[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (8)
    • Announcements (593)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (34)
    • Antimicrobial (13)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (31)
    • Bats (7)
    • Beneficials (50)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (32)
    • Biomonitoring (37)
    • Birds (24)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (28)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (9)
    • Children (100)
    • Children/Schools (239)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (27)
    • Climate Change (82)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (4)
    • Congress (13)
    • contamination (143)
    • deethylatrazine (1)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (17)
    • Drift (8)
    • Drinking Water (10)
    • Ecosystem Services (9)
    • Emergency Exemption (2)
    • Environmental Justice (157)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (469)
    • Events (85)
    • Farm Bill (17)
    • Farmworkers (180)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (4)
    • Fungicides (22)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (8)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (23)
    • Holidays (35)
    • Household Use (9)
    • Indigenous People (6)
    • Indoor Air Quality (5)
    • Infectious Disease (4)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (66)
    • Invasive Species (34)
    • Label Claims (47)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (240)
    • Litigation (336)
    • Livestock (8)
    • metabolic syndrome (1)
    • Metabolites (3)
    • Microbiata (19)
    • Microbiome (25)
    • molluscicide (1)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (388)
    • Native Americans (3)
    • Occupational Health (10)
    • Oceans (7)
    • Office of Inspector General (1)
    • perennial crops (1)
    • Pesticide Drift (153)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (6)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (4)
    • Pesticide Regulation (753)
    • Pesticide Residues (174)
    • Pets (33)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
    • Poisoning (16)
    • Preemption (38)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (3)
    • Resistance (114)
    • Rights-of-Way (1)
    • Rodenticide (32)
    • Seasonal (1)
    • Seeds (5)
    • soil health (6)
    • Superfund (3)
    • synergistic effects (10)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (14)
    • Synthetic Turf (1)
    • Take Action (570)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (11)
    • Volatile Organic Compounds (1)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (448)
    • Women’s Health (23)
    • Wood Preservatives (34)
    • World Health Organization (7)
    • Year in Review (1)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Search Results

Glyphosate Exposure Linked to Behavioral and Gut Health Concerns in New Studies

Wednesday, November 15th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, November 15, 2023) A study previously published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) is drawing renewed attention to the gut microbiome in the scientific community. The study, involving a team including Demetrio Sierra-Mercado, PhD, of the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, initially established a link between glyphosate exposure and increased anxiety and fear-related behavior in rats. Glyphosate, a widely-used herbicide, has been detected in trace amounts in fruits, vegetables, grains, and other food and beverages, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Originally deemed safe for humans due to the way it interacts with the shikimic acid pathway—a metabolic route that is absent in humans—glyphosate’s indirect effects on human health are now under scrutiny as the research linking it to anxiety-like behavior grows.  Dr. Sierra-Mercado’s team is expanding on his previous research to take a closer look at the compound’s potential disruption of the gut microbiome, which plays a pivotal role in regulating both physical and mental health. His upcoming study, anticipated in August 2024, aims to delve into the intricate relationship between glyphosate exposure and the gut-brain axis, with a focus on how this may influence neurological and emotional health […]

Share

Protection of Children from Pesticides under Threat in Farm Bill Negotiations, Data Shows

Thursday, November 9th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, November 9, 2023) Two-hundred-foot pesticide spray “buffer zones” around 4,028 U.S. elementary schools contiguous to crop fields—according to data evaluated by Environmental Working Group—are threatened by potential Farm Bill amendments now under consideration. Legislative language, if adopted, would take away (preempt) the authority of states and local jurisdictions to protect children and restrict agricultural pesticides used near schools. Pesticide drift is a widespread problem throughout the U.S. that has attracted national attention in recent years because of crop damage caused by the weed killer dicamba in numerous midwestern states. In the face of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) failure to mitigate drift hazards, states enact limits on when and how pesticides can be used, establish buffer zones around application sites, and in some cases, ban uses. In 2018, Arkansas banned dicamba use from mid-April through the end of October (and survived a Monsanto challenge to the ban. For a historical perspective on the drift issue, see Getting the Drift on Pesticide Trespass. Children, in particular, face unique risks from pesticide and toxic chemical exposures. Due to their smaller body size, they absorb a higher relative amount of pesticides through the food they consume and the air they breathe. Additionally, children’s developing […]

