Monday, March 30, 2009

Don't 'kid' around with pesticides...And More

  • Title: Do Pesticides Make Birth Defects Crop Up? Category: Health News Created: 3/30/2009 Last Editorial Review: 3/30/2009
    MedicineNet.com - Mar 30 12:26 PM
  • Trade Minister Stockwell Day vows a “vigorous defence” of Quebec’s ban on lawn pesticides containing 2,4-D from a challenge by a U.S. chemical company through the North American Free Trade Agreement.
    National Post - Mar 30 7:01 AM
  • Around this time last year in Germany a catastrophic error was being made during the treating of maize seed with the insecticide clothianidin.
    Farmers Weekly Interactive - 1 hour, 21 minutes ago
  • Birth defect rates in the US are highest for women conceiving in the spring and summer, new findings indicate. Researchers also found that this period of increase risk correlated with increased levels of pesticides in surface water across the US.
    Science Daily - Mar 30 11:29 AM
  • This is a follow-up to last week's column about the importance of not exposing children to pesticides. Spring is here and with the warm weather we will start seeing bugs and we will start spraying our homes and businesses with pesticides.
    El Defensor Chieftain - Mar 27 5:46 PM
  • Herbicide drift, when pesticides "drift" from the targeted application area to a nontargeted area was studied by researchers who evaluated the effects of field corn herbicides on white oak seedlings. White oak, a popular landscape and forest species native to the eastern United States, has been suffering from an abnormality called "leaf tatters." The study simulated herbicide drift using ...
    Science Daily - Mar 29 8:29 PM
  • A battle brewing over cosmetic pesticides between one of North America's biggest chemical companies and Canadian lawmakers may end up re-shaping the future of Canada's environmental policies.
    CTV.ca - Mar 29 4:16 AM
  • City officials in Lone Grove, Okla., have sued a pesticide company for allegedly contaminating Lone Grove's water supply with weed killer. The lawsuit alleges that the chemical got into the ...
    Insurance Journal - Mar 30 9:24 AM
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Weed fight cropping up...And more

March 24, 2009

Vernon Morning Star

Weed fight cropping up

By Richard Rolke

A committee proposing a ban on cosmetic use of pesticides in Vernon is
running into opposition.

Several yard care businesses have suggested that the city’s
environmental advisory committee hasn’t done enough investigation into
restricting chemical controls for weeds, and that their interests were
ignored.

“It is apparent that the environmental committee has a biased,
prejudiced and pre-determined agenda that flies in the face of prudent
scientific evidence, logic and morality,” said Dave Weatherill,
president of Briteland, in a letter to council.

“It is apparent that the environmental committee are following the
lead of other communities who have chosen divisive, big stick, big
brother community culture rather than cohesive, educational and
encouragingly progressive community culture.”

Other companies point out that they are licensed and comply with
regulations, and they should have been consulted by the committee.

“Cosmetic pesticide use has never been a problem in this community and
I am not aware of any other problems elsewhere,” said Scotty Moffat,
owner of Art Knapp Plantland, in a letter to council.

However, the committee chairman disagrees with the portrayal of her
group.

“There was no pre-conceived outcome nor was this matter initiated by
the committee,” said Coun. Buffy Baumbrough.

“The committee was asked by council to look at this issue.”

Baumbrough added that there was considerable division among committee
members and discussion was lengthy.

“We reached consensus and every committee member felt it was a
reasonable compromise.”

What was recommended to council Monday was a ban on the cosmetic use
of pesticides on public lands in 2010 and on private lands in 2012.

However, council decided to hold off on a decision until a meeting can
be held with those in the yard care industry.

“Some reasoned voices have asked to speak to us directly,” said Coun.
Patrick Nicol.

Some councillors also question the definition of cosmetic pesticides
and how that would impact safety concerns about weeds on sports fields
and public walkways.

“Weeds growing up through cracks in sidewalks isn’t cosmetic. You can
trip on those,” said Coun. Shawn Lee.

http://www.bclocalnews.com/okanagan_similkameen/vernonmorningstar/news/41784772.html#

============================

Mar 25, 2009

Green thumb… green planet

A free talk on PESTICIDE-FREE GARDENING by renowned author Carole
Rubin is coming to your town…

Fernie: Monday, April 27, 7pm, Traynor Hall at Fernie Secondary
School

Cranbrook: Tuesday, April 28, 7pm, Lecture Theatre, College of the
Rockies

Invermere: Thursday, April 30, 7pm, David Thompson Secondary School
Theatre

Golden: Friday, May 1, 7pm, at Golden Seniors Centre

Nelson: Tuesday, May 5, 7pm, Nelson United Church

Wildsight and the Pesticide-Free Columbia Valley Coalition will
present Carole Rubin, author of the Canadian best-seller, How to Get
Your Lawn and Garden Off Drugs, in a series of free talks lined up for
this spring.

Rubin’s book is a classic in the field of organic gardening without
harmful pesticides. “In her talk, Green Thumb, Green Planet, Carole
will share the ‘how-tos’ of going pesticide-free,” said Heather
Leschied, from Wildsight. “She’s helped lots of people make the
transition to healthier lawns and gardens.”

The author will give talks in five places around the region. The first
is on April 27 and the last is on May 4, just in time for the spring
gardening season. See below for more of what you will learn at
Carole’s Green Thumb, Green Planet presentation.
Invermere goes cosmetic pesticide-free

Pesticides — “lawn and garden drugs” — are getting a bad rap across
the country, with towns, cities and even provinces (Quebec) banning
their use for cosmetic purposes. Recently, the District of Invermere
became the first place in the East Kootenay to join this movement. On
February 24, it passed a bylaw banning pesticides from cosmetic use in
the district.

About Carole Rubin

Carole Rubin is the author of How to Get Your Lawn & Garden Off Drugs,
the book that helped start the pesticide-free revolution that is
sweeping across Canada. Carol is also the author of How to Get Your
Lawn Off Grass and has written for Harrowsmith, Canadian Living
Magazine, and Lawn Care for Dummies. She has spent the past 25 years
spreading the word on safe alternatives to pesticides to protect
water, fish, wildlife and humans from toxic chemicals.
About “Green Thumb, Green Planet”

Carole’s inspiring presentation will show how lawns and gardens can
flourish by replacing synthetic chemicals with balanced organic
alternatives including choosing the right grasses and plants,
fertilizing, aerating, composting and pruning. This presentation is
for all for all gardeners and homeowners who want to “tread lightly on
the earth.”

