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Archive for the 'Agriculture' Category


19
Dec

Environmental and Farm Groups Support Beekeepers’ Challenge of Newest Bee-Toxic Pesticide

(Beyond Pesticides, December 19, 2013) Environmental and farm groups, including Beyond Pesticides, came together to file a legal brief in support of the nation’s major beekeeping associations’ lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The beekeepers, including the Pollinator Stewardship Council, American Honey Producers Association, National Honey Bee Advisory Board, and the American Beekeeping Federation, […]

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16
Dec

FDA Moves to Limit Some Antibiotic Uses in Livestock

(Beyond Pesticides, December 16, 2013) A new rule published by the Food and Drug (FDA) will limit the ability for food producers to give livestock antibiotics for subtherapeutic purposes. These new regulations come after decades of pressure from environmental and public health groups to limit the nontherapeutic use of these drugs in animal production. Though […]

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13
Dec

Unregulated Contaminants Found Widespread in U.S. Drinking Water

(Beyond Pesticides, December 13, 2013) A recent survey conducted by researchers at the U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found traces of 18 unregulated chemicals in drinking water from more than one third of U.S. water utilities. Of the 21 total chemicals found, researchers discovered among them 11 perfluorinated chemicals, […]

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12
Dec

Organic Milk Healthier for the Heart

(Beyond Pesticides, December 12, 2013) Milk lovers everywhere may feel a little less guilty the next time they indulge in that usually taboo glass of creamy, whole milk —as long as it is organic, that is. A new study, Organic Production Enhances Milk Nutritional Quality by Shifting Fatty Acid Composition: A United States–Wide, 18-Month Study, […]

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11
Dec

Maui Third Hawaiian Island to Consider Restricting Pesticides and GMOs

(Beyond Pesticides, December 11, 2013) Following the counties of Kaua’i and Hawaii, Maui Council Member Elle Cochran has introduced legislation (full text available here) that will require disclosure of pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture. In addition, the bill requires buffer zones and a health impact study. The Council Member feels it is […]

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09
Dec

The Decline of Turtle Doves Tied to Pesticide Use

(Beyond Pesticides, December 9, 2013) Unless regulators take action, one of the gifts in the lyrics to “Twelve Days of Christmas,” the turtle dove, may become extinct. The dove has experienced major population decline in England over the past 20 years, due in significant part to the destruction of turtle dove habitat and food sources from increasing herbicide use in […]

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06
Dec

Gene Mutation Increases Risk of Parkinson’s Disease from Pesticide Exposure

(Beyond Pesticides, December 6, 2013) In a new study exploring gene-environment interactions, researchers find that individuals with a genetic mutation linked to Parkinson’s disease are more likely to develop the neurodegenerative disease if they are exposed to pesticides. The study, Isogenic Human iPSC Parkinson’s Model Shows Nitrosative Stress-Induced Dysfunction in MEF 2-PGC1α Transcription, identifies the […]

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04
Dec

Feds Moves to Dismiss Case Seeking to Protect Children from Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, December 4, 2013) The U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion in federal court asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has failed to uphold environmental justice protections under civil rights law. EPA previously found that Latino schools in California disproportionately suffer from exposure to […]

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03
Dec

Start of EU Moratorium on Neonicotinoids Puts Focus on US EPA Inaction

(Beyond Pesticides, December 3, 2013) On Sunday, December 1, 2013 the European Union (EU) took critical steps to protect pollinators from the hazards associated with the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Despite attempts by agrichemical corporations, including Bayer, and Syngenta,  to delay or reverse the decision, the two-year, continent-wide ban on bee-harming pesticides has gone into […]

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02
Dec

Broad Coalition Is Building Buzz on Pollinator Decline with National Ad Campaign

(Beyond Pesticides, December 2, 2013) Today, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety and Pesticide Action Network, supported by Ceres Trust and joined by more than 60 other organizations, launched a national media campaign to bring attention to the severity of pollinator declines due in part to the use of bee-harming pesticides. The campaign launch was […]

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26
Nov

Close Results on GE Labeling in Washington State Raises Public Awareness of the Trouble with Modified Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, November 25, 2013) With nearly all the votes counted for Washington State’s Initiative 522, results show the measure defeated by a razor thin margin. After somber reports on Election Day had the measure trailing by 11%, supporters of I-522 urged patience as ballots continued to stream in (Washington runs an all-mail voting system). […]

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21
Nov

Synthetic Nitrogen Fertilizer Leaches from Soils to Groundwater over Decades

(Beyond Pesticides, November 21, 2013) Scientists in France and at the University of Calgary say that nitrogen fertilizer applied to crops lingers in the soil and for decades leaches toward groundwater –much longer than previously thought. The study was led by researcher Mathieu Sebilo, Ph.D. at the UniversitĂ© Pierre et Marie Currie in Paris, France, […]