Share

Pesticide-Intensive Agricultural Practices Lead to Elevated Childhood Cancer Rates in Brazil

Tuesday, November 7th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, November 7, 2023) Two decades after the introduction of genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant crops and the consequential exponential growth in weed killers, Brazil is seeing an increase in childhood cancer. This is the conclusion reached in a comprehensive study spanning 15 years (2004-2019), “Agriculture Intensification and Childhood Cancer in Brazil,” published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in October. For the past 20 years, soybean herbicides have been killing and sickening children in the Cerrado and Amazon regions–where soybean cultivation is concentrated. The study reveals a link between an increase in soy cultivation and a spike in cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common cancer affecting children, among indirectly exposed populations. Researchers identify pesticide-contaminated drinking water as the driving force behind the increased cancer rates occurring downstream from soybean sites.  In 2003, Brazil legalized its first official genetically modified (GM) crop, welcoming the era of GM soybeans and sparking a radical transformation in its agricultural landscape–for better or worse. The introduction of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybean seed promised farmers an efficient and herbicide-resistant alternative to traditional crops. A significant shift occurred in the areas dedicated to soy cultivation in the Cerrado region, tripling from […]

Share

EPA To Allow Genetically-Based Pesticides, Incomplete Testing, and Documented Adverse Effects

Friday, October 27th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, October 27, 2023) In a typical move, EPA proposes to greenlight a type of genetic engineering to solve a problem created by the industrial paradigm for pest control, i.e. vast acreages of monoculture treated with millions of tons of toxic pesticides leading to rapid resistance among crop pests. In this case EPA wants to approve using a nucleic acid—double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)–called “interfering RNA,” or RNAi—to silence a gene crucial to the survival of the Colorado Potato Beetle (CPB), the scourge of potato farmers around the world. But EPA has skipped over important steps in its decision-making process and rushed to judgment. Like chemical pesticides, genetically-based pesticides are regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). In 2020, Massachusetts-based GreenLight Biosciences applied for registration of its RNAi active ingredient, Ledprona, and its end-use product, Calantha. The company executive heading the effort is an alumnus of Monsanto and several other major chemical companies. Last May EPA granted GreenLight an Experimental Use Permit (EUP) authorizing field studies in states that produce tons of potatoes. A mere five months later, EPA announced its decision to approve the registration based almost entirely on incomplete EUP data and giving the public very […]

Share

Don’t Get Comfortable: Government Shutdown Exacerbates Food Safety Threats

Monday, October 23rd, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, October 23, 2023) As the immediate threat of a government shutdown has temporarily subsided, concerns are mounting over the potential threats to food safety in the United States if the government shuts down in mid-November. Experts are warning that a shutdown could jeopardize critical food safety inspections and oversight. A partial government shutdown in 2019 disrupted federal oversight of food monitoring for various pathogens and pesticides, as labs were shuttered, with agency employees furloughed. See Beyond Pesticide’s reporting about food safety risks during the last government shutdown. However, it should be noted that residues of pesticides in food continue to raise concerns about safety of food grown in chemical-intensive (conventional) farming operations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) contingency plans dictate that the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) continue its regulatory inspection of meat, poultry, and egg products, as mandated by law. However, it is important to note that the FSIS will operate with a reduced workforce, with a portion of employees deemed “essential personnel” for food safety operations. Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which includes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is also preparing for a potential shutdown. According to HHS’s contingency […]

Share

EPA Rejects Petition Seeking Review of Complete Ingredients in Pesticide Products

