insect numbers fall by 76% in 27 years signaling an impending ‘ecological armageddon’

posted October 19, 2017

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The Guardian are warning of an ecological armageddon due to the data published in a study released yesterday which shows that insect populations have declined by over 75% in the last quarter century.

“Insects make up about two-thirds of all life on Earth [but] there has been some kind of horrific decline,” said Prof Dave Goulson of Sussex University, UK, and part of the team behind the new study. “We appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life, and are currently on course for ecological Armageddon. If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.”

Insects are one of the most crucial elements in the global ecosystem as vital pollinators and as a food source for animals further up the food chain such as bats, birds and amphibians. The research was carried out in Germany which has been a popular location for recent studies on entomology with specific focus on the decline of pollinators. We have written before about the role of widespread pesticide use in the decline of insect population. Although researchers in this most recent study were unable to confirm the exact impact of pesticide use on the mass extinction of insects, other similar and more specific field studies have confirmed that there is a causal link between the two.

It is becoming more and more clear with every passing day that our current agricultural practices that require enormous chemical inputs and the clearing of natural wildlife refuges cannot be continued. Large scale industrial agriculture, rather than feeding the world is killing it. Once we exceed the ecological tipping point of an ecosystem, irreversible collapse is imminent.

You can read the full study on which the Guardian article was based article HERE


rachel’s war

posted April 1, 2016

In the Spring of 1962, The New Yorker published Rachel Carson’s anti-pesticide manifesto, Silent Spring, in three installments. Carson’s message quickly transcended the magazine’s readership, eliciting a national response that would eventually lead to a federal ban on DDT for agricultural use and the creation of the EPA. In honor of Carson’s legacy and Women’s History Month, cartoonist David Gessner illustrates the pioneering writer’s final years as she fought for the environment and for her life. (Based on Linda Lear’s biography, Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature.)

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rachel2038_1 (more…)


pesticides show up in rainwater in four agricultural watersheds

posted January 3, 2016

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Image from Wikipedia.

Read this 2008 study on the University of Nebraska’s Digital Commons. The study publishes research supported by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program done in 2003 and 2004, which found statistically significant levels of herbicides and insecticides in rainwater in Maryland, Indiana, Nebraska, and California. We’d like to know how these levels are changing over time as high pesticides continue to be sprayed around the country.


protect our babies

posted December 27, 2015

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We’re reposting this message from Michelle in California, as sent by Mom’s Across America. It’s powerful and important. Please take the time to visit, read, and consider signing and sharing the petition at the bottom.

Trigger warning: content about birth defects, miscarriage, and infant death.

“I lost my baby due to anencephaly.  I was exposed to Roundup (glyphosate) when a family member sprayed our yard early in my pregnancy. My baby was born without a brain, took a few breaths, and died. When I heard about the increased birth defects in HawaiiWashington State, and now the UK, and learned that glyphosate and atrazine have been linked to these birth defects, I knew I had to speak up.  People don’t know that these toxic chemicals we are spraying in our yards, on farms and orchards, city parks, county roads, and water ways could be killing our babies.

This has to stop.

I am starting this petition to raise awareness and to ask the EPA to do 3 things:

  1. Test the affected area resident’s water, urine and breast milk for glyphosate, atrazine, lead and other toxins to prevent further deaths.
  2. Require proof of safety via tests of the COMBINATIONS, all the ingredients in the products together, not just one “active chemical ingredient”. If the entire product is not proven safe it should not be permitted anywhere.
  3. Ban toxic chemicals from products that can be used in gardens, school yards, trees, public spaces on feed and food crops.

I am asking moms in America to speak up too, go to www.momsacrossamerica.com/action and apply for free glyphosate and pesticide water and urine testing if you have had multiple miscarriages or a baby with anencephalygastrochisis or other birth defects. If you know of a childhood cancer cluster, please also ask those parents to come forward and also apply to get their children tested.

When we know better, we do better. It is time to face the fear of knowing so we can take action and save lives.

Please sign and share this petition!
Thank you.”


USDA scientists suspended in connection to his research on monarchs

posted November 29, 2015

monarch-butterfly-caterpillar-insect-danaus-plexippus-725x487Sit back, friends. I’ve got a story for you. (Spoiler alert, it involves pesticides, pollinators, USDA protection of Big Ag interests, and the failure of the US government to protect whistleblowers.)

“Politics inside USDA have made entomology a high risk specialty.”

In early 2015, USDA scientist, Dr. Jonathon Lundgren submitted his research on pesticides and pollinators to a peer-reviewed journal. In response, supervisors at the USDA suspended Dr. Lundgren under the pretense that has research had unearthed “sensitive information” that had not yet been approved for publication.

