A Weekly News Update on Pesticides, Health and Alternatives
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Members of Congress oppose human testing, Report exposes Syngenta’s false claims for paraquat, Zambia turns organic to fight poverty and more
October 20, 2006
Three Congress members take stand on human testing: Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and representative Hilda Solis (D-CA) signed a petition to oppose the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) human testing rule. PANNA along with the Natural Resource Defense Council and EarthJustice have filed suit against the EPA’s rule to allow intentional dosing of pesticides on human beings. “Pregnant women, infants and children have been and likely still will be used as human guinea pigs in pesticide testing, Senator Nelson told Associated Press. “It must be stopped.” Read the full story. For more about why PANNA is challenging the human testing rule, click here.
New report challenges Syngenta’s claims for paraquat: “Is Paraquat Useful for the Environment?” asks a new report from the Berne Declaration (Switzerland) on the Syngenta-made herbicide. The study by Lars Neumeister, a former intern at PAN North America and PAN Germany, examines claims made by chemical corporation Syngenta, the worlds largest pesticide producer, that paraquat is actually beneficial to our environment. The author contends that neither Syngenta’s in-house research nor current agricultural practices substantiate Syngenta’s claims that paraquat is good for the environment. “The fact is,” Neumeister concludes, “paraquat no longer has any economic importance in the agriculture of the USA and Europe. It has been squeezed out of the market almost completely by competing brands, in particular by herbicides containing glyphosate.” Paraquat is the target of an international elimination campaign, including work by the Berne Declaration, PAN partners in many countries, and others.
Illegal pesticides sale halted in Seattle: “Miraculous Insecticide Chalk” and “Talent naphtalene Ball” were two illegal pesticides being imported from China and Taiwan and sold in the International District of Seattle and elsewhere in the U.S. EPA ordered a halt to the sales in Seattle, concerned that the poisonous chalk could easily be mistaken by children as blackboard chalk. The ball was marketed for use in controlling moths. Read more.
Grower fined for fumigant drift poisoning incident. In October of 2005, over three hundred and thirty people in a Salinas, California neighborhood became ill when chloropicrin, a fumigant pesticide on PAN’s Bad Actor list, drifted from a strawberry field over one quarter of a mile away. Darrensberries LLC must pay $180,000 in a settlement with the Monterey County District Attorney’s office. None of that fine will go to the people who became ill. The Monterey County Herald reports.
Dangerous pesticide residues in day care centers. A recent study conducted by a consortium of scientists from the U.S. National Research Laboratory, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development and others reveals residues of dangerous organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides on the floors, tabletops, and desks of 168 day care centers across the nation. 67% of the centers tested positive for two PAN Bad Actor chemicals, chlorpyrifos and diazinon, both extremely harmful to children. Read the abstract.
Zambia hopes to reduce poverty by going organic: “The growing demand for organic products on both the local and export markets will significantly contribute to growth and poverty reduction,” a senior Zambian agricultural official told the Chinese news service, Xinhua. Addressing a workshop for organic growers in Zambia, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Richard Chizyuka says the 20% rate of growth for organic produce on a global level has spurred his decision to support his nation’s farmers to grow food without chemicals, which includes a firm decision not to accept products containing genetically modified organisms, or GMO’s.
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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