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18
Nov

GE Restrictions Become Law, Kauai Council Overrides Mayor’s Veto

(Beyond Pesticides, November 18, 2013) Kauai made history in Hawaii and worldwide on Saturday when it enacted a law to force public disclosure of large scale production of experimental genetically engineered organisms and pesticide use. Using the authority vested in local political subdivisions by the state’s constitution, the law seeks to “to establish provisions to inform the public, and […]

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15
Nov

Task Force Provides Recommendations to Halt Lake Erie’s Algal Blooms

(Beyond Pesticides, November 15, 2013) Recommended measures to reduce Lake Erie’s phosphorous, a fertilizer ingredient that feeds algae and steals aquatic oxygen, was released Wednesday by the Lake Erie Task Force II. The collaboration of officials, scientists, and interest groups identified agriculture as the primary contributor to phosphorous loading in Lake Erie, recommending that the […]

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12
Nov

BASF Sues EU Commission for Restricting Pesticides Harmful to Bees

(Beyond Pesticides, November 12, 2013) On November 6 BASF, a German agrochemical company, took legal action in the General Court of the European Union (EU) to challenge the EU Commission’s decision to restrict seed treatment uses of the insecticide fipronil. BASF joins chemical companies Bayer and Syngenta in challenging the EU’s decision to restrict the […]

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08
Nov

Study Sheds Light On Soil Microbes as Key to Ecosystem Health

(Beyond Pesticides, November 8, 2013) In a new study on ecosystems in the Midwest, scientists suggest that once-fertile landscapes dominated by tall grass prairies and supported by microbial biodiversity have been destroyed due to decades of agricultural production. The study, Reconstructing the Microbial Diversity and Function of Pre-Agricultural Tall Grass Prairie Soils in the United […]

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04
Nov

Update: Kauai Mayor Vetoes Pesticide Use Disclosure Bill; Fight for Protections Not Over

(Beyond Pesticides, November 4, 2013)  The hard-fought victory of Kauai residents to protect their homes, children, and natural environment from the chemical and agricultural industry’s excessive and secretive applications of pesticides was threatened last week. Bill 2491,  passed earlier this month and crafted to rein in the ecosystem-threatening development of genetically engineered crops with their excessive reliance on pesticides, has […]

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31
Oct

Bats Are Not the Real Threat This Halloween

(Beyond Pesticides, October 31, 2013) Bats get a bad rap on Halloween with their image synonymous with blood-sucking vampires; however, the real scary thing about bats is that they are disappearing due to a myriad of threats, including pesticides, habitat destruction, and the horrible white-nose syndrome (WNS), a disease caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus (Geomyces) […]

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30
Oct

It’s Back! Provision that Undermines Clean Water Act Resurfaces in Congress

(Beyond Pesticides, October 30, 2013) Once again, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators is urging Farm Bill conference committee members to accept a provision that would eliminate what they call a redundant permitting requirement for pesticide users. H.R. 935: Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2013 is similar to a previous piece of legislation that was […]

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29
Oct

Exposure to Atrazine in Combination with Fungus Increases Mortality of Frogs

(Beyond Pesticides, October 29, 2013) Early-life exposure to the herbicide atrazine makes frogs more susceptible to death from chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), a fungal disease implicated in amphibian declines across the globe. The research, Early-life exposure to a herbicide has enduring effects on pathogen-induced mortality, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B and led […]

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28
Oct

Multi-generational Effects of DDT Linked to Obesity

(Beyond Pesticides, October 28, 2013) Scientists at Washington State University (WSU), in a laboratory study, determined that exposure to the insecticide DDT —banned in the U.S. since 1972, but still used today in developing countries for malaria abatement programs—impacts multiple generations, ultimately contributing to obesity three generations down the line. The study, published in the journal […]

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25
Oct

Health Threat Continues from Antibiotic Use in Livestock Production, FDA Unresponsive

(Beyond Pesticides, October 25, 2013) A report released by a Johns Hopkins University panel reached two disturbing conclusions this week: (1) the United States population is continuing to face unnecessary public health risks because of the use of antibiotics in livestock production, and (2) the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other agencies are not […]

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24
Oct

New Study Links Neonicotinoids to Bee Virus

(Beyond Pesticides, October 24, 2013) A team of scientists in Italy believe they have found the molecular mechanism through which neonicotinoid pesticides adversely impacts the immune system of honey bees. The team’s experiments suggest that exposure to neonicotinoids results in increased levels of a particular protein in bees that inhibits a key molecule involved in […]

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