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Archive for the 'Agriculture' Category


29
Jul

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 […]

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28
Jul

Bee-Killing Pesticides Ubiquitous in Pollen Samples During Honey Bee Forage Season

(Beyond Pesticides, July 28, 2015) Data published from the Harvard School of Public Health reveals neonicotinoids (neonics), a class of chemicals implicated in the global decline of honey bees and other pollinators, in over 70% of both pollen and honey samples collected throughout the state of Massachusetts during months when bees are most actively foraging. The […]

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24
Jul

UK Approves Emergency Application for Neonicotinoid Seed Treatment Use Despite Moratorium

(Beyond Pesticides, July 24, 2015) An emergency application was approved by the UK Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on Wednesday that allows farmers to use neonicotinoid seed treatment on 5 percent of oilseed rape crop (known as canola in the U.S.) this summer to control a flea beetle infestation. The emergency use, which […]

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23
Jul

Neonicotinoids Harm Beneficial Predatory Insects through Secondary Poisoning

(Beyond Pesticides, July 23, 2015) A recent study looks at the detrimental effects of neonicotinoids (neonics) on molluscan herbivores and their non-target insect predators, finding that slug exposure to neonics results in the secondary poisoning of beneficial predatory beetles. The study, authored by Maggie Douglas, PhD candidate at Penn State University, was presented earlier this […]

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22
Jul

Carcinogenic Glyphosate Linked to DNA Damage, as Residues Are Found in Bread

(Beyond Pesticides, July 22, 2015) Months after the World Health Organization (WHO) formally associated the world’s most widely used herbicide -glyphosate (Roundup)- with cancer, one of the world’s leading experts on cancer risk, and co-author of the WHO’s report, Christopher Portier, PhD, told a scientific briefing in London that the herbicide can damage human DNA, which […]

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20
Jul

Monsanto-Supported Group Attempting to Undercut Roundup Cancer Finding, According to Report

(Beyond Pesticides, July 20, 2015) In response to the recent cancer classification of glyphosate (Roundup) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization, an industry-based assessment has reached the opposite conclusion based on classified industry reports has concluded that Monsanto’s glyphosate is not carcinogenic.  According to The Guardian, the […]

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16
Jul

New Industry Hire Highlights Revolving Door at EPA

(Beyond Pesticides, July 16, 2015) The latest former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official to take advantage of the revolving door between EPA and the pesticide industry is Nader Elkassabany, PhD, former branch chief of the Risk Assessment and Science Support Branch in the Antimicrobial Division in the Office of Pesticide Programs. CropLife America announced […]

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09
Jul

Federal Judge Overturns Maui GE Crop Moratorium

(Beyond Pesticides, July 9, 2015) Last week, a federal judge ruled that a voter-passed ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) crops in Maui is preempted by federal and state law, and is invalid. According to the SHAKA Movement legal counsel, the decision, at least temporarily, invalidates a local ordinance that sought to protect […]

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07
Jul

EPA Falters Again in Banning Remaining Uses of a Highly Toxic and Unnecessary Insecticide

(Beyond Pesticides, July 7, 2015) In a sleight of hand, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans last week to cancel all remaining agricultural uses of the hazardous insecticide chlorpyrifos by April 2016, and then left the door open for negotiations with the chemical’s manufacturer, Dow AgroSciences, to adopt risk mitigation measures that would avoid a […]

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06
Jul

EPA at Odds with Scientists on Endocrine System Effects of Weedkillers Atrazine and 2,4-D

(Beyond Pesticides, July 6, 2015) With the release of its Tier 1 screening results for the first 52 pesticide chemicals (active and inert ingredients) evaluated under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is at odds with a large body of scientific evidence worldwide that identifies many of these chemicals, most notably the […]

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22
Jun

New Studies Identify Fungicides as a Factor in Declining Bee Health

(Beyond Pesticides, June 22, 2015) Two new studies raise concerns over the connection between the use of fungicides and the declining overall health of bee colonies. While the use of neonicotinoid insecticides has been established as a primary contributor to declining pollinator populations, these new studies shine a light on the use of fungicides and the negative impacts […]

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12
Jun

Cornell University Releases GE Moths without Thorough Evaluation of Risks

(Beyond Pesticides, June 12, 2015) Without input from or notification to the public, Cornell University has released genetically engineered (GE) diamondback moths at its agricultural experiment station in Geneva, New York. The university is testing a new way to control agricultural pests, much to the dismay of environmentalists. The moths, which are engineered to be autocidal (self-killing), pose a […]

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11
Jun

Ontario First in North America To Limit Bee-Killing Insecticides

(Beyond Pesticides, June 11, 2015) On July 1, Ontario will become the first jurisdiction in North America to officially begin reducing the number of acres planted with neonicotinoid-coated corn and soybean seeds, an action that has been in the making since 2014. The new rules should curb the acreage planted with such seeds by 80 […]

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09
Jun

Wild Bees’ Numbers Plummet as Pesticide Use Increases

(Beyond Pesticides, June 9, 2015) Agricultural pesticides are sprayed intensively throughout the growing season in New York’s conventional apple orchards. Researchers at Cornell University found that as the use of pesticides on these farms increased, the abundance of wild bees declined significantly. The study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, focuses in […]

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08
Jun

Study Finds Organic Makes Sense, Both Ecologically and Economically

(Beyond Pesticides, June 8, 2015) Organic agriculture produces higher profits for farmers while doing a better job at protecting the environment and biodiversity, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS). When factoring in the price premium organic farmers receive for their products, researchers discovered that organic […]

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22
May

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! The videos cover the range of topics that were discussed at the Forum and include keynote speeches, panel discussions, and workshops. […]

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21
May

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. Pesticide use increased by 6.4 million pounds in 2013, the most recent data available, making for a […]

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08
May

Groups Urge Investigation of USDA Censorship of Its Scientists

(Beyond Pesticides, May 8, 2015) A diverse group of environmentalists, beekeepers, farm workers, and advocates, along with Beyond Pesticides, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Inspector General and the co-chairs of the White House Task Force on Pollinator Health this Tuesday, urging a thorough investigation into recent reports that USDA scientists […]

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30
Apr

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 […]

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27
Apr

USDA Falls Short in Strategy to Mitigate Climate Change

(Beyond Pesticides, April 27, 2015) Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced initiatives and energy programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration, and expand renewable energy production in the agricultural and forestry sectors, but failed to stress the importance of moving away from chemical-intensive agriculture toward organic methods. While the announcement […]

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23
Apr

Two New Local Policies Showcase the Good and the Bad of IPM

(Beyond Pesticides, April 23, 2015) Just in time for Earth Day, two localities took action this week to advance their own pesticide policies. The city of Evanston, IL improved upon its previous IPM policy by announcing a new pilot organic land care program on five city parks, however, Charlottesville, VA put in place an Integrated Pest […]

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22
Apr

EPA’s Expansion of 2,4-D Enlist Duo Challenged

(Beyond Pesticides, April 22, 2015) A coalition of conservation, food safety, and public health groups filed a motion Monday challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s decision to expand the use of “Enlist Duo” on genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybean crops to nine additional states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and […]

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01
Apr

Pesticide Residues on Foods Shown to Affect Sperm Quality

(Beyond Pesticides, April 1, 2015) According to a new study from Harvard University researchers, eating fruit and vegetables containing pesticide residues adversely affect men’s fertility, leading to fewer and poorer quality sperm. The study, published online in the journal, Human Reproduction, adds to a growing body of research that finds pesticide exposures give rise to impaired […]

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