A Year in Review - 2022

Beyond Pesticides wishes our supporters and network all the best for the holiday season and the new year. We look forward to working with you in the new year to meet the severe environmental and public health challenges with truly organic solutions.

With your support of Beyond Pesticides this year, our goal to reverse the destructive environmental and public health path that we’re on with a transformative strategy that advances the adoption of organic practices and policies that respect life. Our accomplishments are your victories. We see the outcomes in communities across the country—adopting organic land management policies and practices that eliminate toxic pesticides, and protect children, pets, families, and the local ecology.

With 42 years and a track record of successfully advancing systemic change, we know that the solutions are within our grasp. We are honored to work collaboratively to make this happen . . . now and for future generations.

[2021 Review, 2020 Review]




Here are some highlights of how our supporters have helped us in 2022:

Meeting the Challenges Ahead

Our Vision. Beyond Pesticides shares the vision of people and communities in seeking to ensure a future that protects health and sustains life. We are facing existential crises—the climate crisis, biodiversity collapse, and severe public health threats—from cancer to neurological, reproductive, and endocrine system effects, including brain and behavioral impacts. To reverse these threats, we advance model organic solutions that eliminate billions of pounds of fossil fuel-based pesticides and synthetic fertilizers and nurture biological systems that take dangerous pollutants out of our environment.

Beyond Pesticides is working toward the societal transition to practices and policies that eliminate toxic pesticide use in the next decade. This work intersects with daily decisions made in households, school districts, and municipal and state governments, as well as at the federal level, on crucial issues relating to the health of children, families, and workers, the climate crisis, and biodiversity. Our work helps to inform practices and policies that go to the core of public health protection and the sustainability of ecosystems. Beyond Pesticides has a vibrant program of information services, policy advocacy, and hands-on support to communities, local organizations, and people, as we advocate and teach organic practices.

Our program bridges policy and practice—reframing strategies that simply go after the endless list of toxic chemicals—and advancing a holistic approach that recognizes complex biological communities, the importance of soil microbiota, trophic effects, and ecosystem services in the context of broader human health and environmental protection. This is the framework we adopt as we work at the local, state, and federal levels in advancing policy reform. It is especially important as national attention is focused on the meaningful systemic change that addresses disproportionate risk to people of color communities and workers, from farmworkers to landscapers.


Beyond Pesticides’ program supports a clear message: End toxic pesticide use and embrace organic practices and policies that respect the power of nature to heal—in the face of devastating and destructive toxic chemical dependency. This past year has again elevated important public discourse on the threats that pesticides pose to health and the environment. We see in the mainstream culture increased understanding that pesticides threaten health, wreak havoc with ecosystems, create imbalances in nature that escalate threats—and are not needed for cost-effective land and building management. Also, reinforced in the last year is a deep appreciation for the reality that local advocacy drives the changes that are critical to a livable future—scientific facts coupled with action advance the adoption of solutions that are within our reach.


Beyond Pesticides thanks all of our donors and supporters for their contributions over the year. Without your help, our mission would not be possible. 

Members and Donors. It's a fact, your support makes our work possible. We provide up-to-the-minute information about the health and environmental hazards of pesticides, pesticide regulation and policy, pesticide alternatives, and cutting-edge science—free of charge to the public. We can't do it without the generosity of people like you. Your donation provides the resources we need to continue our important work to protect people and the planet. Please make a year-end gift today!

Natural Grocers Campaign. We are moving forward in collaboration with Natural Grocers, which operates 161 stores in 20 western, southwestern, and Midwest states. For the third year, Natural Grocers is raising funds for Beyond Pesticides’ Parks for a Sustainable Future program throughout the month of April, through its LadybugLove campaign. Natural Grocers explains the program on its website. This offers Beyond Pesticides an expanded opportunity to not only raise resources needed for our cornerstone work to advance a transition to organic land management nationwide but to leverage the reach of a local retail market as a point of education and outreach. We are collaborating with Natural Grocers on in-store information materials and action strategies while seeking to leverage the relationship to engage more partners in our program. We are currently working in nine communities in Natural Grocers communities and want to triple this number in the next year. These communities become models for their region and the nation.

Joining with Other Organizations. Beyond Pesticides, in collaboration with Friends of the Earth (FOE) and other organizations, created a campaign page dedicated to highlighting the danger of pesticide use. The overall message about pesticides sold at retain giants is centered on the scary adverse impacts of glyphosate and other pesticides on pollinators like bees. However, we also highlighted our 40 most common lawn and landscape chemicals factsheet to further showcase the potential harms of pesticide exposure on health and the environment. The chemicals on this sheet contain active ingredients that could be present in products sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s. There is also a link to the herbicide analysis, which highlights a definitive list of products sold at the two retail stores and associated health and environmental effects. The ongoing campaign brings awareness to the harms of common residential pesticide use and advocates for a transition to organic.

1% for the Planet. 1% for the Planet is a global movement inspiring businesses to support environmental solutions through the support of everyday actions. Today, only 3% of philanthropy goes toward environmental giving. The objective of the network is to significantly increase the overall amount of global dollars going to protect the planet with the smartest donations possible. One of our corporate 39th Forum sponsors, Naturpedic (mattress), recommended an Environmental Partnership with “1% for the Planet.” Participating companies, or “Business Members” who commit to giving 1% of gross sales each year to approved environmental partners (they typically display a label on their product(s) that they give 1% for the Planet) can use these funds to donate to Beyond Pesticides and use the 1% label.


