotinoids and water

Monday, September 14, 2015

Decline in Biodiversity and Pest Problems Intricately Linked

Research looking at corn production across the Northern Great Plains finds that fields with lower insect biodiversity are at greater risk for pest problems, showing that insect diversity can reduce the need for pesticides

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Decline in Biodiversity and Pest Problems Intricately Linked

(Beyond Pesticides, August 18, 2015) Research looking at corn production across the Northern Great Plains finds that fields with lower insect biodiversity are at greater risk for pest problems, showing that insect diversity can reduce the need for pesticides, yet again highlighting the critical need for biodiversity in a resilient and sustainable food production system.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Kidney, Liver Damage Linked to Chronic, Low-Dose Glyphosate Exposure

While rats in the study were chronically exposed to .1 parts per billion Roundup concentrations, EPA allows 700 parts per billion.

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Kidney, Liver Damage Linked to Chronic, Low-Dose Glyphosate Exposure

(Beyond Pesticides, September 1, 2015)

'Levels of exposure tested in the recent study are far below what EPA sets as the maximum contaminate level (MCL) in drinking water throughout the U.S. While rats in the study were chronically exposed to .1 parts per billion Roundup concentrations, EPA allows 700 parts per billion. The agency notes that “some people who drink water containing glyphosate in excess of the MCL over many years could experience problems with their kidneys or reproductive disorders.” '

more on glyphosate  and pesticide health effects

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Puppetmasters of Academia (or What the NY Times Left out)

proof positive of active collusion between the agribusiness and chemical industries, numerous and often prominent academics, PR companies, and key administrators of land grant universities for the purpose of promoting GMOs and pesticides

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The Puppetmasters of Academia (or What the NY Times Left out) September 8, 2015. by Jonathan Latham, PhD. Indepedent Science News.

The emails published by the New York Times show 'proof positive of active collusion between the agribusiness and chemical industries, numerous and often prominent academics, PR companies, and key administrators of land grant universities for the purpose of promoting GMOs and pesticides.'

'Also missing from the main Times article is a sense of the extensive and intricate networking of a small army of academics furthering the interests of Monsanto and other parts of the chemical, agribusiness and biotech industries. Folta rarely acted alone. His networks are filled with economists, molecular biologists, plant pathologists, development specialists, and agronomists, many of them much more celebrated than Kevin Folta, but all of them in a knowing loop with industry and the PR firms. Their job was acknowledged openly in emails (“We are all bad-ass shills for the truth. It’s a pleasure shilling with you.” Or, as Folta himself put it: “I’m glad to sign on to whatever you like, or write whatever you like.”). More generally, the group’s role was to initiate academic publications and other articles and to firefight legislative, media and scientific threats to the GMO and pesticide industries, all the while keeping their industry links hidden.'

More on Industry Shenanigans

Monday, September 14, 2015

Lice Found Resistant to Common Insecticide Treatment

104 out of the 109 lice populations we tested had high levels of gene mutations, which have been linked to resistance to pyrethroids.

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Lice Found Resistant to Common Insecticide Treatment

(Beyond Pesticides, August 20, 2015) Just as children go back to school, research finds that lice in 25 of 30 states in a U.S. study have developed resistance to common over-the-counter treatments like permethrin, calling into questions the justification for exposing children to a neurotoxic and carcinogenic pesticide and elevating the need to consider nontoxic alternatives.

...Classified as a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide, permethrin is “likely carcinogenic” and a suspected endocrine disruptor, immunotoxic, neurotoxic, and highly toxic to fish, aquatic animals, and bees. Dr. Yoon and his colleagues describe the threefold mutations that lice have developed over time due to the constant use of synthetic pyrethroid insecticides. This new finding builds on his team’s previous research, which found that 99.6% of lice are resistant to chemical treatment, adding weight to the fact that chemical treatments not only are unnecessary given effective least-toxic alternatives, but also are not able to provide the lice control that manufacturers claim.

Alternative lice treatment under head lice and scabies. I can attest to the effectiveness of enzyme-based soap in getting rid of scabies. Two treatments 10 days apart is all that was neededfor total control. 

filed under Resistance 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The High Cost of Pesticides: Human and Animal Diseases

' We found many diseases and conditions whose hospital discharge rates match remarkably well with the rate of glyphosate usage on corn, soy, and wheat crops.'

