A timely reminder of herbicide dioxins and their lack of regulation

Remember the 4 Corners program ‘Chemical Time Bomb’ shown on ABC on 22 July 2013. It showed the shocking legacy of herbicide dioxins in 2,4-D used in weed control in Western Australia and passed down from the workers to their children. “Four Corners reveals evidence that this potentially deadly chemical compound may still be present in weed control products and that authorities do not routinely test for it. “The program also reveals that this hands-off approach to regulation is entirely in keeping with the way governments have dealt with the lethal chemical dioxin over four decades.” This tragic story can be viewed again here It is a reminder too that these weed control programs do untold, unrecorded, and unmonitored environmental damage. For fauna, this is not just through habitat loss but more directly through toxicity.

Over the counter sale of pesticides for private use banned in France from 2019

To protect young children, crucial pollinators, and the general public, France has banned the use of pesticides in public parks, gardens, and forests. At the moment they can still be used in private residential spaces but this will change in 2019 when over-the-counter sale to non-professionals will also be banned. The full article from Mother Nature Network can be read here.

New EU Glyphosate Safety Assessment is “Scientifically Flawed”

The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and the European Chemical Agency (EChA) have completed their assessments of the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate. Once again it was concluded that the evidence does not support a classification of carcinogenic for glyphosate. However, members of the European Parliament requested the raw data on which this assessment was made (previously ‘commercial in confidence’). The limited data they received was again analysed by Dr Chrisopher Portier (Former Director US National center for Environmental Health, Former Director US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, amongst other positions). He found “Both EFSA and EChA failed to identify all statistically significant cancer findings in the chronic rodent carcinogenicity studies with glyphosate.” His full letter to the European Commission, containing his analysis, is here. Once again we see that regulators are corrupted at the highest levels.

More attempts by Monsanto to discredit the IARC

Recent news articles stemming originally from Reuters but even repeated in Mother Jones seek to discredit one of the International Agency’s scientific panel, Aaron Blair. In view of the pending court cases against Monsanto in the US courts re glyphosate causing cancer, Monsanto is getting desperate. The US Right to Know organisation unravels the lies here The original Reuter’s article was authored by reporter Kate Kelland, who has a history of cozy relations with the Science Media Centre partly funded by agrichemical company interests. Their aim is to connect certain ‘scientists’ with journalists to disparage news adverse to corporate profits. This group is very active in Australia.

Of Mice, Monsanto, and a mysterious tumour

The corruption of pesticide regulation in the US and Australia is clearly visible from their acceptance of Monsanto’s manipulations and their reliance on ‘research’ from the manufacturers. Very interesting in the US that they have a process to (eventually) properly investigate through their laws. Thanks to the APVMA we seem to have no process in Australia which will ensure human and environmental health as long as people use these dangerous products according to the labels! You can read the full report here

Belgium Bans Glyphosate Herbicide Use for Non-Professionals

Europe is waking up to the depth of corporate corruption in the regulation (lack of) pesticides. Unfortunately, Australian politicians and beaurocrats are completely captured by corporations – agro-chemical, pharmaceutical, mining. “A wave of glyphosate bans are being introduced by member states in Europe while the issue of the chemical’s reauthorization at EU level drags on. Among the most dramatic developments has been the announcement by Belgium’s federal minister of agriculture, Willy Borsus, that he wants to ban the sale and use of herbicides by non-professionals. He voiced particular concern over glyphosate. ‘Considering the risk-benefit balance, there is no justification for the use of herbicides for individuals,’ Borsus said. He said there were safer alternatives, such as heat treatment, mechanical weeding, or bio-pesticides. Borsus also called for a new investigation into alleged “Monsanto manoeuvres and attempts to influence experts” with the aim of keeping glyphosate on the market.” Read the full … Continue reading

Glyphosate Herbicides Cause Tragic Phosphorus Poisoning of Lake Erie

Glyphosate killing in more ways than one. Originally released in July 2016, this study by scientists from Ohio Northern University in the U.S. has shown that glyphosate herbicides are a main cause of the tragic phosphorus poisoning of Lake Erie, which has been causing an increase of harmful algae blooms that foul drinking water and kill fish. ‘Find the full article here.