Please note - Carole has requested that participants wear no scents to
Green Thumb, Green Planet presentations. Thank your for your
consideration.

http://www.wildsight.ca/news/481

============================

Standing Committee on International Trade (CIIT)

40th Parliament, 2nd Session
January 26, 2009 - Present

Study: Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Study/Activity Home
Currently there are no available publications for this Study/Activity.
The publications for this Study/Activity will appear in this section
as they become available.

http://www2.parl.gc.ca/CommitteeBusiness/StudyActivityHome.aspx?Cmte=CIIT&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=2&Stac=2649689

Meetings
Study: Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
http://www2.parl.gc.ca/CommitteeBusiness/CommitteeMeetings.aspx?Cmte=CIIT&Stac=2649689&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=2

============================

03/26/2009

Department of Homeland Security sued

Associated Press

A lawsuit accused the Department of Homeland Security of violating the
National Environmental Policy Act regarding the now-delayed U.S.
Border Patrol plans to conduct aerial spraying of an herbicide on
carrizo (kah-DEE'-zoh) cane near the Rio Grande.

Residents of two Laredo neighborhoods on Tuesday sued DHS in a lawsuit
which alleged the public wasn't sufficiently notified about the
spraying program, the Laredo Morning Times reported in a story for
Wednesday's editions.

The Border Patrol agreed to delay aerial spraying of the herbicide,
which was set to begin Wednesday, until more talks were held with
Mexican officials on the possible cross-border impact of such a
project.

Israel Reyna, an attorney for the residents, said the decision to
delay spraying wouldn't prevent the group from going forward with the
lawsuit. "The day the court says, 'It's not going to happen,' that's
when it's not going to happen," he told the newspaper.

Roque Sarinana, a spokesman for the Border Patrol, said there was a 30-
day comment period. "This project and program has been planned through
governing laws and regulations," Sarinana said.

The newspaper reported that Homeland Security placed a public notice
about the plans to remove the carrizo in its paper and in the San
Antonio Express-News on July 1.

Officials from DHS and the bi-national agency that oversees the Rio
Grande met Tuesday to discuss the Border Patrol's plan to test the
herbicide imazaypr (i-MAZ'-uh-peer) on carrizo cane, a non-native
plant that clogs the river banks and obscures the view of the river.

"We saw the willingness of the U.S. authorities to suspend the use of
the herbicide for now," said Jose de Jesus Luevano Grano, a Mexico
representative on the International Boundary and Water Commission.

The commission, which includes representatives from both countries and
regulates the use of Rio Grande water, supports plans to uproot the
carrizo cane without the herbicide, Luevano said.

"Although this is not Agent Orange, we don't know what effect it may
have 10 years down the road," said Jim Earhart of the Rio Grande
International Study Center.

Roque Sariana, a Border Patrol spokesman, said the agency would
continue to negotiate for use of aerial spraying on a 1.1-mile test
portion in Laredo.

The towering carrizo cane plants suck up valuable river water and
obscure the riverbanks along much of the Rio Grande, making it
difficult for agents to see people crossing the river.

U.S. officials say imazaypr does not harm people or animals, but
Mexican officials are cautious and want to do their own review,
Luevano said.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D975I4UG0.html

============================

Wed March 25, 2009

Feds' plan to poison banks of Rio Grande stalled

By Eliott C. McLaughlin
CNN

(CNN) -- Federal officials postponed poisoning a mile-long stretch of
the Rio Grande's banks this week after residents complained that doing
so posed health and environmental risks on both sides of the U.S.-
Mexico border.
A Border Patrol agent moves through dense cane on the banks of the Rio
Grande near Laredo, Texas, last year.

A Border Patrol agent moves through dense cane on the banks of the Rio
Grande near Laredo, Texas, last year.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it wants to eradicate the
invasive Carrizo cane infesting many portions of the Rio Grande's
banks between Texas and Mexico. The lanky cane provides cover for
immigrants crossing the border illegally and poses a danger to Border
Patrol agents trying to stop them, said Chuck Prichard, spokesman for
CBP's Laredo sector.

"Someone can be in the cane and be 3 feet away from them, and you
cannot see them," Prichard said during a Wednesday phone interview.
"[A Border Patrol agent] could literally be surrounded and have no
idea."

The controversy over the test project comes as Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton visits Mexico to discuss border security and other
issues concerning U.S.-Mexico relations.

Applying herbicides on a 1.1-mile stretch of the U.S. side of the
river was part of a test project, Prichard said, but the CBP decided
to postpone the $2.1 million experiment to address community concerns.

Residents of two Hispanic communities near Laredo, Texas -- Barrio de
Colores and Barrio El Cuatro -- filed a lawsuit late Tuesday asking a
federal court to intervene. Prichard said Wednesday morning he was
unaware of the lawsuit.

Among the complaints in the lawsuit, the communities allege the CBP
failed to assess the environmental impact adequately, failed to
consider reasonable alternatives and failed to notify the public
adequately.
Live from the border
Anderson Cooper reports live from the U.S.-Mexico border on the drug
war. Find out how it threatens to spill over into the U.S. on
"Anderson Cooper 360°."

Though three herbicides were originally proposed, the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers settled on imazapyr for the test project, Prichard said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said there is "reasonable
certainty of no harm from aggregate exposure to imazapyr residues."

"Imazapyr technical is relatively nontoxic via the oral route of
exposure, and only slightly toxic via the dermal and inhalation routes
of exposure," the agency has said.

Jay Johnson-Castro Sr., a vocal opponent of the project and executive
director of the Rio Grande International Study Center, said the
studies on the herbicide are insufficient.

"I've lived long enough to know what the government says is safe isn't
always safe," he said.

The 1.1-mile test stretch of the Rio Grande forms a sharp bend between
Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. The river serves as a water source
for both.

Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas said he believes the federal officials have
good intentions and that some misinformation has been disseminated
regarding the proposal. He said he welcomes the delay so that the CBP
can address community concerns.

"I'm going to make sure we protect our police officers and Border
Patrol," said Salinas, a former FBI agent. "I just want to make sure
it will have zero impact on humans, the water, our environment."

The CBP seeks to use three methods of Carrizo eradication along the
stretch of the river: manually cutting the cane and topically applying
herbicide to the stalks; using shovels, pickaxes, excavators and
backhoes to dig the cane up by its roots; and using helicopters to
spray the bank aerially.

The latter is the most troubling, said Johnson-Castro, because
aerially spraying could affect more than just the Carrizo.

The CBP would evaluate the products of each method before proposing an
eradication program for a 16-mile stretch of the river, Prichard said,
adding that the CBP is considering other options as well.

One option could involve the import of tiny Arundo wasps, which feed
on the cane and lay eggs in it, stunting the cane's growth. Carrizo,
which can grow up to 30 feet high, is a Spanish transplant to Texas.
The wasp is a Mediterranean native.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is experimenting with the wasp on a
different section of the Rio Grande and is sharing its data with the
CBP, Prichard said. The USDA has concerns that Carrizo chokes off
native plants and has an insatiable thirst, capable of annually
sucking up 500 gallons of water per square yard.

Prichard said the CBP wants to re-evaluate its test proposal because
it doesn't want to eradicate the cane at "the expense of the
environment or anyone who lives in the area."

"I own a house in Laredo. I drink the water that comes out of the
tap," Prichard said. "We're trying to do the right thing for everybody
involved."

In addition to concerns from the U.S. side of the border, Prichard
said the city of Nuevo Laredo also expressed reservations -- namely
that the stretch hosting the experiment is near the intake point for
Nuevo Laredo's water supply.

Johnson-Castro of the Rio Grande International Study Center said the
concerns of Nuevo Laredo citizens are warranted because the effects of
such widespread use of imazapyr are unclear.

Not only are humans at risk, he said, but there are about 1,000
species residing in the area slated for testing, and the nesting
season for migrant birds is quickly approaching.

Opponents aren't against eradicating the Carrizo, Johnson-Castro said.
They're not even opposed to using herbicides. They just want to make
sure that herbicides are used responsibly and in a targeted manner and
that the CBP considers all options for mitigating the cane.

For instance, he said, donkeys and goats enjoy eating the cane. And
earlier this month, about 70 students from Texas A&M International
University manually were able to clear about an acre of cane in fewer
than three hours.

"Let's get down to reasonableness, logic and fairness here. It's an
issue of morality on one side and of science on the other side,"
Johnson-Castro said. "We don't think citizens of either country should
be Guinea pigs."

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/25/mexico.border.herbicide/?iref=hpmostpop

============================

03/25/2009

Pesticides being sold as local meth
By Linda Williams/TWN Staff Writer

North county methamphetamine users are being sickened by "Black Flag
meth," a dried form of Black Flag pesticide, according to the
Mendocino County Sheriff's Department.

Innovative area cooks primarily have been selling the substance to
methamphetamine smokers in Willits, Covelo and Laytonville, the
department reports. Users report getting an initial high by smoking
the pesticide before getting sick from its poison.

Concentrated pesticides can cause liver failure and other toxic side
effects.

Anyone with information about the source of the toxic methamphetamine
should contact the sheriff's department tip line at 467-9159.

http://www.willitsnews.com/ci_11993265

============================

March 25, 2009

Death by Multiple Poisoning, Glyphosate and Roundup

by Barbara Peterson

www.opednews.com

Scientists pinpoint how very low concentrations of the herbicide and
other chemicals in Roundup formulations kill human cells,
strengthening the case for phasing them out, and banning all further
releases of Roundup-tolerant GM crops.

This article was submitted to the USDA on behalf of ISIS

Four different Roundup formulations of the herbicide glyphosate
manufactured by Monsanto are highly toxic to human cells, and at
concentrations far below the recommended agricultural use levels.
Researchers at the Institute of Biology in Caen, France published
their latest results in the current issue of Chemical Research in
Toxicology [1].
Roundup formulations are lethal cocktails

The four Roundup formulations are mixtures of glyphosate with various
adjuvants. (An adjuvant is ‘helper' substance added to aid the effect
of the active ingredient.) The Roundup formulations are currently the
top non-selective herbicides worldwide and increasing, as more than 75
percent of genetically modified (GM) crops are Roundup tolerant.
Glyphosate and its major metabolite, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA)
are main contaminants in rivers. The adjuvants, not often measured in
the environment, are usually considered ‘inert' and protected as trade
secret in manufacturing. Among them, the predominant one is
polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA). POEA is used as a surfactant in
Roundup formulations to improve solubility and penetration into
plants.

Three human cell lines were tested: primary cell line HUVEC from
umbilical cord vein epithelium, embryonic cell line 293 derived from
kidney, and placenta cell line JEG3. All cells died within 24 hours of
exposure to the Roundup formulations.

The Roundup formulations (Rs) contain different amounts of the active
ingredient glyphosate: Roundup Express, 7.2 g/L (R7.2); Roundup
Bioforce, 360 g/L (R360); Roundup Grand Travaux, 400 g/L (R400); and
Roundup Grand Travaux Plus, 450 g/L (R450). They were compared with
glyphosate (G), AMPA, and POEA. All Roundup formulations in the study,
along with individual chemical ingredients, were tested at
concentrations from10 ppm (parts per million) to 2 percent (the
recommended agricultural usage level), which means that the Roundup
formulations were diluted up to 100 000 times or more.

The researchers found that the presence of the other chemical
ingredients in Roundup formulations, such as POEA, actually amplified
glyphosate's toxic effects. The toxicities of the Roundup formulations
were not proportional to the amount of glyphosate they contained, and
are most likely due to POEA and other as yet undisclosed ingredient(s)
present in all the formulations. POEA by itself is much more toxic
than the Roundup formulations, while AMPA is more toxic than
glyphosate.