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A very important article documenting that the degradation of health in wildlife and humans correlates very well with glyphosate use in general, with a turn for the worse when salt formulations started to be used. The article also discusses other pesticides such as the fungicide chlorothalonil and the herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba. Abstract follows.

The High Cost of Pesticides: Human and Animal Diseases

 Hoy et al., Poult Fish Wildl Sci 2015, 3:1

A significant degradation in the health of wild animals in Montana has been recorded over the past two decades. We surmise that the health issues are related to pesticide exposure. We present some of the evidence of the deterioration of the health in wildlife, which we used to inspire investigations on human health in the US population. While the animals’ exposure is through food, water and air, we believe that human exposure is predominantly through food, as the majority of the population does not reside near agricultural fields and forests.

We have obtained US government data on pesticide usage and on human disease patterns over time from the 1998-2010 hospital discharge data. Since glyphosate is by far the most widely used herbicide, we believe it to be a major source of contamination for humans. Correlations between glyphosate usage and specific health issues, along with the known toxicology profile of glyphosate obtained from the literature, reflect a plausible causal relationship.

Because much of the wildlife data is from deer fawns, most of the human data presented here involve newborn infants, but we also present some data for children 0-15 years old and for the full population (except newborn)We found many diseases and conditions whose hospital discharge rates match remarkably well with the rate of glyphosate usage on corn, soy, and wheat crops. These include head and face anomalies (R=0.95), newborn eye disorders, newborn blood disorders (R=0.92), newborn skin disorders (R=0.96), lymph disorders in children 0-15 (R=0.86) and in the general population except newborn (R=0.89), congenital heart conditions in newborns (R= 0.98), enlarged right ventricle in all age groups except newborn (R=0.96), newborn lung problems (R=0.95), pulmonary bleeding and edema for all age groups except newborn (R=0.97), liver cancer for all age groups except newborn (R=0.93), newborn metabolic disorders (R=0.95) and newborn genitourinary disorders (R=0.96).

filed under health and wildlife/mammals and pesticide factsheets/glyphosate

Monday, August 10, 2015

Childhood Development Hurt By Preconception Exposure to Environmental Stressors

Parental exposure to environmental stressors, such as pesticides, before a child is conceived can alter the way genes are expressed in the mother and father, ultimately harming the child’s health when those genes are passed down to the next generation, ac

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Childhood Development Hurt By Preconception Exposure to Environmental Stressors(Beyond Pesticides, August 7, 2015)  Parental exposure to environmental stressors, such as pesticides, before a child is conceived can alter the way genes are expressed in the mother and father, ultimately harming the child’s health when those genes are passed down to the next generation, according to an article published in the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Bee and Bird-Toxic Neonicotinoid Pesticides Found in Food Served at Congressional Dining Hall

Nearly every food available for purchase at the U.S. Congressional Dining Hall contains detectable levels of neonicotinoids (neonics), chemical insecticides implicated in the global decline of wild and managed pollinators.

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Bee and Bird-Toxic Neonicotinoid Pesticides Found in Food Served at Congressional Dining Hall (Beyond Pesticides, August 4, 2015) Nearly every food available for purchase at the U.S. Congressional Dining Hall contains detectable levels of neonicotinoids (neonics), chemical insecticides implicated in the global decline of wild and managed pollinators... In total, 66 food samples were tested for the presence of neonicotinoids. Of that, 60, or 91% of samples tested positive for one neonic, and 47, or 71% of samples had two or more neonics present. “We were surprised to find that most foods contained multiple neonicotinoids, with as many as five in samples of fresh-squeezed orange juice and green bell pepper,” said Cynthia Palmer, Director of Pesticides Science and Regulation for ABC. Paule''s comment: When one considers the widespread use of canola oil and corn starch in prepared foods, and the Canadian regulator (PMRA) registration of neonicotinoids for most crops including cucumbers, melons and apples,  it's not a big surprise. I am sure the results would be the same for Canadian food testing. We should test te House of Commons cafeteria food.

more on pesticides in foods and neonics

Monday, August 10, 2015

Bee crisis: Are mites or neonics the real culprit?