Monday, October 16th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, October 16, 2023) After six years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finally responded to a citizen petition requesting that the agency evaluate complete formulations of pesticide products, not just the ingredients the manufacturer claims attack the target pest (so-called “active” ingredients). EPA’s response: No. Nowhere in EPA’s denial of the need for a more robust toxicological analysis is the problem more evident than in its refusal to require analyses of the so-called “inert ingredients” or “adjuvants” included in various formulations of pesticide products. The citizen petition [see more background] was followed by a lawsuit for the same purpose in 2022. Inerts and formulants are substances that enhance the distribution or adhesion of the active ingredient; adjuvants enhance the effectiveness of the active ingredient. These terms suggest that those chemicals have no effect on anything in the area where the pesticide is applied—a wildly inaccurate implication. At least as early as 1987, EPA had recognized that some inerts and adjuvants were “of toxicological concern,” yet it still requires very few toxicological tests of whole-formula pesticides or their purportedly inactive components. EPA responded to the petition as follows: “[T]he Agency appropriately assesses, as part of its review, the impacts to […]

Share

Chicago PCBs Lawsuit Seeks Pesticide Corporation’s Accountability for Harm to Marginalized Communities

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, October 3, 2023) On September 19, 2023, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Corporation Counsel Mary B. Richardson-Lowry took legal action against agrochemical giant, Monsanto, filing a lawsuit that alleges the corporation’s role in polluting Chicago with Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) decades ago, despite knowing the chemicals’ detrimental effects.   PCBs are identified as “forever chemicals” due to their environmental persistence. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these chemicals “do not readily break down once in the environment.” They cycle through air, soil, and water and can travel long distances, with PCBs found worldwide.  They pose serious health risks as they can accumulate in the environment and within organisms including plants, food crops, sea life, and humans. Those who consume fish from contaminated waterways are exposed to PCBs as the chemical bioaccumulates in the fish population.  PCBs are man-made organic chemicals composed of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine atoms. They were first manufactured and sold in 1929 by the Swann Chemical Corporation and subsequently came under the ownership of Monsanto Chemical Company in 1935. Due to their non-flammability, stability, and electrical insulating properties, PCBs quickly found widespread use. Their applications included use in electrical equipment, paints, plastics, and carbonless copy […]

Share

EPA Reverses on Decision to Ban Flea Collars with Toxic Pesticide, Leaving Children at Risk

Friday, September 29th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, September 29, 2023) In unsurprising news, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reversed itself and decided not to ban a dangerous pesticide: tetrachlorovenphos (TCVP) used in pet flea collars and other flea products. This is despite its own earlier decision to ban TCVP in pet collars and scathing criticism of its methods and conclusions by the courts. First registered in 1966, TCVP belongs to the notoriously toxic organophosphate chemical family and is classified by the World Health Organization as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” It was originally registered to Shell Chemical, then to E.I. duPont de Nemours, then to Hartz Mountain Corporation and Fermenta Animal Health Company.  Early on, it was registered for use on food crops and livestock, but the crop uses were voluntarily de-registered in 1987. It is still widely used on pets and farm animals. In 1995, EPA issued the opinion that “all uses of tetrachlorvinphos, with the exception of oral feed-through larvicide treatment to livestock intended for food use, will not cause unreasonable risk to humans or the environment.” Since then, the agency has contorted itself repeatedly to allow TCVP to remain on the market. There is little research available on TCVP’s human health effects; the […]

Share

Africa’s Resilient Refusal of Agrochemicals Offers a Lesson in Tackling Invasive Species

Tuesday, September 26th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, September 26, 2023) In Ethiopia’s Bahir Dar, where Lake Tana feeds into the Blue Nile, a major hydroelectric power plant stands, serving as an emblem of the ecosystem services the river provides to over two million inhabitants. Yet ever since its first appearance in 2012, this crucial waterway has been under attack by one of the world’s most invasive species: the water hyacinth.   In America and Europe, where agrochemical giants such as Bayer and Syngenta are headquartered, such problems might quickly be remedied using herbicides. However, the prevailing ethos coming from the African continent is quite different. Dion Mostert, whose South African boat business has suffered due to the water hyacinths infestation, encapsulates this sentiment, saying he has considered herbicides but sees them as a temporary fix to a much larger challenge.  Instead of relying on temporary—and often harmful—agrochemical solutions, Ethiopia and other African countries are embracing holistic and sustainable solutions.   For instance, Lake Victoria–a water body shared by Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda—suffered from a water hyacinth infestation in the 1990s. In response, scientists introduced two species of weevils known to be natural predators of the hyacinth: Neochetina bruchi and Neochetina eichhorniae. The initiative was extremely successful, […]