Multiple targets in toxicity

The researchers tested Rs, G, AMPA, and POEA for effects on three
targets that could kill the cell: damage to the cell membrane,
poisoning of the mitochondria (site of energy metabolism), and
programmed cell death that results in fragmentation of the DNA in the
cell nucleus. They measured specific enzyme markers at different
concentrations for each damage at 24 h of exposure, and also obtained
images of the cell cultures under the microscope.

All Rs, as well as G, caused cells to die; the results are the same
for all human cell types, but at different concentrations. Thus, R400,
the most toxic formulation, killed all cells at 20 ppm, which is
equivalent to 8ppm in G. However, 4-10 ppm G alone is non-toxic, its
toxicity begins around 1 percent (10 000 ppm), and is not connected
with the cell membrane. The R formulations damage the cell membrane,
and also poison the mitochondria. In contrast, G poisons the
mitochondria without damaging the cell membrane

Unexpectedly, R400 is more toxic than R450, the latter in turn more
harmful than R360, R7.2 and G. However, the toxicities are not
proportional to the concentration of G present. The cell killing power
of R7.2 was almost the same as that of R360, and these results are
consistent across all cell lines. This suggests other unknown
substances are involved in the toxic effects.

Thus AMPA and POEA also kill cells by poisoning the mitochondria and
damaging the cell membrane. POEA is so potent that it begins to damage
the cell membrane in HUVEC and poison the mitochondria in 2 93 and
JEG3 at 1 ppm. Roundup formulations are more toxic than either G or
AMPA. AMPA itself destroys the cell membrane, however, which G does
not do, though it is 3-8 times more toxic for the mitochondria than
AMPA. But as cell membrane damage is more serious for the cell, AMPA
is more toxic than G, while POEA is the most toxic of all.

What happens when these ingredients are combined? The researchers
found that for HUVEC and 293 cells, combinations of G and POEA, G and
AMPA, AMPA and POEA were all more toxic than the same concentration of
the single ingredients.

For programmed cell death, the action is quicker. The marker enzymes
are activated from 6 h of exposure, with a maximum at 12 h in all
cases. HUVEC was 60-160 times more sensitive than the other cell
lines; G and R360 were effective at exactly the same concentration,
from 50 ppm. The adjuvants do not seem necessary. G alone is 30
percent more potent here than Rs; it acted rapidly at concentrations
500 –1 000 times lower than agricultural use.


Ban Roundup tolerant GM crops These latest studies confirm a
wealth of evidence on the toxicities of glyphosate and Roundup
formulations [2] (Glyphosate Toxic & Roundup Worse , SiS 26), and
pinpoint the different sites of action, all of which result in cell
death. Epidemiological studies have previously linked glyphosate to
spontaneous abortions, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.
Laboratory studies showed that glyphosate inhibits transcription in
sea urchin eggs and delays development. Brief exposures to glyphosate
in rats caused liver damage, and adding the surfactant in Roundup had
a synergistic effect, causing greater liver damage. Roundup was also
found to be much more lethal to frogs than to weeds, and could have
contributed to the global demise of amphibians within the past decades
[3] (Roundup Kills Frogs, SiS 26). We have called for a new
regulatory review on glyphosate and Roundup in 2005 [2]. There is a
now a strong case for restricting, if not phasing out glyphosate and
Roundup; in the first instance, by banning the release of Roundup
tolerant GM crops worldwide. For the same reason, no further Roundup
tolerant GM crops should be approved for commercial release.
References Benachour N and Séralini G-E.. Glyphosate formulations
Induce Apoptosis and Necrosis in Human Umbilical, Embryonic, and
Placental Cells Chem. Res. Toxicol. , 2009, 22 (1), pp 97–105 Ho MW
and Cummins J. Glyphosate toxic and Roundup worse Science in Society
26, 12, 2005. http://www.i-sis.org.uk/GTARW.php Ho MW. Roundup kills
frogs Science in Society 26. 13, 2005.

Barbara H. Peterson is retired from the California Department of
Corrections, where she worked as a Correctional Officer at Folsom
Prison. She was one of the first females to work at the facility in
this classification. After retirement, she went to college online to
obtain a Bachelor's degree in Business, and graduated with honors. The
most valuable thing she received from her time with UOP was a
realization that her life's passion is writing. Now her business
degree sits in her desk drawer, and she counts herself in the category
of Writer/Activist. Someday she will make money writing, but that is
not why she does it. "I do it because I must. A driving force compels
me to reach out to others with what I learn about the condition we the
people are in, and that is what I devote my time to. After all, time
is the most precious thing we have, and the older I get the more I
want to use it wisely." Barbara lives on a small ranch in Oregon with
her husband, where they raise geese, chickens, Navajo Churro sheep,
Oggie Dog, a variety of cats, and an opinionated Macaw named Rita. She
believes that self-sufficiency and localization of food sources will
be necessary to survive the coming depression. To this end, she has
put up a website to share information at: http://survivingthemiddleclasscrash.wordpress.com.
Her philosophy is this: You are on this earth for a reason - to fight
for the light. Your words are swords that penetrate the darkness with
truth and light. You have a purpose.

OpEdNews Member for 84 week(s) and 1 day(s)

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of
the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its
editors.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Death-by-Multiple-Poisonin-by-Barbara-Peterson-090325-948.html

============================
Warning Industry Propaganda Below
============================
.
March 24, 2009

Vernon Morning Star

Industry deserves to be heard

The yard care industry’s opposition to a proposed ban on the cosmetic
use of pesticides was swift and completely understandable.

Did members of the City of Vernon’s environmental advisory committee
actually think it was acceptable to recommend a ban to council without
consulting with impacted businesses first?

How extensive was the committee’s research on the potential harm from
chemicals if it didn’t talk to the professionals who handle pesticides
and herbicides on a daily basis?

By not bringing the industry to the table, all the committee did was
feed the perception that it was biased and had already decided that a
prohibition on cosmetic uses was the end goal of its process.

And how does the committee actually define what is a cosmetic
pesticide? Is it simply to stop the spraying of dandelions so yards
take on a golf course-quality, or would it prevent applying chemicals
to weeds that threaten safety on sports fields or break apart
sidewalks?