What could be so sensitive you ask? Dr. Lundgren had found that clothianidin, a neonicotinoid seed treatment (pesticide), kills monarch butterfly larvae in the laboratory.

It doesn’t sound that surprising, does it? Either that a crop treatment would adversely affect pollinators or that the USDA would be reluctant to publish the information. But it gets better.

It turns out that Dr. Lundgren is whistleblower, who in September 2014 had lodged a formal complaint against the USDA for serious alleged violations of the agency’s Scientific Integrity Policy, including attempts by senior officials to impede or deter Lundgren’s research. He believes– and we are inclined to believe him– that his 14-day suspension is a direct retaliation to that action and to the threat his research poses to big ag.

You can read more, including the full whistleblower narrative and a history of scientist manipulation, on PEER.org



save the bees (3 ways)

posted August 5, 2015

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  1. Watch this short interview: Tree Hive Bees- Scientific Research to Save the Honeybees
For those who are concerned about the plight of the honeybees, here’s a recent interview with a bee researcher who is doing novel work to try and find solutions. This may be a timely video given that there are still groups out there denying that Colony Collapse Disease is even a real problem.
Indirectly, it’s a wake-up call for government to increase funding to enable basic research, as time may be running out.

2. Read this article: Pesticides Are Killing Greece’s Bees: Honey Industry Suffers Amid Broader Economic Turmoil

3. Watch this film: Vanishing of the Bees narrated by Ellen Page


class action lawsuit to ban GMOs and pesticides in argentinaG

posted June 25, 2015

From Sustainablepulse.com

A federal judge in Argentina has ruled that an unprecedented class action lawsuit, demanding a ban on the release of GMOs and their associated pesticides, can proceed.

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Source:  www.lacapital.com.ar (Spanish)

Translated by GM Watch

The lawsuit asks the government to provisionally suspend the uncontrolled open release of GMOs – for example, the sale of RR2 Pro/Liberty soybeans – on the grounds that they violate seed laws. The lawsuit also demands labeling of GMOs.

The lawsuit further argues for “a ban on the application of pesticides used for farming until their safety for the environment, ecosystems, biodiversity, the health of living beings, the cultural heritage of the Argentine people, and the sustainability of the production model is scientifically proven”.

The lawsuit primarily attacks GMOs for their contribution to the trend towards monoculture, direct seeding with consequent reduction of rural labor, economic concentration in the hands of few producers, and impacts on the health of rural populations and the environment.

The lawsuit demands that the commercialization of new GMOs is not permitted in the country. It is titled, “Gimenez Alicia Fanny and others against the national government, Monsanto and others, over environmental damage”.

The defendants are the Argentine national government, the Federal Council for the Environment, and a group of companies, including Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Novartis, Nidera, Dow Agrosciences, Pioneer, Agrevo, Ciba Geigy, Argenbio and Bayer, that produce and sell GMOs and the agrochemicals tied to their use.

The lawsuit also urges the Legislature to pass a biosafety law, set minimum standards for use of soil resources, and order the defendants to “rebuild” or “repair” environmental damage caused by the GMO farming model. This would be achieved through the reintroduction of non-GMO cultivars and wild species, and the rebuilding of soil. If these measures are not possible, the lawsuit demands that the companies be ordered to pay compensation.

The expert lawyers who presented the case to the Court are: Jorge Mosset Iturraspe, Daniel Salaberry, Graciela Cristina Vizcay Gómez, Miguel Araya, Horacio Belosi and Santiago Kaplun.

The joint action has been taken to represent the following cases:

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE!


pesticide database

posted March 3, 2014

An incredible resource for information about pesticides, particularly the ones you see the containers of laying in the field near your house…pesticides

PAN Pesticides Database

The Pesticide Product Search page allows you search for formulated pesticide products. Formulated pesticide products typically contain mixtures of active ingredients and other ingredients. Active ingredients are listed on the labels of all U.S. pesticide products. If you wish to search for individual chemical active ingredients, use the Chemical Search Page. The Pesticide Product search page allows you to search for 376,798 current and historic U.S. registered pesticide products – these include 92,240 ‘parent’ products and an additional 284,558 products which are simply repackaged versions of the original product. Some of the most popular product searches are for: Roundup UltraDursban ProRaid Ant & Roach KillerWeed & FeedAdvantage 100Diazinon 50 WPParaquat Concentrate ESCarbofuran TechnicalDemand CS InsecticideSevin 10 Dust, and Mancozeb Fungicide.