International Monsanto Tribunal Calls for Human Rights Over Corporate Rights

On Tuesday, April 18, the five judges who presided over the International Monsanto Tribunal for the past six months, reviewing the testimony of 28 witnesses who testified during the two-day citizens’ tribunal held in The Hague last October, delivered their 53-page Advisory Opinion. “The upshot of the judges’ opinion? Monsanto has engaged in practices that have violated the basic human right to a healthy environment, the right to food, the right to health, and the right of scientists to freely conduct indispensable research. The judges also called on international lawmakers to hold corporations like Monsanto accountable, to place human rights above the rights of corporations, and to ‘clearly assert the protection of the environment and establish the crime of ecocide.’ ” Of course Monsanto responded with their usual denegrations. “In their Advisory Opinion, the judges didn’t directly address criticism of the Monsanto Tribunal specifically, nor did they address attempts to … Continue reading

Whanganui River in N.Zealand gains legal rights

“Winding its way through dense forest laced with hidden waterfalls, the Whanganui River is the largest navigable river in Aotearoa, the Māori word for New Zealand. With the passage of the Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill in March, the river became the first water system in the world to be recognized as a rights-bearing entity, holding legal “personhood” status. One implication of the agreement is that the Whanganui River is no longer property of New Zealand’s Crown government — the river now owns itself. “Five days after the Te Awa Tupua Bill, the High Court of Uttarakhand at Naintal, in northern India, issued a ruling declaring that both the Ganga and Yumana rivers are also “legal persons/living persons.” But what does it mean for a river, or an ecosystem to hold rights? The answer may vary from place to place. “The growing global movement for Rights of … Continue reading

High Glyphosate Levels in Mothers Leads to Shorter Pregnancies and Smaller Babies

In his presentation at the Children’s Environmental Health Network Research Conference, Dr. Winchester said that his research shows that “Shorter pregnancies with relatively lower birth weights have been linked to lower cognitive ability later in life and higher risk of metabolic syndrome.” Read the full article here. Photo: plentywell.com

UN Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food

The report by the UN Special Rappateur on the Rights to Food is available here. “In the report, a clearer account is provided of global pesticide use in agriculture and its impact on human rights; the negative consequences that pesticide practices have had on human health, the environment and society, which are underreported and monitored in the shadow of a prevailing and narrow focus on “food security”, are described; and the environmental and human rights regimes are examined to determine whether the constituent rules are sufficient to protect farm workers, consumers and vulnerable groups, as well as the natural resources that are necessary to support sustainable food systems.” You might also like to view some of the addresses to the 2016 Soil not Oil Conference. Of course, this should also be applied to the extravagant use of pesticides for the weed control in public spaces and conservation areas.

Monsanto Face Lawsuit over “Misleading” Roundup Label

“Two nonprofit organizations on Friday filed a lawsuit against Monsanto for misleading the public by labeling its popular weedkiller Roundup as “target[ing] an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets.” This lawsuit charges that this statement is false, deceptive, and misleading, because the enzyme targeted by glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is, in fact, found in people and pets.” The full article can be found here.

EU greens calling for a ban on Gylphosate

In a letter to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Greens, including many members of the European Parliament, are calling for a ban on Glyphosate. They outline its serious health effects and the corruption involved in America and Europe in its registration for use. (It is the same in Australia). You can read their full letter here.

Research reveals farms slash pesticide use without any loss in productivity.

A new French study reported today in the Guardian has shown that “Virtually all farms could significantly cut their pesticide use while still producing as much food. The research also shows chemical treatments could be cut without affecting farm profits on over three-quarters of farms.” One of the research team, Nicolas Munier-Jolain, said “If you want real reduction in pesticide use, give the farmers the information about how to replace them. This is absolutely not the case at the moment. A large proportion of advice is provided by organisations that are both selling the pesticides and collecting the crops. I am not sure the main concern of these organisations is to reduce the amount of pesticide used.” Read the full report here. Exactly the same problem applies to the use of pesticides in public spaces and conservation reserves.

