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Tell USDA to Reject Bayer-Monsanto’s¬†Multi-Herbicide Tolerant Corn‚ÄĒPlease sign the petition by Monday, July 6, 4pm EDT

Monday, June 29th, 2020

(Beyond Pesticides, June 29, 2020) Bayer’s Monsanto¬†is requesting non-regulated status for corn that will increase the use of drift-prone and toxic herbicides. This means that the planting of a new genetically engineered (GE) variety of corn, which requires substantial weed killer use, will not be restricted in any way. The syndrome of ‘more-corn, more-pesticides, more-poisoning, more-contamination’ must stop‚ÄĒas we effect an urgent systemic transformation to productive and profitable organic production practices. Because USDA is proposing to allow a new herbicide-dependent crop under the Plant Protection Act, the agency must, but does not, consider the adverse impacts associated with the production practices on other plants and the effects on the soil in which they are grown. Business as usual is not an option for a livable future. Sign the petition. Tell USDA we don’t need more use of 2,4-D, Dicamba, and other toxic herbicides associated with the planting of new GE corn. Bayer-Monsanto has developed multi-herbicide tolerant MON 87429 maize, which is tolerant to the herbicides 2,4-D, dicamba, glyphosate, glufosinate, and aryloxyphenoxypropionate (AOPP) acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase (ACCase) inhibitors (so-called ‚ÄúFOP‚ÄĚ herbicides, such as quizalofop). Now the company wants this corn to be deregulated‚ÄĒallowing it to be planted and the herbicides […]

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Bayer-Monsanto, Committed to Continued Sales of Roundup™-Glyphosate, Announces $10.9 Billion Settlement with Cancer Victims, Protects Company from Future Trials by Jury

Thursday, June 25th, 2020

(Beyond Pesticides, June 25, 2020) Facing approximately 125,000 lawsuits on cancer caused by the weed killer Roundup™ (glyphosate), Bayer/Monsanto announced yesterday that it will pay up to $10.9 billion to resolve current and potential future litigation. According to Bayer, the settlement will ‚Äúbring closure‚ÄĚ to approximately 75% of current Roundup™ litigation. ‚ÄúThe company will make a payment of $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion to resolve the current Roundup™ litigation, including an allowance expected to cover unresolved claims, and $1.25 billion to support a separate class agreement to address potential future litigation,‚ÄĚ according to Bayer‚Äôs press release. At the same time the company announced a $400 million settlement with farmers whose crops have been damaged by the weed killer dicamba and $820 million for PCB water litigation. Bayer is a German multinational pharmaceutical and chemical company that purchased Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018. Bayer‚Äôs stock price increased by 2.5% after the news of the settlements. Bayer Settles, but Defends the Safety of Roundup™As expected, Bayer is not acknowledging any harm caused by glyphosate. According to chief executive officer of Bayer, Werner Baumann, ‚ÄúThe decision to resolve the Roundup™ litigation enables us to focus fully on the critical supply of healthcare […]

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Court Victory on Three Dicamba Weed Killers Underscores the Need to Reform Pesticide Law

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

(Beyond Pesticides, June 17, 2020) The June 3 decision in a high-profile ‚Äúdicamba case‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and for the plaintiffs, a coalition of conservation groups ‚ÄĒ was huge news in environmental advocacy, agriculture, and agrochemical circles. The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated EPA‚Äôs 2018 conditional registration of three dicamba weed killer products for use on an estimated 60 million acres of DT (dicamba-tolerant through genetic modification/engineering) soybeans and cotton. There is, however, a related issue that accompanies this and many other pesticide cases. When EPA decides to cancel or otherwise proscribe use of a pesticide (usually as a result of its demonstrated toxicity and/or damage during litigation), the agency will often allow pesticide manufacturers to continue to sell off ‚Äúexisting stocks‚ÄĚ of a pesticide, or growers and applicators to continue to use whatever stock they have or can procure. Beyond Pesticides has opposed, covered, and litigated against this practice. To greenlight predictable harm is a violation of any recognized moral code, never mind of the agency‚Äôs mission ‚ÄĒ ‚Äúto protect human health and the environment.‚ÄĚ According to Beyond Pesticides, EPA should never permit continued use of a dangerous pesticide once that compound‚Äôs […]

