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Rate of Male Breast Cancer on the Rise in Scotland, Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Suspected

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020

(Beyond Pesticides, January 29, 2020) A study of male breast cancer (MBC) in Scotland reports an alarming, increasing trend of this rare disease ‚Äď especially in agricultural areas. While only accounting for 1% of diagnosed breast cancer, MBC forms in the breast tissue of men and is often fatal because of delayed diagnosis and lack of research on male-specific treatment. The authors point to risk factors that include increased exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, such as pesticides, and a need for further study. Researchers analyzed data from the Information Services Scotland database spanning from 1992-2017. Results showed that incidence of breast cancer in men rose with age, and that the total number and age-adjusted incidence of MBC increased in the last 25 years. Overall, the incidence rose by 38.5%. There was a total of 558 diagnoses in Scotland in the entire period. The trend is clearest in certain regions, including the North of Scotland and some rural areas. ‚ÄúWithin the confines of this observational study, reasons for these regional differences are difficult to reconcile, but potential explanations are offered,‚ÄĚ the authors write, ‚ÄúExposure to environmental compounds that mimic oestrogens (so-called Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals; (EDCs)) might be exacerbated in areas of higher agricultural […]

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Environmental Chemicals Are Stealing IQ Points from American Children and Costing Trillions to the U.S. Economy

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

(Beyond Pesticides, January 16, 2020)¬†Exposure to environmental chemicals in the U.S. since the turn of the century has resulted in millions of lost IQ points, hundreds of thousands of cases of intellectual disability, and trillions of dollars of lost economic activity. This is according to a study led by a team of scientists at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology. “Although people argue against costly regulations, unrestricted use of these chemicals is far more expensive in the long run, with American children bearing the largest burden,” says senior study author Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP in a press release. Exposure to environmental chemicals can result in neurotoxic effects. Prenatal exposure represents a critical window when these effects can be particularly pronounced and result in lasting damage to a child. Researchers focused their study on contact with mercury, lead, organophosphate pesticides, and flame retardants in the womb. Biomonitoring data from a long-running Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study on environmental chemicals was used to determine exposure levels. Because each chemical results in differing levels of intellectual damage, each was assigned an IQ impact based on past research. For example, scientists indicated […]

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Exploratory Study Indicates Pesticide Exposure May Relate to Higher Risk for Endometriosis

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

(Beyond Pesticides, January 15, 2019) A study published in the journal Environment International, Association of urinary metabolites of organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides, and phenoxy herbicides with endometriosis, is the first of its kind. Researchers considered the endocrine-disrupting properties of pesticides (such as reduced sperm counts) and investigated whether there might be a relationship between pesticide exposure and endometriosis. Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent gynecologic disease that affects about 176 million women globally. It can cause extreme pain and infertility as well as increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular diseases. This study finds a positive correlation between some pesticide metabolites and endometriosis, though authors encourage further study to corroborate the findings. Researchers examined exposure to 11 ‚Äúuniversal pesticides‚ÄĚ and their metabolites and its relationship to endometriosis in 492 reproductive-age women recruited from 14 surgical centers in Utah and California from 2007-2009. The women at these clinics were scheduled for laparoscopy or laparotomy‚ÄĒthe ‚Äúgold standard‚ÄĚ for identifying endometriosis is through these surgeries. The study compares results from the clinical cohort to a group of women in the same age bracket from areas surrounding the participating clinics. 619 urine samples were analyzed from the operative and population cohorts. This study detected six of the […]

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High Income, Peer-Pressure Correlated with Chemical-Intensive Yard Care Practices