Unlike the environmental advisory committee, city council showed
leadership Monday when it deferred any decision on a ban until there
can be public consultation, and specifically with lawn care companies
and those who sell pesticides.

Ultimately, a ban on the cosmetic application of pesticides may be
what’s best for the community and the environment, but if such an
initiative is going to work, it must be a co-operative effort and not
dictated by a small group.

http://www.bclocalnews.com/okanagan_similkameen/vernonmorningstar/opinion/41785732.html1

============================

March 25, 2009

the week in lobbying

The Crop Protection Association is poised to hand out a major public
affairs brief six months after parting company with Lexington
Communications. The association, which represents makers of
pesticides, used Lexington on a retained basis before moving the work
in-house. It is now in talks with Bellenden Public Affairs.

http://www.prweek.com/uk/sectors/healthcare/article/893910/the-week-lobbying/

============================

Thu Mar 5, 2009

Senator urges Obama not to alter NAFTA farm terms

By Doug Palmer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama should make clear that
he will not change agricultural provisions of the North American Free
Trade Agreement if he renegotiates the pact as promised, a top
Republican senator said on Thursday.

"I am concerned that if the trade agreement is reopened, Mexico will
seek to rebalance tariff concessions in a way that will adversely
affect agricultural exports from Iowa," Senator Charles Grassley of
Iowa said in a letter to Obama.

"I question how this agreement could be changed without having an
adverse effect on trade," Grassley said.

During last year's election campaign, Obama frequently criticized the
15-year-old trade pact. He promised to "fix" the agreement by putting
enforceable labor and environmental protections in the core text of
the pact.

Obama also said he wanted to amend NAFTA investment provisions that
critics said gave businesses too much power to challenge domestic
regulations in the three countries.

Grassley, noting Obama threatened last year to withdraw from NAFTA if
Mexico and Canada did not agree to reopen it, pressed the president to
provide more details about the scope of a possible renegotiation.

"I also ask you to confirm that, if this trade agreement is reopened,
you will not agree to any increases in, or reinstatements of, tariffs
on U.S. agricultural products under this trade agreement," Grassley
said.

A White House official said they were reviewing Grassley's letter.

Grassley will have an opportunity to question Obama's nominee to be
U.S. trade representative, former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, about the
issue on Monday, when the Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on
Kirk's nomination.

During a trip to Ottawa last month, Obama repeated his desire to put
enforceable labor and environmental provisions in the text of NAFTA,
instead of leaving them in side agreements.

"My hope is ... there's a way of doing this that is not disruptive to
the extraordinarily important trade relationship that exists between
the United States and Canada," Obama said.

The U.S. Trade Representative's office, in its annual trade agenda
report released on Monday, said it would "work with Canada and Mexico
to identify ways in which NAFTA could be improved without having an
adverse effect on trade."

Grassley said NAFTA leveled the playing field for U.S. farmers and
other exporters by reducing Mexican tariffs and creating significant
new market openings.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer and Caren Bohan)

http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE5245VN20090305

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Peter Julian is calling for 'right-to-know' labelling for consumers...And More

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Burnaby Now

Activist applauds MP's toxins bill
Peter Julian is calling for 'right-to-know' labelling for consumers

by Christina Myers

A longtime Burnaby environmental and health activist is applauding a
push to introduce "right-to-know" labelling for toxic ingredients in
household products.

Mae Burrows of Toxic Free Canada - formerly known as the Labour
Environmental Alliance Society - says the private member's bill put
forward earlier this month by MP Peter Julian will give Canadians the
tools they need to make informed decisions for their families.

The bill would require all household products sold or imported into
Canada containing toxic substances to have clearly marked labels
identifying their toxic contents to consumers.

Burrows notes that her organization - which has been campaigning for
such legislation for five years - wrote to local MPs in January urging
them to act, adding that, as people learn more about the potential
health impacts of certain toxins, they are demanding more information
and accountability.

"The polls that we have show the majority of Canadians want to have
the right to know," Burrows told the NOW recently. "The legislation we
have now doesn't protect us, it's very hit and miss."

She says there are a wide variety of potentially toxic ingredients
that people want, and should have the right, to know about. For
example, some paint strippers have carcinogenic toxins in them.

"People are really starting to realize that low-dose exposure does
have an impact."

The society has successfully managed to work with several
municipalities in B.C. in having cosmetic pesticide bans introduced,
and Burrows says they are now working at a provincial level to see
that expanded.

"People sometimes think that maybe we're trying to create panic, and
that's not it at all. We want people to have the information they
need, and then they can be calm about it and can make the decisions in
the marketplace that fit their life and their concerns," she said.

As an example, Burrows points to the recent concerns over bisphenol-A
in certain plastic products. Last year, Health Canada determined that
pregnant women and babies are at risk from exposure to BPA, but
products don't have to be labelled.

In a statement, Julian noted that a previous version of the bill had
been pending a second reading in the House of Commons prior to the
dissolution of Parliament last fall.

"Bill C-338 recognizes that every single Canadian has a right to know
what dangers are posed to their health by the everyday products they
use," he said. "It's high time consumers are empowered with this
knowledge, not just to be able to make informed purchases but also to
use their purchasing power to put pressure on companies to use more
environmentally sustainable and healthier ingredients - it's a clear
win for every Canadian."

He says the bill builds on existing legislation that provides for
product labelling in the case of poisonous and dangerous products but
that doesn't extend to consumer products. Similar legislation has
already been enacted in the European Union and in California.

See www.toxicfreecanada.ca for more.

© Burnaby Now 2009

http://www2.canada.com/burnabynow/news/story.html?id=cf786a60-9bb0-44a8-a7dc-65b9b55c0464

=========================

Wed 11 Mar 2009.

NEWS: NDP BILL WOULD PROTECT CONSUMER’S RIGHT TO KNOW


OTTAWA – On Wednesday, Peter Julian, MP (Burnaby-New Westminster)
tabled a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Commons, which would
require all households products sold or imported into Canada
containing toxic substances to have clearly marked labels specifying
their toxic contents to consumers.