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Federal Court Halts Use of Drift-Prone Dicamba on Millions of Acres of GE Soy and Cotton

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

(Beyond Pesticides, June 9, 2020) Use of the weed killer dicamba on genetically engineered (GE) cotton and soybeans is now prohibited after a federal court ruling against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week. A coalition of conservation groups filed suit in 2018 after EPA renewed a conditional registration for dicamba‚Äôs ‚Äėover the top‚Äô (OTT) use on GE cotton and soy developed to tolerate repeated sprayings of the herbicide. “For the thousands of farmers whose fields were damaged or destroyed by dicamba drift despite our warnings, the National Family Farm Coalition is pleased with today’s ruling,” said National Family Farm Coalition president Jim Goodman in a press release. First registered in the late 1960s, dicamba has been linked to cancer, reproductive effects, neurotoxicity, birth defects, and kidney and liver damage. It is also toxic to birds, fish and other aquatic organisms, and known to leach into waterways after an application. It is a notoriously drift-prone herbicide. Studies and court filings show dicamba able to drift well over a mile off-site after an application. Bayer‚Äôs Monsanto thought they could solve this problem. The ‚ÄúRoundup Ready‚ÄĚ GE agricultural model the company developed, with crops engineered to tolerate recurrent applications of their […]

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Toxic Textiles Infused with Antimicrobial Nanosilver Poised for EPA Pesticide Registration

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

(Beyond Pesticides, March 26, 2020) An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determination could allow toxic antimicrobial nanosilver to be registered for use in textiles, including clothing, according to Bloomberg Environment. Nanotechnology products harm¬†human,¬†environmental, and¬†animal health. Despite this, EPA‚Äôs preliminary conclusion approves the registration of nanosilver-containing Polyguard as a textile “protectant.”¬† Public challenges have blocked nanosilver registration in the past when courts found EPA lacks the authority to register these toxic particles. ‚ÄúThey‚Äôve failed to collect data about potential exposure routes for nanosilver products, including textiles, which toddlers or pets could chew or put in their mouths,‚ÄĚ says Jaydee Hanson, policy director at the Center for Food Safety. ‚ÄúAnother challenge is how do you accurately test the actual product and what data do you have which suggests that other kinds of nanosilver work the same way?‚Ä̬† Nanosilver, or silver nanoparticles, are microscopic particles that are used as antimicrobials, which kill bacteria and fungi. They range in size from 1-100 nanometers (nm) across or 0.1% the diameter of a human hair.¬† Some research attributes nanosilver toxicity impacts to its small size, which allows it to be absorbed through the skin and enter the bloodstream and lymphatic system to disrupt normal organ function. The […]

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Herbicide Drift from Agricultural Use Found to Harm Bird Habitat

Friday, September 13th, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, September 13, 2019)¬†A study on the use of the herbicide dicamba‚Äôs off-target effects finds broad impacts, in both geographic spread and the variety of affected species, with use of the weed killer on Arkansas cropland putting birds at risk in agricultural landscapes. Audubon of Arkansas is reporting results of its community science dicamba monitoring project, conducted under the direction of Bird Conservation Director Dan Scheiman, PhD, and launched in late spring 2019. The project monitored dicamba symptomology in species on municipal, state, and federal lands, where dicamba was not applied, but where its impacts were nonetheless detected. Arkansas Audubon ‚Äúpredicts that in a landscape full of GMO crops [genetically modified organisms] (on which dicamba is typically used), the atmospheric loading of volatile dicamba could be enough to cause landscape scale damage to our state natural areas, wildlife management areas, national wildlife refuges, family farms, and the wildlife they harbor.‚ÄĚ Dicamba herbicides are volatile compounds used to control broadleaf weeds ‚ÄĒ especially on fields of GMO soybean and cotton crops that have been genetically engineered for resistance to dicamba. These herbicides damage non-GMO crops and native plants well beyond intended application areas. (In 2017,¬†more than 3 million acres of […]

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USDA Shuts Down Data Collection on Honey Bees