From a public health and environmental protection perspective, these are challenging times. Amid the attack on institutions and laws established to protect children, families, and the environment under the current federal administration, there is an incredibly positive groundswell of activity seeking to achieve these protections in communities across the U.S. We are inspired by the level of effective advocacy and changes in practices that are moving forward nationwide.

Disproportionate Risks

Comments to EPA Administrator Michael Regan: “While we are encouraged to see the formation of EPA’s new Office of Environmental Justice and Civil Rights, the agency has a historical bias against preventive action to ensure the protection of those disproportionately poisoned by toxic chemicals. While critically important to clean up contaminated communities, EPA must stop the flow of toxic pesticides at the front end because of the disproportionate poisoning effects of use, handling, transportation, and disposal. We live in an age of practices and products that make toxic pesticides unnecessary and their use unconscionable. Yet, EPA insists on the acceptability of harm (which it calls risk), despite its failure to (i) recognize comorbidities and preexisting health conditions, (ii) consider a combination of multiple chemical exposure interactions, and (iii) cite extensive missing health outcomes information (e.g., on endocrine disruption) and a resulting high level of uncertainty."


Health threats from daily pesticide use initiate or exacerbate public health threats associated with a wide range of illnesses. Within this context, there are disproportionate risks to people of color communities, and occupations with elevated risk.


Why We Give Focus to Biodiversity. A vast amount of research demonstrates the importance of protecting complex biological communities. The interrelationship and interdependency of organisms are critical to ecological balance and human survival. With broad-spectrum pesticide use and indiscriminate poisoning with systemic pesticides, an ecological imbalance is created, sacrificing the benefits of nature and escalating pest problems.

Over the year, Beyond Pesticides addressed the decline in pollinators as a crucial part of the crisis leading to the collapse of biodiversity. To that end, we support efforts in the states to adopt legislation that seeks to support pollinators through the establishment and protection of habitat and the restriction of pesticides. Our organization work to track the science of threats to support action. Pollinators––bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and other organisms––make a critical contribution to plant health, crop productivity, and the preservation of natural resources, but their existence continues to be threatened by their pesticide-contaminated habitat.

  1. Provide organic habitat on your own property and encourage your town to go organic. Beyond Pesticides has compiled and updated our Pollinator-Friendly Seeds and Nursery Directory of companies and organizations that sell organic seeds and plants to the general public.
  2. Tell your U.S. Representative and Senators to support Saving America’s Pollinators Act.
  3. Tell Kroger, the largest supermarket operator in the U.S., and other retailers to adopt a pollinator protection policy that adequately addresses toxic pesticide use.
  4. Tell EPA and President Biden to ban all pesticides and treated seeds that harm pollinators.


With the April 4, 2022 release of the United Nation’s IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, the Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres said that the lack of action puts us “firmly on track towards an unlivable world. We are on a fast track to climate disaster.” The findings of “Agriculture and climate change are reshaping insect biodiversity worldwide,” published in Nature by scientists at University College London, UK, are the first to elucidate the interactions between major drivers of the ongoing insect apocalypse.

Possible Focus Intersection with pesticides:

  • Fossil fuels Cradle to grave – the exposure from production, use through disposal, and the impacts on climate
  • Point of no return –link to fossil fuel pesticides and fertilizers
  • Bumblebee decline/pollinator decline Alternatives: State of California Plan to reduce carbon Fork to Farm (Europe)
  • How organic land management as a solution compares with other solutions (in terms of cost and efficiency) e.g., replacing energy sources, replacing gas with electric cars, etc.
  • The leadership of youth-led climate organizations and connection to organic land management and climate.


Outdated chemical-intensive practices are tied to the belief that parks, playing fields, home lawns, and agriculture require toxic chemicals and synthetic fertilizers to meet expectations. So, an approach that recognizes the importance of soil biology in cycling nutrients naturally to feed plants is often new to many land managers who have not evaluated and nurtured the web of microorganisms living in the soil. This attention to the soil systems has been foundational to the success of organic agriculture nationwide. Those critics, who often have a vested economic interest or history in pesticide use and proclaim that organic does not work, are, in effect, challenging the underlying principles of soil management that have enabled the exponential growth of the organic agricultural sector— now a $50 billion industry and the fastest-growing part of the agricultural economy.

Meeting the Challenges with a Transformative Strategy

Our efforts focus on shifting communities’ approach to land and building management to address critical health and environmental issues. To move this goal forward, we carry out activities that advance a holistic awareness of the complex adverse effects and unknowns associated with pesticide-dependent management practices and policies. On a daily basis, we bring attention to and broader understanding of the actual hands-on practices that are protective of health and in sync with nature.

Keeping Organic Strong

Beyond Pesticides’ Keeping Organic Strong campaign is critical to organic integrity and, while the issues are not simple, many people engage with us on the decisions before the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and the National Organic Program. The 15-member NOSB, consisting of four farmers, three environmentalists, three consumers, two food processors, and one retailer, scientist, and certifying agent, votes to allow or prohibit substances and practices in certified organic food and farming. The NOSB acts as a sounding board within the federal government for the organic community, as it considers input from you, the public—the concerned citizens and consumers upon whom organic integrity depends.