Pesticide firms use tobacco tactics to sell products, beekeeper says

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Bee crisis: Are mites or neonics the real culprit? Pesticide firms use tobacco tactics to sell products, beekeeper says. By Janet Thomson, Manmeet Ahluwalia, CBC News Posted: Aug 09, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Aug 09, 2015 5:00 AM ET

Industry spokespeople have been candid over the years. Here is the thought process: every day they can delay regulating or reducing use on a product, by whatever means, is more money in their pocket.

When industry hires a former Cabinet minister as President, you can't tell me he has no influence on decisions or the process, especially when there is often an open door policy between industry and the regulators (i.e. people from a potentially regulated industry get a job at the PMRA or another Canadian or US regulator to ensure a new product is registered without problems, or its use continues without restictions). 

As far as I am concerned, the Ontario Beekeepers' Association should have included the PMRA in their filed a class action suit for $450 million. After all, they have kept on increasing neonic uses every year until they now include all bee pollinated crops or just about. Not only that, but David Suzuki Foundation pointed out the were at the point of registering 2 more neonic products last year. I started writing to them about negative effects of neonics years ago.

I don't know if we are allowed to sue government in Canada (other than multinationals which are allowed and successful to if they feel an Canadian decision impacts their pocket book) but in the USA, law suits against the EPA is the only way progress is made for th regulator todo its job, it seems...

More on industry's shenanigans and neonics undere neonicotinoids

Monday, August 10, 2015

An Act Denying Americans the Right to Know what is in their food, passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week

This is a pre-mptive cta victory for industry

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Passage of the DARK Act Sheds Light on Next Steps for Opposition

(Beyond Pesticides, July 29 2015) The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, H.R. 1599, often referred to as the “DARK” Act or Denying Americans the Right to Know what is in their food, passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week by a vote of 275-150. Backed largely by House Republicans, the DARK Act makes it harder for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require mandatory national labeling of genetically engineered (GE) organisms and strengthens current policies that allow companies to voluntarily label foods containing GE products, an option they rarely choose to do. The bill also continues to allow misleading “natural” claims for food that contain GE ingredients. Most concerning, however, is the prohibition that H.R. 1599 would place on states’ authority to require labeling of GE ingredients in food products, instituting federal preemption of state and local authority.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Bumper Canola Crop Expected in the UK Even Without Bee-Toxic Neonics

The United Kingdom (UK) is poised to harvest higher than expected yields of winter oilseed rape (canola) in its first neonicotinoid-free growing season since the European moratorium on neonicotinoids went into place in 2013.

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Bumper Canola Crop Expected in the UK Even Without Bee-Toxic Neonics (Beyond Pesticides, August 5, 2015) The United Kingdom (UK) is poised to harvest higher than expected yields of winter oilseed rape (canola) in its first neonicotinoid-free growing season since the European moratorium on neonicotinoids went into place in 2013.

more on bee die-off and neonics

Monday, August 10, 2015

USDA Allows Introduction of 2,4-D-Tolerant GE Cotton in Response to Roundup Resistance

Despite concerns for human and environmental contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) adds 2,4-D-tolerant cotton, a genetically engineered (GE) crop, to the list of unregulated GE crops, joining 2,4-D resistant corn and soybeans

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USDA Allows Introduction of 2,4-D-Tolerant GE Cotton in Response to Roundup Resistance

(Beyond Pesticides, July 30, 2015) Despite concerns for human and environmental contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) adds 2,4-D-tolerant cotton, a genetically engineered (GE) crop, to the list of unregulated GE crops, joining 2,4-D resistant corn and soybeans...The new wave of GE crops on the market are now stacked to include the 2,4-D toxicant, something that elevates human health risks like soft tissue sarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), neurotoxicity, kidney/liver damage, and harm to the reproductive system. 

filed under GMO crops require more pesticide use

Thursday, July 23, 2015

NGOs support banning triclosan in Canada

SNAP signed on to the original statement and is also signing the letter of support because no action has yet been taken by the Canadian government.

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Neonicotinoids Hinder Bee’s Ability to Smell Flowers (Beyond Pesticides, June 29, 2015)

Bees exposed as larvae to a total dose of 0.24 ng/bee had significantly impaired olfactory learning when tested as adults

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Neonicotinoids Hinder Bee’s Ability to Smell Flowers (Beyond Pesticides, June 29, 2015)

...'a neonicotinoid pesticide, at sublethal doses, harms this odor memory formation,” Chinese Academy of Science’s Ken Tan, who led the study, told CBS News in an email interview.'

