USDA has weakened the power of the NOSBand the voice of the public on the review and approval of synthetic and other materials under the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA).
Under the law, synthetic materials, which are “otherwise prohibited,” may be given an “exemption” by the NOSB to allow use, but only for five years if not extended by the NOSB. USDA has dismantled this process, in place since 2005, which was established to ensure that all synthetics are approved by the NOSB and subject to public comment on a five-year cycle. Once allowed, a material was required to sunset after that cycle and would not be put back on the allowed materials list, the National List, unless the Board voted decisively (two-thirds) to reinstate or continue the use--a high threshold in line with the law’s default against synthetics and the standard required for newly petitioned substances.
Under the new process, the Board does not have to act to continue a use, creating disincentives for the development of natural alternatives or alternative practices, and the decision could be made by USDA without a NOSB recommendation or public comment.
Please take action to protect organic by sending a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Maryland's Pesticide Reporting and Information Workgroup is now making recommendations on the next steps concerning pesticide reporting in the state. The workgroup needs you to channel your support for a commercial, non-homewoner pesticide usage databse to Governor O'Malley.
For our health, for the health of our kids, for clean waters, and for our honeybees tell Governor O'Malley we need basic information on pesticide use.
Since 2006, over 30% of domesticated honey bee colonies have died each winter due to the phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder. And in the 2012/3 winter the honey bees operating in California's almond crops experienced a 50% mortality rate.
Honey bees and other wild pollinators have had enough. As more and more studies link neonicotinoid pesticides to colony collapse, and bee-kills involving these same chemicals continue to flood the news, the time is now for California to take the lead on the pollinator crisis.
As federal regulators continue to drag their feet, California through the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has the oppurtunity to take the lead on the pollinator crisis by taking immediate action. Please join us in sending the DPR your comment today.
Take Action: Tell Home Depot and Lowe to stop selling poisoned plants!
Beyond Pesticides just helped to release a new first-of-its-kind report with Friends of the Earth and other allies, which reveals that the world’s most popular pesticides, neonicotinoids (neonics), implicated as a key factor in global bee die-offs, may be lurking in our own gardens. Neonicotinoid pesticides, like imidacloprid and clothianidin, remain in plants for the life of the plant, and contaminate nectar and pollen, as well as soil and surface water. More than half of the “bee friendly” home garden plants tested, sold at major retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s, contain neonics -- with no warning to consumers.
This report shows this problem is widespread, and that many unsuspecting home gardeners purchasing plants treated with neonics for “bee-friendly” gardens may actually be poisoning bees and other pollinators.
Europe has already banned bee-harming pesticides, and top retailers in the UK are refusing to sell them. Beyond Pesticides and allies are challenging top garden retailers to make the same commitment here in the US.
Bees are essential to our food system and they are dying at alarming rates. We can protect bees in our own backyards and gardens right now by rejecting neonics and demanding that top retailers stop selling these bee-killing pesticides. Please join us in asking Lowe's and Home Depot to BEE Protective and give bees a chance by not selling bee-killing pesticides.
BEE Protective! Tell Home Depot, Lowe’s and others to stop selling neonics.
Thousands of people from across the country took action last month to prevent Dow AgroSciences from using its influence to insert Farm Bill language that would allow the food uses of the pesticide sulfuryl fluoride to continue, despite an EPA proposal to phase it out. Your actions stopped Dow's dangerous amendments. We wish we could tell you that was the end –but it's not.
We need your help again. Dow's latest attempt to keep this neurotoxic fumigant in our food is to defund EPA's ability to regulate its use. Language inserted into the 2014 House Appropriations Bill would prevent EPA from enforcing its previous decision to phase out the use of sulfuryl fluoride. Tell Your Representative Today: Remove Section 449 from the House Appropriations Bill.
Capitol Hill is buzzing about a new bill that aims to provide long overdue protections for America's imperiled pollinators. On July 17th, Representatives John Conyers (D-MI) and Earl Blumenauer (D- OR) introduced H.R. 2692, the Save America's Pollinators Act, calling for the suspension of neonicotinoids, a class of systemic pesticides that are killing bees.