Organic consumers and farmers have invested in the notion that we care not only about land stewardship and what we feed our children and families but stopping farmworker exposure to hazardous materials and ending the hazards to the fenceline communities where the toxic chemicals used in chemical-intensive agriculture are produced. The organic law, of course, requires the NOSB to consider the cradle-to-grave effects of materials when protecting against adverse effects. As we advance organic as the solution to crosscutting issues of public health threats, biodiversity collapse, and the climate emergency, we are compelled to protect the integrity of organic standards and the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. We continue to work closely with the National Organic Coalition to expand the reach of our positions.

Challenging the Failure to Regulate Pesticides Adequately. Before the NOSB meets twice yearly, we affirm the importance of organic integrity, updating our Keeping Organic Strong page and submitting comments on all issues before the board. Surely, if we are advancing organic as a solution, we must get involved in ensuring that it is not coopted by industrial agriculture and those who do not share its values and principles. While the issues are not simple, many people engage with us on the decisions before the NOSB and the National Organic Program. But, as we know, while we can engage many enlightened organic consumers in the intricacies of organic law and the need to protect organic integrity, we still only engage a subset of the typical organic eater. As we know, people do rally against clear threats. So, our successful work to stop antibiotic use (which tarnishes the brand) in organic or stop federal preemption of the right to restrict pesticide use locally (in the last Farm Bill) does engage people. These issues keep popping up. It is not as easy with what appear to be more wonky challenges like the fight to protect the foundational principle of “sunsetting” all synthetic substances in organic law and the need for continuous improvement in organic standards. This process is intended to ensure a rigorous review of any synthetics that are on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.


Local land management and ordinances across the country are just as much about preventing hazards and filling an increasing gap in protection from regulators as they are about recognizing the viability of sound land management practices. These practices do not use toxic chemicals and result in a healthier and more resilient plant life that stands up to stress and is less reliant on limited water resources.

Creating model communities

Our broader strategic work continues, as we went virtual with our community-based program across the country to transition land management to organic practices. Our information and community support continue to be an important source of independent scientific and practical information to inform the transition away from toxic pesticides in the face of dramatic declines in environmental quality, the climate crisis, and the insect apocalypse. We will continue to advocate for community policies and practices that embrace transparent decision-making with public participation, and organic compatible materials for land and building management.

We are well-positioned to effect changes in communities that serve as a model for other communities. We continue to develop informational tools that support change agents, whether they are advocates or elected officials. We are also able to provide land managers with technical skills, which ensure the effective implementation of policies and plans for sustainable and organic land management.

Community Projects

Our expanding program spans 51 communities in 26 states and major cities, including a landmark project in New York City (NYC) that launched demonstration projects across all the city’s boroughs. The NYC project resulted from legislation passed on Earth Day 2021 that prohibits toxic pesticide use in parks and protects neighborhoods that are predominantly people of color—those who are at elevated levels of risk. The project in NYC, as well as other communities, also protects workers/landscapers, who are disproportionately people of color. After years of working in a coalition with New York City organizations (now called Eco-Friendly Parks for All) and the city council, we negotiated an agreement with the New York City Parks Department to set up organic demonstration parks. In September 2022, we launched the demonstration sites with in-person visits to five NYC sites. We were joined by Chip, The Black Institute, and the staff of Stonyfield Organic, which is underwriting the project.

In addition, we added to this project the following communities with a 3-year commitment to consult: Brookline (MA), Wilmington (NC), New York City (NY), Denton (TX), Midway (UT), Egg Harbor, and Door County (WI). These add to our continuing support of communities that are in their second and third years and serve as models nationwide. To expand the program, we are always reaching out to numerous communities, most recently Oceanside and San Diego (CA), Hallowell (ME), Kansas City (MO), Dubuque (IA), and Los Alamos (NM). To support this effort, we launched our Parks for a Sustainable Future webpage, which allows communities to access our technical support and begin organizing in their communities.

Parks for Sustainable Future Continued

Over the past year, Beyond Pesticides has continued to grow the Parks for a Sustainable Future program and developed a schedule for checking in with existing demonstration sites that we have launched over the last two years.  

Sustainable Parks Natural Turf Trainings, Stonyfield Organic. Winter/Spring 2022 has consisted of Beyond Pesticides continuing work with Osborne Organics on natural turf training, introductory calls and scheduling follow-up calls to our continuing and new participating communities for the sustainable parks program. The picture above is from Portsmouth, NH, where Stonyfield Organic has provided the resources that have resulted in the citywide adoption of organic land management in their park system. The above signage offers residents information on the program and how people can adopt organic land management practices on their own property.


Maui Food Hub Continued

The Maui (food) Hub started as a partnership between Beyond Pesticides, Common Ground Collective, and the Haleakala Chapter of the Hawai’i Farmers Union. Maui Hub has just celebrated its second birthday. As it becomes more established, we are able to be more vocal about our organizational values; that our long-term goal is the increase in the amount of organic food produced on Maui and equitable access to that food across income levels. Now that the Hubʻs day-to-day operations have become more efficient, we are able to participate more in long-term planning, relationship building across the agriculture industry, and policy/advocacy work for organic and indigenous farmers.

The Hub currently serves 57 farms and producers, and our regular interaction with small farmers has given us an incredible snapshot of challenges, needs, and gaps in the organic food support system. Through our work with the Hub, we have gained a seat at the decision-making table when it comes to the future of agriculture on Maui, in spaces that have generally been reserved for organizations that take an “all agriculture is good agriculture” approach.