Bill C-338 is in keeping with the consumer’s right to know what
ingredients are in everyday products, especially foods, household
cleaners, and cosmetics. A previous version of Julian’s bill was on
the Order Paper of the House of Commons, pending Second Reading at the
time of the dissolution of Parliament last fall.

“Bill C-338 recognizes that every single Canadian has a right to know
what dangers are posed to their health by the everyday products they
use” said Julian. “It’s high time consumers are empowered with this
knowledge, not just to be able to make informed purchases, but also to
use their purchasing power to put pressure on companies to use more
environmentally sustainable and healthier ingredients – it’s a clear
win for every Canadian.”

Julian’s Bill builds on existing Canadian legislation that already
provides for product labeling in the case of poisonous and other
dangerous products, but which does not extend to consumer products. It
follows many other jurisdictions that have already enacted similar
legislation, notably the European Union and the State of California in
the United States. The legislation was developed in cooperation with
consumer advocates and the grass-roots.

The Bill comes just after Toxic Free Canada’s Executive Director Mae
Burrows wrote to all Members of Parliament, urging them to support the
enabling of legislation that would protect Canadians’ right-to-know by
requiring mandatory labels of hazardous ingredients on consumer
products.

“We will continue moving forward on this vital campaign to protect the
right to know,” said Julian. “I urge all Parliamentarians to join in
supporting this Bill in a non partisan fashion, and take a strong
stand for consumer protection and the health of every Canadian.”

http://www.peterjulian.ca/page/658

=========================

The Senate of Canada
Order Paper and Notice Paper
Issue 20
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
2:00 p.m.

WRITTEN QUESTIONS

No. 9.
By the Honourable Senator Downe:

January 26, 2009—With respect to the North American Free Trade
Agreement Technical Working Group:

In 1997, the North American Free Trade Agreement Technical Working
Group (TWG) on Pesticides was established to serve as a focal point
for addressing pesticide related issues. The TWG's primary objective
is to facilitate cost effective pesticide regulation and trade among
Canada, Mexico, and the United States through harmonization.

Could the Government of Canada provide the following information:

i. How many cases exist where Canadian pesticide standards have
been lowered in order to harmonize regulations with the United States?

ii. How many cases exist where Canadian pesticide standards have
been increased in order to harmonize regulations with the United
States?

iii. How many products were affected from lowering Canadian
pesticide standards in order to harmonize pesticide regulations with
the United States?

iv. How many products were affected from increasing Canadian
pesticide standards in order to harmonize pesticide regulations with
the United States?

v. What are the standards Canadian officials use to determine
whether or not to lower pesticide standards?

vi. What percentage of Canadian pesticide residue levels are
stricter than American standards?

vii. What percentage of products in Canada are found to exceed
legal residue limits?

http://www.parl.gc.ca/40/2/parlbus/chambus/senate/orderpaper/ord-E.htm

--------------------

The Hon. Percy E. Downe, B.A.
@TITLE_EN

Senator Downe was appointed to the Senate of Canada by the Right
Honourable Jean Chrétien. He has served in the Senate representing
Charlottetown in the province of Prince Edward Island since June 26,
2003.

Senator Downe is currently a member of the Standing Senate Committee
on Foreign Affairs, the Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy,
and the Executive Committee of the Canada-NATO Parliamentary
Association.

Since graduating from the University of Prince Edward Island in 1977,
Senator Downe has had the opportunity to serve at the provincial and
the federal level, more specifically as:

• Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Canada

• Director of Appointments, Office of the Prime Minister

• Executive Assistant to the Minister of Labour

• Executive Assistant to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

• Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State, Veterans Affairs and
ACOA

• Executive Assistant to the Premier of Prince Edward Island

Senator Downe lives in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island with his
spouse and their two children.

Contact Information

* Email: pdowne@sen.parl.gc.ca
* Phone: 613-943-8107
* Fax: 613-943-8109

* Personal Site: http://sen.parl.gc.ca/pdowne
* Parliamentary Profile

http://www.liberalsenateforum.ca/Senator/downep

=========================

Wednesday March 25th, 2009

Moncton Times & Transcript

Healthy Communities: Nature's role in the city

by Beth McLaughlin
HEALTHY COMMUNITIES

The presence of nature and greenery in a city reduces the "heat island
effect" of the city, helps eliminates the use of pesticides, reduces
the need for air conditioning, cleans the air, absorbs CO2 and
improves drainage!

Other services of "natural capital" are erosion and flood control and
protection from ultraviolet rays.

Green infrastructure adds beauty and attractiveness as well as a
certain pleasant atmosphere to any city.

Finally, factoring in the costs of nature's services is becoming a
common practice in the accounting world.

Improving the green infrastructure

With the death of the elm trees in the early 1990s, Moncton City
Council committed capital works funds for yearly planting of trees on
municipal lands and street right of ways (the green border between the
sidewalk and the curb).

"Last year, council developed a new policy and strategic plan to
provide the most benefit to the city's policies," explains Dan Hicks,
Supervisor of Parks and Grounds. An aerial survey identified 9,500
vacant planting sites. Now, one third of the trees are reserved for
public request. Two thirds of the allocated trees are planted by
random selection, but many are going first to the downtown over the
next 10 years, to be able to better fulfill the Downtown Vision.

Extra planting costs are incurred in the downtown area because
buildings are closer to the streets, the surfaces are more
impenetrable due to bricking and foundations, and the installation of
protective grates.

"We also have forest management plans for all forested city lands, we
have park bylaws that dictate what can and cannot be done within the
parks" adds Hicks. The "in the works" master plan for Parks and
Recreation will propose changes to the way parkland is zoned to better
protect parks and trails.

Climate change is bringing more frequent and intense rain storms. So
much of the city is more and more impenetrable with hard surfaces that
channeling rain water has become a serious challenge in Metro Moncton.
More emphasis on managing rain water to control water levels and flash
flooding translates to new engineering designs of streets and parking
lots, as well as storm sewer capture. All play a part, as does the
presence of green infrastructure.

Greenery, trees, bushes, and general vegetation slow the flow of
water, help to capture and allow water to percolate down, as well as
refilling wells and underground aquifers. In key city areas or on
residential lots where water collects in quantity during heavy rains,
building in landscaping features such as certain types of bushes or
trees and "rain gardens" will help prevent flooding and erosion, says
Dieppe urban planner Jean-Pierre Charron.