Tell your Representative to Save America's Pollinators!
The United States is lagging behind our European neighbors when it comes to the protection of pollinator health. Earlier this year, the EU announced a two-year suspension on these bee-killing pesticides. Now its time for the U.S. to act.
The Save America's Pollinators Act would suspend the use of neonicotinoid pesticides until a full review of scientific evidence and a field study demonstrates no harmful impacts to pollinators.
Beyond Pesticides and Center for Food Safety invite you to kick off pollinator week (June 17-June 21, 2013) by joining us for a film screening of “Vanishing of the Bees” on Monday, June 17, 2013 between 7:00 and 9:00pm at the historic Hill Center in Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C .
Director Maryam Henein will be available for questions and answers! Space is limited, so please RSVP today!
The newly published BEE Protective Habitat Guide, free packets of pollinator friendly seeds, and other educational materials will be available to help you understand pollinators, pollinator habitat, and get started creating pollinator-friendly habitat in your neighborhood!
About the BEE Protective Campaign
BEE Protective is the grassroots education campaign spearheaded by Beyond Pesticides and the Center for Food Safety to educate the public about pesticides and pollinators, support beekeepers, and help reverse declines in pollinator populations by creating habitat and pesticide free zones.
With one in three bites of food pollinated by insects, our reliance on their services cannot be exaggerated. But unfortunately, honeybee populations have been in severe decline due to the indiscriminate application of pesticides in much of our nation’s agriculture.
“Vanishing of the Bees” follows commercial beekeepers David Hackenberg and Dave Mendes as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S. The film explores the struggles they face as the two friends plead their case on Capitol Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees. Filming across the US, in Europe, Australia and Asia, this documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth. When:Mon, 06/17/2013 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm Cost: Free! Location: Abraham Lincoln Hall Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital
921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Under the cloture vote that stopped debate this Thursday on the Farm Bill in the Senate, no controversial amendments are supposed to move forward.
You can help stop the back-door deal making on our health and safety by contacting your Senator this weekend.
Please contact your Senator on two dangerous proposals to amend the Farm Bill: 1) The reversal and undermining of EPA's science that supports the phase-out of the dangerous fumigant pesticide sulfuryl fluroide, a greenhouse gas and a developmental and reproductive toxicant; and 2) The repeal of Clean Water Act requirements to regulate pesticide applications into waterways.
At least one Senator needs to stand up and stop this.
The Farm Bill is an opportunity to advance a food production system that protects human health and the environment. Organic systems have proven themselves to be productive and profitable while enhancing the environment and public health, and protecting against the serious pollution of our air, water and soil that is associated with chemical-intensive practices. These amendments will help to advance practices that are sustainable, and help to level the playing field for a healthy future.
We are urging the support of important amendments that will advance organic agriculture and ensure investment in sustainable practices. Three amendments stand out: Senator Leahy's amendment (SA1093) will improve organic funding through the environmental quality and incentives program. Senator Tester's (D-MO) amendment (SA1080) supports classical plant and animal breeding, which reduces reliance on toxic inputs. Senator Brown's (D-OH) amendment (SA 1088) provides grants for local food systems and community programs.
Senator Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) amendment (SA 1027) would be a step in the right direction towards protecting honey bees and other pollinators.
Over the past decade, honey bees and other pollinators have been suffering record-high population losses. In the wake of another winter of record losses (over 30%) for U.S. beekeepers, and with one in three bites of food depending on honey bees, it is critical that Congress adopt these pollinator protections.
Senator Boxer’s amendment would:
Establish an interagency dialogue about pollinator health between the Department of Agriculture, Department of Interior, and Environmental Protection Agency;
Create a task force on bee health and commercial beekeeping;
Compel agencies to utilize the best available peer-reviewed science on environmental and chemical stressors to pollinators including international efforts addressing pollinator declines, and;
Assess the feasibility for new public bee research labs.