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, December 3, 2019) Common yard care practices are driven by income, age, geography, and peer-pressure, according to research funded by the National Science Foundation and published in the journal PLOS ONE. Lawns cover 63,000 sq ft in the United States, four times as much land as corn, making them the largest crop in the country. So while decisions over whether to irrigate, fertilize, or spray pesticides are made at the household level, even minor changes in practices could have major impacts on the environment. ‚ÄúThe apparent widespread nature of industrial lawncare, and the well-known associated negative environmental effects at the local-scale suggest a need to better understand the drivers, outcomes, and geographic variation in yard care practices, across the U.S.,‚ÄĚ the study reads. Researchers surveyed over 7,000 households in six major U.S. metropolitan areas, including Boston, Baltimore, Miami, Minneapolis-St Paul, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. Participants responded with their age, income level, the number of neighbors they know by name, and whether they used pesticides, fertilizers, or irrigated their yard within the last year. ¬†Overall, the survey found that 80% of people irrigate their yard, 64% fertilize, and 53% apply pesticides. Unsurprisingly, individuals living in water-starved areas like Phoenix […]

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Brexit Predicted to Lead to Regulatory Decline and Increased Hazards from Pesticides

Friday, November 22nd, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, November 22, 2019)¬†The potential exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU) ‚ÄĒ aka ‚ÄúBrexit‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ may portend greater pesticide use and exposures, according to a report from the Soil Association and the Pesticide Action Network UK. As covered by The Guardian, the report‚Äôs prediction points to uncertainty, despite reassurances from the United Kingdom (UK) government, about what regulatory standards will actually be in effect if and when Brexit occurs. The report also highlights the under-regulated issue identified in the report‚Äôs title ‚ÄĒ The Cocktail Effect ‚ÄĒ synergistic impacts of exposures to multiple synthetic pesticide compounds. Beyond cessation of pesticide use, Beyond Pesticides advocates for more rigorous review of synergistic effects of pesticides in the U.S. In the UK, environmental and health advocates are voicing worries that the government‚Äôs reassurances that existing standards will be maintained after a Brexit is unconvincing. UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove insists that environmental standards would be enhanced following a UK exit from the EU. But advocates are concerned about potential loopholes that could allow farmers to use more pesticides on crops than the EU regulations permit, and could greenlight the import of foodstuffs with greater amounts of pesticide residue than […]

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Triclosan Exposure Linked to Osteoporosis among U.S. Women

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, July 3, 2019) A disturbing association between urinary triclosan concentrations and osteoporosis has been identified in an epidemiological study. Drawing from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) results for 1,848 U.S. adult women, the authors conclude that higher concentrations of urinary triclosan are associated with lower bone mass density and higher prevalence of osteoporosis among U.S. adult women. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, adds weight to previous laboratory results, which showed that endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as triclosan can interfere with bone metabolism. Triclosan and its byproducts are known endocrine disruptors and have been shown in laboratory studies to interfere with collagen and bone structure. Taken together with previous findings, the new epidemiological results demonstrate that the ubiquitous endocrine disruptor triclosan ‚Äúcould lead to lower BMD [benchmark dose] and increased prevalence of osteoporosis in U.S. adult women.‚ÄĚ Triclosan is used as an antimicrobial agent in products regulated by both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and cumulative exposure to triclosan registered by both agencies pose unacceptable risks to human health and the environment. Triclosan exposure has become so common that it has shown up in […]

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Act on EPA’s Failure to Regulate Endocrine Disruptors, which Threatens Public Health

Monday, July 1st, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, July 1, 2019)¬†France made a decision in May to ban a widely-used fungicide because it damages the endocrine system. In contrast, there has been a stark failure to protect health in the U.S. Despite a Congressional mandate, EPA is not acting on endocrine disruptors linked to infertility and other reproductive disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and early puberty, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Parkinson‚Äôs, Alzheimer‚Äôs, and childhood and adult cancers. This is a tragedy. Ask your elected members of Congress to demand that EPA tests and acts on regulatory endocrine disruptors as required by law. In 1998, following a mandate in the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) of 1996, EPA established a program to screen and test pesticides and other widespread chemical substances for endocrine disrupting effects. Despite operating for 21 years, the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) has made little progress in reviewing and regulating endocrine-disrupting pesticides. ¬†As of 2019, the program has stalled entirely. To ensure appropriate follow-through, Congress gave EPA a timeline to: develop a peer-reviewed screening and testing plan with public input not later than two years after enactment (August 1998); implement screening and testing not later than three years after […]