"A rain garden is a planted depression that allows rainwater runoff
from impenetrable urban areas like roofs, driveways, walkways, and
compacted lawn areas the opportunity to be absorbed. This reduces rain
runoff by allowing stormwater to soak into the ground. Rain gardens
can cut down on the amount of pollution reaching creeks and streams by
up to 30 per cent," says a Wikipedia entry on them. Water runoff from
streets is contaminated from cosmetic (lawn) pesticides, oil and
vehicle emissions. Percolation through soil helps clean water.

"Native plants are recommended for rain gardens because they generally
don't require fertilizer and are more tolerant of one's local climate,
soil, and water conditions. Wetland edge plants such as wildflowers,
sedges, rushes, ferns, shrubs and small trees -- take up excess water
flowing into the rain garden," Wikipedia says.

Subdivision construction

After flooding in new subdivisions occurred in Moncton in the last
decade, measures were introduced to take into account the volume of
rain falling in a forested area. Now, design in lot planning, street
building, preservation of greenery, and the 10 per cent reserved for
common purposes are integrated to take into account the volume of
average precipitation, bringing the amount to "zero net."

Greening around the city

Strategies to restore city ecology include planting fruit trees,
flowers and herbs. Dan Hicks, Supervisor of Parks and Grounds has used
edible plants at every opportunity, such as flowering crabapples and
hawthornes, highbush cranberries, blueberries, as well as flowering
kale, swiss chard, millet and even tomatoes from time to time. Their
presence also makes people think about where their food comes from.

"Indigenous plants require little care and little water and though we
don't have an official policy, our gardening staff are mostly all
graduates in horticulture and it's just good gardening sense," adds
Hicks.

Community Garden

The Community Garden near Rocky Stone Field on St. George Boulevard is
still active and has a waiting list! The YMCA is developing a
community garden. The U de M environmental group Symbiose did have a
community garden for many years but new construction on campus has put
the project on hold.

The future

Dan Hicks' biggest project is to ensure that tree planting and
preservation of trees are part of all new subdivision development
agreements. Some requirements for commercial applications exist now
but not for residential, where short- and long-term benefits could be
provided.

Dieppe would benefit from community gardens which are successful for
all age and income levels. With guidelines, they could be integrated
into the plan, says City Planner Jean-Pierre Charron. The City of
Dieppe is looking into a holistic plan for tree planting but needs
funds to back up the vision.

n Beth McLaughlin, of Moncton, has a Masters degree in Environmental
Studies and is a retired teacher. Her series will appear in this space
every Wednesday.

http://timestranscript.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/614174

=========================

March 25, 2009

Edmonton Journal

Why Canada needs a water policy

Humans are increasingly competing with ecosystems for limited amounts
of life-sustaining water. Sound water resource management may be the
key to Canada's future economic success

By R.W. Sandford, Freelance


The sun bakes the floor of this reservoir near Sacedon, Spain, which
is at a very low level of water due to drought.

The sun bakes the floor of this reservoir near Sacedon, Spain, which
is at a very low level of water due to drought.
Photograph by: Agence France-Presse; Getty Images, file, Freelance

The violent demonstrations that occurred last week at the World Water
Forum in Istanbul belie the seriousness of the global water crisis.

Currently, human population growth is the highest in places where
there is the least water. About 40 per cent of the Earth's land
surface receives so little precipitation that natural ecosystem
function is limited by water availability. Thus, we find that,
globally, one-third of humanity is now competing directly with nature
for water.

There is legitimate concern that in many parts of the world we cannot
meet both agricultural and urban needs, while at the same time
providing enough water to ensure the perpetuation of natural ecosystem
function.

As a consequence of growing populations and increased competition for
land and water, humanity is converging upon the need to make
uncommonly difficult public policy trade-offs that have never had to
be made on a global scale before.

If we provide to nature the water it needs to perpetuate our planetary
life-support system, then much of that water will have to come at the
expense of agriculture, which means that many people will have to
starve to meet ecosystem protection goals.

If, on the other hand, we provide agriculture all the water it needs
to have any hope of feeding the populations that are projected to
exist even in 2025, then we must expect ongoing deterioration of the
biodiversity-based ecosystem function that has generated Earth's
conditions upon which our society depends both for its stability and
sustainability.

Unfortunately, around the world we are already, often without fully
realizing it, making such choices.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CANADA

We will not be immune to what is happening elsewhere. The global water
crisis has enormous implications for Canada.

First, it puts into relief our own water resource management problems.
Our rapidly increasing urban populations, expanding agricultural and
industrial water needs, growing contamination problems and climate
change are now beginning to create the kinds of problems in parts of
Canada that have arisen widely elsewhere in the world.

Secondly, we are beginning to realize that as water scarcity affects
other food growing regions, more and more water is going to be
exported not in its liquid form but as virtual water embodied in food.

Given that the increasingly thirsty world will likely be relying upon
us more heavily than ever to meet increasingly unattainable global
food production goals, Canada's future economic success may well be
defined by how carefully and productively we manage our water
resources.

Before we can fix our own problems or begin to realize any opportunity
in what is happening elsewhere, however, we need to get our own house
in order.

In the context of water resources management our country's future
economic success could be defined in increasing measure by how
successful we are in improving the way we manage our water resources.

The first thing we need to do is to dispel the myth of limitless
abundance of water resources. We have been telling ourselves for
generations that we have 20 per cent of the world's fresh water, but
only 6.5 per cent of our water resources are renewed annually by the
hydrological cycle. Moreover, most of our water is in the north and
most Canadians live in the south.

KNOWING WHAT WE HAVE

We urgently need to improve the monitoring of surface and groundwater
quantity and quality. We also need to make the link between enhanced
monitoring and improved water availability forecasting and long-term
climate change prediction.

We also have to embrace eco-hydrological realities and come to
understand and protect ecosystems and ecosystem functions that
generate clean water.

To make food production in Canada sustainable, we have to solve our
own water availability and quality challenges related to agricultural
practices.