(See https://www.kitv.com/video/moving-forward-maui-hub/video_749fb54d-cbd6-5e14-aa1c-b1286161710d.html and https://www.mauinews.com/news/local-news/2022/03/food-hub-grows-beyond-expectations/)


Beyond PesticidesThe Action of the Week (AOTW) provides our network with one concrete action that can be taken each week to have our collective voice heard to stop governmental actions that adversely affect public, worker, and environmental health, increase overall pesticide use or undermine the advancement of organic, sustainable, and regenerative practices and policies. With almost 25,000+ subscribers, the actions generate between 2,000 and 4,000+ participants weekly.

The top five AOTWs with the most contributions include:

  1. Aid Programs Must Support Traditional and Organic, Not Chemical-Intensive, Agriculture (04/11/2022)
  2. Pesticide Law Needs Real Reform (01/03/2022)
  3. Tell EPA to Take Meaningful Action to Protect Endangered Species (03/21/2022)
  4. Insist That USDA Uphold Organic Integrity and the Law (03/07/2022)
  5. EPA Must Protect Birds, Bees, and Other Pollinators; Ban Neonic Insecticides (04/04/2022)


Beyond Pesticides issues unique reports to support local activism to move changes in practices and policies that eliminate pesticide use. With this information and the model policy that we have created, local people nationwide have successfully moved on to change.

Beyond Pesticides is about building a groundswell of action that drives the necessary changes—changes that take place in people’s homes and gardens, in their purchasing decisions, in their local communities, park districts, school districts, and in management decisions throughout the community. The models we establish in partnership with local communities can be replicated in communities across the country. And since we will not achieve a sustainable, socially just society and world by simply banning or restricting one chemical after the other, we are advancing systemic changes that start at the community level, but intersect with state, national, and international policy and corporate accountability. We continue to engage with this issue through a building coalition of a range of state and national groups. This coalition work forms collaborations around legislation to restrict pesticides and PFAS, particularly in the context of recent legislation passed in Maine over the summer requiring state tests on pesticide products to ensure no PFAS is present.  

Pesticides and You. Our work over the last year and as we move into the new year is organized into nine categories that define the problem and solution to the existential threats related to health decline, biodiversity collapse, and the climate emergency. We captured this in Retrospective 2021: A Call to Urgent Action, a special issue of Pesticides and You, where we lay out a framework to inform urgent action in the following categories, which support our 10-year goal to eliminate toxic pesticides and fertilizers, and elevate the urgent need for governmental, corporate, and individual action at all levels.

The Path Moving Forward: Organic. Beyond Pesticides has taken a holistic approach to advance sustainable, organic practices and policies to solve the pesticide poisoning and contamination problem and the range of existential adverse effects. This framework provides the foundation for ending pesticide dependency in all aspects of use, agricultural and nonagricultural. Our implementation of organic land management is a partnership with local community groups and local governments.

We collaborate with groups, such as Protect South Portland and Portland Protectors (ME), Parks for Kids NYC, Toxic Free Philly, Bee Safe Minneapolis, and Toxic Free Pima County (AZ), among many others. This collaboration extends to municipal parks departments through which we conduct a robust program to:

The Path Moving Forward: Organic. Beyond Pesticides has taken a holistic approach to advance sustainable, organic practices and policies to solve the pesticide poisoning and contamination problem and the range of existential adverse effects. This framework provides the foundation for ending pesticide dependency in all aspects of use, agricultural and nonagricultural. Our implementation of organic land management is a partnership with local community groups and local governments.

We collaborate with groups, such as Protect South Portland and Portland Protectors (ME), Parks for Kids NYC, Toxic Free Philly, Bee Safe Minneapolis, and Toxic Free Pima County (AZ). This collaboration extends to municipal parks departments through which we conduct a robust program to:

  1. Educate on holistic organic management, and its importance to health and the environment;
  2. Evaluate soil and management practices;
  3. Produce an organic transition plan;
  4. Assist with implementation. Nationally, we have teamed up with Stonyfield Organic, and throughout the west, we are working with Natural Grocers, which has 162 stores in 20 states.

39th Natural Pesticide Forum. Health, Biodiversity, and Climate: A Path for a Livable Future created a new approach to our annual Forum, a 3-part seminar series available for free and then on our website. Over 600 people registered from the U.S. and a dozen other countries. In each category of our involvement with health, biodiversity, and climate—whether working with professionals or lay people, local elected officials or concerned advocates— we play a critical role in enhancing public understanding of the science and the practical hands-on experience to inform the urgent steps that must be taken at the local, state, and national levels. Addressing problems and solutions to these three topics, we teach that with these existential threats there is a disproportionate risk to people of color communities and those with health vulnerabilities.

While the current challenges result from a confluence of issues that are harmful to sustaining life, the need for carefully defined sustainable land management and building and household practices and products is urgent. The National Forum Series launches Beyond Pesticides’ effort to eliminate fossil fuel-based pesticide use within the next decade, putting a stop to toxic emissions, exposure, and residues, while embracing an organic systems approach that is holistic and respectful of life. The goal of the Forum Series is to enable a collective strategy to address the existential health, biodiversity, and climate threats and chart a path for a livable and sustainable future. We come together to empower effective action. You are part of the solution! Look forward to our 2023 conference.