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Study Documents Playgrounds Contaminated with Pesticides from Neighboring Chemical-Intensive Ag Land

Friday, June 7th, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, June 7, 2019)¬†Fruit orchards and vineyards endure some of the most intensive chemical management in all of agriculture. What has not been investigated ‚ÄĒ until now ‚ÄĒ is how pesticide drift from such agricultural sites may be affecting nearby public spaces. A recent, first-of-its-kind study out of northern Italy tested 71 public playgrounds near to apple orchards and vineyards in four valleys of the North Tyrol, and finds that 45% are contaminated with a single pesticide, and 24% by more than one. Study authors note that the playground contamination will likely grow worse over the course of the growing season. This would likely amplify the impacts of such chemical trespass on nearby public spaces, never mind the varieties of harm to the sites themselves and the food produced on them. Organic agriculture, of course, remedies all these concerns. The study randomly chose 71 public playgrounds in the four South Tyrolean regions, and analyzed grass samples for potential contamination by 315 different pesticides. Because pesticides applied to agricultural fields, orchards, and vineyards are easily volatized, carried aloft by wind, and/or washed by rain off of the target site, the study also evaluated the impacts of those (and other) factors […]

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Study Finds High Levels of Pesticide Exposure among Teenage Girls in California’s Salinas Valley

Friday, April 26th, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, April 26, 2019) Research by the youth participatory action team of the CHAMACOS of the Salinas Evaluating Chemicals in¬†Homes and¬†Agriculture (COSECHA) reveals that teenagers in the Salinas Valley, California are routinely exposed to concerning levels of multiple toxic pesticides, several of them known endocrine disruptors. In an interview with Kion News, COSECHA research director Kimberly Parra remarked that the study is especially important because teenagers are in a stage of rapid reproductive development. As the study authors emphasize, it is their developmental stage that makes teenagers more vulnerable to the effects of endocrine disrupting pesticides, with potentially devastating consequences for lifelong health. The COSECHA study quantifies exposure to 72 pesticides, captured through volatile-trapping silicone wristbands, across 97 teenage girls living in various areas of the Salinas Valley region. Of the 72 pesticides analyzed, authors report that subjects are exposed to as many as 20 and an average of 8 pesticides over one week of routine indoor and outdoor activity. Given the well-documented dangers of pesticide co-exposures, these multiple-exposure findings are particularly concerning. Ranking the highest for prevalence among the studied pesticides is fipronil sulfide, a breakdown product of the insecticide fipronil, detected in 86.6% of the analyzed wristbands. […]

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Bee-Toxic Neonicotinoid Insecticide Exposure Linked to Hormone-Dependent Breast Cancer

Thursday, March 7th, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, March 7, 2019) A publication in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives highlights findings from a recent study showing that environmental concentrations of the neonicotinoid insecticides thiacloprid and imidacloprid increase expression of a gene linked to hormone-dependent breast cancer. Authors of the featured study uncovered a pathway through which neonicotinoids stimulate excess estrogen production, known to occur during the development of progressive hormone-dependent breast cancer. In the words of the authors, ‚ÄúOur findings highlight the need for further research to assess the potential impacts of low-dose and chronic exposure to neonicotinoids on endocrine processes affecting women‚Äôs health.‚ÄĚ The study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives in April 2018 by researchers at the University of Quebec, is not the first to point to a potential link between neonicotinoid exposure and breast cancer. A 2015 study by the same research group revealed that the neonicotinoids thiacloprid and thiamethoxam, along with the herbicide atrazine, induce similar effects in breast cancer cells. In both studies, exposure to neonicotinoids alter promoter activity to induce heightened production of the enzyme aromatase, which is known to stimulate estrogen production and thereby cancer cell proliferation. The recently published study, authored by Silke Schmidt, PhD, brings greater urgency to […]