While the Farm Bill debates continue to be a rollercoaster of upsets and victories for small farmers, conservation groups and other stakeholders, it is important to remember that this five-year bill affects all of us, and all of us will be affected by the devastating pollinator losses plaguing our nation. It is crucial that we take whatever steps we can, however small they may be, to work towards protecting these critical species and our future food security.
Take Action to Protect Pollinators Now!
We are told that Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is introducing an amendment (SA 1122) to the Farm Bill, which will be voted on early this week, that will reverse our efforts to take the hazardous fumigant sulfuryl fluoride out of our food supply. Sulfuryl fluoride is a dangerous chemical which has been linked to cancer as well as neurological, developmental, and reproductive damages. It seems clear that Dow AgroSciences, the chemical's manufacturer, is pushing this amendment.
We are on the verge of getting this hazardous material banned because even EPA, which has agreed to phase out the chemical, recognizes that public exposure exceeds acceptable standards. In the European Union, the chemical has been banned from any food contact.
This amendment will undercut alternatives. Sulfuryl fluoride is not necessary for the safe storage and handling of our food supply, so there is no need to block the currently mandated phase out. Moreover, the chemical is a potent greenhouse gas, with the ability to trap 4,000 to 5,000 times the infrared radiation as carbon dioxide.
There are many viable alternatives to sulfuryl fluoride and methyl bromide fumigation (the other product of choice in the industry), including temperature manipulation (heating and cooling), atmospheric controls (low oxygen and fumigation with carbon dioxide), biological controls (pheromones, viruses and nematodes), and less toxic chemical controls (diatomaceous earth). Neither fumigant is permitted in organic food production and handling.
Please, write your Senator below and tell him or her to let EPA protect our safety, take this hazardous pesticide out of food production, and shift to safe practices. We do not have to trade our health for those who want to use hazardous pesticides in food production.
Senator Fischer (R-NE) has introduced a farm bill amendment (SA 984) that will repeal a section of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) that authorizes EPA to evaluate and restrict imported seeds that are treated with pesticides.
This amendment would eliminate EPA’s authority to protect farmers, consumers, and the environment from pesticides that, by virtue of their incorporation into seeds, can find their way into soil, food, waterways, and the environment generally. EPA must be authorized to consider the potential adverse effects associated with residues of the pesticides in pollen, nectar, and guttation droplets.
Unless imported seed treated with pesticides are subject to review by EPA, the agency in the interest of protecting farmers, consumers, and the environment will not be able to evaluate potentially toxic chemicals that may not be allowed to be used for this purpose in the U.S. This is a critical authority, given that the reach of EPA does not extend to use patterns in the country where the seeds are treated before being imported. Therefore, EPA must be able to evaluate the pesticides on seeds, or treated seeds, once they reach U.S. borders.
Tell Your Senators to Maintain Protections from Pesticide Treated Seeds!
As a follow-up to our previous alert on the legislative attack on the Clean Water Act, specifically for our friends in California, please note that Senator Barbara Boxer has played an incredibly important leadership role in stopping harmful legislation on this issue from moving on the farm bill in the last Congress.
Please consider contacting Senator Boxer to thank her for her fierce opposition and ask her to continue leading the opposition to legislation that will undermine the safety of our waterways.
A bill has been introduced in Congress that directs EPA to reverse a proposed phase out of sulfuryl fluoride, a highly toxic food fumigant and potent greenhouse gas. The Pest Free Food Supply Act, H.R. 1496, sponsored by Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) and 14 others, prohibits EPA from implementing its proposed phase-out of this agricultural fumigant's uses in 2014 and circumvents a long history of science that requires a reduction of public exposure to this chemical.
EPA acted to phase out sulfuryl fluoride because it is neurotoxic and the cumulative risk to children and the public from multiple sources of food and water exceeds acceptable levels, under the agency's own calculation. Without compliance with the law requiring the phase-out of sulfuryl fluoride, there will be no incentive for grain storage facilities to upgrade to adopt modern practices that do not rely on this hazardous chemical, practices that are regularly used in the organic industry.
