GroundTruth Blog

Karl Tupper's blog

Karl Tupper's blog
By Karl Tupper,

Next week the Stockholm Convention's Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee is convening again, an event insiders refer to as POPRC 6 (pronounced "pop rock"). Today's post will serve as the "pre-game show" for the meeting, highlighting what's a stake. On October 8 I fly to Geneva to attend the weeklong meeting, and with any luck I'll manage to update GroundTruth with a few dispatches from the meeting and then a "post-game" debrief afterward.

Karl Tupper's blog
By Karl Tupper,

Once there was a village along a river.
The people who lived here were very kind.
These residents, according to parable, began noticing increasing numbers of drowning people caught in the river's swift current.
And so they went to work, devising ever more elaborate technologies to resuscitate them.
So preoccupied were these heroic villagers with rescue and treatment, that they never thought to look upstream to see who was pushing the victims in.
This is a walk up that river.

So begins Living Downstream, a new film based on book of the same name by ecologist, poet, and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber. In the tradition of Silent Spring, the film examines the connections between human health and the health of the environment, and questions whether polluted ecosystems can sustain healthy communities. The film highlights atrazine and other chemicals linked to cancer that contaminate our bodies and our environments.

Karl Tupper's blog
By Karl Tupper,

Back in March, we reported in PANUPS on the New Hampshire state legislature's plan to “study the effects of a moratorium on the use of…pesticides and herbicides…in residential neighborhoods, school properties, playgrounds, and other places children congregate.” The plan was inspired by bans on cosmetic pesticide use that have been enacted in cities and provences across Canada over the last few years.

Karl Tupper's blog
By Karl Tupper,

Most people immediately think of mosquitoes when they hear the word "malaria." They transmit the parasite, so keeping them at bay—with window screens and bednets, by denying them places to breed, or by killing them outright—is a critical element in preventing the disease. Another crucial front in the struggle is pharmaceutical: prompt, effective treatment of malaria infections means fewer human reservoirs of the parasite, which in turn means fewer opportunities for mosquitoes to pick up the disease and pass it on. 

But just as insecticide resistance has hamstrung vector control in many parts of the world, malaria parasites have evolved resistance to the various drugs we've deployed over the years.

Karl Tupper's blog
By Karl Tupper,

As EPA’s scientific advisory panel continues its investigation of atrazine this week, supporters of the pesticide have mounted a coordinated media blitz. It’s made for some fascinating reading.

Some background:  EPA is holding a series of meetings this year to reexamine Syngenta’s controversial herbicide atrazine — the one that contaminates 93.9% of drinking water samples tested by the USDA, turns male frogs into females, and was banned across Europe back in 2004.