'Published in Nature on June 18, 2015, the study finds that “adults that ingested a single imidacloprid dose as low as 0.1 ng/bee had significantly reduced olfactory learning acquisition, which was 1.6-fold higher in control bees. Bees exposed as larvae to a total dose of 0.24 ng/bee had significantly impaired olfactory learning when tested as adults; control bees exhibited up to 4.8-fold better short-term learning acquisition.” Researchers conclude that this sublethal cognitive deficit caused by low dose exposure to neonicotinoids on a broad range of bee species is cause for further study.

filed under Bee Die-off and SNAP's Pesticide Fact sheet/nicotinoids

Thursday, July 9, 2015

EPA at Odds with Scientists on Endocrine System Effects of Weedkillers Atrazine and 2,4-D (Beyond Pesticides, July 6, 2015)

Canada follows the same regulatory approach as the USA. I requested information years ago about our evaluation of endocrine testing and was told it was taken into consideration (no specifics) although in Canada, no new test had been added since 1984.

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EPA at Odds with Scientists on Endocrine System Effects of Weedkillers Atrazine and 2,4-D (Beyond Pesticides, July 6, 2015)

In spite or outdated methods, the EPA found links to encocrine disruption for many of the pesticides evaluated but consider that their current "the dose makes the poison" approach provides enough protection for the public and the environment. 'However, there are concerns as to whether or not EPA is recognizing effects at doses below their currently established “points of departure” and about the lack of testing for non-monotonic dose-responses (indicating a potential for harmful responses that are greater at lower doses).'

'When EPA says, “there was no evidence,” it does not mean “no evidence.” It means that EPA may have evidence for interaction, but has decided that it is outweighed by evidence against it, or that the only evidence is something that occurs in the presence of overt toxicity, or that they can find some other explanation. When EPA says it has “enough information to conclude that they do not pose risks,” that means that the dose that has been associated with the endocrine effects is as high or higher than that associated with known toxic effects (including safety factors.) Thus, EPA is 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.'

'After the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) set a 1999 deadline for EPA to develop a battery of assays with which pesticide manufacturers were required to screen their products as possible endocrine disrupters, EPA repeatedly pushed back the deadline for over a decade. Moreover, critics of the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) have said that EPA’s testing protocol is outdated, failing to keep pace with the science.'

Canada follows the same regulatory approach as the USA. I requested information years ago about our evaluation of endocrine testing and was told it was taken into consideration (no specifics) although in Canada, no new test had been added since 1984. Subsequent questions have remained unanswered.

filed under endocrine disruption/regulation

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Report Reveals Chemical Food Industry Tactics in Spinning Food Safety and Attacking Organic

A report released this week by Friends of the Earth exposes the exorbitant amount of money food and agrochemical companies have spent over the past several years to defend industrial agriculture, sway public opinion, and influence elected officials.

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Report Reveals Chemical Food Industry Tactics in Spinning Food Safety and Attacking Organic (Beyond Pesticides, July 2, 2015)

'A report released this week by Friends of the Earth exposes the exorbitant amount of money food and agrochemical companies have spent over the past several years to defend industrial agriculture, sway public opinion, and influence elected officials. The report shines light on the both the tactics these companies use and the lengths to which they are willing to go to defuse public concern about the risks of chemical-intensive industrial agriculture and to undermine the reputation of organic food.'

filed under Industry's Shenanigans and organic/food

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Despite Known Hazards, EPA Waits Decades for Manufacturers to Withdraw Pesticide (Beyond Pesticides, July 8, 2015)

Once a pesticide has its foot in the regulatory door in Canada and the USA, it is mind-bogglingly difficult to restrict or ban it,even when it was first registered as conditional without the appropriate testing done. This story is about propoxur with 59 p

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Despite Known Hazards, EPA Waits Decades for Manufacturers to Withdraw Pesticide (Beyond Pesticides, July 8, 2015)

Once a pesticide has its foot in the regulatory door in Canada and the USA, it is mind-bogglingly difficult to restrict or ban it,even when it was first registered as conditional without the appropriate testing done. This story is about propoxur (59 products still registered in Canada) including pet flea collars, roach and hornet products and cockroach control as well as garden use and fogger for mosquito and blackflies.