You can still attend the 3-part National Forum Series. Check out the 2022, and 2021 Forum sessions and listen to the amazing speakers.


Beyond Pesticides' website serves as a hub for a range of regulatory and policy advocacy, information services to people nationwide and around the globe, networking through coalition work and the convening of our National Forum, and on-site training on organic land management in communities that are collaborating with Beyond Pesticides on demonstration parks and playing fields.

Policy and Regulations

Regulatory Action and Comments

Beyond Pesticides' website serves as a hub for a range of regulatory and policy advocacy, information services to people nationwide and around the globe, networking through coalition work and the convening of our National Forum, and on-site training on organic land management in communities that are collaborating with Beyond Pesticides on demonstration parks and playing fields. We create a public record of scientific decisions that are being undermined by poor public policy that allows hazardous pesticide use, despite the availability of alternatives. While we submitted comments on regulatory issues related to highly toxic pesticides such as atrazine and inpyrfluxam. This is a transformative moment when we are working to shift society, starting with our communities and local decision-makers and individuals, to eliminate toxic fossil fuel-based pesticides and fertilizers.

Policy and Action

  • FIFRA Reform: Protect America's Children from Toxic Pesticides Act (PACTPA). Beyond Pesticides continues to engage with efforts to enact comprehensive FIFRA Reform. After the initial introduction of the Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act by retired U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and U.S. Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) has picked up the mantle, while Rep. Neguse has not yet reintroduced the bill. Beyond Pesticides signed on in support, but noted that the bill did not represent the sort of comprehensive, systemic reform that is necessary to truly impact the way pesticides are approved in the U.S. We continue to organize with grassroots advocates like Rich Andrews who take a more comprehensively approach that strikes at the ‘toxic core of FIFRA’ – namely the unreasonable adverse effects standard and lack of an alternatives assessment.

  • PACTPA Lobby Day. Beyond Pesticides participated in a Lobby Day focused on recruiting new PACTPA cosponsors. Beyond Pesticides met with the offices of Senators Hirono, Smith, Rosen, Sinema, and Kelly. Although we are not the strongest endorsers of PACTPA, it contains a key priority issue reversing state preemption at the federal level, which is likely to be an issue in the next Congress during farm bill discussions. Thus, we focused on the importance of affirming local rights. This was important; for example, Senator Sinema’s office made this topic their only point of questioning, based on their conversations with “mom and pop” pesticide companies in their area. For that Senator, we were able to dispel industry myths that had percolated through the staff and possibly shift the Senator’s position on the issue.

  • New Mexico Lobby Day. Beyond Pesticides received notice that a stalwart New Mexico advocate of Beyond Pesticides, Susan Selbin, was coming into DC and wanted to meet with her elected officials. Susan asked Beyond Pesticides staff members to attend to provide support—we saw this as an excellent opportunity to work on our priority issues—SAPA, preemption, and PACTPA. As part of our day-long meetings, we met with both NM Senator’s offices and Rep Stansbury. Our discussion with Rep. Stansbury’s staff resulted in her signing on to Save America’s Pollinators Act as the 76th cosponsor to date.

  • Vermont Pesticide Rules. Mason Overstreet of Conservation Law Foundation contacted Beyond Pesticides regarding an opportunity to join coalition comments by a group of state and regional organizations providing input on the state’s plan to revise its 30+ year-old pesticide regulations. We focused on pollinator protections, establishing a definition of IPM, a state public lands hazard standard, and affirming local rights around pesticide use. We received a response in late October that, while accepting a definition of IPM and hazard, did not adequately address pollinator protection or local rights. We are working to craft a response and provide substantive comments to the legislative committee that oversees agency rule creation in the state. 

  • Letter to NYC Health Commissioner. Beyond Pesticides went into action at the behest of NYC groups in order to push back against an active mosquito spray season by the NYC Health Department. We submitted a letter to NYC Health Commissioner Vasan urging the city to avoid adulticiding, focus on preventing breeding sites, and larviciding (if necessary) with less toxic products, better convey the health impacts of the pesticides being sprayed, and address the issue of PFAS in the pesticides being used. The NYC 20 NoSpray coalition posted our letter to their website. We did receive a response from the Commissioner, who downplayed all our concerns, but did raise the issue of PFAS. The Commissioner indicated that the adulticide used was tested for PFAS, however, did not provide evidence of this test. Beyond Pesticides is likely to FOIL (freedom of information) NYC Health for these data. We will continue to work with local advocates to hold city staff accountable for public health.

  • EPA Mosquito Meeting with Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE). Beyond Pesticides community resource and policy director was invited to attend an EPA meeting by Brian Moench, of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment. We were joined by UPHE’s board members, the Chair of the Salt Lake City Council, and Kyla Bennet of PEER. The meeting focused on several questions UPHE posed to EPA, including questions around the health review the group conducted, adulticide efficacy, disease trends, PFAS, air quality, and weighing the risks v benefits of mosquito pesticides. Beyond Pesticides was provided an opportunity to ask a question and we focused on the issue of risk communication – the fact that while EPA makes big hay about the dangers of mosquito disease merely indicates that the pesticides are fine if used as directed. We explained that the agency’s downplaying of the chemical effects leads to rampant pesticide use at the local level. Citing EPA as the explanation as to why individuals should not be worried misrepresents the reality of inadequate regulation, we noted. EPA countered that they tell people to cover up and close windows when the spray is occurring, but we replied that neither EPA labels nor EPA’s website explain the dangers in specific detail to the pesticide being used (the health effects of specific chemicals were discussed at length earlier in the conversation). EPA admitted that they were not adequately conveying this risk and expressed frustration about a way to do it “equitably,” which was not explained further. We will continue to work with UPHE to pressure regulators at every level and consider ways to leverage EPA’s admission of the weakness of their pesticide risk communication. 

