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CA Supreme Court Upholds $87M Award in Glyphosate Damage Lawsuit, Bayer/Monsanto Challenge Fails

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, November 30, 2021)¬†The chronicle of developments in the glyphosate saga has just grown longer: the California Supreme Court has rejected a request by Bayer AG for review of the August 2021 First District Court of Appeal (San Francisco) ruling, for the plaintiffs, that Monsanto knowingly marketed a product ‚ÄĒ Roundup ‚ÄĒ whose active ingredient (glyphosate) could be dangerous. The $87 million in damages awarded to the plaintiffs in the litigation, Alberta and Alva Pilliod, has thus survived Bayer‚Äôs challenge. This highest state court decision racks up another loss for Bayer (which now owns the Monsanto ‚ÄúRoundup‚ÄĚ brand) ‚ÄĒ despite its dogged insistence, throughout multiple lawsuits (with many more still in the pipeline), that glyphosate is safe. Beyond Pesticides has covered the glyphosate saga extensively; see its litigation archives for multiple articles on glyphosate lawsuits. Glyphosate has been the subject of a great deal of public, advocacy, and regulatory attention, as well as the target of thousands of lawsuits ‚ÄĒ particularly since the¬†2015 declaration by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) that the compound is a likely human carcinogen. In June 2020, facing approximately 125,000 suits for Roundup‚Äôs role in cancer outcomes, Bayer announced a $10 billion […]

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Joining Together to Give Thanks As We Confront the Challenges Ahead

Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

  (Beyond Pesticides, November 24, 2021) On Thanksgiving, thank you for being a part of Beyond Pesticides and sharing and contributing to the vision necessary to protect the web and fragility of life. We believe that there is no time like Thanksgiving to think about how we can more effectively join together as families and communities across divisions and different points of view to find a common purpose in protecting the health of the environment and all that inhabit it. Unfortunately, there are a host of pesticides, genetically engineered materials, and others in conventional Thanksgiving foods that not only impact human health, but threaten the environment. With far too many adverse health and ecological effects associated with toxic chemicals, organic practices are viable solutions to mitigate pesticide contamination and subsequent exposure. Read on as we consider the range of challenges we must confront, and the solutions that can bring us all together. The Climate As climate impacts grow, an increase in uses of synthetic pesticides in agriculture is likely ‚ÄĒ because of waning efficacy (pesticide resistance) of these compounds, and mounting pest pressure (i.e., increasing insect population and metabolism). Production of pesticides contributes to greenhouse gas emissions gas (e.g., nitrous […]

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Glyphosate Kills Microorganisms Beneficial to Plants, Animals, and Humans

Thursday, October 28th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, October 28, 2021) A study published in¬†Frontiers in Environmental Science¬†finds the popular herbicide glyphosate negatively affects microbial communities, indirectly influencing plant, animal, and human health. Exposure to sublethal concentrations of glyphosate shifts microbial community composition, destroying beneficial microorganisms while preserving pathogenic organisms.¬†Glyphosate¬†is the most commonly used active ingredient worldwide, appearing in many herbicide formulas, including Bayer‚Äôs (formerly Monsanto) Roundup¬ģ. The use of this chemical has been increasing since the inception of crops genetically modified to tolerate glyphosate over two decades ago. The toxic herbicide readily contaminates the ecosystem with residues pervasive in both food and water commodities. In addition to this study, the scientific literature commonly associates glyphosate with human, biotic, and ecosystem¬†harm, as a doubling¬†of toxic effects on invertebrates, like pollinators, has been recorded since 2004. The authors caution, ‚Äú[O]utbreaks of several animal and plant diseases have been related to glyphosate accumulation in the environment. Long-term glyphosate effects have been underreported, and new standards will be needed for residues in plant and animal products and the environment.‚ÄĚ With an increasing number of reports on the relationship between glyphosate and human health, including¬†potential effects on the human gut microbiome, advocates are calling on global leaders to eliminate chemical […]

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Groups Tell EPA’s Pesticide Program It’s a Failure, Call for Immediate Reforms

Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, October 26, 2021)¬†The Office of Pesticides Programs within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has become so captured by industry that it has lost sight of its health and environmental mission, according to a scathing critique issued today by 37 environmental, public health, and sustainable agriculture groups, including beekeeper councils. Led by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and Beyond Pesticides, the groups are urging the Biden administration to adopt reforms within OPP to ensure pesticide approval and use decisions are science-based. EPA‚Äôs OPP has registered more than 18,000 separate pesticide products ‚ÄĒ far more than any other country ‚ÄĒ and more than 2 billion pounds of pesticides are sold annually in the U.S. They are used annually over roughly 250 million acres of farmland, across millions of acres of urban and suburban lands, and inside millions of homes, schools, and other buildings.¬† The coalition letter points to employee reports that managers within¬† OPP ‚Äď Push through ‚ÄúYes packages‚ÄĚ of pesticide approvals greased by industry lobbying; Suppress toxicological and other concerns raised by professional staff; and Engage in outrageous waivers of vital toxicity study requirements, instead relying on ‚Äúconditional‚ÄĚ registrations to allow pesticide uses, despite missing key data. Seeing […]

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EPA to Create Advisory Councils to Restore Scientific Integrity in Pesticide/Chemicals Division

Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, October 20, 2021) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week plans to establish a new position and two advisory councils in order to enhance scientific integrity within the agency‚Äôs Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP). The move is being widely seen as a response to recent reporting over how EPA has allowed the chemical industry to distort and unduly influence its process for reviewing and approving toxic pesticides and other chemicals. ‚ÄúScientific integrity is the backbone of the work we do to ensure the safety of chemicals used in our everyday lives,‚ÄĚ said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff, PhD. ‚ÄúStrong, sound science underpins confidence in our decision-making among the public that we serve. Today‚Äôs announcements are the latest in a series of steps OCSPP is taking to reaffirm our commitment to scientific integrity and restore the public trust.‚ÄĚ EPA will create a new internal advisory group called the OSCPP Science Policy Council ‚Äúto provide advisory support and recommendations on science policy and scientific integrity issues that arise within its Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics and Office of Pesticide Programs.‚ÄĚ The chair of this advisory group […]

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Ag Secretary Vilsack Pushes Petroleum Farming Inputs, Fights EU’s Climate-Friendly Organic “Farm to Fork’ Initiative

Friday, October 8th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, October 8, 2021)¬†Taking a page from the playbook of Trump Administration Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, the current secretary, Tom Vilsack, used a September G20 summit in Italy to target the European Union‚Äôs ‚ÄúFarm to Fork‚ÄĚ (F2F) strategy, a part of its European Green Deal. Mr. Perdue had said that F2F is ‚Äúmore . . . ‚Äėpolitical science‚Äô than demonstrated agricultural science‚ÄĚ; Secretary Vilsack called it ‚Äúa path very different from the one the U.S. is pursuing.‚ÄĚ The F2F initiative aims to transition the EU to a sustainable food system such that it also achieves significant mitigation of climate change. But Mr. Vilsack chose to counter the F2F efforts by promoting an ‚Äúalternative strategy‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ under the moniker ‚ÄúCoalition for Productivity Growth‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ through which ‚Äúother nations pledge¬†not¬†to follow the European path on farm policy.‚ÄĚ He has described this alternative, U.S.-led strategy as ‚Äúa market-oriented, incentive-based, voluntary system [that] is effective‚ÄĚ at slashing agricultural carbon emissions. Climate, pesticide, organics, and other environmental and health advocates, including Beyond Pesticides, are troubled by these actions. Mother Jones poses the central question in the headline of its September 30 article: Why is Secretary Vilsack So Afraid of a Plan to Cut […]

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Commonly Used Neurotoxic Pesticide Exposure Increases ALS Risk to Workers and Residents