Friday, July 12th, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, July 12, 2019)¬†The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced, on Saturday, July 6 that it would suspend indefinitely the data collection for its Honey Bee Colonies survey and report. The move came, tellingly, less than three weeks after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) once again approved ‚Äúemergency‚ÄĚ uses of the pesticide sulfoxaflor, a bee-killing compound similar to the notorious neonicotinoids, insecticides that contribute significantly to the phenomena of pollinator collapse (‚Äúcolony collapse disorder‚ÄĚ) and massive insect loss (‚Äúinsect apocalypse‚ÄĚ) that are underway worldwide. Sulfoxaflor is one of the many toxic pesticides that threaten honey bees, which are critical pollinators responsible for one-third of the food we humans consume. Permitting its use and then ceasing to collect and report data on the status of honey bees that are likely to be impacted is not only a recipe for kneecapping the study of bee decline and imperiling the food supply, but also, another example of the corruption for which this administration is infamous. As The Huffington Post reported, ‚ÄúCritics say the USDA‚Äôs move is the latest evidence of the Trump administration‚Äôs war on science, and its goal of suppressing information about serious environmental harms increasing under Donald Trump‚Äôs presidency.‚ÄĚ Union […]

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Fulfilling Legal Settlement with Limited Scope, EPA Cancels Twelve Neonicotinoid Products

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, May 23, 2019) On Monday in the conclusion of a lawsuit, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the final notices of cancellation on the registration of twelve neonicotinoid pesticide products in the Federal Register, each of which contains chlothianidin or thiamathoxam as an active ingredient. The decision to pull these products from the market was required as part of a legal settlement under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in December 2018 of a successful case,¬†Ellis v. EPA, brought by beekeeper Steve Ellis and a coalition of other beekeepers and environmental groups, including Beyond Pesticides. The case establishes a legal precedent in which the court required action to address the bee-toxic effects of pesticides; however, the effect of the settlement and its impact on overall neonicotinoid and other systemic insecticide use is limited. For all but two of the twelve canceled products, a nearly identical surrogate remains actively registered. Furthermore, the fact remains that there are hundreds more products containing the active ingredients targeted by the lawsuit that have not been removed in any capacity ‚Äď 106 products containing clothianidin and 95 containing thiamethoxam remain untouched on the market. Breaking down the impacts of the EPA ruling even […]

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Settlement Bans Some Bee-Toxic Pesticides, Requires Public Comment Period on Testing All Pesticide Product Ingredients and Regulating Pesticide-Treated Seeds

Friday, January 4th, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, January 4, 2019)¬†First, the good news: plaintiffs in a 2013 lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can allow themselves a small victory dance. In that suit, plaintiffs made a number of claims related to EPA‚Äôs failure to protect pollinators from dangerous pesticides, its poor oversight of the bee-killing pesticides clothianidin and thiamethoxam, and its practice of ‚Äúconditional registration,‚ÄĚ as well as labeling deficiencies. The parties in the suit negotiated a settlement, as directed by a federal judge (see below), that was signed in October 2018 and portends some positive movement in curtailing the use of some toxic pesticides¬†[12 products, each of which contains chlothianidin or thiamathoxam as an active ingredient] that harm pollinators in particular, as well as other organisms and the environment. It also establishes a public process for EPA to consider requiring whole formulations of pesticide products during registration, and redefining EPA’s interpretation of law that allows seeds treated with bee-toxic pesticides to escape regulation as a pesticide. The suit was brought by a number of individual beekeepers and several organizations, including Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety (CFS), Sierra Club, and Center for Environmental Health, and named as defendants Steven Bradbury, then-director of the […]

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Continuing Pattern, Acting EPA Administrator Wheeler Ignores Science, Embraces Monsanto (Bayer), and Continues Dicamba Herbicide Use

