February 27, 2024

GAO Finds FDA Should Strengthen Pesticide Monitoring

The Government Accountability Office has released a new report that states the FDA and USDA should strengthen their pesticide residue monitoring programs and disclose the limitations of their systems. The most recent data from 2008 through 2012 shows that residue in 10 selected fruits and vegetables is low, but the monitoring approach has limitations. GAO found that FDA tests relatively few targeted samples for residues. For example, in 2012, the agency tested less than one-tenth of 1 percent of imported foods. And the FDA does not test for some commonly used pesticides with an EPA established tolerance. Unfortunately, this list includes glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, which is used on GMO crops that have been manipulated to be resistant to the chemical. Recent studies have … [Read more...]

Most California Produce Has Little Detectable Pesticide Residues

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has released a report saying that the majority of produce it tests annually has "little or no detectable pesticide residues and posed no health risk to the public." Ninety-five percent of all California grown products sampled in 2013 was in compliance with allowable limits. Each piece of produce may legally contain trace amounts of one or more pesticides. The limit of these compounds is set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. DPR tested 3,483 samples of different fruits and vegetables sold in farmers markets, wholesale and retail outlets, and distribution centers around the state. More than 155 different fruits and vegetables were sampled to reflect the population's eating habits. Of all the samples collected, 43.53% had … [Read more...]

Judge Strikes Down Hawaii Law Limiting GMO Crops

U.S. District Court Judge Barry M. Kurren has struck down the Kaua'i county law against genetically modified (GM) crops, saying it is preempted by Hawaiian state law. The order forbids county officials from implementing and enforcing Ordinance 960, which required more disclosure from huge biotech companies about pesticide use and GMO farming. The Ordinance also required buffer zones for pesticide spraying around schools, medical facilities, waterways, shorelines, and roadways and mandated County Environmental and Public Health Impact Studies. The plaintiffs in this case include Syngenta Seeds Inc. DuPont's Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Dow Chemical's Agrigenetics Inc., and BASF Plant Science LPs. The defendants include Kaua'i County, Center for Food Safety, Pesticide Action Network … [Read more...]

Honey Bee Colony Loss Report for Winter 2013/2014

The Bee Informed Partnership, in collaboration with the USDA and Apiary Inspectors of American have released a preliminary report on their eighth annual national survey of honey bee colony losses. Honey bees pollinate one-third of the crops grown for food in the United States. The survey found that for the winter of 2013/2014, 23.2% of managed honey bee colonies in the U.S. died. More than 65% of respondents experienced winter colony loss rates greater than the average acceptable winter mortality rate of 18.9%. However, this rate is lower than the 2012/2013 estimate of 30.5% loss. The Center for Food Safety (CFS) commented on the report. Larissa Walker, head of CFS's pollinator campaign, said in a statement, "today's report offers little encouragement. There is more to the story than … [Read more...]

Harvard Study Strengthens Link Between Neonicotinoids and Bee Death

A new study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health and published in the Bulletin of Insectology has found that two widely used neonicotinoids (pesticides) appear to "significantly harm honey bee colonies over the winter." And the colder the winter, the more severe the harm. The study replicated a 2012 finding that found a link between low doses of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid, and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that makes bees abandon their hives and die. A second pesticide called clothianidin has the same effect. The study also found that reduced resistance to mites or parasites because of pesticide exposure is not the issue in CCD, as scientists have suspected. Bees in hives with CCD had "almost identical" levels of pathogen infestation as a group of control hives, most of … [Read more...]

CFS Warns the EPA Will Approve Agent Orange on GE Crops

The Center for Food Safety is warning the public that the EPA is set to approve the direct spraying of the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) on Dow Chemical's genetically engineered corn and soybeans. That chemical is one-half of the compound called "Agent Orange" used in Vietnam to destroy foliage; it caused cancer among Vietnam veterans. EPA will render a decision after a 30 day comment period. Dow developed the GE crops, known as "Enlist", to withstand high doses of 2,4-D (which it also sells) after its disastrous Roundup Ready crops created glyphosate-resistant superweeds. You can sign a petition opposing this action at CFS web site called "Dow Watch". CFS opposes this move by the EPA because they state, "wide scale use of herbicides in tandem with GE crops has led to … [Read more...]

EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen of Pesticides on Produce

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes an annual shopper's guide ranking produce by pesticide residue level. The guide uses data from 32,000 samples tested by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to rank four dozen fruits and vegetables .The ones with the most residue are called The Dirty Dozen and the least The Clean Fifteen. This year's report found that 65 percent of the samples analyzed tested positive for pesticide residues. For the fourth straight year, apples were found to have the most residue, while some tropical fruits had very little. For example, 89 percent of pineapples, 88 percent of mangoes, 82 percent of kiwi and 80 percent of papayas had no residues. The "cleanest" fruit was avocados. Just 1 percent of samples … [Read more...]

Extreme Levels of Roundup Found in GE Soy

A new study conducted at Arctic University of Norway and published in the June issue of Food Chemistry has found that there are "extreme levels" of Roundup, an herbicide, in genetically engineered soy. The soybeans were harvested in Iowa. High levels of Roundup were found on 70% of the GE soy plants. The Roundup Ready GM soy comprises 93 to 94% of U.S. soybean production. The plant is genetically modified to tolerate exposure to glyphosate-based Roundup during its entire growth cycle. Food Poisoning Bulletin has told you about issues with these plants before. Roundup interrupts the shikimate pathway in plants and kills them. Scientists used to think that made the chemical safe for humans, but it has been discovered that our gut bacteria, which are critical to our immune systems and … [Read more...]

EWG Looks at EU Banned Chemical Used on U.S. Apples

Environmental Working Group is asking the U.S. government to put a stop to a chemical used on non-organic apples grown in America because its makers in Europe could not show it didn't pose a rise to human health. That analysis found that the chemical, called diphenylamine, known as DPA, is used to coat apples during storage to prevent "storage scald", brown or black patches, since the fruit is only harvested once a year. A study conducted by the USDA in 2010 found that 80% of non-organic apples were coated with DPA. American apple growers say that DPA is a "benign growth regulator", but European officials have banned the use of DPA on apples and other fruit since 2012. Apples are one of the "dirty dozen" fruits and veggies EWG suggests consumers should avoid when grown conventionally … [Read more...]

MN Beekeepers Asking Ag Officials To Stop Treated Corn Seeds

A group of beekeepers in Minnesota is concerned about the effect of corn seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides on bees, according to MPR. They have been reported mortality events among bees at corn seeding time. The dust is coming off the seeds and poisoning honey bees. More than 1/3 of the country's honey bee population has died every year for the last several years. The group has also sued the EPA for not acting on the pesticides, which many think are causing massive bee die-offs in recent years. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is currently reviewing neonicotinoids for their effects on bees. The National Honey Bee Advisory Board, which is working to try to find a solution to this problem, is conducting risk assessment around the country. But since pesticide … [Read more...]

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