Showing posts with the label Pesticides

‘To say nothing is not public service’: former Agriculture Canada official raised red flags on pesticide

By Marc Fawcett-Atkinson | News | May 16th 2024 National Observer A former official in Canada's agriculture ministry accused the federal pesticide regulator of failing to assess the health risks posed by the controversial herbicide glyphosate, a key ingredient of Roundup, months before leaving the ministry. The concerns from David Cox, who at the time was deputy director at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), were revealed in a trove of emails distributed to high- and mid-level AAFC officials — including deputy minister Stefanie Beck — in June and October 2023. They were obtained by Canada's National Observer through an access to information request. "I am not an expert but I do believe in raising red flags where I see large-scale risk exposure and peer-reviewed papers stating there are harms. To say nothing is not public service," wrote Cox in a June 14, 2023 email distributed to eight senior AAFC officials, including Beck. A spokesperson for AAFC said this week

DDT Pollution Dumped off Los Angeles Coast Has Not Broken Down Decades Later, Scientists Find

Eco Watch The  pollution  is even worse than earlier feared. Story here. RELATED: Research Suggests Our Past, Prolific Use Of The Insecticide DDT May Still Be Contributing To A Scourge Of Modern-Day Diseases Related To Obesity.

Some revolutionary advice for producers of seedless watermelon - and perhaps other fruits and vegetables, too!

by Larry Powell A wild bee on a sunflower. A PinP photo.   For two years, US researchers studied the impact that both bee pollinators and beetle pests had on seedless watermelon.         What they found was striking.          Flea beetles feast on turnip-tops in Manitoba, A PinP photo.       In both years, p ollination by the bees was “the only significant factor” in both fruit set and marketable yield - even when compared to the harm done by the pests. Not only that, the wild bees increased those yields anywhere from one-&-a-half to three times more than honeybees.      So the researchers conclude; If you want better yields, it’s more important to protect the bees that pollinate them than to kill the pests which eat them!       “These data," they state, "advocate for a reprioritization of management, to conserve and protect wild bee pollinations, which could be more critical than avoiding pest damage for ensuring high yields.”      But the lead author of the study, As

Spraying herbicides from helicopters? Concerns mount over plans for southern B.C. forests

The Narwhal The huckleberry. A Wikimedia photo. To the forestry industry these plants are pests, but for berry pickers they are important foods and medicine. Story here. RELATED: Contaminants found in traditional berries of First Nations people in Manitoba, but still declared to be safe to eat. (Video).

Bees are dying from toxic chemicals and the feds won't save them.

The National Observer A PinP photo. After years of review, Ottawa recently approved a common class of pesticides known to harm pollinators like bees and other insects. Story here. RELATED:  Plight of the Humble Bee. Canadian regulators refuse to protect precious pollinators from known toxins.

Health Canada approves another product known to be deadly to beneficial organisms.

The Western Producer Members of the "neonic" family are known mass-killers, esp. of pollinators such as honeybees. "Karen" holds dead bees at Hayes Valley Farm. Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has announced that neonicotinoid insecticides are not a threat to aquatic insects when used as a seed treatment on canola and in many other instances. Details here.

A third of global farmland at 'high' pesticide pollution risk

PHYS ORG A public domain photo. A third of the planet's agricultural land is at "high risk" of pesticide pollution from the lingering residue of chemical ingredients that can leach into water supplies and threaten biodiversity, according to research published Monday. Story here.

Residues of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides (known as "Plant Protection Products," or PPPs), being found in pollen and nectar, are "a significant stressor" for bees and other pollinators.

Environmental Research    

Popular insecticides harm birds in the United States

Nature Sustainability The increased use of neonicotinoid pesticides in the continental United States may have impacted bird populations and reduced bird diversity, according to a paper published this week in Nature Sustainability.  Overall tree swallow populations declined by 49% between 1966 and 2014, according  to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. A  PinP  photo. Bird biodiversity is declining at a marked rate. Bird populations in the United States have decreased by 29% since 1970, which has been attributed to various factors including the increased use of pesticides in agricultural production. Nicotine-based pesticides — known as neonicotinoids — have been used increasingly in the United States over recent decades.  Previous research has shown that neonicotinoids are potentially toxic to birds and other non-target species. However, the impact of these pesticides on bird diversity in the United States is unclear.  Madhu Khanna and colleagues studied the eff

Agrochemicals speed the spread of deadly parasites

CLIMATE&CAPITALISM The schistosoma parasite worm. Image credit - David Williams, Illinois State University. Even low concentrations of pesticides can increase transmission and weaken efforts to control the second most common parasitic disease. Details here.

Toxic Tides - The Tragedy of Fish Farming Everywhere

One of the biggest challenges facing the aquaculture industry everywhere, is  Lepeophtheirus salmonis , the sea-louse (below). It's a parasite which attacks both farmed and wild salmon, causing lesions and infections which stunt their growth. But the costs of de-lousing are high. And so are the losses suffered by the industry in the marketplace. Many lice can actually kill many fish. Sea lice, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, on farmed Atlantic salmon, New Brunswick, CA.  Photo by 7Barrym0re   To fight back, the fish-farmers dump pesticides into the waters (below). But, because they’re released directly into the environment, they not only kill the lice, but place beneficial, “non-target” organisms at risk, too. And several of these live in the open ocean, beyond the confines of the farms. The latest (but not the only) cautionary tale about the wisdom of this practise, has just emerged from Norway.  A team of researchers there exposed (in the lab), an important food source for the

How Has This Pesticide Not Been Banned? Opinion.

The New York Times Government scientists say chlorpyrifos is unsafe. And yet it’s still in use.  Details here. A "crop-duster" sprays a pesticide believed to be chlorpyrifos on a canola crop in Manitoba. Circa 2006. A PinP photo. A related story that may interest you: Thirteen years after the pesticide chlorpyrifos (Lorsban) sickened a Manitoba family, Health Canada is proposing it be severely restricted in Canada. The European Union will ban it in the new year.  by Larry Powell

Thirteen years after the pesticide Lorsban sickened a Manitoba family, Health Canada is proposing it be severely restricted in Canada. The European Union will ban it in the new year. by Larry Powell

In the fall of 2006, Loyd Burghart told his story to "Planet in Peril." Burghart, a livestock farmer in the Swan Valley of western Manitoba, said he, his wife, Donna and their four children inhaled fumes from the chemical, Lorsban (chlorpyrifos) which a neighbour had been sparing on a nearby crop. ( Many farmers in that part of the province had done the same that year, in an effort to control a severe infestation of  Bertha Army worms.)  Some time after the incident, Burghart, his wife  and one of their children,  pose by a mother sow and  piglets in their yard.  A PinP photo. The spray had left Burghart's entire family with severe symptoms. He says he, himself, was left writhing with severe pain in his eyes.  It's not immediately known how many other Canadians have suffered in similar incidents. But it's hard to believe this was the only case. ( Burghart was also worried how the chemical might impact the health of his animals and their feed.)