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$340 Billion in Annual Disease-Related Costs Associated with Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

Friday, March 1st, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, March 1, 2019)¬†The costs of pesticide use extend far beyond the invoices farmers pay for purchase of the chemicals to use on their crops. The real costs related to pesticide use and exposure include those of health care, lost productivity and income, and environmental damage (loss of environmental services and biodiversity; compromised air, water, and soil quality). There has been relatively little research focused on those real and extensive costs; this Daily News Blog turns its attention to several that have made the attempt. January 2019 saw the publication of a new book, Sicker Fatter Poorer: The Urgent Threat of Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals to Our Health and Future … and What We Can Do About It, by Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, which examines how some chemicals ‚ÄĒ including organophosphate and organochlorine pesticides ‚ÄĒ disrupt human endocrine (hormonal) function, and damage health, sometimes irreparably. The book further investigates the economic costs of associated diseases and other health problems to the U.S. economy ‚ÄĒ on the order of 2.3% of GDP (gross domestic product), or $340 billion, annually. As Dr. Trasande notes, ‚ÄúThe reality is that policy predicts exposure, exposure predicts disease and disease ultimately costs our economy.‚ÄĚ Dr. Trasande is […]

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New York Bill and Lawsuit Push for Farmworkers’ Right to Organize

Monday, February 25th, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, February 22, 2019) A bill introduced in the New York State Assembly and the Senate this month will break the century-long legal exclusion of agricultural workers from common labor protections. Among other protections, the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act will give New York farmworkers the right to collective bargaining, making employer intimidation and retaliation against organizing workers illegal. Citing farmworkers‚Äô exposure to toxic chemicals among other occupational risks, former dairy farmworker and worker organizer Crispin Hernandez states, ‚ÄúThe legislation would do a lot to end the pervasive climate of fear, intimidation and retaliation that exists on farms today. It would also make farmworkers‚Äô lives safer.‚ÄĚ The National Farm Worker Ministry notes that, ‚ÄúA union contract allows workers to report problems on the job without fear of getting fired.‚ÄĚ In the case of farmworkers, problems on the job include exposures to toxic pesticides that workers, if organized, could freely report and collectively negotiate to remove from use to ensure their safety. The bill, introduced to the Assembly by Queens Assemblymember Cathy Nolan and to the Senate by freshman Senator Jessica Ramos (D), will amend the New York State Labor Relations Act (NYSLRA) by removing farmworkers from the list of […]

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Tell USDA All Ingredients Used in Organic Must Be Reviewed

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, December 18, 2018)¬†The ingredients not listed on a pesticide product are not fully reviewed for their adverse effects may be the most toxic chemicals in the formulation. Recent research, Toxicity of formulants and heavy metals in glyphosate-based herbicides and other pesticides (Toxicology Reports 5, 2018), by Defarge, de Vend√īmois, and S√©ralini demonstrates the need to disclose and test all ingredients in pesticide products, as well as the full formulation that includes ‚Äúinert‚ÄĚ or nondisclosed ingredients. While glyphosate/Roundup is obviously not allowed to be used in organic production, this research reaffirms the need to evaluate full formulations of substances allowed for use in organic. The research on glyphosate tested the toxicity of the herbicide glyphosate, ‚Äúinerts‚ÄĚ in glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH), and the pesticide formulations‚Äďlooking at toxicity to target organisms, toxicity to human cells, and endocrine-disrupting activity. In addition to the GBH products, the researchers studied a number of other pesticides. Tell NOP and USDA that ‚Äúinerts‚ÄĚ used in organic production must receive full review by the NOSB. ‚ÄúInert‚ÄĚ ingredients are allowed in pesticides used in organic production as well as those used in chemical-intensive production. The National Organic Program (NOP) allows ‚Äúinerts,‚ÄĚ permitted in conventional production and formerly listed […]

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DDT in Glacial Melt Puts Alaskan Communities at Risk