Thursday, September 30th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, September 30, 2021) Individuals working or living in areas with frequent neurotoxic pesticide use experience more¬†amyotrophic lateral sclerosis¬†(ALS) incidences than the general population. The study, published in¬†NeuroToxicology, finds a positive association between sporadic (non-genetic, spontaneous) ALS incidences among individuals exposed to neurotoxic pesticides.¬† Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. As many as 16,000 – 20,000 Americans live with this condition, which weakens muscle/motor function leading to loss of muscle control for walking, talking, eating/swallowing, and breathing. Severe ALS progression is fatal and has no current cure. Although research supports genetic factors play a role in disease etiology (cause), most ALS cases do not result from genetic inheritance. Several research¬†studies¬†demonstrate exposure to environmental or work-related toxicants (i.e., pesticides) predispose humans to the disease. With researchers predicting a global ALS incidence increase of 69% by 2040, identifying ALS‚Äôs causal factors are important to future research. Therefore, research like this showcases the importance of assessing aggregate health risks associated with toxic chemical exposure, especially for illnesses, which are not curable. In this study, the researchers note, “[W]e identified pesticides applied to crops in the area of […]

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Exposure to Common Herbicide Glyphosate Increases Spontaneous Preterm Birth Incidents

Thursday, August 26th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, August 26, 2021) A recent study published in¬†Environmental Research¬†demonstrates that exposure to the herbicide glyphosate and its breakdown product reduces pregnancy length, increasing the risk of preterm birth. Preterm births occur when a fetus is born early or before 37 weeks of complete gestation. Premature births can result in chronic (long-term) illnesses among infants from lack of proper organ development and even death. Birth and reproductive¬†complications are very common among individuals exposed to environmental toxicants, like pesticides. Considering the Center for Disease Control (CDC)¬†reports¬†the preterm birth rate is increasing annually, studies like this can help government and health officials safeguard human health by assessing adverse health effects following prevalent chemical exposure. The study notes, ‚ÄúGiven the prevalent and rising exposures to glyphosate and GBHs [glyphosate-based herbicides], confirmatory studies are needed to explore reproductive effects of glyphosate and GBHs to re-assess their safety on human health and to explore possible programming consequences to lifelong health.‚ÄĚ GBHs are the most commonly used herbicides, readily contaminating soil, water, and food globally. Although GBHs’ ubiquitous nature has been linked to carcinogenic effects, specifically non-Hodgkin lymphoma, much less research considers exposure effects on reproductive health. The study’s scientists aimed to examine the relationship […]

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Bayer Files “Hail Mary” Petition with U.S. Supreme Court after Losing Jury Verdicts on Cancer Causing Roundup/Glyphosate

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, August 18, 2021) Multinational chemical company Bayer filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court this week, seeking a reversal of a lower court verdict that established Bayer liable for damages from the use of its weed killer Roundup. After purchasing Roundup-maker Monsanto in 2018, Bayer has been mired in a deluge of court battles from injured customers throughout the country who assert that their use of the glyphosate-based herbicide resulted in their cancer diagnosis. Bayer, for its part, has consistently lost these court cases. The company‚Äôs Supreme Court petition is now regarded as its best and last chance to avert responsibility for the ongoing harm to public health caused by its carcinogenic herbicide. Bayer‚Äôs Supreme Court challenge pertains to the Hardeman v. Monsanto case. In that suit, a California court found unanimously in favor of the plaintiff, Edwin Hardeman. Mr. Hardeman told the jury he had used Roundup since the 1980s to spray poison oak and weeds around his property, resulting in his diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2014. He was awarded $5.27 million, while his punitive damages were ultimately reduced from $75 to $20 million. Bayer is bringing two main arguments to the Supreme court. First, […]

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Biden EPA Reapproves Paraquat with Weaker Protections than Trump Administration Proposed

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, August 10, 2021) President Biden‚Äôs Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under Administrator Michael Regan, is set to reapprove the highly hazardous herbicide paraquat with fewer protections than those proposed by the Trump administration. Despite strong links to Parkinson‚Äôs, and bans on the herbicide in the European Union, China, Brazil, and many other countries, EPA‚Äôs press release inexplicably states, ‚ÄúNo direct one-to-one alternatives to paraquat are available.‚ÄĚ The move is part of a string of actions that have pesticide reform advocates increasingly concerned that the Biden Administration is not living up to his initial promises to improve health and environmental protections. Paraquat is the most toxic herbicide still on the market. As EPA readily admits, one small sip of paraquat can be fatal. Apart from its acute toxicity, chronic exposure to the herbicide is strongly linked to the development of Parkinson‚Äôs disease. But its association with Parkinson‚Äôs is merely the most well-known health concern ‚Äď the chemical is a likely carcinogen, harms the reproductive system, and damages organs like the kidney and liver. It is hazardous to birds and bees, and prone to leaching into groundwater, where it disrupts the health of aquatic ecosystems. The Trump administration‚Äôs decision to reapprove […]