Let your member of Congress know you think this phase out is important to protect public health and the environment.
Please send your own personal letter with the points below to your U.S. Representative, or send the form letter we prepared.
Commonsense protections from pesticide applications into our nation's waterways are at risk when the Senate takes up the Farm Bill again this week. These highly controversial amendments from Senator's Hagan (D-NC) and Johanns (R-NE) would undermine the Clean Water Actand put our health and the environment at risk.
The spirit of the Clean Water Act is that every community in the United States has the right to enjoy fishable and swimmable bodies of water. These amendments would strip away critical protections from our nation's rivers, lakes, and streams, leaving you to swim, fish, and boat on waters that are contaminated with carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and neurological toxicants without monitoring from state or federal officials.
The environmental and health programs that are put at risk from this legislation have been in effect since October 2011 without any adverse impact on farmers. To the contrary, this program serves as an environmental and public health benefit to farming communities and other areas where pesticides are directly applied to waterways.
These amendments would reverse the 2009 ruling in National Cotton Council v. EPA that requires Clean Water Act permits from pesticide users who spray over waterways. Permits are now required for spraying activities like mosquito spraying, treatment of algal blooms or invasive species. The permit lets authorities know what is sprayed and when it is sprayed, so that the public may know what chemicals are used in their waterways.
Without the Clean Water Act, there are no commonsense backstops requiring applicators to at least consider alternatives to spraying toxic pesticides directly onto waterways.
The amendment would:
Undermine federal authority to protect U.S. waters under the Clean Water Act,
Allow spraying of toxic chemicals into waterways without local and state oversight,
Not reduce claimed burdens to farmers since there is no burden as there is no real economic cost and agricultural activities are exempt, and
Contaminate drinking water sources and harm aquatic life.
Act Now! We can't afford to lose these protections. Tell your Senators to oppose any efforts to undermine the Clean Water Act.
Please sign our petition below and tell the O’Malley Administration and the Maryland General Assembly you want them to pass a bill creating a simple and cost-neutral, centralized online pesticide reporting database in 2013.
Certain pesticide manufacturers are getting ready to block EPA’s attempts to cancel certain rodent poisons that are known to be hazardous to children and wildlife, including endangered species.
After more than a decade of research and review, and an unacceptably high number of poisoning incidents, EPA has acknowledged that certain active ingredients are too dangerous to remain on the market, and is now requiring all remaining over-the-counter rodent control products to be in secured, tamper-resistant bait stations to reduce the incidents of accidental exposure to children.
Please help us reinforce EPA's decision to get rid of these rodent poisons by sending a letter of support to the agency and your Congressional representatives.
New Jersey's Safe Playing Fields Act (S1143/A2412) would prohibit the use of the most toxic pesticides where kids play on school grounds (day care-8th grade) and park playgrounds.
It has overwhelming bi-partisan support (over 60 co-sponsors), and passed three committees unanimously last year. However, the legislative leadership has not posted this bill for a vote and it is past due.
Please write NJ legislative leadership today and ask them to do the right thing and do all they can to ensure the legislature passes this bill before year end.
(Please remember, personalized messages are MUCH more effective!)
Efforts are underway to weaken Maine's schools pesticide regulations Chapter 27 - which in 2007 established integrated pest management (IPM) procedures and standards for school buildings and on school grounds - and set back pioneering efforts for school pesticide reform legislation in Maine. Since 2007, efforts to replace hazardous chemical use in schools with least-toxic chemical options, sound IPM, and organic land management have been sweeping that nation. However, the new amendments to Maine’s Chapter 27 make no mention of safer, preventive pest management practices, or the use of least-toxic pesticides only as the last resort.
