Previous Pesticides & Chemicals News

U.S. Air Force Is Spraying 6 Million Acres With Chemicals in Response to Harvey 9-12-17

Amid statewide efforts to clean up the aftermath left by the historic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, the Pentagon announced last week that it had dispatched C-130H Sprayers from the Air Force Reserve’s 910th Airlift Wing in order to “assist with recovery efforts in eastern Texas.” Read more at EcoWatch

Queen bees less likely to lay eggs, start colony after insecticide exposure 08-14-17

If queens don’t produce eggs or start new colonies, it is possible that bumblebees could die out.

Some queen bumblebees exposed to a common insecticide may never lay eggs or start colonies, which would lead to their extinction, researchers say. Read more at CBC News

The Poison Papers: Secret Concerns of Industry and Regulators on the Hazards of Pesticides and Other Chemicals 07-27-17

The Bioscience Resource Project and the Center for Media and Democracy released a trove of rediscovered and newly digitized chemical industry and regulatory agency documents Wednesday stretching back to the 1920s. The documents are available here. Read more at EcoWatch

What Happens When Organic Farms are Forced to Spray Conventional Pesticides? 06-21-17

One Oregon farm’s viral plea shines a national spotlight on what is usually a local debate about mandatory pesticide applications.

The plea for help from Azure Standard, a large organic farm in Central Oregon, was bound to go viral. or the government may do it for them, using the legal authority granted by local pest and weed control ordinances. Read more at Civil Eats

Will Trump’s EPA Greenlight a Pesticide Known to Damage Kids’ Brains? 03-27-17

By Friday, President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency will have to make a momentous decision: whether to protect kids from a widely used pesticide that’s known to harm their brains—or protect the interests of the chemical’s maker, Dow AgroSciences. Read more at Mother Jones

Debunking ‘Alternative Facts’ About Pesticides and Organic Farming 03-01-17

With the growing demand for organic foods in the U.S., there has been a backlash from agribusiness groups, companies and individuals who see organic as a threat to their interests. These critics accuse the organic industry of using deceptive marketing practices to get consumers to pay more money for organic food. Read more at EcoWatch

Target’s new chemicals policy hits a bullseye 02-10-17

Starting in 2017, Target’s new chemicals strategy promises to cleanse its shelves, and the brands along its value chain, of toxic chemicals. If enacted properly, the fallout of the policy and its implementation can have lasting, positive repercussions. Read more on Green Biz

Researchers find pesticide spills, accidents may alter farmworkers’ DNA 02-16-17

Study of Iowa, North Carolina farmworkers finds high doses of pesticides can potentially impact DNA, triggering cancers later in life. Read more on Environmental Health News

E.P.A. Chief, Rejecting Agency’s Science, Chooses Not to Ban Insecticide 03-29-17

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, moved late on Wednesday to reject the scientific conclusion of the agency’s own chemical safety experts. Read more at The New York Times

‘It’s Outrageous’: EPA Acknowledges Proven Dangers of Bee-Killing Pesticides But Refuses to Restrict Them 01-13-17

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledged for the first time on Thursday that three of the nation’s most-used neonicotinoid pesticides pose significant risks to commercial honey bees. Read more on EcoWatch

Texas winegrowers fear new herbicides will wipe out industry 01-02-17

Competing against millions of acres of cotton, winegrowers fear federal approval of new herbicides to be used on genetically modified cotton seeds will wipe out the wine industry in the Texas High Plains. Read more on The Texas Tribune

Shocking Number of Top Retailers Sell Food Produced With Pesticides Toxic to Bees 10-25-16

Four of the top food retailers—Albertsons, Costco, Target and Whole Foods—have adopted a publicly available company commitment to increase offerings of certified organic food or to disclose data on the current percentage of organic offerings or organic sales. Read more on EcoWatch

FDA Finds Glyphosate in Honey 9-15-15

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found residues of the weed killer glyphosate in samples of U.S. honey, according to documents obtained by the consumer advocacy group U.S. Right to Know through a Freedom of Information Act request. Some samples showed residue levels double the legally allowed limit in the European Union. Read more on EcoWatch

‘Like it’s been nuked’: Millions of bees dead after South Carolina sprays for Zika mosquitoes 9-1-16

On Sunday morning, the South Carolina honey bees began to die in massive numbers.

Death came suddenly to Dorchester County, S.C. Stressed insects tried to flee their nests, only to surrender in little clumps at hive entrances. The dead worker bees littering the farms suggested that colony collapse disorder was not the culprit — in that odd phenomenon, workers vanish as though raptured, leaving a living queen and young bees behind. Read more on The Washington Post

Bee-harming pesticides are declining at plant nurseries, report shows 8-17-16

Retailers appear to be selling fewer ornamental plants laced with pesticides linked to bee population declines, according to a new report. Read more on Los Angeles Times

Demanding Ban on Deadly Pesticides, Advocates Drop Millions of Dead Bees on EPA Doorstep 6-22-16

‘What’s happening today to pollinators is no different than what happened 50 years ago with the  collapse of the bald eagle due to the use of DDT’

“If we stop keeping bees, who’s going to pollinate your fruits and vegetables? This can’t go on.”

—Roger Williams, Central Maryland Beekeepers Association. Read more on Commondreams

Banned Pesticides Pose A Greater Risk to Bees Than Thought, EU Experts Warn 8-26-15

New Study by the European Food and Safety Authority (Efsa) finds ‘high risk’ to bees from neonicotinoid pesticide sprays prompting calls for extending ban

Already proscribed for seed treatments and soil applications, the Efsa analysis states that clothianidin, imidacloprid and thismethoxam also pose a ‘high risk’ to bees when sprayed on leaves. Use of the prohibited substances has been linked to dramatic declines in bee populations …Full article

Demanding Ban on Deadly Pesticides, Advocates Drop Millions of Dead Bees on EPA Doorstep 6-22-16

“In the five years since I started keeping bees, I’ve seen many hives killed by pesticides,” said James Cook, a beekeeper who drove the truck filled with dead bees from Sacramento, Calif., to Washington, D.C.

‘What’s happening today to pollinators is no different than what happened 50 years ago with the  collapse of the bald eagle due to the use of DDT’ Read more on Commondreams

Bees May Become Addicted to Nicotine-like Pesticides 4-22-15

Recent study finds bees have a preference for sugar solutions laced with pesticides, scientists say, as a separate landmark field trial show neonicitinoids harm bee population.

In a study published in the journal Nature, scientists from Newcastle University showed that bees have a preference for sugar solutions that are laced with the pesticides imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, possibly indicating they can become hooked on the chemicals in much the same way smokers are hooked on tobacco …Full article

Lawsuit Launched Over US EPS’s Approval of a New Pesticide 3-18-15

The Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Food Safety and the Defenders of Wildlife sent a formal notice of intent to sue the EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy claiming that by approving the insecticide flupyradifurone the agency is in violation of the Endangered Species Act. Approved as an alternative to neonicitinoids, flurpyradifurone is registered for a number of crops including citrus, cotton and potatoes. While most pesticides stay on the surface of plants, flupyradifurone, like neonicitinoids, works by infiltrating all plant tissues …Full article

Maryland’s Fertilizer Use Act of 2011 10-1-13

Maryland’s lawn fertilizer law helps protect the Chesapeake Bay from excess nutrients entering its waters from a variety of urban sources, including golf courses, parks, recreation areas, businesses and hundreds of thousands of lawns. Nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus, are key ingredients in lawn fertilizer. Read more on