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Biden EPA Must Hold Pesticide Manufacturers Accountable for Poisoning

Monday, August 9th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, August 9, 2021)¬†What’s going on at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)? Last month, Bayer/Monsanto announced it would voluntarily cancel ‚Äúresidential lawn and garden‚ÄĚ uses of glyphosate products, ‚Äúexclusively to manage litigation risk and not because of any safety concerns.‚ÄĚ EPA has done virtually nothing to restrict glyphosate/Roundup since the World Health Organization/International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015 classified the chemical as probably carcinogenic. It is now expected, as with other voluntary cancellations, that EPA will make no health or environmental findings that could affect other uses (e.g., agricultural) of glyphosate, but will accept the action by Bayer/Monsanto. The company refers to its action as ‚Äúrisk mitigation‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒthat’s risk to the company’s profitability, economic viability, and shareholder investment, not public health or environmental protection. Voluntary actions by the companies are highly compromised and do not include agency determinations or findings‚ÄĒallowing false claims of safety, offering a shield from liability, and unencumbered international marketing. The Biden administration began with high hopes for the environment. Combating climate change is a priority. On his first day in office, President Biden issued an executive memorandum, Modernizing Regulatory Review, that appears to establish a new framework supporting healthy people and ecosystems, as it […]

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Commentary: Will Playing Fields, Parks, and Lawns Be Safe After Glyphosate in Roundup Residential Use Ends in 2023?

Friday, July 30th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, July 30, 2021) Bayer (Monsanto), the maker of the deadly herbicide glyphosate/Roundup, after hinting in May that it would end the weed killer‚Äôs residential uses in the U.S., made it official yesterday. With its announcement to shareholders, Bayer puts an end to residential uses beginning in 2023 and allocates $4.5 billion to cover ‚Äúthe company‚Äôs potential long-term exposure‚ÄĚ from lawsuits by those harmed by the chemical. At the same time, the company announced it is seeking a U.S. Supreme Court hearing to reverse significant jury verdicts (from $289 million to $2 billion) for individuals who have suffered health damage they tie to glyphosate exposure. Bayer claims that it will argue that federal pesticide law preempts litigation against products that it has registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA). Similar arguments have been tried before, most notably in Bates v. Dow Agrosciences (2005), and the Supreme Court has found that federal pesticide law does not protect ‚Äúmanufacturers of poisonous substances.‚ÄĚ (See more below.) Despite the extensive scientific review (see Pesticide Gateway) of glyphosate/Roundup and a ‚Äúprobable‚ÄĚ cancer causing ranking by the World Health Organization/International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015, Bayer says, ‚ÄúThis move is being made exclusively […]

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EPA Agenda Undermined by Its Embrace of Industry Influence, Article Documents

Friday, July 9th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, July 9, 2021) The investigative online publication The Intercept has turned its attention to the current and historical role of industry in distorting, undermining, and outright suppressing the protective function of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with regard to pesticide exposures. The subsequent reporting ‚ÄĒ ‚ÄúThe Department of Yes: How Pesticide Companies Corrupted the EPA and Poisoned America‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ is a devastating chronicle of the theme and particulars that Beyond Pesticides has covered for years. That is, that EPA has repeatedly disregarded its charge to protect human and environmental health in favor of¬†enabling industry to continue its chemical experimentation on the populace and on the nation‚Äôs multiple natural resources. This pattern must change if the agency is to enact its mission and the public is to be protected. The Intercept interviewed more than 24 people with expertise on the regulation of pesticides, including 14 who have worked in EPA‚Äôs Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). The chief takeaway from those interviews, as written by reporter Sharon Lerner, is that EPA ‚Äúis often unable to stand up to the intense pressures from powerful agrochemical companies, which spend tens of millions of dollars on lobbying each year and employ many […]