The new amendments will:
Not provide students in Maine the same protections as students in other states that have been eliminating unnecessary pesticide use by adopting pest prevention practices and using least-toxic pesticides as the last resort;
Make advanced pesticide notification an option rather than a requirement for parents;
Allow aesthetics to play a part in pesticide application (cosmetic applications), contrary to IPM principles;
Exempt certain indoor pesticide use from advanced notification;
Exempt agricultural and horticultural educational centers from notification and IPM techniques, further exposing students to potentially toxic pesticides;
Treat students entering certain treated areas (in greenhouses and other agricultural educational centers) as agricultural workers subject to the federal “Worker Protection Standards,” a standard that is known to not go far enough to protect adult farmworkers, much less vulnerable children.
Tell the Maine Pesticide Control Board to keep toxic pesticides out of Maine schools and strengthen the state’s school pesticide laws.
Send an email to the Maine Pesticide Control Board by Friday, Sept. 28, if you are concerned about pesticides on school grounds.
Until last Friday, Willamette Valley’s organic farmers and seed producers were protected from the cross-pollination of their crops by Genetically Engineered (GE) canola. However, new rules fast-tracked by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) now allow for the planting of GE canola in areas previously deemed off-limits. Oregon officals failed to bring in stakeholders and public on this issue, announcing their 'temporary' rules August 3rd and making them effective only a week later.
Many organic seed crops are grown in the fertile alluvial plains of the Willamette Valley. Since organic standards do not permit the production of genetically modified crops, organic seed farmers are imperiled by ODAs decision. ODA Director Katy Coba confirmed many organic seed producers fears by stating, “Since canola has been deregulated by USDA, ODA does not differentiate between conventional and GM canola or treat them differently.”
Tell Director Coda to hault the temporary rulemaking process:
If you are unable to access the docket, you can still let your voice be heard. Use the form below to send an email to email@example.com and we will submit your comments to the docket for you. You may use the sample text below, however we recommend that you edit the text in order to have the most impact.
Thousands of pounds of apples, pears and cherries are still grown with highly toxic, old-era pesticides. That’s because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an astounding history of negotiating multi-year phase-outs with industry, placing economic interests over the protection of the health of the public, especially those who grow and harvest these crops. Despite a 2006 cancellation of the highly toxic azinphos-methyl (AZM), which allowed for a six-year phase out that is scheduled to conclude this September, EPA, under industry pressure, may rescind its final decision and extend the phase-out period.
Tell EPA today to stand by its decision and ban AZM once and for all:
Beyond Pesticides, July 12, 2012 - The Council of the District of Columbia passed a pesticide reform act Tueday strengthening pesticide restrictions in our nation’s capital. To ensure the rules are enacted, Beyond Pesticides is calling on supporters to urge D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray to sign the legislation into law.
The Pesticide Education and Amendment Control Act of 2012, introduced by Chairwoman Mary Cheh of the Environment, Transportation and Public Works Committee, is a step forward in the fight to keep schools and other public spaces free from unnecessary chemical applications. The bill protects children and their parents by restricting the application of pesticides at schools and day care centers, on public property, and near waterways. It also establishes publicly available courses on pesticides at the University of the District of Columbia.
Tell Your U.S. Senators to Oppose the Amendments To Weaken Clean Water Act
Before the Senate Acts the Week of June 18
It's summer and many of us enjoy lazy days at our local lakes and rivers. But, according to North Carolina Democratic U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and Idaho Republican U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, pesticides should be allowed into these water bodies without any oversight, leaving you to swim, fish and boat on waters that are contaminated with endocrine disruptors, carcinogens and neurological toxicants that are not monitored by federal or state officials.
Seeking to add to the Farm Bill the provisions of H.R. 872, Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, earlier introduced by Sens. Hagan and Crapo, the Farm Bill amendment (Amendment 2367) would reverse the 2009 ruling in National Cotton Council v. EPA that requires Clean Water Act permits from pesticide users who spray over waterways. Permits are now required for spraying activities like mosquito spraying, treatment of algal blooms or invasive species. The permit lets authorities know what is sprayed and when it is sprayed, so that the public may know what chemicals are used in their waterways, and requires monitoring for any downstream effects.