Glyphosate: Politics and Health

An article in Truthout makes clear the scale of the glyphosate problem. ” Americans have applied 1.8 million tons of glyphosate since its introduction in 1974. Worldwide 9.4 million tons of the chemical has been sprayed on fields — enough to spray nearly half a pound of Roundup on every cultivated acre of land in the world. Globally, glyphosate use has risen almost 15-fold since so-called “Roundup Ready,” genetically engineered glyphosate-tolerant crops were introduced in 1996.” Read the full article here. Wonder what the tonnage is for Australia?

Why Honeybees Don’t Have A Chance In The Midst Of Pesticides

At last the truth about the criminality of our regulatory bodies is emerging. Our local councils, National Parks services, Education Departments have defended the wide-scale use of these poisonous products. More on the gut: ‘The effect of glyphosate on potential pathogens and beneficial members of poultry microbiota in vitro’. And the implications for mammalian health: ‘Gut-Wrenching: New Studies Reveal the Insidious Effects of Glyphosate’ Photo: plentywell.com

Atrazine – banned in EU, available here – why?

Atrazine is a common agricultural herbicide with endocrine disruptor activity. There is evidence that it interferes with reproduction and development, and may cause cancer. It has been banned in the EU since 2003. In Australia it is widely used for crops and in forestry. This review makes it clear that, as for glyphosate and other dangerous chemicals, USA and Australian reliance on manufacturer’s ‘research’ is faulty, and that it leaves the door open for corporate influence over regulators.

Glyposate and cancer – new report

Monsanto and other glyphosate manufacturers appear to have distorted scientific evidence on the public health impacts of glyphosate in order to keep the controversial substance on the market, according to a new report released today by GLOBAL 2000 (Friends of the Earth Austria, member of PAN Europe) with the support of Avaaz, BUND, Campact, CEO, GMWatch, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe, PAN Germany, and Umweltinstitut München.

Court Rules Against Monsanto

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) – California can require Monsanto to label its popular weed-killer Roundup as a possible cancer threat despite an insistence from the chemical giant that it poses no risk to people, a judge tentatively ruled Friday. California regulators are waiting for the formal ruling before moving forward with the warnings, said Sam Delson, a spokesman for the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. California would be the first state to order such labeling if it carries out the proposal. Monsanto attorney Trenton Norris argued in court Friday that the labels would have immediate financial consequences for the company. However, Attorneys for California consider the International Agency for Research on Cancer who identified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen, as the “gold standard” for identifying carcinogens. Norris said many consumers would see the labels and stop buying Roundup. We say “FANTASTIC, WHAT A GREAT IDEA!”

Concerns over Wilsons and Coopers Creek Coral Tree injection

AGM celebration dampened by concerns Original Post 22 October 2014 Feelings were running high at a recent announcement of a grant for the injection of Coral Trees (Erythrina x sykesii) with synthetic herbicides along Wilsons Creek and Coopers Creek. While Wilson Creek/Huonbrook Land-care Inc. was celebrating its score of $99,800 grant at its AGM on Wednesday September 3rd, some concerned residents with river-side properties informed the group that they did not want synthetic pesticides used in their local catchment because it imposes a serious and escalating threat to biodiversity and water catchment values. Replacing one threat with another “What is the point of removing one threat, Coral Trees, and introducing another, synthetic pesticide?”, said Don, a local organic farmer who is well on the way to completing rainforest regeneration of his 177 acres. “At least I can see Coral Trees. I have counted at least 5 species of local birds … Continue reading

Community says NO to aerial spray herbicide

Byron Shire Chemical Free Land Care media release 6 August 2013 Representatives from Byron Shire Chemical Free Land Care (BSCFL) together with concerned locals are once again gathering this morning at Tyagarah Nature Reserve in an ongoing non-violent direct action to halt the aerial spraying of herbicides on coastal dunes Bitou Bush by National Parks and Wildlife (NPWS). “We’ve been trying to negotiate with the NPWS, including the Native Title owners since the 12th July. We’ve asked them to spare the Nature Reserve from spraying,” said BSCFL co-ordinator Nadia de Souza Pietramale. “So far we’ve been unsuccessful and they’re threatening to spray it each day”. “The NPWS have left us with no other choice but to protest in this manner,” says indigenous representative Jarmbi. “We have ancestral ties to the sacred site”. “The community is really concerned about this chemical intensive approach to managing Bitou Bush and the impacts it … Continue reading