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Disease Carrying Mosquitoes Developing Resistance to Widely Used Mosquito Control Pesticides

Thursday, July 1st, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, July 1, 2021) Yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) are evolving resistance to the¬†pyrethroid¬†insecticide¬†permethrin, according to a¬†study published by Colorado State University, highlighting the need to adopt ecologically-based mosquito management. Widespread, intensive use of the pesticide in mosquito control has allowed genetic mutations to persist among these mosquito populations, causing subsequent resistance to permethrin. Pyrethroids are one of the few remaining classes of insecticides available to control yellow fever mosquitos, and resistance threatens the ability to prevent disease outbreaks with chemical-intensive methods. Yellow fever mosquitoes are a vector for numerous untreatable diseases in humans, including dengue, chikungunya fever, and Zika viruses. Hence, this study highlights the significance of addressing pest resistance to pesticide control, particularly to mitigate disease exposure and effects. The researchers note, ‚ÄúThis knowledge can help scientists understand how mosquitoes have evolved resistance and when a population can no longer be controlled with permethrin. This understanding will be necessary to develop tools to support future insecticide management strategies.‚ÄĚ Researchers sequenced the genome of resistant and knockdown (either recovered or dead) mosquitoes after permethrin exposure using a bottle bioassay. The aim was to identify genomic variants/biomarkers associated with specific resistance mechanisms. Two common pyrethroid resistance mechanisms occur among […]

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Vineyard Pesticides Linked to Parkinson’s

Wednesday, June 30th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, June 30, 2021) Vineyard farmers who spend more money on pesticide use are more likely to develop Parkinson‚Äôs disease, according to research published by French scientists in the journal Environmental Research. With Parkinson‚Äôs disease on the rise around the world, and emerging evidence growing for a Parkinson‚Äôs pandemic, it is critically important to suss out the factors at play. And as pesticides continue to appear as a driving force for this deadly chronic disease, it is increasingly necessary to pressure regulators to restrict use of these hazardous substances in chemical farming operations. Researchers used a French National Health Insurance Database to identify incidents of Parkinson‚Äôs disease in farmers from 2010-2015. These data were then matched with pesticide expenditures recorded from over 3,500 French farming regions, taken around the year 2000. Models were adjusted for a range of health factors, including smoking, age, and sex. Results show that accounts of Parkinson‚Äôs disease increase as pesticide expenditures increase for farmers working in vineyards. For the highest amounts paid for pesticides, Parkinson‚Äôs disease incidence is 16% higher. No connections were found for other cropping systems. ‚ÄúThis result suggests that agricultural practices and pesticides used in these vineyards may play a role […]

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Maine Aerial Forestry Spray Ban of Glyphosate and Other Herbicides Vetoed by Governor, Override Effort Begins

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, June 29, 2021) Maine Governor Janet Mills (D) last week vetoed legislation prohibiting the aerial use of glyphosate and other dangerous herbicides in forestry practices. LD125, An Act To Prohibit the Aerial Spraying of Glyphosate and Other Synthetic Herbicides for the Purpose of Silviculture, was supported by a wide range of health and conservation groups, and aimed to bring the state in line with best practices for public health and the environment. With Maine recently passing one of the strongest consumer bans on pollinator-toxic neonicotinoids, advocates are dismayed by the setback from the Governor‚Äôs office. In a statement to Maine Public Radio, Senate President Troy Jackson said that Governor Mills should stop referring to herself as an environmentalist. “The science across the country, across the world, says that this stuff kills people, kills wildlife,” Mr. Jackson says. “And all that it is, is a giveaway to the large landowners so they can maximize their profits off the lives of the people in Maine and the wildlife in Maine.” Senator Jackson‚Äôs words are stern yet factual. Glyphosate has been identified by the World Health Organization as a probable human carcinogen. Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, has been the subject […]

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Forestry Use of Glyphosate Reduces Fertility of Perennial Flowers and May Reduce Pollination