Unfortunately, this amendment is now receiving bipartisan support in the Senate. The measure counts among its co-sponsors six other Democrats --Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Tom Carper and Chris Coons of Delaware, and three Republicans --James Risch of Idaho, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and David Vitter of Louisiana. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), a former Agriculture secretary under President George W. Bush who introduced a similar amendment (Amendment 2210) to the Farm Bill, also supports the measure.
Tell your Senators today to NOT support these amendments to the Farm Bill.
Because of the short time frame, it is most important that you call your Senators offices. You can also send an email using the form below.
The amendments would:
(1) undermine federal authority to protect U.S. waters under the Clean Water Act,
(2) allow spraying of toxic chemicals into waterways without local and state oversight,
(3) not reduce claimed burdens to farmers since there is no burden as there is no real economic cost and agricultural activities are exempt, and
(4) contaminate drinking water sources and harm aquatic life.
Beyond Pesticides, along with commercial beekeepers, and environmental organizations, filed an emergency legal petition March 20 with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend the use of a pesticide that is linked to honey bee deaths, urging the agency to adopt safeguards. The legal petition, which specifies the pesticide clothianidin, is supported by over one million citizen petition signatures, targets the pesticide for its harmful impacts on honey bees.
Take Action. Tell EPA to suspend the bee killing pesticide by sending a letter to Administrator Lisa Jackson below:
Dow Chemical has asked USDA for approval of genetically engineered (GE) corn, modified to be tolerant to the highly toxic 2,4-D herbicide, which is contaminated with dioxin and linked to cancer, birth defects and more. We know from experience that herbicide-tolerant crops are a bad idea. They increase toxic pesticide use, contaminate organic and non-GE farms, and contribute to herbicide-resistance.
In fact, Dow introduced a new GE corn variety because weeds are becoming resistant to Roundup, the previous chemical of choice for herbicide-tolerant plants. However, solving herbicide resistance with a new, more toxic chemical is like using gasoline to put out a fire. It will cause even more damage to health and the environment, and in a few years, the pesticide industry will be marketing their next “solution” to the growing resistance problem.
Tell USDA to stop this toxic experiment and deny Dow’s petition for 2,4-D tolerant corn. Sign your organization or business onto Beyond Pesticides' comments below or submit comments directly to the USDA docket.
Please take action then tell your friends and family! We will include all organizational sign-ons when we submit the comments to EPA and keep all signatories in the loop on this issue.
Yesterday we joined beekeepers and partners in filing a legal petition that calls on EPA to suspend registration of Bayer’s controversial bee-killing pesticide, clothianidin. We also delivered over a million signatures from individuals around the world calling on the Agency to take decisive action to protect honey bees from neonicotinoid pesticides before it is too late.
Bees are still sick, and EPA is still stuck. Bees and other pollinators are still dying off at catastrophic rates – commercial beekeepers lost an average of 36% of their hives last year according to U.S.D.A. Honey bees pollinate one in every three bites of our food and, as indicator species, they serve as sentinels whom we ignore at our peril. With today’s petition, we’re redoubling our efforts to protect them.
Connecticut, like 40 other states, has a “preemption law” that prevents municipalities from passing pesticide policies more stringent than the state law. Legislation (Bill 5121) has recently been introduced in the Connecticut General Assembly to overturn this law. A hearing on Bill 5121 is set for Friday, March 16th. Connecticut residents are encouraged to submit testimony.
Lawn pesticides are among the most toxic chemicals used where children live and play. Of the 30 commonly used lawn pesticides, 19 have studies linking them with cancer, 13 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 15 with neurotoxicity or abnormal brain development. Young children are particularly susceptible because of their rapid growth and decreased ability to detoxify toxins. This is particularly true for the developing child in utero.