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, December 11, 2018) Meltwater and runoff from Alaskan glaciers contain detectable levels of organochlorine pesticides that bioconcentrate in fish and put individuals at risk, according to a new study from researchers at the¬†University of Maine (UMaine). DDT, lindane, and other organochlorines have been detected throughout the world, even in natural areas thought to be untouched, and pristine. As UMaine scientists show, the atmospheric transport and ubiquitous deposition of these pesticides continues to pose risks to U.S. residents long after regulations banned their use. Although most of the highly toxic class of organochlorine pesticides like DDT were banned in the early 1970s, some chemicals retained certain uses. Lindane, for example, had its pest management uses phased out gradually until 2007, but is still allowed today as a scabies and lice shampoo. While use of these pesticides has declined in the U.S., much of the developing world, including many Asian countries, such as China, India, and North Korea, still report use. This results in atmospheric transport of the pesticides, and relevant to the UMaine research, increases the likelihood that the chemicals will eventually be deposited onto Alaskan glaciers through snow or rain. The UMaine research team investigated the amount of […]

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Endocrine Disrupting Herbicide, Atrazine, Exceeds Legal Limits in Midwest

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, December 6, 2018)¬†A recent analysis of annual drinking water quality reports has revealed that many community drinking water systems in the Midwest have seasonal exceedances of the allowable limit for the herbicide atrazine. Atrazine, linked to endocrine disruption, neuropathy, and cancer, is the second most widely used pesticide in corn growing areas, with over 73 million pounds applied to agricultural fields each year. ¬†A¬†2009 study¬†by Paul Winchester, MD, professor of clinical pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine and a neonatologist at St. Francis Hospital in Indianapolis, linked¬†birth defects to time of conception, with the greatest impact on children conceived when concentrations of atrazine and other pesticides are highest in the local drinking water. (See Reproductive Effects Peak with Pesticide Exposure.) During peak use, atrazine levels in drinking water have been recorded at three to seven times above the legal limit. In addition to the well documented impact on the environment, recent ¬†studies have linked prolonged pesticide exposure to not only shortened gestation and preterm birth for women, but also neurodevelopment delays in children. Ultimately, these unreported seasonal peaks may result in persistent adverse health impacts in impacted communities. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), enacted in 1974, […]

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Brazilian Researchers Link Rise in Colon Cancer to Increase in Pesticide Use

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, November 7, 2018) Brazil‚Äôs rapid industrialization of its agricultural sector may be coming at the cost of resident health, according to a new study published in Chemosphere by an international team of scientists. The researchers link the rise in the country‚Äôs pesticide use since the turn of the century to significant increases in colon cancer, particularly in the country‚Äôs most intensive agricultural southern regions. With the recent election of far right president Jair Bolsonaro, who has supported policies that would loosen Brazil‚Äôs pesticide regulations, advocates are concerned the county‚Äôs farming industry is moving in an unsustainable direction. Researchers note that as Brazil‚Äôs agriculture industry has grown over the last two decades, it has become the world‚Äôs leading consumer of pesticides. In the year 2000, roughly 160 million tons of pesticides were used in the country. By 2012, that number reached nearly 500 million tons. Scientists compared pesticides sold to standard mortality rates (SMR) in each Brazilian state. SMR measures mortality by comparing observed mortality to expected mortality when adjusting for age and gender. A rate above one indicates that there is excessive mortality. Despite improvements in detection and treatment, colon cancer deaths recorded in the country increased from […]

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Massachusetts Residents Raise Health Concerns about Creosote Railroad Ties in Their Community