  • Synthetic Pyrethroid Fact Sheet. We identified the need to update our very outdated synthetic pyrethroid fact sheet. Beyond Pesticides’ science and the regulatory manager took the lead in reviewing the previous document and presenting initial edits and revisions. The organization’s community resource and policy director further edited and provided comments on the revision. The new document includes information on different pyrethroid ‘types,’ co-formulants, and updated health and environmental safety information. We hope it will be a helpful tool for those encountering pyrethroid products through a pest control operator, landscaper, or as part of mosquito abatement.

  • Massachusetts Mosquito Legislation and Coalition. Beyond Pesticides continues to meet and engage with the Massachusetts’ ‘Massquito” Coalition, to discuss the latest with mosquito control in the state. The coalition discusses all issues related to pesticides, however, the focus is mosquito management policy reform. After two years, the mosquito task force was established by the legislature after our pushback on a bill that would have allowed broadscale aerial spraying completed its work. We wrote coalition feedback to the committee’s draft recommendations and provided public testimony through Zoom. Ultimately, the task force voted down many of the key components for which we advocated. 21 However, working with state legislative champions, we introduced a bill that provides a model to compare any future legislative action against, includes our priorities for change, and helps contextualize the work the task force was doing. Although that bill was not moved forward the last session, recent meetings indicate that the Senate Chair of the Environment Committee in the state is willing to champion the bill this year. This is a major development and led to the group making final edits to the previous version. We are in for a big fight during the next sessions, but ultimately we believe that this broad coalition of roughly a dozen groups can be a force for systemic change in the state, as we advocate for stronger pesticide reform laws in the MA legislature.

  • Federal Preemption Bill (Rodney Davis). This spring, Rep. Rodney Davis continued to do the bidding of the pesticide industry. Although not unexpected, it is frustrating to see the industry again try to engage in a fight over local authority to restrict pesticide use. Rep. Davis, who was not reelected to his seat in Congress, is the Congressmember who introduced the 2018 Farm Bill amendment that would limit the rights of local jurisdictions to regulate pesticides, which we successfully thwarted. His latest legislation represents an even more restrictive approach to preempting local authority, as it would roll back reforms in any communities that have already passed a local pesticide policy. This time, Rep. Davis is taking a decidedly partisan tack to this work, titling his press release for the legislation, “Davis Introduces Legislation to Prevent Liberal Local Governments from Banning or Restricting Pesticide Use.” Without hearings or a legislative record, we cannot determine whether or not this language would apply to policies addressing public property. As a result, we are operating under a worst-case interpretation of the legislative language. It certainly would eliminate private property bans. Although there likely is not enough interest in a stand-alone piece of legislation like this bill, we suspect they will again try to attach this to the Farm Bill or another omnibus package. In 2018, we were able to shine a light on this controversial provision and we will need to do that again. However, with the U.S. House of Representatives flipping Republican, we will have to be vigilant in ensuring that our advocates in the Senate strongly defend the local authority and stop this or a similar provision from moving forward. If all goes wrong, the Farm Bill could be delayed for years (it has happened before) and eventually passed by a conservative House/Senate/President. We are tracking this issue and beginning to organize with others to stop it. We have already written a Daily News story about the bill and have been sharing it widely. We have begun meetings with a budding coalition of national organizations alongside Friends of the Earth and are gearing up for sign-on letters and other advocacy. Luckily, we have ready-made champions in the Senate (and House) that have thrown their support behind PACTPA, which has a provision that affirms the rights of local communities to enact pesticide restrictions tougher than their state’s.

Regulatory Comments and Oversight

  • Proposed Interim Decision for Atrazine [EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0266-1274] – October 5, 2022

    Beyond Pesticides provided comments on the herbicide atrazine highlighting how EPA’s interim decision (ID) should invoke changes to atrazine registration. The ID finds high-risk to health and the environments from use. However, despite EPA’s assessments, atrazine registration remains, posing unreasonable adverse effects on humans, animals, and the environment. The comments summarize, “In our comments on the Proposed Interim Decision for Atrazine (EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0266-1274), we urged the agency to revoke the registration of this herbicide due to the high-risk findings and demonstrated adverse impacts as identified in the agency’s health and ecological assessments. Although the agency is not now soliciting comment on any other aspects of the atrazine Interim Decision (ID) other than those specifically identified in the proposed revisions to the atrazine ID memorandum (EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-266-1625), we nonetheless reiterate our appeal for the agency to adhere to FIFRA’s statutory mandate and suspend the registration of atrazine which poses unreasonable adverse health and environmental effects. Atrazine is highly mobile and persistent in the environment and has been linked to numerous adverse health and environmental effects which have motivated numerous public interest campaigns to ban its use in the U.S., as it has been in Europe.”