On July 1, 2010 a ban on toxic lawn pesticides at all elementary and middle schools in Connecticut went fully into effect. Now pro-pesticide forces are trying to overturn this ban and allow young children to once again be involuntarily exposed to these toxic chemicals.
The good news is that there are proven safe, effective, and affordable ways to maintain attractive lawns and playable fields without the use of toxic pesticides. You can play an important role in defeating the pro-pesticide forces and protecting your children.
Take Action: Brendan Sharkey, House Majority Leader, has enormous power over bills in the House. Please send him a message and tell him to not allow the use of toxic lawn pesticides on school grounds. Consider calling him as well. Rep. Sharkey's phone number in Hartford is 800-842-1902 and 203-281-4647 in his district.
The Connecticut law that made history in 2005 when it banned pesticide use on school grounds (grades K-8) is now under attack by chemical company interests in the state legislature. Opponents are pushing a weak IPM bill (Bill 5155 - "AN ACT MODIFYING THE BAN ON PESTICIDE APPLICATIONS ON SCHOOL GROUNDS") to overturn the landmark legislation.
Take Action: Beyond Pesticides is joining CT-based activists in asking supporters of the original school pesticide ban to make their voices heard by emailing your members of the General Assembly.
Beyond Pesticides has drafted comments to EPA on the bee-killing pesticide clothianidin (as well as the related pesticide thiamethoxam). Beyond Pesticides, PANNA, Center for Food Safety, and others are working collaboratively to protect pollinators from pesticides, and we urge you to join our comments. According to EPA, it has extended its clothianidin deadline to February 28th, "due to the volume of comments received."
Submit comments directly to EPA’s docket or sign onto Beyond Pesticides’ comments by signing the petition below. We will include all organizational and business sign-ons when we submit the comments to EPA and keep all signatories in the loop on this issue.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed an expansion in pyrethroid insecticide uses as part of its cumulative risk assessment for the pyrethroid class of chemicals. Tell EPA that it has ignored numerous health effects and that these pesticides do pose unacceptable risks to human health given the availability of alternatives.
Submit comments directly to EPA’s docket or sign onto Beyond Pesticides’ comments by signing the petition below. We will include all organizational sign-ons when we submit the comments to EPA and keep all signatories in the loop on this issue.
Ask your U.S. Representative to sign-on as a co-sponsor the School Environmental Protection Act (SEPA), HR 4225. In March, Rep. Rush Holt and colleagues introduced SEPA, a bill to protect children from pesticides in schools and on school grounds, and it is important that this legislation be introduced with as much support as possible. Please share this link with your friends and family!
It is time that our nation embraces a basic protection to ensure a healthy learning environment, many of the standards that have been adopted in 35 states. More information, including your state's requirements, are available on Beyond Pesticides' SEPA webpage (bill text, summary, Mr. Holt’s “Dear Colleague” letter, and other useful information).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is allowing public input on a petition to ban the endocrine (hormone) disrupting herbicide atrazine. Tell EPA that because atrazine poses unacceptable risks to humans and wildlife, the agency should remove this hazardous pesticide from the market immediately. Submit comments directly to EPA’s atrazine petition docket or sign your organization or business onto Beyond Pesticides’ comments by signing the petition below.
The following is an excerpt from Beyond Pesticides' comments to EPA, see the full comments here.
On November 1, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Representative Chellie Pingree of Maine along with 35 original co-sponsors, introduced the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act (LFFJA) – S. 1773 and H.R. 3286 – a comprehensive bill intended for inclusion in the 2012 Farm Bill. The legislation helps farmers and ranchers by addressing production, aggregation, processing, marketing, and distribution needs to access growing local and regional food markets. The bill would provide critical support for a number of programs that benefit organic farmers and the organic industry, as well. It also assists consumers by improving access to healthy food. The measure provides secure farm bill funding for critically important programs that support organic and family farms, expand new farming opportunities, create rural jobs, and invest in the local food and agriculture economy.
In an open letter sent to the Monsanto Corporation, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, the Executive Director of Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP), called the entry of Monsanto seeds into Haiti "a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds..., and on what is left our environment in Haiti."
