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

Safety of Pesticides

also see Industry Shenaniganschildren

Unsafe at any Dose? Diagnosing Chemical Safety Failures, from DDT to BPA  (by Jonathan Latham, PhD, COMMENTARY, Independent Science News, MAY 16, 2016)    ' ...instead, the case of BPA strongly implies not a series of bad actors but instead a dysfunctional regulatory system... but the basis of risk assessment is always the estimation of exposure and the estimation of harm.                                                                                                                The article then describes with examples:

  1. problems with estimation of exposure and estimation of harm, including historic errors in estimating real world exposures to toxic substances.
  2. 'regulatory agencies do 'not recognise that exposures to individual chemicals typically come from multiple sources.'
  3. Most of the assumptions required for such extrapolations, however, have never been scientifically validated,... but in other cases they are actively known to be invalid.
  4. Toxicologists necessarily focus on a limited number of specific “endpoints”.'
  5. The assumption of a linear response is rarely tested, yet for numerous toxins (notably endocrine disrupting chemicals) a linear dose-response relationship has been disproven. Such important limitations and assumptions are generally not  noted as caveats to risk assessments.
  6. Researchers conflict of interest
  7. Regulatory agencies structured in a way that favors industry and products by often 'specifically exclud(ing) from regulatory consideration evidence and data not produced by industry.'
  8. safety bar for approval very low and standards for taking any chemical off the market so high that such an event nearly never happen. 'Yet if both standards were based purely on science, as they claim to be, both bars would be the same height.'                                                                                                    The article also suggests how environmental groups have 'an opportunity to substantively rethink their strategies and reframe their activities'

EPA Fails to Follow Congressional Mandate to Protect Children from Pesticide Exposure   (Beyond Pesticides, February 13, 2020) Congress unanimously passed the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) in 1996 to increase protections for children from pesticide exposure. Unfortunately, according to a new study published in Environmental Health, the law is not being employed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to its full capacity. For most of the 59 pesticides reviewed by the study, EPA did not apply an additional FQPA safety factor and thereby missed an opportunity to protect children’s health. In fact, FQPA solidified EPA’s reliance on risk assessment calculations and mitigation measures that consistently fall short of adequate levels of protection because of serious data gaps, a failure to consider exposure to mixtures and synergistic effects, and a bias against consideration of alternatives (alternatives assessment)  that show toxic pesticides to be unnecessary.    SNAP Comment: Does anyone know whether Canada is supposed to apply an additional safety factor for children in pesticide registration?

Assumed safety of pesticide use is false, says top government scientist  (The Guardian, Damian Carrington, 22 Sep 2017)  Damning assessment by one of the UK’s chief scientific advisers says global regulations have ignored the impacts of ‘dosing whole landscapes’ and must change. 'Tyrell, at Pesticide Action Network, said the current pesticide management system was not fit for purpose: “We don’t know how a pesticide will really impact the environment until it is too late. It can take years before enough scientific evidence is collected to persuade regulators to take action, and they will be fought every step of the way by pesticide manufacturers who make millions from these products.”'  SNAP Comment: I have an issue with the comparison ofhow well drugs are regulated. Drugs have only recently been tested for in soil and water and have also been widely found. They regularly contaminate fish we eat. I don't think anyone drug co ever tested that. Some drugs have been found to widely kill vultures in 3rd World countries as well. At the scale of the planet and of their use. drugs are equally as impactful as pesticides.

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 was 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)

The report of the Environmental Commissioner on Pesticide Safety in Canada, 2015. This report presents the results of a performance audit conducted by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada under the authority of the Auditor General Act.

Findings, Recommendations, and Responses 4
The Agency had not made progress in limiting the duration of some conditional registrations .......................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . 4
In its re-evaluations, the Agency considered the risks and value of pesticides,
but had not assessed their cumulative health effects when required . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 9
The Agency made insufficient progress in completing re-evaluations of older pesticides .13
Special reviews of pesticides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
The Agency had begun to consider whether special reviews were warranted for pesticides banned since 2013 in OECD countries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
The Agency did not promptly cancel the registrations of some pesticides whose risks
it had deemed unacceptable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
The Agency did not provide the public with complete information on conditional registrations, as required by the Pest Control Products Act, or effectively communicate new information on pesticide risks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... .. 21