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Archive for the 'Agriculture' Category


15
Oct

Ongoing Shutdown Creates Problems for Organic Community

(Beyond Pesticides, October 14, 2013) The ongoing government shutdown is having dramatic impacts on the organic agricultural community. On October 10, it was announced that the semiannual National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting, scheduled in Louisville the week of October 21, has been canceled. During the NOSB’s semiannual meetings the board makes recommendations to the […]

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10
Oct

Report Finds Pesticides as the Cause of Bee-Kills in Minnesota

(Beyond Pesticides, October 10, 2013) A recent investigation into the death of thousands of bees last month in Minnesota revealed that fipronil, a widely used insecticide, was to blame. In mid-September, three colonies of bees in Minneapolis were found twitching and dying on the ground. Local apiarist Mark Lucas paints a grim picture of the […]

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09
Oct

California Passes Bill to Tackle Pesticide Drift

(Beyond Pesticides, October 9, 2013) California Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 304, a bill designed to protect people from harmful pesticides identified as Toxic Air Contaminants (TACs). The bill will require the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to develop mitigation measures for the use of harmful pesticides that vaporize and drift from application […]

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08
Oct

Scientists Link Pesticide-Related Stress to Bee Colony Collapse

(Beyond Pesticides, October 8, 2013) Stress brought about by chronic exposure to sublethal levels of neonicotinoid pesticides causes bee colony failure, according to a new study published in the journal Ecology Letters. Scientists at Royal Holloway University of London have determined that low-level exposure to the pesticide imidacloprid at levels bees encounter in the field […]

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07
Oct

Oregon Passes Bill to Limit GE Oversight

(Beyond Pesticides, October 7, 2013) A controversial agriculture bill that would bar counties in Oregon from regulating genetically engineered (GE) crops has passed in the state legislature to the dismay of many organic and environmental groups. Senate Bill 863 also includes an emergency clause, which would allow the bill to go into effect immediately, precluding […]

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04
Oct

Citrus Farmers and Beekeepers at odds over Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, October 4, 2013) It was hoped that a recent meeting in Florida between beekeepers and citrus growers could create stronger communication between both agricultural sectors. Beekeepers in Florida have begun to voice growing concerns over the increased use of insecticides on citrus trees where their bees are used as pollinators. Though this meeting worked to […]

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02
Oct

Costa Rican Crocodiles Threatened by Banana Production Practices

(Beyond Pesticides, October 2, 2013) New research reveals that Costa Rica’s iconic spectacled caiman crocodiles are under threat from pesticides used on the country’s massive banana plantations. Nearly two million tons of bananas are shipped out of the small South American country each year, and exports are rising alongside with the use of hazardous pesticides. […]

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01
Oct

Kauai County, Hawaii Pesticide and GE Measure Passes Council Committee

(Beyond Pesticides, October 1, 2013) Kauai’s Committee on Environmental Development, Agriculture, and Sustainability approved a bill that requires large agricultural companies in the county to disclose the pesticides they use. The legislation will now go to the full council for a vote. The measure, County Bill 2491, which Beyond Pesticides supported with testimony, would provide transparency […]

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30
Sep

Report Finds Need for California to Improve Its Pesticide Approval Process

(Beyond Pesticides, September 30, 2013) A new report, published by UCLA’s Sustainable Technology and Policy Program, finds that the California Department of Pesticides Registration (DPR) has failed to ensure that pesticides it approves are safe. Using methyl iodide as a case study, researchers point to key deficits in the approval process and make recommendations for […]

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26
Sep

“Monsanto Protection Act” Stripped from Senate Bill

(Beyond Pesticides, September 26, 2013) The controversial legislative rider added at the behest of Monsanto to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) budget bill last spring, dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act,” will no longer be effective after Sept. 30 under a new stopgap government funding bill being drafted by Senate Democrats. Just last week, to the dismay […]

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25
Sep

USDA Refuses to Investigate GE Alfalfa Contamination

(Beyond Pesticides, September 25, 2013) Five days after genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa was confirmed to have contaminated non-GE alfalfa in Washington State, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would not investigate the incident. Conventional and organic farmers have long been concerned with the economic impacts of GE adulteration, and this incident represents the […]

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23
Sep

Send Your Comment to USDA: Stop Antibiotics in Organic Fruit Production, Allow Full Public Participation