'Last week, after decades of review and known toxic hazards, especially to children, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accepted a proposed cancellation for a number of indoor uses (including food establishments) and tolerances of propoxur, a carbamate insecticide known for its toxic effects to children.... It should be noted that EPA engages in lengthy negotiations with pesticide manufacturers, as is the case with propoxur (see recent announcement on chlorpyrifos), rather than pursuing rigorous regulatory standards through its cancellation or imminent hazard authority.'

I guess the 'rigorous regulatory standards' are getting harder and harder to enforce because of all the Free Trade agreements which allow companies to sue a country for regulating a product.

filed under Risk Assessment

Monday, July 6, 2015

Popular weedkiller may cause cancer, World Health Organization agency says

2,4-D, widely used on farms and lawn care, has been designated as "possibly" carcinogenic to humans by a World Health Organization research arm.

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Popular weedkiller may cause cancer, World Health Organization agency says

By Ariana Eunjung Cha / The Washington Post Today at 9:26 a.m.

2,4-D, sprayed widely on farms and used in a number of popular lawn-care products has been designated as "possibly" carcinogenic to humans by a World Health Organization research arm.

more on 2,4-D, the ubiquitous lawn herbicide as well as still used in farming. 2,4,5-T was the main part of Agent Orange containing a lot of dioxins, but 2,4-D contains some too. However, they are not the kind companies have to report on, so are not regularly measured.
more on 2,4-D 
http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/…/3780112-popular-weedkille…

Monday, July 6, 2015

Father and Sons Poisoned on Caribbean Vacation Remain Paralyzed

methyl bromide, a very volatile and ozone depleting pesticide was used to fumigate the apartment below their rental.

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Father and Sons Poisoned on Caribbean Vacation Remain Paralyzed

By K.C. Blumm,3 July 2015

Silly me! and I thought methyl bromide had been banned in Canada and got worried it was still used on strawberry fields in California. There are still 5 products registered in Canada.I had no idea it was still used for fumigating buildings. Sure the label says 'restricted' but some of the uses allowed are for fumigating train cars, buses, tarps, restaurants, cargo ships, hay or straw, Xmas trees and food commodities. It is extremely volatile and also known to destroy the ozone layer. It has caused numerous health problems in California in communities and schools adjacent to strawberry fields. It pays off to check whether an area, hotel or park is or will be sprayed before getting there. Many people have lost their health being exposed to pesticides, and many during travel abroad.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Similac Advance Infant Formula to Be Offered G.M.O.-Free

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Similac Advance Infant Formula to Be Offered G.M.O.-Free. New York times. stephanie Strom. May 26, 2015.

 ...says it will begin selling the first mainstream baby formula made without genetically altered ingredients by the end of the month at Target.

Similac’s maker, the global health care company Abbott, said it would first offer a “non-G.M.O.” version of its best-selling Similac Advance, followed by a non-G.M.O. version of Similac Sensitive. Depending on sales, Abbott may offer other formulas free of such ingredients.

Abbott will join a growing number of companies offering popular products without genetically modified organisms. Consumer demand for such products has been growing,

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pope Francis Slams GMOs and Pesticides for Environmental and Social Damage

"... looking at the world we see that this level of human intervention, often in the service of finance and consumerism, actually causes the earth we live in to become less rich and beautiful, more and more limited and gray, while at the same time the dev

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Pope Francis Slams GMOs and Pesticides for Environmental and Social Damage  Posted on Jun 16 2015 - 2:06am by Sustainable Pulse

"... looking at the world we see that this level of human intervention, often in the service of finance and consumerism, actually causes the earth we live in to become less rich and beautiful, more and more limited and gray, while at the same time the development of technology and consumerism continues to advance without limits.”

Posted under GMOs /general

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Bees have a preference for sugar solutions that are laced with the pesticides imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, possibly indicating they can become hooked on the chemicals.

Bees have a preference for sugar solutions that are laced with the pesticides imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, possibly indicating they can become hooked on the chemicals.