Share

Bayer’s Use of EU-Forbidden Pesticides Ignites Protest in South Africa 

Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, September 19, 2023) Farmworkers in Paarl, South Africa took to the streets on Friday, September 8, demanding an end to the indiscriminate importation and use of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides containing substances prohibited by the European Union (EU). This protest is part of a broader global trend of outcry against systemic issues of environmental racism that disproportionately burden communities with environmental and health risks.   Organized by the Women on Farms Project, the protesters marched to the headquarters of Bayer. The German pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and pesticide company, responsible for producing and exporting agrochemicals known to be toxic to ecosystem and human health, has previously faced multiple lawsuits, including a multimillion-dollar one linking their glyphosate weed killer products (RoundupÂź) to non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. At the Bayer office, the protesters presented a memorandum demanding an end to the importation and use of EU-prohibited substances.    Protesters sought to expose the hypocritical tactics European agrochemical companies use to sell products in developing nations, even when those products are deemed unsafe in their home countries. Numerous farmworkers, like victim-turned-activist Antie Dina, spoke out about their health issues from petrochemical exposure. In her talk, Dina emphasizes that, “… enough is enough, we do not want any […]

Share

A Very Slow EPA Settlement Process Keeps a Harmful Herbicide on the Market

Friday, September 15th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, September 15, 2023) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suspended the registration of the herbicide dimethyl tetrachloroterephthalate (DCPA) (also widely known as Dacthal), effective August 22, 2023 and leaves existing stocks (products containing DCPA manufactured before August 22) available on the market. The decision is one of a series of EPA attempts dating to 2013 to get more data from the manufacturer as the agency considers reregistration of DCPA. The suspension is toothless, however, since EPA did not totally close the book on this chemical. Six days before the suspension, EPA signed a settlement agreement with the sole manufacturer, AMVAC Corporation, to reinstate the registration upon receipt of the complete toxicological data—that is, animal and laboratory tests— needed to determine the chemical’s safety and how and where it can be used. DCPA is currently classified by EPA as a possible human carcinogen and has also been shown to be a thyroid hormone disrupter. DCPA is regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Pesticides are supposed to undergo reregistration every 15 years to take new science into consideration, but this process is glacial. Congress amended FIFRA in 1988 to speed up reregistration of products registered before 1984, and […]

Share

Of Note During Organic Month, Study Finds Organic Diet and Location Affect Pesticide Residues in the Body

Thursday, September 7th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, September 7, 2023) During Organic Month, the importance of organic practices is brought into sharp focus by a study published in July in Environmental Health Perspectives, which emphasizes the importance of an organic diet and location to residues of pesticides in the body. The study finds urinary levels of the weed killer glyphosate significantly decrease through an organic diet for pregnant individuals living further than 0.5km (~1640ft) from an agricultural field. However, the study finds that adopting an organic diet among pregnant individuals living closer than 0.5km to an agricultural area does not significantly decrease glyphosate levels, indicating alternative sources of contamination outside of diet. Although past studies prove time and time again that an organic diet can reduce the levels of pesticides in the body, far too few studies investigate how the intervention of the organic diet can alter glyphosate levels among pregnant individuals living near or far from agricultural fields on which the herbicide is used. Furthermore, pesticides’ presence in the body affects human health, especially during vulnerable life stages like childhood, puberty, pregnancy, and old age. The study raises the complexity of fully tracking multiple exposures to glyphosate and other pesticides and the need for […]

Share

Study Cites Multiple Chemical Characteristics, Strengthening Weed Killer Glyphosate Cancer Ranking