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, November 27, 2018) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ignored the input of an expert weed scientist on the controversial herbicide dicamba, bending to Bayer‚Äôs Monsanto and the pesticide industry, according to emails obtained by the Arkansas Democrat and Chronicle (ADC) through a Freedom of Information Act request. The scandal centers on the recent re-approval of the pesticide, a highly volatile and drift-prone herbicide that has become a serious problem for¬†many farmers and state regulators. As top-level EPA officials continue to work with industry to subvert their own agency‚Äôs scientific findings, more and more consumers are moving to organic products in order avoid the pesticide risks government regulators ask consumers to accept. Emails ADC received indicate that Jason Norsworthy, PhD, a weed scientist with the University of Arkansas, worked closely with Bayer‚Äôs Monsanto in conducting field trials this past summer, but found high volatility and drift of the company‚Äôs new dicamba-based herbicide XtendiMax. The product was developed in the face of¬†widespread resistance to glyphosate-based herbicides¬†in genetically engineered (GE) farm fields. However, recent accounts from farmers in the south and midwest indicate that, not only is the switch to dicamba unhelpful¬† in eliminating drift and reversing¬†escalating weed resistance, its […]

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Oregon Temporarily Bans Herbicide Known to Kill Trees… after the Herbicide Is Found to Kill Trees

Friday, October 5th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, October 5, 2018) The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is temporarily banning the use of any products containing the herbicide aminocyclopyrachlor to rights-of-way after finding widespread tree deaths along a scenic highway that cuts across the center of the state. While Oregon is the first state to ban the chemical, it is not the first instance of the pesticide killing stands of established, otherwise healthy trees. In 2014, chemical company DuPont settled a class action lawsuit totaling over $1.8 million in civil penalties after its aminocyclopyrachlor product Imprelis was cited for misbranding and failure to report adverse incidents of trees dying after applications. Oregon first encountered evidence of abnormal growths, curling, and die-backs of coniferous trees along roadsides back in 2012. A report on tree damage produced by ODA in 2015 narrowed the cause down to the use of aminocyclopyrachlor-based herbicides, including DuPont‚Äôs Imprelis, as well as Bayer‚Äôs Perspective. At the time, ODA indicated the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) had sent letters to the agency requesting the cessation of aminocyclopyrachlor use along roadsides. Oregon officials indicate that the contractor did stop spraying the chemical in areas cited in the report. An update to the first report, published in […]

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Canada Proposes to Phase-out Pesticides Linked to Bee Decline, Aquatic Risks

Monday, August 20th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, August, 20, 2018) Health Canada‚Äôs Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has announced a plan to phase out the outdoor use of two neonicotinoid insecticides ‚ÄĒ thiamethoxam and clothianidin ‚ÄĒ over three to five years, due to concerns about their effects on aquatic invertebrates. This comes after their 2016 proposal to phase out another neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, for the same concerns, but the proposal has not been finalized. In April, the European Union (EU) voted to ban the most widely used neonicotinoids, citing risks to bees. Earlier this year, PMRA proposed to phase out a number of uses of neonicotinoids in order to mitigate risks to pollinators.¬†And now, after the Canadian agency initiated a special review based on a preliminary analysis of available information on the concentrations and frequency of detection of clothianidin in aquatic environment, the agency has¬†proposed another round of phase-outs. The agency‚Äôs review focused on assessing potential risk to aquatic invertebrates exposed to clothianidin applied as a seed, foliar or soil treatment. The assessment finds that, in aquatic environments in Canada, clothianidin and thiamethoxam are both being measured at concentrations that are harmful to aquatic insects. These insects, according to the agency, are an important part of […]

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New Video, Seeds that Poison, Explains Pesticide Link to Pollinator Decline, Cites Organic Solution

Monday, June 18th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, June 18, 2018) At the start of National Pollinator Week, Beyond Pesticides today released its new video, Seeds that Poison ‚Äďto broaden public understanding of the devastating adverse effects of pesticides on the health of pollinators (bees, birds, butterflies, and other organisms), and the solution in the organic management of agriculture, parks, playing fields, gardens, and lawns. Hazardous pesticides tied to the decline of honey bees and native bees are not permitted in certified organic food production and numerous policies adopted by local governments across the U.S. The accumulated studies and data have found that honey bees and other pollinators, such as native bees, butterflies and birds, are in decline. Scientists studying the issue have identified several factors that are contributing to bee decline, including pesticides, parasites, improper nutrition, stress, and habitat loss. (See Beyond Pesticides‚Äô¬†What the Science Shows.) Pesticides have been identified in the independent scientific literature as a major contributing factor. Pesticides in the neonicotinoid (neonic) chemical class have been singled out as major suspects due to their widespread use as seed coatings, high toxicity to bees, ‚Äúsystemic‚ÄĚ nature –neonic chemicals move through the plant‚Äôs vascular system and are expressed in pollen, nectar, and guttation droplets– […]

