It’s summer and time to take in the sunshine. But beware: because of climate change, the planet is rapidly warming. Outdoor temperatures are climbing above 100oF. Raging heat waves are causing debilitating illness and death. In some places, floods sweep through the streets. In others, precipitation is declining and water sources are evaporating. The Union of Concerned Scientists has dubbed this time of year, from May to October, the “danger season.” Humans have not evolved to withstand such levels of heat stress. Still, over 2 million farm workers find themselves out in the fields. Some are suited up in heavy layers of clothing, including flannel shirts, pants, boots, gloves and coveralls.
The BBC has been accused of “selling the public’s trust” by producing “totally biased” documentaries on the future of sustainable food sponsored by Corteva, one of the world’s largest pesticide firms, potentially in breach of the broadcaster’s editorial guidelines. The “Follow the Food” documentaries, which featured a total of 28 episodes over three series, showcase “solutions” to climate breakdown, biodiversity loss, and food security in the farming sector. Sustainable farming advocates have criticised the content for favouring industrial agriculture, which is heavily dependent on chemical pesticides and fertilisers.
Bayer, the world’s second largest crop chemicals company, sponsored a French influencer to create and share pro-pesticides content with over 300,000 followers on her Instagram account, an investigation has revealed. Jenny Letellier – one of France’s biggest YouTubers with nearly 4 million subscribers – has come under fire for the sponsored content, which was broadcasted via a series of videos from France’s leading agriculture fair last month. This content was produced in conjunction with Morgan Niquet, a YouTuber with 1.3 million subscribers. French media outlet Vakita, which broke the story, obtained a copy of the contract between the German multinational and Letellier that specified how the social media campaign was tailored to meet clear PR objectives for the company.
As chemicals designed to kill insects and weeds, fungi and rodents, pesticides are among the most toxic and damaging substances on the planet. Their harmful impacts on human and ecosystem health are generally well understood. What receives far less attention, however, is the climate impact of these agrochemicals. Not only do pesticides directly contribute to the climate crisis, but a changing climate is likely to intensify pressure from agricultural pests and decrease plant resiliency, resulting in greater pesticide usage and therefore further greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report. This “vicious cycle” of pesticide use fueling climate change, and vice versa, is examined in a report published Tuesday by the advocacy group Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA). According to PANNA, the assessment is the first in-depth scientific review of the relationship between pesticides and climate change.
In court documents filed on 9 December in Hawaii, Monsanto agreed to plead guilty to 30 environmental crimes related to the use of a pesticide on corn fields in Hawaii, and the company further agreed to plead guilty to two other charges related to the storage of a banned pesticide that were the subject of a 2019 Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA). Monsanto admitted in a plea agreement that it committed 30 misdemeanor crimes related to the use of a glufosinate ammonium-based herbicide product sold under the brand name Forfeit 280. After using the product in 2020 on corn fields in Oahu, Hawaii, Monsanto allowed workers to enter the fields during a six-day “restricted-entry interval” (REI) after the product was applied.
“I have been coughing since 2018. It does not go away,” says Jody Weible over the phone from her home in Mead, Nebraska. “It’s like a never-ending sinus infection. I’ve been to a specialist . . . and he definitely thinks it’s environmental.” Weible believes her health issues—and those of many others nearby—are linked to an ethanol plant that is less than a mile from her home. The plant, owned by AltEn, is currently the site of an evolving environmental disaster. While most ethanol is produced using corn, AltEn has been using corn seed that is coated in systemic pesticides since at least 2018. The fermentation and distillation process used to make ethanol has concentrated those chemicals so that the liquid and solid byproducts contain those pesticides at levels that, according to testing done by state agencies, far exceeded what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers safe.
The move is an important recognition by the nation’s fourth most populous state that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not adequately protecting people and the environment from hazardous pesticides (pesticide is an umbrella term that includes insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc). However, the law’s ability to improve these protections will depend significantly upon the management approach that replaces glyphosate use. “A transition away from Roundup and other glyphosate-based pesticides must reject the use of regrettable substitutes, and embrace sound organic principles and practices,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides.
A new study concluded that high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances compounds used in pesticides aerially sprayed on millions of acres of land across the United States have contaminated the water of thousands of communities. The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility recently released the results of these “forever chemicals,” which don’t break down in the environment and build up in the human body. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are “a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals,” which are “very persistent in...
The herbicide atrazine is likely to adversely affect over half of endangered species listed in the United States, according to a report released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of a legal agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). Based on both adverse human health and environmental threats, Beyond Pesticides joined with Center for Food Safety, CBD, and other public-interest groups in October to sue EPA over its decision to reapprove atrazine, an endocrine-disrupting herbicide banned across much of the world.
The Trump EPA wants to reapprove use of a dangerous herbicide. Trump appointees are hiding behind the COVID-19 pandemic to excuse a herbicide manufacturer from monitoring levels of the poison in Midwest lakes and streams. The EPA plans to raise the concentration of atrazine allowed in streams and lakes to 15 parts per billion. That is more than four times higher than what the EPA had recommended under the Obama administration. In April, Elissa Reaves, acting director of the herbicide re-evaluation division, suspended monitoring for the rest of the year. “The public will now have no idea whether dangerous levels of atrazine are reaching rivers and streams throughout the Midwest,” said Nathan Donley, a senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “That’s absurd and reckless.”
Bees pollinate a third of our food supply and over 90% of all wild plants, so they are critical for global food production. This means that every third spoonful of food in the world depends on them. They are also known for producing high-quality food and products that are commonly used in healthcare and other sectors. Therefore, the decline in the population of these hard-working insects is an alarming concern. In 2018, France decided to place a strict ban on all neonicotinoid insecticides used on farms to repel bugs, due to the dramatic decline in bee populations.
As reported by U.S. Right to Know last May, court documents showed that a domestic policy advisor at the White House said, ‘We have Monsanto’s back on pesticides regulation.’ In a new and unsettling report from the Center for Biological Diversity, we now have confirmation that this promise is being kept. The study, called Toxic Hangover: How the EPA Is Approving New Products With Dangerous Pesticides It Committed to Phasing Out, found that the EPA approved 1,190 pesticide products and denied only 71 in the 2017-2018 time period, giving it a 94% approval percentage.
How is it that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide is still on North American shelves being sold in a number of places? The answer is simple, I believe it’s deceit and corruption. Corporations like Monsanto (Bayer), have completely undermined our federal health regulatory agencies, making them nothing short of a cesspool of corruption. The pharmaceutical companies have been able to purchase congress. They’re the largest lobbying entity in Washington D.C..
(TMU) — Agrochemical giant Monsanto has pleaded guilty to spraying banned pesticides on research crops on the Hawaiian island of Maui in 2014, and will have to pay $10.2 million in criminal fines for spraying and illegally storing the pesticide which has been classified as an “acute hazardous waste.” On Thursday, the Department of Justice said that Monsanto had sprayed Penncap-M, which contains the banned insecticide methyl parathion, on research crops in full knowledge that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had prohibited its use after 2013, reports Reuters.
Under Thailand’s new government, efforts to ban toxic pesticides and herbicides including those made by US agricultural giant Monsanto were first accelerated, and have now finally succeeded. Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul bluntly stated that “the US was worried only about trade. The Thai government was concerned about the health of Thai consumers,” in response to complaints from the US embassy over the ban, Bangkok Post would report in its article, “Govt rejects US opposition to farm chemicals ban.”