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, June 22, 2021) Glyphosate herbicide use in forested areas persists in the environment for years and can prompt morphological changes in perennial flowers that reduce their fertility and may make them less attractive to pollinators. These findings were published this month in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science by researchers at the University of British Columbia, who hope that their work will inform safer approaches to forest management. “The more we learn the better, and research can always be used to better inform management,” said lead author Lisa Wood, PhD. “Herbicide practices may change, if the research shows that this is in the public’s best interest.” Glyphosate herbicides like Roundup and Visionmax (a Canada-registered glyphosate product produced by Bayer/Monsanto) are often applied aerially via helicopter on wide swaths of forest land known as cutblocks. Cutblocks, designated areas where coniferous trees are grown for harvest and processing, are doused with glyphosate in order to manage understory trees and shrubs that would compete with the conifers. Researchers set out to understand the nontarget impacts of this practice on the surrounding forest ecosystem. Wild prickly rose (Rosa acicularis) plants were collected from three different cutblocks, each sprayed with Visionmax according to […]

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Judge Rejects Bayer Proposal to Settle Future Roundup Claims

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, June 2, 2021) U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria last week rejected a proposal from multinational agrichemical company Bayer (Monsanto) to settle future court claims around the company‚Äôs flagship Roundup/glyphosate herbicide. In making his decision, Judge Chhabria asserted that the corporation‚Äôs proposal was inadequate for future victims diagnosed with cancer after using the herbicide. The decision has Bayer scrambling for a way out, and it indicated in a ‚ÄúFive Point Plan‚ÄĚ released after the ruling that it will, ‚Äúdiscuss the future of glyphosate-based products in the U.S. residential market.‚ÄĚ Bayer‚Äôs rejected proposal would have established a $2 billion fund, split between future claimants (who would receive between $5,000 and $200,000), and the cost to cover cancer monitoring, lawyers‚Äô fees, and an advisory panel to review claims. Bayer has agreed to a separate $9.6 billion agreement to settle existing lawsuits, having lost several rounds of litigation where juries found in favor of plaintiffs who claimed that their use of Roundup resulted in their development of non-Hodgkin‚Äôs lymphoma. Recently, in mid-May, Bayer lost an appeal of the Hardeman vs. Monsanto case, as a three judge panel upheld a $25 million award. Prior to rejecting the proposal on future claimants, the […]

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Inspector General Blasts Trump’s Politicized EPA, No Announced Plans to Reverse Unscientific Decisions

Friday, May 28th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, May 28, 2021)¬†A report by the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concludes that scientific analyses by the agency were altered so as to favor top Trump administration officials‚Äô policy choices in the 2018 reapproval of the highly toxic and problematic pesticide, dicamba. The report, ‚ÄúEPA Deviated from its Typical Procedures in Its 2018 Dicamba Pesticide Registration Decision,‚ÄĚ was publicly released on May 24. It confirms aspects of what Beyond Pesticides and many others in the science, advocacy, public health, and environmental communities have been saying and reporting since 2016: the Trump administration executed a wholesale assault on scientific integrity in federal decision making. In its research on the matter, the Inspector General‚Äôs office (OIG) reviewed EPA‚Äôs 2016 and 2018 decisions on dicamba‚Äôs registration, documentation that purported to support those decisions, and the concerns forwarded in the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and by many stakeholders. (See more in figure below.) It also reviewed EPA internal procedures and guidance on pesticide registration, and agency scientific integrity materials; interviewed career scientists and other agency staff; and communicated with EPA‚Äôs Scientific Integrity (Science Advisor) program staff. As reported […]

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More Evidence Documents Glyphosate’s Link to Adverse Birth Outcomes

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, May 25, 2021) High levels of glyphosate in urine later in a pregnancy is significantly associated with preterm birth, according to recent research conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan. While awareness of the strong connection between glyphosate and certain cancers is growing among the public, the chemical‚Äôs link to adverse pregnancy outcomes is beginning to receive more attention. ‚ÄúSince most people are exposed to some level of glyphosate and may not even know it, if our results reflect true associations, then the public health implications could be enormous,‚ÄĚ said senior author John Meeker, ScD, professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. This latest study is part of a cohort dubbed PROTECT (Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats), focused on investigating environmental exposures leading to preterm birth in Puerto Rico. Previous research indicates that Puerto Rico has some of the highest rates of preterm births in the United States, roughly matching Mississippi. With America‚Äôs abysmal track record for maternal care, preterm birth rates in these locations also represent the highest in the world. In order to determine the association between glyphosate use and preterm pregnancy, pregnant women between the ages of 18 to […]

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A Toxic-Free Future. Scientific Understanding. Systemic Change. Organic Transition. Collective Action.

