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Archive for the 'National Politics' Category


21
Feb

Honey Bee Diseases Threaten Bumblebees; Late Breaking: EPA Announces New Protections for Farmworkers

(Beyond Pesticides, February 21, 2014) A new study published in the journal Nature investigating two infectious diseases —deformed wing virus (DWV) and the fungal parasite Nosema ceranea— finds that they could be spreading from honey bees to bumblebees, dramatically shortening the lifespan of the wild bumblebees. The study gives credence to recent research demonstrating that […]

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30
Jan

Backdoor Farm Bill Amendment Orders EPA to Ignore Unsafe Levels of Fluoride in Kid’s Food

(Beyond Pesticides, January 30, 2014) With the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Agriculture Act of 2014 (commonly known as the Farm Bill) yesterday, conventional farming allies and chemical agribusiness dealt a dangerous blow to children’s health protections and offered up yet another reason for consumers everywhere to support organic. The behind-closed-door amendment to […]

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06
Jan

Environmentalists, Farmers Challenge USDA’s Call for the Deregulation of Crops with Genetically Engineered Tolerance to the Highly Toxic Herbicide 2,4-D

(Beyond Pesticides, January 6, 2014) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Friday released for public input its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), which calls for the deregulation of genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybeans engineered to be tolerant to the toxic herbicide 2,4-D. These new varieties of GE corn and soybean, created partly due to […]

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02
Jan

Large End-of-Year Penalty for Pesticide Violation Amid EPA’s Record of Few Enforcement Actions

(Beyond Pesticides, January 2, 2014) Near the conclusion of 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement agreement with a Florida-based pesticide producer and distributor, Harrell’s LLC. Alleging multiple violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the agreement requires Harrell’s to pay a hefty civil penalty in the amount of […]

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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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05
Dec

House Farm Bill Provision Would Make Eating Fish More Dangerous

(Beyond Pesticides, December 4, 2013) It’s farm bill debate time—again. And as conferee members saddle up to the negotiation table to attempt yet another meeting of the minds before the winter recess, most of the public watching and waiting for word on a resolution are focused on issues like food stamps and milk. What most […]

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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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27
Nov

EPA Appoints Public Interest Scientist to Oversee Scientific Integrity

(Beyond Pesticides, November 27, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has tapped a senior scientist at a nonprofit watchdog group to head the agency’s internal scientific integrity program. Francesca Grifo, PhD, former senior scientist and director of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) scientific integrity program, is becoming EPA’s new scientific integrity official, tasked with […]

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22
Nov

EPA Reluctant to Endorse Chemical Safety Improvement Act

(Beyond Pesticides, November 22, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, James Jones, testified before the House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy last week. The subject of Jones’ testimony: EPA’s informal observations on the proposed Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA). Introduced this past […]

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05
Nov

Fate of GE Labeling in Washington State To Be Decided Today

(Beyond Pesticides, November 5, 2013) Today residents of Washington State will vote on ballot measure I-522, to determine whether food sold on supermarket shelves will be required to disclose the presence of genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. The simple premise of labeling GE food has been fueled by a growing grassroots movement demanding a right to […]

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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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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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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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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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13
Sep

Despite Public Opposition, House Extends Monsanto Protection Act

(Beyond Pesticides, September 13, 2013) A three-month extension of the controversial budget provision protecting genetically-modified seed manufacturers from litigation was included in the U.S. House of Representatives’ spending bill on Tuesday evening. Public interest and responsible business advocates say the provision undermines the federal courts’ ability to safeguard farmers and the environment from potentially hazardous genetically engineered (GE) crops. The controversial corporate earmark, also […]

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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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11
Sep

GAO Report Questions Adequacy of EPA’s Conditional Pesticide Registration System

(Beyond Pesticides, September 11, 2013) In a report released Monday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s use and oversight of conditional registrations is lacking and unreliable. Conditional registration allows pesticides onto the consumer market without all the required data to assess the chemical’s safety. This has created many […]

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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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13
Aug

Genetically Engineered Food Labeling Supported Widely in Washington State, Industry Pushes Back

(Beyond Pesticides, August 13, 2013) Despite the defeat of California’s Proposition 37 at the polls last November, it’s evident that advocates of labeling genetically engineered (GE) foods have not let the loss slow them down. In fact, Prop 37 has acted as a rallying point, lifting the issue to national attention and highlighting the GE […]

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06
Aug

President’s Chemical Plant Safety Order Could Offer Policy Options on Safer Alternatives

(Beyond Pesticides, August 6, 2013) On August 1, as President Obama signed an Executive Order, entitled Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, intended to improve chemical facility safety and security, a coalition of labor and environmental groups delivered a letter to newly appointed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, urging her to make chemical disaster […]

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05
Aug

Preemption Provision in Proposed Chemical Law Draws Ire from States

(Beyond Pesticides, August 5, 2013) Nine state Attorneys General sent a letter to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week expressing their “deep concerns about unduly broad preemption language proposed in S.1009, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act [CSIA].” CSIA would amend the decades old (1976) U.S. chemical law, the Toxic Substances Control Act […]

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01
Aug

Appropriations Bill Would Prohibit EPA’s Phase-Out of Sulfuryl Fluoride

(Beyond Pesticides, August 1, 2013) The House of Representatives Appropriations Interior and Environmental subcommittee voted Tuesday 7-4 to approve an appropriations bill that would cut the budget of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by nearly a third, and includes language that would prevent the agency from enforcing its decision to phase out the use […]

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26
Jul

Take Action: House Bill Will Prohibit EPA Ban on Sulfuryl Fluoride

(Beyond Pesticides, July 26, 2013) Thousands of people from across the country took action last month to prevent Dow AgroSciences from using its influence to insert Farm Bill language that would allow the food uses of the pesticide sulfuryl fluoride to continue, despite a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal to phase it out. Dow’s […]

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