(Beyond Pesticides, September 23, 2013) Don’t let USDA stop your voice from being heard on organic. The meaningfulness of the USDA organic label is threatened because the standards and public oversight governing organic are under attack. Say No to Antibiotics in Organic Fruit Production Help us make sure that the last antibiotic, streptomycin, is taken […]

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20
Sep

Study Finds Women Near Pesticide-Treated Fields Have Lower Weight Babies

(Beyond Pesticides, September 20, 2013) A study of women in Northern California farm towns finds that those living within three miles of strawberries fields treated with methyl bromide gave birth to smaller, lighter babies. Methyl bromides, a fumigant pesticide injected into soils to eliminate soil-borne pests, can volatize into the air exposing nearby neighborhoods. The […]

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19
Sep

USDA Guts Public Organic Review Process to Limit Synthetics

(Beyond Pesticides, September 19, 2013) In a move decried by consumer and environmental groups as severely weakening the meaning of the organic label, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this week that the agency has changed the process for exempting otherwise prohibited substances (such as synthetics) in food that carries the “organic” or “made […]

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17
Sep

Canada Declares Farm Use of Neonicotinoids “Unsustainable”

(Beyond Pesticides, September 17, 2013) Last Friday, Health Canada released new measures the agency claims are intended to protect bees from exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides. As with recent regulations proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), beekeepers and environmental groups are criticizing the measures as inadequate, not going far enough to protect domesticated honey […]

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12
Sep

Monsanto Funds Anti-GE Labeling Efforts in Washington

(Beyond Pesticides, September 12, 2013) Monsanto recently made a multi-million dollar contribution to an organization fighting to stop a ballot initiative in Washington State that would force food processors to label genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. Monsanto has poured millions of dollars into multiple anti-labeling efforts, previously contributing over $7 million against a similar proposition in […]

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09
Sep

Take Action! Organic Comment Period Now Open Until October 1

(Beyond Pesticides, September 9, 2013) The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is now accepting public comments until October 1, 2013 for its upcoming fall meeting, to be held October 22-24, 2013 at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY (140 North Fourth St., Louisville, KY, 40202). Beyond Pesticides has compiled a list of the issues before […]

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05
Sep

Orange Grower Fined for Killing of Honey Bees with Pesticide Widely Linked to Bee Kills

(Beyond Pesticides, September 5, 2013) One of Florida’s largest citrus growers, Ben Hill Griffin, Inc., has been fined a mere $1,500 after a state investigation found that the farm illegally sprayed pesticides, resulting in the death of millions of managed honey bees. Beekeeper Randall Foti, a Crystal River-based beekeeper of 42 years, reported the bee […]

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04
Sep

Parents Sue EPA for Continuing Failure to Protect Kids from Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, September 4, 2013) More than a decade after Latino parents filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) detailing the dangerous levels of pesticides at Latino public schools throughout California, the parents are suing the agency for its continuing failure to protect Latino students. The schools are near crop fields […]

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03
Sep

Another Study Finds Rootworms Resistant to Genetically Engineered Corn

(Beyond Pesticides, September 3, 2013) For the past several years, corn rootworms have been widely reported to exhibit resistance to corn genetically engineered (GE) with the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin. A new report by University of Illinois researchers found the resistant corn rootworm in two of the state’s counties significantly damaged by western corn rootworm. The increasing lack of efficacy of […]

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30
Aug

World Bank Loan Supports Plantation Practices Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease

(Beyond Pesticides, August 30, 2013) Months after Central American health ministries issued a  joint declaration citing kidney disease as a top public health priority, the World Bank just approved a new loan to expand sugar cane plantations in Nicaragua. The Bank’s loan represents renewed support for an industry whose workers have been devastated by the […]

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29
Aug

Lawsuit Filed to Halt GE Crops on Wildlife Refuges in the Midwest

(Beyond Pesticides, August 29, 2013) A federal lawsuit was filed on Tuesday to stop the planting of genetically engineered (GE) crops and restrict the widespread use of pesticides in national wildlife refuges in the Midwest Region. The lawsuit seeks to enforce the legal requirement that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which operates the refuges, conducts […]

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28
Aug

Syngenta Challenges EU Suspension on Neonicotinoids

(Beyond Pesticides, August 28, 2013) Industry giant, Syngenta, has filed a legal challenge to the European Union’s suspension of one of its insecticides, thiamethoxam, linked to the decline in bee populations that has been observed in Europe and the rest of the world. Thiamethoxam, a neonicotinoid and active ingredient in Syngenta’s Cruiser seed treatments, is […]

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