Friday, August 11th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, August 11, 2023) Reinforcing earlier findings, a systematic review published in Chemosphere finds the popular herbicide glyphosate and its formulations (glyphosate-based formulations-GBF) exhibit five out of the ten key characteristics (KC) of carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals). Specifically, glyphosate exhibits strong evidence of genotoxicity, epigenetic alterations (heritable changes in gene expression), oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, endocrine disruption, and disturbs gut microbiota implicated in lymphomagenesis (growth and development of lymphoma). Although organizations like the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) designate glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, and scientific literature supports the findings on these adverse effects purported by glyphosate, the chemical remains on the U.S. market in various formulations. Glyphosate is the most commonly used active ingredient worldwide, appearing in many herbicide formulas, not just Bayer’s (formerly Monsanto) RoundupÂź. 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 food and water commodities. In addition to this study, literature proves time and time again that glyphosate has an association with cancer development, as well as human, biotic, and ecosystem harm. Therefore, advocates point to the need for national policies to reassess hazards associated with […]

Share

Grassroots Power, Democratic Process, and Organic—Pillars of Transformative Change—under Threat

Monday, July 17th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, July 17, 2023) Students of environmental policy quickly learn that the most meaningful change to protect health and the environment begins with action in local communities. The challenge now is to preserve the rights of communities under federal law to restrict pesticides and advance local protections through the adoption of eco- and health-friendly, organic land management practices. As is known from history, with the leadership of local communities, the states and the federal government will follow. History of Action in Communities and States Major actions on the banning or restricting of specific pesticides over the last seven decades—from DDT (in Michigan and Wisconsin), 2,4,5-T [1/2 of Agent Orange] (in Oregon [read A Bitter Fog]), to chlordane (New York)—began with calls from the grassroots about dying wildlife to elevated cancer and miscarriage rates and other diseases. But, these chemical incidents (which continue to today with similar campaigns, but different chemical names like glyphosate, imidacloprid (neonicotinoids), and others), launched broader community-based efforts to curtail overall pesticide use—stop drift, runoff and other nontarget exposure—and require organic-compatible practices. Tracing the history—from Mendocino County, CA to Lincoln County, OR, to Casey, WI (upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court), to Montgomery County, MD, to […]

Share

Cultivating with Natural Predators Gets Farmers Off the Pesticide Treadmill, According to Study

Wednesday, July 12th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, July 12, 2023) A study by University of Delaware entomologist Thabu Mugala and colleagues finds that modifications to their farming methods can reduce slug damage when those changes also encourage natural slug predators, allowing farmers to avoid the endless cycle of pesticide dependency, pest resistance, genetically engineered crops, and synthetic fertilizers. With insects as the target for tens of millions of pounds of agricultural use, growers of the highest-production crops in the U.S., corn and soybeans, continue to find slugs to be a serious problem. Corn and soybean growers who have adopted no-till or conservation tillage and cover crops often think these practices worsen the problem by increasing moisture and decaying plant material in fields, which slugs love. But the cause-and-effect picture is more nuanced and requires strategies that nurture ecological balance. Slugs are the most damaging non-arthropod pest in no-till corn production in the U.S., and truly effective chemical deterrents do not exist at agricultural scale, as Beyond Pesticides noted here, although biological methods may be on the horizon, such as a parasitic nematode already used in Europe that shows promise. The most voracious natural slug hunters are ground beetles, but harvestmen (daddy longlegs), and wolf spiders […]

Share

Pesticide Lobby Pushes Farm Bill Amendment to Strip Localities and States from Restricting Pesticides

Friday, July 7th, 2023

The introduction of the Agricultural Labeling Uniformity Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, expected to be a part of the Farm Bill negotiations, is raising the specter (yet again) of undermining local and state authority to protect the health of their residents from pesticides—effectively overturning decades of Supreme Court precedent.