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Bees May Become Addicted to Nicotine-Like Pesticides, Study Finds, The Guardian, 22 April,2015. Bees have a preference for sugar solutions that are laced with the pesticides imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, possibly indicating they can become hooked on the chemicals.

more on bee die-off and neonicotinoids

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Media and NGO comments on WHO classification of glyphosate as probable carcinogen

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Media and NGO comments on WHO classification of glyphosate as probable carcinogen (GM Watch. 02 April 2015). However, unless the EPA reforms its evaluation processes, it will not take the WHO report (GM Watch,March 20, 2015) into serious consideration.

filed under Links between individual pesticides and cancer or pesticides and individual cancers

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Cornell University Releases GE Moths without Thorough Evaluation of Risks

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Cornell University Releases GE Moths without Thorough Evaluation of Risks.(Beyond Pesticides, June 12, 2015) or consideration of alternative control methods.

more on gmos although I am not aware of any independent research in this new use.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

California Department of Pesticide Regulation Report Raises Concerns Over Increased Pesticide Use

In Canada and Saskatchewan, we still don't know much about pesticide use

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California Department of Pesticide Regulation Report Raises Concerns Over Increased Pesticide Use (Beyond Pesticides, May 21, 2015) The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) published its Annual Pesticide Use Report last week, which finds that overall pesticide use for agricultural purposes has increased by 3.7 percent between 2012 and 2013.

In the meantime, where are decent pesticide use data for Canada and Saskatchewan? 

Saskatchewan collected data for a few years but did not have the manpower to enter them. Then the Pest Management Registration Agency (PMRA) said they would publish an annual report, the first published in 2012 for the year 2007-8, 5 years after actual use, compared to 1 1/2 year for California. The report was very low on information for individual active ingredients used and did not give a breakdown by province. On further inquiry, I was told that use by province is secret and cannot be disclosed. The Canadian public is stilll in the dark regarding pesticide used where they live. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Regulators Bow to Pressure from American Trade Lobby on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

leading to scrapping draft criteria that could have led to a ban on over 30 endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemical (EDCs) in the European Union (EU).

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Regulators Bow to Pressure from American Trade Lobby on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (Beyond Pesticides, May 28, 2015)  leading to scrapping draft criteria that could have led to a ban on over 30 endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemical (EDCs) in the European Union (EU).

More on endocrine disruptiion at http://www.snapinfo.ca/info/health/endocrine-disruption

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pyrethroid Pesticide Use Increases Rates of ADHD in Adolescent Boys in New Study

particularly in terms of hyperactivity and impulsivity.

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Pyrethroid Pesticide Use Increases Rates of ADHD in Adolescent Boys in New Study (Beyond Pesticides June 4, 2015). "Boys with detectable urinary 3-PBA, a biomarker of exposure to pyrethroids, are three times as likely to have ADHD compared with those without detectable 3-PBA. Hyperactivity and impulsivity increased by 50 percent for every 10-fold increase in 3-PBA levels in boys". The use of pyrethroids has also "been linked to learning problems, and adverse behavioral and emotional development in children". 

more on health effects of pesticides

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Groups’ Petition to Ban Harmful Antibacterial Pesticide Rejected by EPA

The decision allows this toxic substance to continue to be sold nationwide in common household products, from toys, cutting boards, hair brushes, sponges, computer keyboards to socks and undergarments

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Groups’ Petition to Ban Harmful Antibacterial Pesticide Rejected by EPA (Beyond Pesticides, May 15, 2015) ­­­In a response that took over five years, yesterday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its long-awaited response to a Citizen Petition filed by Beyond Pesticides and Food & Water Watch, denying the request to cancel registered products that contain the antibacterial pesticide triclosan, often sold under the trade name microban. The decision allows this toxic substance to continue to be sold nationwide in common household products, from toys, cutting boards, hair brushes, sponges, computer keyboards to socks and undergarments. The agency did, however, grant one request, and will evaluate and conduct a biological assessment of the potential for effects on listed species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the ongoing triclosan registration review.

The cosmetic uses of triclosan, such as toothpaste and liquid soaps, are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and subject to a separate petition for which there has been no response since its filing in 2005 and again in 2009.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Now Available: Forum Videos to Inspire a Just and Healthy Future

videos from Agricultural Justice, Age of Organics, and Alligators: Protecting Health, biodiversity, and ecosystems, the 33rd National Pesticide Forum are now available!

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Now Available: Forum Videos to Inspire a Just and Healthy Future

(Beyond Pesticides, May 22, 2014) Beyond Pesticides is pleased to announce that videos from Agricultural Justice, Age of Organics, and Alligators: Protecting Health, biodiversity, and ecosystems, the 33rd National Pesticide Forum are now available! 