On behalf of thousands of local farmers in Haiti, tell Monsanto that you demand that it halt further shipments of hybrid seeds to Haiti.
This petition was developed by Seeds for Haiti, a program of Bassin Zim Education and Development Fund.
Join Beyond Pesticides, Center for Environmental Health, and The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in asking Bath and Body Works to stop selling triclosan-containing products that claim to “Spread Love, Not Germs.” Consumer products, especially those that are marketed to and used by preteens and teens, should not have harmful chemicals in them. This is unacceptable.
Join us to take action to make Bath & Body Works products safer. Tell Bath & Body Works' CEO: “Stop using toxic triclosan in your products.”
Update (12/1/2011):Yesterday, Senators Crapo (R-ID) and Hagan (D-NC) began circulating a Dear Colleague letter asking for floor time for HR 872, a bill that would eliminate Clean Water Act permits for pesticides. Please tell your Senators NOT to sign the letter. Like many legislative battles, this is a long one. So far, the pro-pesticide interests have been unsuccessful in the Senate, but their efforts persist. Thanks to everyone who has taken action.
Because of the short time frame, it is most important that you call your Senators offices. You can also send an email using the form below.
Consider the following talking points:
-- I just became aware that a Dear Colleague letter is being circulated in the Senate, which seeks Senate floor time for H.R. 872. H.R. 872 is a controversial bill that could threaten water quality and the health of people in your state. We strongly urge your boss not join this Dear Colleague letter or any other efforts that, like H.R. 872, would block a Clean Water Act general permit for direct applications of pesticides to waterways.
-- Much misinformation is swirling about the Clean Water Act general permit at issue. The permit, which took effect on November 1, 2011 but will not be enforced for 120 days, will have no significant effect on farmers. The permit will in no way affect land applications of pesticides for the purpose of controlling pests. Irrigation return flows and agricultural stormwater runoff will not require permits, even when they contain pesticides. Existing agricultural exemptions in the Clean Water Act will remain.
-- This Clean Water Act general permit simply lays out commonsense practices for applying pesticides directly to waters that currently fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.
-- Please ask your boss to oppose this Dear Colleague letter, and any other efforts that increase water pollution or buy more time for the pesticides industry.
To our great disappointment, on March 31, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act (H.R. 872) by a vote of 292-130. This bill reverses a 2009 court order requiring EPA to monitor pesticide discharges into US waterways by requiring permits under the Clean Water Act for farmers who use pesticides. While it would still have to be passed in the Senate and signed by the President to become law, this means that industry is closer to allowing indiscriminate contamination of our waters!
Take action: Let your Member of Congress know you are how you feel about their vote. Based on how your Rep. voted, a thank you letter or a letter expressing your disappointment will appear below.
Triclosan, found in many consumer products like yoga mats, cosmetics, kitchen utensils and toothpaste is now found in the bodies of 75% of the US population, is linked to hormone disruption, bacterial and antibiotic resistance, dioxin contamination, and contaminated fish and biosolids. Studies this past year show that triclosan can interfere with pregnancy hormones and possibly impact fetal development. This is critical since pregnant women have elevated levels of triclosan in their bodies. Triclosan is also an endocrine disruptor that interferes with the thyroid hormone. Triclosan contaminates our waters, food and accumulates in wildlife. Take Action! Join us by April 8th to tell EPA to protect public health and ban triclosan from consumer products. Use the form below to quickly send an email to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson or have even greater impact by submitting comments directly to the docket.
Ask your U.S. Representative to stand with you in opposing the chemical industry’s Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, H.R. 872, which will limit badly needed protection of our nation’s waterways from pesticide contamination. The bill would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) to eliminate provisions requiring pesticide applicators to obtain a permit to allow pesticides or their residues to enter waterways. This bi-partisan bill has already been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and by the House Committee on Agriculture and now heads to the floor next week (week of March 28) for a full House vote.