  • Draft Assessment of Effects of Inpyrfluxam on Endangered Species – November 08, 2022

    Beyond provided comments on the chemical inpyrfluxam highlighting how the results of EPA’s assessment of the chemical on endangered species demonstrates likely damage to species and habitats. The comment summarizes, “The lack of appropriate chronic toxicity and endocrine disruption data is especially worrisome given the recognized environmental persistence of inpyrfluxam. Further, the registration of inpyrfluxam should not have been approved in the first place with such important data missing from the ecological risk assessment. Since without these data and with the somewhat marginal benefits of inpyrfluxam use, the agency cannot honestly conclude as statutorily required that the use of this fungicide does not pose an unreasonable risk. The agency should immediately suspend the uses of inpyrfluxam until data addressing the chronic reproductive toxicity in fish and birds are available and the Services are consulted on potential jeopardy to these taxa. The agency should be reminded that it should not make any registration decisions until a thorough ecological risk assessment has been completed and as mandated in the Endangered Species Act that the Services have been consulted for any may affect findings noted.”

Interviews and Collaborations 

Beyond Pesticides works with allies in protecting public health and the environment to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides. To advance our mission, we participate in a range of programs, radio shows, media interviews, and coalition events. Our goal is to frame the transition away from hazardous pesticides and fertilizers with a holistic strategy and advances the urgent transition to organic practices, which will eliminate the hazardous chemicals that are often the focus of campaigns. For example, with organic, we eliminate the herbicide glyphosate and the neonicotinoid insects, rather than pushing to eliminate each of the chemicals in separate campaigns.

Two collaborations include:

Don’t Cage Our Oceans: Fighting Fish Farming. Beyond Pesticides collaborated on an article with Don’t Cage Our Oceans (DCO2) on the negative impacts of fish farming on St. Patrick’s Day of 2022. The article incorporates information about the adverse effects of pesticide use on fish farms to prevent and kill fish lice. However, these chemicals do more harm than good, which DCO2 notes in the article.

Don’t Cage Our Oceans is a nonprofit coalition of organizations fighting for the health and safety of humans, animals, and the environment. The primary focus on fin-fishing and open ocean fishing centers on the amalgamated impacts, from increased diseases and pest presence within fish farms to unabated release of fish farm waste into the surrounding waters.

Our message aligns with theirs through the call for ending the use of toxic chemicals in open ocean farm fishing. Whether these chemicals are in food pellets or applied to fish externally, they pose a threat to all ecosystems, not just the open ocean.

Podcast on Environmental Justice. Beyond Pesticides spoke on a podcast, “You be the Judge,” on water contamination in Maryland and disproportionate risk. The session was recorded live and will be on YouTube.

New and Updated Webpages

Beyond Pesticides' website serves as a hub for a range of regulatory and policy advocacy, information services to people nationwide and around the globe, networking through coalition work and the convening of our National Forum, and on-site training on organic land management in communities that are collaborating with Beyond Pesticides on demonstration parks and playing fields.

New and Updated Webpages

The information we provide performs the unique function of providing hands-on information and strategy. We are working daily with grassroots people, volunteer and nonprofit organizations, and those in policy, decision-making, and land and facilities management positions to address issues on the hazards of pesticide use, safe and organic alternative strategies that eliminate toxic pesticides, and local and state policies that embrace the adoption of ecological approaches to land and building management.

Some of our new or updated (*) webpages include:

Resources Page. The resources page is a user-friendly information tool, displaying easy-to-read boxes highlighting the featured resources under our “Resources” tab, with descriptions. This page will allow users to navigate through the plethora of information on our website as the box description can direct users to what resources they might be looking for. The descriptions are especially helpful as users will now spend less time searching through our website to find the location of specific information. In addition, the resources page may also encourage users to explore the site further, sparking curiosity in the information we offer. New resources include easy access to the pesticide-free policies/communities across the U.S., as well as a link to the 40 most used lawn chemicals webpage.

Spring into Action.  The new Spring page is a user-friendly informational resource that highlights tips on how to grow your own organic garden for the spring. The webpage includes infographics that are easy to understand complied in one location, including the new Pet Poisoning infographic. In addition to individual suggestions on how to transform gardens and lawns into organic ones, there is also a section dedicated to the organic transformation of community spaces. We offer relevant resources, such as links to ManageSafe™, Non-Toxic Pest Management Services, OMRI/Organic Labeling Information, Organic Lawn and Landscape Management Products and Herbicides, all of which pertain to safer alternatives, services, and information

Art Submission and Sharing Page. The Art submission page serves as a portal for users to engage more with our website, including increasing Daily News and Pesticides and You readership. The Art Page displays all art submissions, from drawings and paintings to photographs, and writing for users to view. Additionally, we use incorporate the art submissions as a picture for the Daily News, feature pieces in the weekly news update, or share in Pesticides and You. Overall, the page currently includes 42 photos, two works of writing, and 13 paintings/drawings, for a total of 57 works of art.  

  [See more]

Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention. The featured resources on the homepage highlight six of the most useful webpages on the Beyond Pesticides website. The breast cancer page, created in October 2022, discusses breast cancer as one of the most common cancers of concern regarding hormone-mediated cancers. Common among women, these diseases can have implications for future generations. Although the etiology of breast cancer is vague, studies suggest most breast cancer incidences are from environmental sources, rather than genetics. However, these environmental sources can alter DNA profiles and hormone molecules, that can be passed from generation to generation (e.g., DDT and breast cancer). Most breast cancer campaigns focus on bringing awareness to the disease. However, Beyond Pesticides’ approach focuses more on prevention, such as limiting exposure to cancer-causing chemicals. Breast cancer has no age limit and can impact both sexes. Therefore, the breast cancer awareness and prevention page draw attention to possible disease causes from chemical exposure and ways to mitigate respective exposure.

