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EPA approves harmful organophosphates, Sodas in India contaminated, Tell FDA NO to lindane, PAN’s new summer magazine, and more
U.S. EPA bans carbofuran, approves 32 organophosphates: Last week, EPA banned carbofuran after 21 years of review, citing risks to birds and pesticide applicators. But in a controversial ruling, the Agency also approved the use of over thirty organophosphate pesticides over the objections of EPA staff scientists and many other public health advocates. PANNA senior scientist Margaret Reeves says, “This decision represents an egregious abandonment of EPA’s mission to protect the health and wellbeing of children, farmworkers and rural residents — those most likely to suffer the short and long term health consequences of the continued use of these hazardous neurotoxins.” The Los Angeles Times has the story.
Pesticides still contaminate soft drinks in India: Three years after the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) revealed that soft drinks made by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo contained pesticides, new studies in twelve Indian states found that every sample tested still contained a mixture of pesticides averaging 24 times the level considered safe by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The levels in some samples — for instance, Coca-Cola bought in Kolkata — exceeded the BIS standards by 140 times for the deadly pesticide lindane. Similarly, a Coca-Cola sample manufactured in Thane contained the neurotoxin chlorpyrifos [at] 200 times the standard. ‘This is clearly unacceptable,’ declared CSE Director Sunita Narain. The study looked for 15 organochlorines and 13 organophosphate pesticides. According to Anandiben Patel, Education Minister of the state of Gunjarat, “We have decided to stop sale of Coke, Pepsi and other aerated soft drinks in all 400 government-run colleges.” Kerala has implemented a band, and other states are considering bans. CSE asserts that the beverage companies have blocked adoption BIS standards in the Indian Parliament.
Tell the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “no” to lindane: Although PAN and our allies celebrated a major victory when EPA announced lindane was being withdrawn for agricultural use last week, this neurotoxic organochlorine pesticide that is linked to brain tumors and other serious health effects is still on the market for treatment of lice and scabies on children. Take action: join the Ban Lindane NOW! campaign and other public health advocates in demanding that FDA immediately halt this remaining use of lindane, the pesticide that EPA calls “one of the most toxic, persistent, bioaccumulative pesticides ever registered.” Lindane has been banned in over fifty countries worldwide, while EPA took 29 years to review it.
Pesticide pollution in the Midwest: The Great Lakes Radio Consortium devoted the July 21 program in their series about pollution in farm regions to pesticide contamination in urban water supplies. The radio show investigates the price cities pay for cleaning up pesticide pollution, and finds a correlation to the rising costs of water bills. Listen to “Pollution in the Heartland.”
PAN North America summer magazine issue is here: Check out the new issue of PAN North America. PAN staff reports the latest on EPA scientists rebelling against pesticide industry pressure to undermine the U.S. Food Quality Protection Act with keep dangerous organophosphates on the market. See who’s pushing DDT for a comeback; learn about the Yaqui work to reduce pesticide exposure; hear from Washington state activists on their body burden discoveries and more. You’ll also meet the wonderful Martinez family and hear how they rejected fumigants and have built a healthy organic farming business that specializes in beautiful organic strawberries.
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.
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