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, October 31, 2018) Residents in the town of Great Barrington, MA are concerned about the health effects that could result from creosote-coated railroad ties stored in their neighborhood. According to a report in the Berkshire Eagle, soon after the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MDOT) parked a load of railroad ties along tracks that cut through a neighborhood, community members began to complain about the smell. Creosote is a mixture of thousands of different chemical compounds. Derived mainly from coal tar and regulated as a pesticide by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the material represents a significant hazard that puts people and the environment in danger, and can be readily replaced by safer, alternative materials. “I would want to roll up my windows immediately,” Beth Rose told the Berkshire Eagle. Another Great Barrington resident, Jeanne Bachetti, told the paper, “I started to smell them right after they moved [them] in there. Sometimes we get a propane smell from [nearby] AmeriGas, so I couldn’t tell. Then it dawned on me ‚ÄĒ that’s not gas.” MDOT is currently in the process of a project to upgrade roughly 40 miles of freight line, and is using 60,000 railroad ties as part […]

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Dolphins in Gulf of Mexico Contaminated with “Inert,” but Toxic, Pesticide Product Ingredients

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, October 24, 2018) Bottlenose dolphins found along Florida‚Äôs west coast contain detectable levels of phthalates, chemicals used in plastics, cosmetics and as inert ingredients in pesticide products, research published in the journal GeoHealth last month indicates. The study, published by scientists from the College of Charleston, South Carolina, is the first to find detectable levels of these toxic industrial byproducts in dolphins. Given the transient nature of urinary detection, the findings indicate that dolphins and other marine mammals are at increased risk of health effects related to phthalate exposure. Scientists sampled a total of 17 dolphins found in Sarasota Bay, FL over the course of two years. Of the 17, phthalates were detected in 12 individuals, or 71% of dolphins. The type of phthalates discovered was indicative of the source of the contaminant. With researchers detecting mono‚Äź(2‚Äźethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP) and monoethyl phthalate (MEP) most frequently. While MEHP is associated with plastic pollution, MEP is a breakdown product of diethyl phthalate (DEP), a compound that has been used in pesticide products as an inert ingredient. “These chemicals can enter marine waters from urban runoff and agriculture or industrial emissions, but we also know that there is a lot of […]

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Beyond Pesticides Joins Grassroots Groups, Organic Experts for Stonyfield Organic’s New #PlayFree Initiative

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, September 25, 2018) Last week the pioneering yogurt maker Stonyfield Organic announced a new initiative to convert public fields and parks to organic land management in collaboration with Beyond Pesticides,¬†Nontoxic Neighborhoods, and natural land care experts Osborne Organics.¬†The StonyFIELDS #Playfree initiative will work with 35 communities over the next several years to ensure fields and community spaces are free from the use of toxic synthetic pesticides. The project launches at a critical time, as evidence of the dangers glyphosate and other pesticides pose to children, pollinators, and the wider environment continues to mount. ‚ÄúCommunities across the country are more and more interested in managing their public spaces without toxic pesticides because they are not necessary to maintain beautiful landscapes,‚ÄĚ said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. ‚ÄúMoms, dads, and pet owners are asking for these changes to protect their loved ones, municipal landscapers are adopting new methods to manage turf without subjecting themselves or bystanders to toxic exposure, and local elected officials are seeking out ways to improve public health and increase their community‚Äôs commitment to environmental protection.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúOver 26 million kids play on parks and fields, most of which are managed using a chemical cocktail of […]

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Take Action: Tell Your Public Officials to Stop Spraying Pesticides and Adopt a Safe, Effective Mosquito Management Plan

Monday, September 10th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, September 10 2019)¬†Does your community spray toxic pesticides for mosquitoes? In a well-intentioned but ill-informed attempt to prevent mosquito-borne illness such as West Nile virus, many communities spray insecticides (adulticides) designed to kill flying mosquitoes. If your community is one of these, then your public officials need to know that there is a better, more-effective, way to prevent mosquito breeding. Tell your public officials to stop spraying pesticides and adopt a mosquito management plan that protects public health and the environment. The problem with mosquito pesticides. Two classes of insecticides are favored by mosquito spray programs ‚Äďorganophosphates and synthetic pyrethroids. In order to better target flying mosquitoes, adulticides are generally applied as ultra-low-volume (ULV) formulations that will float in the air longer than usual. Organophosphates, which include malathion (Fyfanon), naled (Dibrom), and chlorpyrifos (Mosquitomist), are highly toxic pesticides that affect the central nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. Symptoms of poisoning in humans include: numbness, tingling sensations, headache, dizziness, tremors, nausea, abdominal cramps, sweating, incoordination, blurred vision, difficulty breathing, slow heartbeat, loss of consciousness, incontinence, convulsions, and death. Some organophosphates have been linked to birth defects and cancer. Breakdown times range from a few days to several months, depending […]