Wildlife Page Update. The impacts of pesticides on wildlife are extensive and expose animals in urban, suburban, and rural areas to unnecessary risks. Beyond Pesticides defines "wildlife" as any organism that is not domesticated or used in a lab. This includes, but is not limited to, bees, birds, small mammals, fish, other aquatic organisms, and the biota within the soil. Wildlife can be impacted by pesticides through their direct or indirect application, such as pesticide drift, secondary poisoning, runoff into local water bodies, or groundwater contamination. It is possible that some animals could be sprayed directly; others consume plants or prey that have been exposed to pesticides. Therefore, Beyond Pesticides developed a webpage to highlight studies on wildlife programs page pertaining to chemical exposure and health effects. This is an ongoing process that we will continue to update with new scientific material. Each category (e.g., birds, aquatic organisms, soil biota, etc.) now contains a section on wildlife studies, similar to our Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database (PIDD) webpage. 

Daily News Blog. These information-rich articles are posted every business day on the Beyond Pesticides website. Between regular readers and traffic driven by google news results and social media, the blog has tremendous reach. In fact, thanks to YOU, the total number of reads this year surpassed 355,000, with an average of over 2,500 readers per blog post.

Top 5 Daily News of 2021

Top Daily News Per Month

ManageSafe. Our hands-on information through ManageSafe, our database of practical solutions to pest issues, is a central clearinghouse of information on eliminating hazardous pesticides in land and building management. Our neighbor-to-neighbor program distributed 400 Pesticide-Free Zone signs (ladybug, bee, and organic landscape) and in 33 states, the District of Columbia, and four Canadian provinces, 1500 doorknob hangers on safe lawns and mosquito management in 19 states, and the District of Columbia.

Map of U.S. Pesticide Reform Policies. Our Map of U.S. Pesticide Reform Policies now includes 18 pesticide-free park policies, 47 with restrictions that protect pollinators, 103 that apply to public spaces, and 27 that extend restrictions to private land, and has been viewed 74,100 times.

Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database (PIDD). There has been a lot of advancement in the scientific arena on studies that link organism resistance to pesticides and the resulting threat to human health. The latest studies involving pest resistance to insecticides documented in the Daily News include, “Conventional Apples Found to Be Coated in Fungicides and Drug-Resistant FungiOcean Health: First Reports of Salmon Lice Resistance in the Pacific Ocean Threatens Local EcosystemsMosquito Resistance to Pesticides Continues to Grow.” Additionally, we continue to update the PIDD, which includes 1,216 studies, up from 1,174, with pesticide exposure links to cancer, endocrine disruption, brain and nervous system disorders, and learning/developmental disorders logging the most entries.

Gateway on Pesticide Hazards and Safe Pest Management. The Gateway is an expanding database of nearly 400 pesticide folders containing information about specific pesticide environmental and health effects, regulatory action, and uses. The Gateway provides valuable information about pesticides that anyone can access and is intended to help inform local community discussion on the hazards of pesticides used, while communities can access our ManageSafe database on alternative practices and products compatible with organic standards. Additionally, we continue to update the section on how to find the active ingredients on the label. We occasionally receive information requests regarding specific pesticide products. However, with over 20,000 registered pesticides, it is nearly impossible to include all products. Thus, the section encourages users to identify the active ingredient in pesticide products. 

The Gateway provides valuable information about pesticides that anyone can access.

Lawsuits & Settlements 

Beyond Pesticides sues companies—with legal assistance from Richman Law and Policy—that mislead the public through their labeling and advertising. We have successfully sued, for example, TruGreen, Sargento, Exxon, and General Mills, for including false statements about safety or production practices. We explore opportunities for litigation to ensure that the public is not misled by false environmental or public health claims that slow marketplace movement to truly meaningful steps and green products.


The challenges ahead require that we redouble our efforts. Beyond Pesticides’ collaboration with people and communities in every state and around the world is providing the energy and enthusiasm to embrace the changes necessary to stop toxic pesticide use and embrace organic practices and policies. We know urgently needed change will happen if we join together to protect health and the environment with science, policy, and activism. The solutions are within our reach. We look forward to working with you—with the required sense of urgency—to ensure that change happens.

Best wishes for a healthy new year.

Do not forget to decorate your tree and home using eco-friendly materials and consider choosing organic/eco-friendly gifts for loved ones like gifts from Beyond Pesticides’ online shop.   

More organic trees, wreaths, and gift ideas

Resources for Organic Trees and Wreaths

  • Green Promise: 2016 list of organic Christmas tree farms around the country
  • Blog Post: Natural Baby Mama's 2017 list of organic Christmas tree farms by state
  • Local Harvest: Organic mail-order wreaths
  • Toxic Free NC: Organic trees and wreaths in North Carolina
  • Licking Creek Farm: Organic trees and wreaths in the Washington, DC-metro area
  • Feezers Farm: Organic trees in the Baltimore, MD region

Resources for Organic and Fair Trade Gifts