Share

EU and U.S. Pesticide Regulators Ignore Developmental Neurotoxicity of Pesticides, Industry Hides Data

Friday, June 9th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, June 9, 2023) Glyphosate, usually marketed as the herbicide Roundup, has long been the poster child for shoddy regulation by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In a study published June 1, 2023 in Environmental Health by Axel Mie and Christina RudĂ©n, PhD, of Stockholm University and the Centre for Organic Food and Farming in Uppsala, the authors followed up on earlier work that documented deficiencies in information provided to European Union (EU) regulators by manufacturers. They identified nine studies on developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) that had been submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) but were not disclosed to EU authorities. According to the research, seven of these studies would have “actual or potential regulatory impact.” According to the authors: “Of the nine undisclosed DNT studies, three were sponsored by Bayer and performed in their own laboratory. Three studies were sponsored by Syngenta and performed in their Central Toxicology Laboratory. One study each was sponsored by Nissan Chemicals and Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha (ISK), and these were performed at Huntingdon Life Sciences. For the remaining study, the sponsor and laboratory are unknown to us.” This study is a new example […]

Share

More Data Shows Failure of Crops Genetically Engineered to Incorporate Insecticide

Friday, April 21st, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, April 21, 2023) Into the annals of “entropic methods of agricultural pest control” arrives recent research showing that pests are, unsurprisingly, developing resistance to a genetically engineered (GE) biopesticide used for more than 90% of U.S. corn, cotton, and soybeans. Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is a naturally occurring bacterium; the versions deployed in conventional agriculture are engineered into Plant Incorporated Protectants (PIPs) — GE ingredients “inserted” into seeds for multiple kinds of crop plants. These PIPs target multiple crop-destructive insect species, including (in larval form) the corn rootworm and cotton bollworm, in particular. Beyond Pesticides continues to warn that “controls,” whether synthetic chemical pesticides or GE “biological” agents (such as GE Bt) that target living things (e.g., pests and weeds) are not sustainable over time because — in addition to the harms they cause — the issue of resistance will ultimately thwart their efficacy. There are two basic categories of genetic engineering employed in conventional agriculture. One technology transfers genetic material into seed to make plants tolerant of specific herbicide compounds that will be applied after planting (for example, the infamous “Roundup Ready,” glyphosate-tolerant seeds and plants). The other comprises plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs), in which the genetic material introduced […]

Share

Spring into Action in 2023; Be the Best You can Be(e)

Wednesday, April 12th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, April 12, 2023) Spring represents a period of increased water, soil, and general ecosystem pollution, correlated with increased pesticide use and increased rainfall. Thus, April showers bring May flowers, and often pesticides. We offer this overview to share with friends, family, and your community in an effort to elevate the urgent need to eliminate pesticides and make the shift to organic land management. Pesticides are pervasive in the environment, affecting all ecosystems, including air, water, and soil. Like clean air and water, healthy soils are integral to ecosystem function, interacting between Earth’s four main spheres (i.e., hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere) to support life. Pesticide use results in pervasive contamination of treated and nontarget sites. Even organic farmers and gardeners globally suffer from the widespread movement of pesticides through the air, water, and runoff from land. Attempts to protect property and ecosystems from pesticide use are a difficult, some say impossible, challenge. Efforts to prevent contamination become a large burden, with attempts to curtail pesticide drift with buffer zone areas and eliminate fertilizers or soil supplements with pesticide residues (e.g., manure and compost). Furthermore, the effects of climate change only exacerbate threats to ecosystem health, as studies show a […]

Share

Mayan Beekeepers Implicating Bayer/Monsanto in Die-Off of 300,000+ Bees, Harming Their Livelihood

Wednesday, April 5th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, April 5, 2023) A collective of Mayan beekeepers (Colectivo de Comunidades Mayas) in Mexico are implicating chemical industry giant Bayer/Monsanto in a massive die-off of more than 300,000 bees among their combined apiaries. According to Mexico News Daily, the total value of losses represent a staggering $663,000 U.S. dollars (12 million pesos). The incident is the latest instance of the pesticide  and agrichemical industry setting up shop in a local community and wrecking the health of the local ecology. Mayan beekeepers explain that Bayer/Monsanto recently started operations on a ranch near Crucero OxĂĄ in the southern Mexican state of Campeche. A local businessman placed the 50 hectare ranch on loan to the company. Since that arrangement, the company has aerially sprayed row crops like corn and soy with undisclosed chemicals. “One of Bayer’s engineers or technicians allowed us to take samples from one of their crops after the bees started to die,” said beekeeper JosĂ© Manuel Poot Chan, to the newspaper La Jornada Maya. “We are exhausting all possible legal instances, while members of the Welfare Ministry already came to offer humanitarian social aid to cover part of the damages.” Beekeepers suspect that the company is using the […]

