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Birth Defects, Lawsuits, DDT and more...
North Carolina: The Palm Beach Post reports that "Carlitos Candelario, the baby born without arms and legs to a poor fieldworker couple from Mexico, is at the center of a critical report by North Carolina health officials who say the child's mother appears to have been exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals while working for a Florida-based tomato grower." Full story at Palm Beach Post. Two PAN North America allies, the Farmworker Association of Florida and the Agricultural Resources Center and Pesticide Education Project (North Carolina) have covered the Ag-Mart issue extensively and are taking action. PAN North America will release its analysis of a previous report completed by the Collier County (Florida) Health Department soon.
India: Sunita Narain shares her experience with "SLAPP" lawsuits in India intended by large multinational corporations and their advocacy groups to intimidate activists working for environmental protections. She cites PepsiCo and the Pesticide Association of India as being among those who use this tactic to intimidate people who speak out. One physician was threatened with legal action when he identified endosulfan contamination as a link to health problems in his community. Read Sunita's editorial, "Want to Be Fried?" in the Down To Earth Science and Environment Journal in India.
Kenya: Kenya has no plans to reintroduce the banned pesticide DDT to control mosquitoes that cause malaria. The country will continue using alternatives to DDT, banned in the country since 1988, because of its adverse effects on the environment and animal health, according to the head of international health at the Ministry of Health. Dr. Ahmed Ogwel said "The Ministry of Health position is that the substance remains banned until we get further advice from our researchers." Kenya's Daily Nation reports.
Canada: "The Canadian Cancer Society is very concerned about the use of potentially carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances for the purposes of enhancing the appearance of…private gardens and lawns as well as parks, recreational facilities and golf courses." Their concerns are based on the a report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that some substances used in pesticides are classified as known, probable or possible carcinogens. The Canadian Cancer Society has posted their position on their website, along with helpful tips to create a beautiful lawn without the use of toxic chemicals for lawn care.
Washington: A coalition of environmental and advocacy groups tested ten Washington residents from around the state and found each of them had dozens of potentially harmful chemicals in their bodies, ranging from pesticides to flame retardants. The Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition collected hair, urine and blood samples last fall from the participants, who were specifically chosen for the tests. Read more in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Alaska: Anchorage is trying a pesticide-free approach to controlling moths that damage ornamental trees in the city. To capture larvae on their trees downtown in a critical stage of their life cycle, pest traps are made with tape and tree resins. The approach is part of several alternatives used by the city and the U.S. Forest Service in some Anchorage parks. The Anchorage Daily News has the story.
PANUPS is a weekly email news service providing resource guides and reporting on pesticide issues that don't always get coverage by the mainstream media. It's produced by Pesticide Action Network North America, a non-profit and non-governmental organization working to advance sustainable alternatives to pesticides worldwide.