Watch the videos here. You can access the playlist, which includes all of the available videos of the 2015 forum, as well as previous years, on Beyond Pesticides’ YouTube page.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Canadian Senate Committee Report Finds Neonicotinoids Play Role in Bee Mortality

A report released by the Canadian Senate’s Committee on Agriculture and Forestry this week acknowledges that neonicotinoids are harmful to bees, although it adds that more scientific data is needed before making any policies in response.

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Canadian Senate Committee Report Finds Neonicotinoids Play Role in Bee Mortality (Beyond Pesticides, May 29, 2015) A report released by the Canadian Senate’s Committee on Agriculture and Forestry this week acknowledges that neonicotinoids are harmful to bees, although it adds that more scientific data is needed before making any policies in response. The Canadian report, titled “The Importance of Bee Health to Sustainable Food Production in Canada,” highlights different stressors that cause harm to bees, one of which includes neonicotinoid insecticides.

more on bee die-off

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Study Finds Organic Makes Sense, Both Ecologically and Economically

Organic farming is 22-35% more profitable than conventional growing methods. Organic, despite its exponential growth to a $35 billion industry over the past decade, currently only comprises 5% of the U.S. food market, and 1% of U.S. cropland.

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Study Finds Organic Makes Sense, Both Ecologically and Economically (Beyond Pesticides, June 8, 2015) Organic farming is 22-35% more profitable than conventional growing methods. Organic, despite its exponential growth to a $35 billion industry over the past decade, currently only comprises 5% of the U.S. food market, and 1% of U.S. cropland.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

International Treaty Bans Pentachlorophenol, U.S. Continues Use on Utility Poles and Railroad Ties

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International Treaty Bans Pentachlorophenol, U.S. Continues Use on Utility Poles and Railroad Ties (Beyond Pesticides, May 18, 2015) Delegates from more than 90 countries took the unprecedented step of voting last week for a global ban on pentachlorophenol (penta) – a proven toxic pesticide and contaminant found in wildlife and human biomonitoring studies worldwide.

There are still 2 pentachlorophenol products registered in Canada as of June 2015.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Study Shows Neonicotinoid Pesticide Has Devastating Effect on Termites Due to Eusocial Behavior, Similar to Bees

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Study Shows Neonicotinoid Pesticide Has Devastating Effect on Termites Due to Eusocial Behavior, Similar to Bees (Beyond Pesticides, May 26, 2015) A study led by Purdue University Entomology Professor Michael Scharf, Ph.D. finds that small doses of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid pesticide, can halt the normal functioning of termite behavior, leaving colonies vulnerable to disease and eventual death.

One can surmise that perhaps use of neonicotinoids in underground baits for termites would be less damageable than current uses but more environmental studies are needed to see how it impacts other species. There are also pesticide alternatives to deal with termites including detection by dogs and electroguns.

more on bee die-off and neonicotinoids

Saturday, June 13, 2015

EPA’s “New” Restrictions Fail to Protect Honey Bees as Promised

EPA’s new rules contain only a temporary ban on foliar applications of acutely bee-toxic pesticide products, including neonicotinoid class insecticides, during bloom and when a beekeeper is on site and under contract.

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EPA’s “New” Restrictions Fail to Protect Honey Bees as Promised (Beyond Pesticides, June 1, 2015)  The reality is that the proposal will only result in modest changes to pesticide labels. EPA’s new rules contain only a temporary ban on foliar applications of acutely bee-toxic pesticide products, including neonicotinoid class insecticides, during bloom and when a beekeeper is on site and under contract. A new study has also indicated that wild bees are not protected by such limited measures. 

more on bee die-off

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Vermont Wins Legal Challenge to Its GE Labeling Law

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Vermont Wins Legal Challenge to Its GE Labeling Law (Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2015) On Monday, a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Vermont found that the state’s genetically engineered food (GE) labeling law, Act 120, is constitutional under the First Amendment, and thus rejected the motion to stop its implementation. The legal challenge was brought by the same industrial food companies  –Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA), Snack Food Association, International Dairy Foods Association, and National Association of Manufacturers – that had poured money into defeating the measure, before it overwhelmingly passed in the state legislature. The judge also dismissed a number of the plaintiffs’ claims, including assertions that the law violates the commerce clause and was expressly preempted by federal law. Read the full text of the decision here.

Furthermore, genetically engineered foods are already required to be labeled in 64 foreign countries, including many where American food producers sell their wares.

more on gmo labeling