Share

Corporations Are Asked to Stand Up for Health and the Environment; Sell Organic Compatible Products

Monday, March 27th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, March 27, 2023) In a move labeled “risk mitigation”—that is, mitigation of the risk to its shareholders—Bayer-Monsanto announced in 2021 that it would phase out Roundup™ products containing glyphosate for the residential lawn and garden market as of January 2023. In taking this action, Bayer-Monsanto is making no admissions, and glyphosate products will still be available to farmers. However, Lowe’s and Home Depot are still selling the glyphosate-based lawn and garden products. Tell Lowe’s and Home Depot to eliminate Roundup™ and other toxic pesticides, promote organic practices, and sell organic compatible products.  In fact, since this is a voluntary reformulation, and Bayer-Monsanto has decided its own timing, the company cannot be held accountable to anything. The company could change its mind, and stores can continue to sell the glyphosate-based products as long as they want. And keep in mind that replacement versions of Roundup™ products are also toxic. RoundupÂź Dual Action, for example, contains the following active ingredients: triethylamine salt of triclopyr, fluazipop-P-butyl, diquat dibromide, and ammonium salt of imazapic. Thus, Bayer/Monsanto announces that it is changing the formulation of Roundup and moving away from glyphosate, while continuing to sell Roundup™ products formulated both with and without glyphosate—leaving consumers unaware of their risks. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has […]

Share

Glyphosate Weed Killers Reduce Crop Yields and Hamper Climate Mitigation Efforts

Wednesday, February 15th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, February 15, 2023) Glyphosate use in grassland pastures reduces crop yield and impedes climate change mitigation, finds two studies (1,2) published this month from the University of Turku, Finland. While massive public relations campaigns by the agrichemical industry have poured in millions of dollars to convince politicians and the public that pesticides are necessary to ‘feed the world’ and address the climate crisis, the data does not support these claims. “Only in recent years, we have started to realise that intensive agriculture and agrochemical pollution in fact contribute to a reversal of the intended purpose. Soils are polluted with pesticides and at the same time, extreme weather events erode soil nutrients,” says study coauthor Benjamin Fuchs, PhD. Researchers approached their investigation through two separate experiments on the grass Festuca pratensis, an important forage crop grown for grazing animals throughout the world. The first experiment was conducted in an enclosed greenhouse, while the second took place in a field setting. For both experiments, plots were separated between glyphosate-sprayed and unsprayed controls. All plots received three different approaches to cutting the grass: one group that was intensely cut to two inches (5cm), the second group cut to six inches (15cm), […]

Share

Common Fungicide Adds to Growing List of Pesticides Linked to Gastrointestinal and Microbiome Damage

Thursday, January 26th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, January 26, 2023) A study published in Food Safety and Toxicology finds that the widely used fungicide azoxystrobin (AZO), used in food production and turf management, can disrupt the function of the intestinal (colonic) barrier responsible for the absorption of nutrients and defense against harmful substances. This and other similar data are important because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with its required pesticide testing protocol, says that the chemical has “low acute and chronic toxicity to humans, birds, mammals, and bees,” and speaks to the need for the agency to modernize its registration requirements. [The agency does note that AZO is “is highly toxic to freshwater fish, freshwater invertebrates, and estuarine/marine fish, and very highly toxic to estuarine/marine invertebrates.] AZO is a broad-spectrum chemical used in wheat, barley, oats, rye, soya, cotton, rice, strawberry, peas, beans, onions, and a long list of other vegetables, as well as on lawns and golf courses, on a range of fungal diseases. The intestinal (colonic) barrier prevents the internal environment from damage caused by exogenous toxins to ensure internal homeostasis, impeding incidences of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), sepsis, and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS). The intestines host a group of microorganisms that form […]

Share