Friday, May 21st, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, May 21, 2021)¬†Do those ideas scratch your curiosity, science, policy, agriculture, and/or activist itch? Great ‚ÄĒ because the 2021 Annual National Pesticide Forum, Cultivating Healthy Communities: Confronting Health Threats, Climate Disasters, and Biodiversity Collapse with a Toxic-Free Future ‚ÄĒ begins very soon, so it is time to register! Cultivating Healthy Communities is a singular opportunity to learn from top experts and connect with kindred people from all over the U.S. (as well as with some international participants). During plenary sessions, presenters will share their understandings and ideas about the problems we face, and about urgently needed strategies and solutions to solve them. The workshop sessions will be interactive, providing attendees the chance to interact with one another and presenting experts. This annual National Pesticide Forum conference is convened, in 2021, by Beyond Pesticides and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai‚Äôs Institute for Exposomic Research. (‚ÄúExposomic‚ÄĚ references the multitude of environmental factors to which an individual is exposed, and which can have effects on health.) If you are groaning or rolling your eyes at the thought of yet another conference, know that Cultivating Healthy Communities is not one of those events (think old school, boring, and expensive, […]

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Research Shows Adverse Impacts of Glyphosate on the Human Gut Microbiome

Friday, April 30th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2021)¬†A bioinformatics tool developed by researchers from the University of Turku in Finland indicates that ‚Äú54% of species in the core human gut microbiome are sensitive to glyphosate.‚ÄĚ This tool may help predict which microbes in the human gut could be negatively affected by exposure to the ubiquitous herbicide. Because damage to the gut biome is linked to a variety of diseases, this information could prove critical in recognition of the role(s) glyphosate may play in the development of human diseases. Published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, the researchers‚Äô paper states, ‚ÄúThe widespread use of glyphosate may have a strong effect on gut microbiomes as well as on human health.‚ÄĚ Beyond Pesticides has long reported on the relationship between glyphosate and human health, including potential effects on the human gut microbiome. Used in multiple herbicide formulations, glyphosate has become widely known as the active ingredient in Bayer/Monsanto‚Äôs Roundup¬ģ, the most-used herbicide worldwide. The pervasiveness of glyphosate-based herbicide (GBH) use in agriculture, and of Roundup in particular, is due largely to their pairing with genetically engineered (GE) seeds for soy, canola, and corn crops. In many regions, these GE seeds ‚ÄĒ engineered to resist the glyphosate […]

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Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Sustainable Agriculture Do Not Mix!

Thursday, April 29th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, April 29, 2021) Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) are incompatible with sustainable agriculture goals, according to a recent scientific literature analysis by scientists at¬†Tufts University, Massachusetts. Glyphosate is the most commonly used pesticide active ingredient worldwide, appearing in many herbicide formulas, including Bayer‚Äôs (formerly Monsanto) RoundupTM. The use of this chemical has been increasing since the inception of crops genetically modified to tolerate glyphosate. However, studies demonstrate glyphosate is the main contributor to human, biotic, and ecosystem¬†harms¬†as toxicities from herbicides are now¬†double¬†what it was in 2004.¬† The National Academy of Sciences identifies four goals of sustainable agriculture‚ÄĒproductivity, economics, environment, and social well-being for future generations. However, pesticides like¬†glyphosate¬†are ubiquitous in the environment, putting the health, economy, and food/resources for future generations at risk. Therefore, research like this is vital for understanding how chemical use can undermine sustainable agriculture goals to protect humans, animals, and environmental health. Researchers note, ‚Äú[W]hether or not GBHs are viewed as essential or unessential to contemporary agriculture, and notwithstanding their role in non-tillage agriculture, this study shows that glyphosate-based herbicides do not reach the bar of agricultural sustainability, with respect to humans and the environment, making the system they are part of unsustainable.‚ÄĚ Researchers thoroughly examined […]

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