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Take Action: Tell USDA that Purposeful Mutagenesis Is Genetic Engineering

Monday, August 13th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, August 13, 2018)¬†Tell USDA to Follow the EU in Classifying New Mutagenesis Techniques as GMO.¬†The Court of Justice of the European Union has highlighted the fact that failing to classify mutagenesis (purposeful changes in DNA) as genetic engineering is a backdoor way of allowing GMOs (genetically modified organisms) without labeling them as such. The court issued an opinion on July 25, saying, ‚ÄúOrganisms obtained by mutagenesis are GMOs [genetically engineered organisms] and are, in principle, subject to the obligations laid down by the GMO directive.‚ÄĚ Although the opinion does not apply to techniques that ‚Äúhave been conventionally used in a number of applications and have a long safety record,‚ÄĚ the court says that member states may subject even those organisms to the obligations of the GMO or other directives. The court finds that the risks of new mutagenesis techniques, may yield results ‚Äďand risks‚ÄĒ similar to those of transgenesis (introducing genes from other organisms), and should thus be regulated as genetically engineered organisms. Tell USDA to classify mutagenesis techniques as GMO. This issue is one on which the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture requested comment during an informal comment period that ended July […]

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New York Launches Landmark Product Disclosure Program

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, June 13, 2018) On June 6, 2018, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) released its final policy for the disclosure of cleaning product ingredients under its Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program. The program will require full disclosure of ingredients on product labels or manufacturer website for all products sold in the state, as well as the identification of chemicals of concern. NYSDEC states the program is intended to protect consumers from harmful chemicals in household products. The Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program requires manufacturers of cleaning products sold in New York to disclose chemical ingredients and identify any ingredients that appear on authoritative lists of chemicals of concern on their websites. Companies must also provide a list of links to product‚Äôs ingredients to NYSDEC. New York states that it ‚Äúwill be the first state in the nation to require such disclosure and the State‚Äôs program goes beyond initiatives in other states by requiring the robust disclosure of byproducts and contaminants, as well as chemicals with the potential to trigger asthma in adults and children.‚ÄĚ Products included in the program are cleaning products like soaps and detergents containing surfactants, emulsifying agents and used primarily […]

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Science, Policy, and Advocacy at 36th National Pesticide Forum, Organic Neighborhoods: For healthy children, families, and ecology

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, March 13, 2018)¬†Do you want to take toxic pesticides out of your community? Then there‚Äôs nothing better you can do in April than attend Beyond Pesticides‚Äô 36th National Pesticide Forum this year, Organic Neighborhoods: For healthy children, families, and ecology, April 13-14, in Irvine, California. Discounted early bird registration ends this week on Thursday, March 15. This is a unique opportunity to share knowledge with those on the cutting edge of research, meet with effective advocates to talk organizing and policy strategy on protecting people and the environment, and learn from practitioners on implementation of plans for organic management practices without toxic pesticides. Why It‚Äôs Important to Attend the Forum Organic Neighborhoods: for healthy children, families, and ecology¬†reaffirms the value of bringing people together to share the latest science, policies, and practices to protect our communities from toxic pesticide use. We take a positive approach in showcasing the opportunities to adopt organic practices that eliminate the need for toxic chemicals. Change is emanating from communities and businesses across the country because federal and, too often, state governments are not functioning as they should for the common good. Topics include environmental health, organic land management, pollinator protection, managing invasive […]

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