Since 2008, Brazil has held the dubious distinction of spending more on pesticides than anyplace else on earth. But what has the country's farmers, public health professionals and environmental advocates even more worried is Brazil's corresponding rise in planting of genetically engineered (GE) crops, engineered to tolerate mega-doses of herbicides like glyphosate (Roundup). And these crops are driving emergence of herbicide-tolerant "superweeds".
Editor's note: This week, Environmental Health Perspectives selected this trio of studies for its 2012 "Paper of the year" award. EHP notes that the importance of the research to understanding the "alterations of cognitive function following developmental exposure to environmental chemicals." Congratulations to the study authors from all of us at PAN. We are reposting our original coverage of these studies below.
School-age children have lower IQs when their mother's are exposed to pesticides during pregnancy. This is the conclusion of 3 independent studies released today in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
In an apparent, and failed, attempt at self-defense, honey bees are sealing off pesticide-laced pollen.
U.S. entomologists published a study two years ago that described a newly observed phenomenon in honey bees, now known as entombed pollen: food stores sealed off by bees after being deposited in the hive. That pollen was much higher in pesticide residues than any other pollen stored in the hive, and correspondingly had no detectable bacteria or fungi. Hives with entombed pollen were more than twice as likely to collapse later in the season than hives without it.
Ready to geek out? We’ve updated our pesticide residue database, What’s On My Food?, with the latest chemical and toxicology data – including a new dimension that tracks bee-toxic pesticides. And we made a widget!
What's a widget? Fair question. It’s a snippet of computer code that allows you (or your favorite blogger) to host the What’s On My Food? search function on your website or blog. You can download it here.
For the past 3 months, communities across Asia have been campaigning for Safe Rice for Life and Livelihood! — the rallying cry of this year's Collective Rice Action, organized by PAN Asia-Pacific's ongoing Save Our Rice Campaign.
This year's grassroots effort focused on raising awareness about the costs of chemically intensive rice farming across the region. Thousands of people concerned about protecting the health of farmers and their land flocked to a range of campaign events in 15 countries.
Back in January, we let you know about an opportunity to add your voice to the growing public and scientific momentum to ban triclosan – a toxic, persistent chemical found in 75% of Americans – from everyday products. The EPA has extended the deadline to receive public comment on its upcoming decision until April 8.
Today, March 30, in Baltimore, and continuing through April 7 to Berkeley, the documentary Bhopali is touring to raise awareness and support. Max Carlson's award-winning film explores the ongoing legacy of the Bhopal disaster and features Indian and international activists, including Noam Chomsky. You may view the dramatic trailer and get tour details from Students for Bhopal.
Scientists have found that hot molasses could be key to controlling soil pests, allowing farmers to grow peppers and tomatoes in Florida without using the dangerous fumigant pesticide, methyl bromide. Ending reliance on methyl bromide has been particularly tricky in the sunshine state, where mild winters offer safe harbor for pests and sandy soils can make organic options a challenge. Nonetheless, innovative scientists and farmers are creating ways to grow food without pesticides. The March 2011 edition of Agricultural Research, published by USDA, has the story.
Institute, WV - This morning, March 18, in a “hastily called” court hearing, “Bayer CropScience lawyer Al Emch informed Chief U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin that the company has decided not to resume production of the deadly chemical methyl isocyanate [MIC] at its Institute plant,” reports the Charleston Gazette. It was an MIC explosion that caused the 1984 Bhopal pesticide plant disaster.