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Secrecy of Pesticide Safety Data and Ingredients Does Not Protect Public Health and the Environment

Monday, May 14th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, May 14, 2018)¬†Under EPA Administrator Pruitt‚Äôs proposed ‚Äútransparency‚ÄĚ plan, the public will still lack access to key data about the effects and efficacy of commercial poisons approved for sale and application in their communities and homes. Tell EPA to adopt a real transparency plan for pesticides! The proposed policy, posted on April 30 in the Federal Register, declares that it will ‚Äúhelp ensure that EPA is pursuing its mission of public health and the environment in a manner that the public can trust and understand,‚ÄĚ yet it applies only to a very limited set of studies used to support certain EPA regulations. The pesticide registration and review processes are particularly lacking in transparency, opportunity for public review, and access to data. Because pesticides are toxic chemicals broadcast into the environment, nowhere is transparency more important than in pesticide registration. The proposed new policy does not cover pesticide registrations, warning labels, use restrictions, or proof of effectiveness.¬†In the current process, the pesticide manufacturer produces the underlying data for these EPA approvals and controls access to them.¬†Thus, despite Pruitt‚Äôs sweeping claims of ‚Äútransparency in regulatory science‚ÄĚ: The public does not have access to the underlying data provided by the manufacturer […]

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Pesticide Safety Data Transparency a Blind Spot under EPA Policy

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, May 8, 2018)¬†U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt‚Äôs controversial plan for disclosing the underlying data supporting its regulatory science has a big blind spot ‚Äďpesticides. ¬†An analysis released today by Beyond Pesticides and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) points out that under Pruitt‚Äôs plan the public will still lack access to key data about the effects and efficacy of commercial poisons approved for sale and application in their communities and homes. The proposed policy posted on April 30 in the Federal Register declares that it will ‚Äúhelp ensure that EPA is pursuing its mission of public health and the environment in a manner that the public can trust and understand” yet it only applies to a very limited set of studies used to support certain EPA regulations. It does not cover pesticide registrations, warning labels, use restrictions, or proof of effectiveness. ¬†In the current process, the pesticide manufacturer produces the underlying data for these EPA approvals and controls access to it. ¬†Thus, despite Pruitt‚Äôs sweeping claims of ‚Äútransparency in regulatory science‚ÄĚ ‚Äď The public does not have access to the underlying data provided by the manufacturer to justify registering a new pesticide for commercial distribution; Industry […]

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French Court Bans Two Bee-Toxic Pesticides

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

(Beyond Pesticides, November 30, 2017)¬† A French court suspended the license of two pesticide products citing their toxicity to bees. The products, Closer and Transform, both contain the active ingredient, sulfoxaflor, which is highly toxic to bees. The ruling overturned the decision by France‚Äôs health and environment agency, ANSES, to allow the use of the sulfoxaflor products. Sulfoxaflor use was also challenged in the U.S. by beekeepers concerned about its impact on already declining bee populations. Sulfoxaflor is a relatively new active ingredient whose mode of action is similar to that of neonicotinoid pesticides. Even though it has not been classified as a neonicotinoid, it elicits similar neurological responses in honey bees, with many believing that sulfoxaflor is a new generation of neonicotinoid. Its initial 2013 ¬†U.S. registration was challenged by beekeepers and subsequently vacated by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals due to overwhelming risks to bees and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‚Äôs (EPA) inadequate review of the data. The court concluded that EPA violated federal law when it approved sulfoxaflor without reliable studies regarding the impact that the insecticide may have on honey bee colonies. By vacating EPA‚Äôs unconditional registration of the chemical, sulfoxaflor could not be used […]

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Monsanto Pulls New Seed Treatment Product after Complaints of Skin Irritation, Blames Users

