Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shocked the American public with its hasty approval of three highly controversial GE crops in a row (alfalfa, sugar beets and ethanol corn). In doing so, the agency effectively thumbed its nose at U.S. federal courts and spit in the face of consumers and farmers alike. Now, USDA has apparently decided that getting sued for ignoring U.S. environmental laws is getting to be too much of a hassle. So they've come up with a new plan: why not let Monsanto evaluate the potential harms of its new transgenic products? It’ll be so much quicker this way. And save USDA a lot of money.
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.
Earlier this month in Rome, the deadly pesticide paraquat moved a step closer to global phaseout. Paraquat is widely known in the developing world as the poison of choice for farmer suicides, and was notorious in the 1970s as the herbicide sprayed by the U.S. government to try to eradicate marijuana plots in Mexico.
Strawberries make me happy. They are tasty, bite sized and cute. They fight cancer, give you a boost of Vitamin C, and even improve brain function. And last Sunday, they arrived en masse to the farmers market in my very own Oakland, California neighborhood. A sweet, true sign of spring. I wandered by several farmstands, tasting samples of Albion, Seascape and Chandler, finally settling on several organic pints from Tomatero Farm.
Next Monday is World Malaria Day, and DDT will surely be in the news. The usual parade of opinion pieces calling for a revival of DDT spraying to control malaria (as though it ever stopped) will be on display.
You'll likely also read that the World Health Organization (WHO) has raised fresh concerns about its safety, and you may even hear that the Stockholm Convention has endorsed its continued use. Let me try to explain what's going on.
Today we are one step closer to protecting kids in this country — and around the globe — from persistent chemicals.
A group of senators proposed a new law this week to revamp our 35-year-old system of managing toxic chemicals. Our friends in Washington tell us this version of the bill is stronger than the attempt that stalled in Congress last year. How very refreshing to have good news coming out of DC!
Tomorrow morning, as you pour milk into your kids’ cereal bowls or buy a latte to get you going, take a moment to think about the dairy and other family farmers who will be braving gusty winds off Lake Michigan to converge on the steps of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. These farmers are demanding an end to the price fixing and speculation by traders that has bankrupted thousands of family farmers across the U.S., while spurring food crises worldwide.
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.