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

(Beyond Pesticides, November, 8, 2017) Farmers who purchased and handled Monsanto‚Äôs new treated seed product, NemaStrike, for nematode or roundworm control (nematicide) have been reporting skin irritation, including rashes that occurred after use. Now the seed giant is pausing a full rollout of the product, while blaming farmers for not using gloves and other protective equipment to handle the treated seeds. This is another blunder from Monsanto and the latest incident highlighting the deficiencies in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‚Äôs (EPA) pesticide registration process in light of the millions of acres of crop damage from Monsanto products green-lighted by EPA. While touting that NemaStrike went through three years of extensive field trials and ‚Äúextensive evaluations‚ÄĚ by EPA, Monsanto stated in a bulletin to its customers on its website that it will pause commercialization of the product in light of reports of skin irritation from users. These adverse reactions to the product are being blamed on the failure of users to wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling the treated seeds. This is not the first time that Monsanto has tried to shift responsibility for the toxic effect of its products to users. Last year, Monsanto blamed farmers for drift […]

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Lawsuit Filed to Protect Endangered Species from Neonicotinoid Pesticides

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

(Beyond Pesticides, October 11, 2017) Last week, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‚Äôs (EPA) registration of neonicotinoid pesticides – acetamiprid, dinotefuran, and imidacloprid, and the agency‚Äôs failure to first consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the pesticides‚Äô impact on threatened or endangered species. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenges the failure of the federal government to evaluate the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides (‚Äúneonics‚ÄĚ) on threatened and endangered species, like the rusty patched bumble bee, the black-capped vireo, and the San Bruno elfin butterfly. The suit cites widespread presence of neonics in the environment which presents serious risks to wildlife across large portions of the country. It contends that they pose significant adverse consequences to threatened and endangered species. According to the lawsuit, because of toxicity and pervasive environmental contamination, NRDC is now challenging EPA‚Äôs registrations of pesticide products containing one of three main neonic active ingredients‚ÄĒacetamiprid, dinotefuran, and imidacloprid‚ÄĒand seeks vacatur of those registrations until EPA complies with the law. ‚ÄúThe EPA ignored endangered bees, butterflies, and birds when it approved the widespread use of neonics,‚ÄĚ said¬†Rebecca Riley, a senior […]

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Crops Damaged by Drift Widespread from Herbicide Dicamba Applied to GE Plants

Monday, June 12th, 2017

(Beyond Pesticides, June 12, 2017) Once again, there are reports that soybean and cotton fields are being damaged by off-site drift of the toxic herbicide dicamba. Last summer,¬†farmers in Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee¬†reported widespread crop damage from dicamba drift, which led to reduced yields. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a criminal investigation at several Missouri locations into what they said was the illegal spraying of dicamba in October 2016.¬†This year, reports of dicamba drift and damage are already being reported in Arkansas, and 25¬†formal complaints have already been filed, according to the state Plant Board. In summer 2016, illegal applications of dicamba damaged thousands of acres of soybeans, cotton, ornamental trees and fruits and vegetables. After numerous complaints, EPA launched a criminal investigation into the illegal spraying of dicamba, an investigation that is still ongoing. Many suspect that farmers who planted Roundup Ready 2 Xtend¬ģ and XTENDFLEX¬ģ Cotton, the new dicamba-tolerant genetically engineered (GE) seeds in the region, when faced with a proliferation of pigweed, illegally sprayed dicamba across their fields leading to drift and off-site crop damage to other farmers.¬†This year, although it is too early to say how many acres have been affected or what specific […]

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Court Revokes Federal Approval of Nanotech Pesticide

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

(Beyond Pesticides, June 6, 2017) Last week, the U .S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to show that its conditional registration of the antimicrobial, nano-silver pesticide product ‚ÄúNSPW-L30SS‚ÄĚ (previously ‚ÄúNanosilva‚ÄĚ) is in the public interest and revoked its registration. The case, brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Center for Food Safety (CFS), challenged the approval of the novel nanotechnology which was marketed for use in an unknown number of textiles and plastics. The decision underscores the need for EPA to ensure pesticide products, including nanomaterials, meet the standards of federal pesticide law. According to the Center for Food Safety, the Court‚Äôs decision¬†is the first of its kind to address EPA‚Äôs responsibilities in issuing conditional registrations of new pesticide products like NSPW-L30SS. In its ruling, the Court ruled that EPA had failed to show that ‚Äúconditional approval‚ÄĚ of NSPW-L30SS as a new pesticide supported a public interest finding by the EPA with substantial evidence. EPA had conditionally registered the controversial pesticide back in 2015. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA can only conditionally register new active ingredients, such nanosilver particles, if EPA […]

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Judge Rules that EPA Neonicotinoid Registrations Violated Endangered Species Act

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

(Beyond Pesticides, May 11, 2017) On Monday, a federal judge in California ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when it issued 59 neonicotinoid insecticide registrations between 2007 and 2012 for pesticide products containing clothianidin and thiamethoxam. The original lawsuit against EPA, Ellis v. Housenger, was filed in March 2013, by beekeeper Steve Ellis and a coalition of other beekeepers and environmental groups, including Beyond Pesticides. The 2013 lawsuit focused on the EPA‚Äôs failure to protect pollinators from dangerous pesticides and challenged EPA‚Äôs oversight of the bee-killing pesticides, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, as well as the agency‚Äôs practice of ‚Äúconditional registration‚ÄĚ and labeling deficiencies. According to George Kimbrell, Center for Food Safety‚Äôs legal director and the lead plaintiffs‚Äô counsel, ‚ÄúThis is a vital victory. Science shows these toxic pesticides harm bees, endangered species and the broader environment. More than fifty years ago, Rachel Carson warned us to avoid such toxic chemicals, and the court‚Äôs ruling may bring us one step closer to preventing another Silent Spring.‚ÄĚ The judge presiding over the case rejected claims by pesticide producers and their supporters that the plaintiffs failed to establish a causal link between the pesticides and the […]

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San Juan Capistrano, CA Passes Organic Landscape Policy for City Lands

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

(Beyond Pesticides, May 9, 2017) Last month, San Juan Capistrano (SJC) became the latest community in Orange County, CA to pass an organic landscaping policy for city parks and open spaces. The city‚Äôs move follows the passage of an organic land care policy in nearby Irvine, CA last year, and like Irvine, was brought forward by a strong contingent of local advocates, health practitioners, and city officials working together to safeguard public health and the environment. By a vote of 4-0-1, San Juan Capistrano‚Äôs City Council put the community on the cutting edge of local changes to pesticide use that are taking place across the country. SJC‚Äôs policy is the result of persistent pressure and engagement by community group Non-Toxic San Juan Capistrano with city officials. A change.org petition hosted by the group, which received over 300 signatures, detailed the discussions and responses the group received from local leaders. At the time the City Council took up the issue at a mid-April meeting, Mayor Kerry Ferguson made a strong statement indicating that, ‚ÄúChemical pesticides and herbicides have been proven to be toxic to children, pets, and the general public.‚ÄĚ Mayor Ferguson further said, ‚ÄúWhile [chemical pesticide] use is somewhat limited […]

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Anchorage, Alaska Passes Law Restricting Toxic Pesticide Use in Public Spaces

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

(Beyond Pesticides, April 18, 2017) Last week, the Assembly of Anchorage, Alaska voted 10-1 to pass AO2017-59, an ordinance instituting a pesticide-free program on public parks, lands, and properties. The measure codifies and strengthens important protections for public health, particularly children‚Äôs health, water quality and the wider environment from the hazards of toxic pesticide use. ‚ÄúParents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles should not have to worry whether their child will be exposed to a harmful pesticide that could have long-term health consequences when they visit public parks to enjoy the great Alaska outdoors,‚ÄĚ stated Pamela Miller, executive director of Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT), which helped galvanize community support for the measure. The new law, introduced by Assembly chair Elvi Gray-Jackson and vice chair Dick Traini, was the product of months of community stakeholder meetings and input. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs the way I like to do business in this community,‚ÄĚ Ms. Gray-Jackson said to KTUU on the night the bill was passed. ‚ÄúBring all the stakeholders together and have them work it out so we don‚Äôt waste a lot of time at this level.‚ÄĚ Like recent policies passed in Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, MD and South Portland, ME, the law establishes a […]

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