We have to reverse the growing eutrophication of our lakes,
watercourses and estuaries caused by widespread agricultural nutrient
loading, pesticide contamination and wetland draining. We have to
reassess policies with respect to biofuel production in the context of
their impact on water supply, land-use and the future availability of
productive farmland. We must also protect the long-term future of our
agriculture by improving our effectiveness in anticipating and
managing the growing likelihood of prolonged drought. In addition, we
need to actively anticipate future climate change impacts on both
water supply and quality.

We cannot rely simply on the invisible hand of the marketplace to
somehow make all of the necessary improvements happen. Well operating
markets depend upon a strong regulatory frameworks and functioning
government oversight. The same is true in the case of water utility
privatization.

Canadian policy-makers need to ask the same fundamental questions that
continue to be asked around the increasingly water-scarce world.

What is our water policy really about? Is it about market efficiency?
Is it about decentralization and local participation? Or is it about
sustainability? Or is it about all of these ideals?

Unfortunately, solving one of these problems is not enough.
International example suggests that the urgency we must address is
sustainability and only by addressing it can markets be brought into
line with any hope of creating an equitable and desirable future for
those who will occupy the planet after we are gone.

We cannot be successful in solving our own water problems or in
helping address the growing global water crisis through virtual water
export unless we can effectively summon the courage to reform our
nation's and our province's administratively fragmented and
jurisdictionally territorial water governance structures in service of
these goals.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

Moving prematurely toward markets without integrating them first into
the larger water management solutions could ultimately delay and
complicate necessary higher-level water-policy reform. The growing
desire to create water markets, however, could be the urgency that
realizes the need and creates badly needed deadlines for larger water-
policy reforms.

Unlike so many other places in the world, Canada still has room to
move in terms of how we manage our water resources. But the window of
opportunity for change will not be open long. Our planet's
hydrological regimes are changing. This is no time for half-measures.
What is needed now is strong government leadership.

If we can balance the water availability and quality needs of nature,
agriculture and our cities, everything else we need to do, including
climate change, may very well fall into line. If we don't, however, we
can expect the dry West to become drier and the problems that are
occurring elsewhere to occur here.

Bob Sandford is chairman of the Canadian Partnership Initiative in
support of the United Nations Water for Life Decade. He is also a
signatory, along with many of Canada's most prominent scientists and
water policy scholars, of the 2008 Canadian Pugwash and Science for
Peace Expert Roundtable Declaration calling for federal and provincial
water governance and policy reform in Canada
© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal


The sun bakes the floor of this reservoir near Sacedon, Spain, which
is at a very low level of water due to drought.

The sun bakes the floor of this reservoir near Sacedon, Spain, which
is at a very low level of water due to drought.
Photograph by: Agence France-Presse; Getty Images, file, Freelance

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Technology/Canada+needs+water+policy/1425878/story.html

=========================
Warning Industry Propaganda Below
=========================

March 25, 2009

The National Post

Another 'Green Revolution'

Scientists believe that the planet's requirements for agricultural
production could be met through genetic modification --if
environmental activists don't keep it from happening

by Bjorn Lomborg, City Journal

Shortly after the Second World War, a "Green Revolution" began to
transform agriculture around the globe, allowing food production to
keep pace with worldwide population growth. By means of irrigation,
fertilizers, pesticides and plant breeding, the Green Revolution
increased world grain production by an astonishing 250% between 1950
and 1984, raising the calorie intake of the world's poorest people and
averting serious famines.

The revolution's benefits have tapered off, however, as the number of
mouths to feed has grown ever larger and as conventional breeding of
new plant varieties has produced diminishing returns. What's needed is
a new revolution. Luckily, most agricultural scientists believe that
the planet's requirements for agricultural production could be met
through genetic modification (GM) -- if environmental activists don't
keep it from happening.

The conventional plant breeding of the Green Revolution, itself a more
primitive form of GM, produced high-yielding strains of rice, corn and
wheat. These were "dwarf " versions of traditional crops with shorter
stems that performed better in irrigated, fertilized soil. American
agronomist Norman Borlaug introduced the high-yielding varieties to
Mexico, Pakistan and India and was eventually awarded the Nobel Peace
Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold
Medal. In a 2004 tribute on the occasion of Borlaug's 90th birthday,
the U. S. Senate declared, "It is very likely that Dr. Borlaug is
directly responsible for saving more lives than anyone else in the
20th century."

Today, continuing on GM's well-trodden path, biotechnology offers the
hope of increased food production with less environmental damage.
Where scientists once crossbred plants through a slow process of trial
and error to get the genes for a desired trait, today's breeders can
isolate precisely the genes they want and insert them directly into
the plant.

The possibilities are enormously exciting. Plants could grow
sustainably in areas left out of the first Green Revolution--in sub-
Saharan Africa, for example, where the need is great. Farmers could
grow plants that are resistant to disease or drought and don't need
chemical fertilizers. Genetic modification also offers the potential
of consumer-focused improvements, such as staple crops fortified with
extra nutrients.

Genetically modified food has been consumed for years by hundreds of
millions of American consumers. The crops are also grown in 22 other
countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China and India. The
International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications
estimates that more than 50 million farmers around the world planted
genetically modified crops last year. These crops include herbicide-
tolerant canola, allowing farmers to achieve higher crop yields and
use fewer chemicals; corn with a built-in natural insecticidal protein
to protect it from borer and root worm without spray insecticide; and
rice with extra iron and a protein that increases iron uptake, which
is especially promising because of the widespread problem of iron
deficiency.

Though no known health problems have resulted from eating crops
produced by GM, scare-mongering about the practice is widespread. In
much of Europe, the campaign against genetic modification has had
considerable success: England's Prince Charles proclaims with imperial
certainty that genetic modification is "guaranteed to cause the
biggest disaster environmentally of all time," and the specter of
"Frankenfood" has all but driven GM edibles from the European
marketplace.

More troubling, both Zimbabwe and Zambia have blocked food aid that
wasn't certified free of genetically modified material. During a
drought in 2002, Zambia's then-president, Levy Mwanawasa, rejected U.
S. food aid, saying that the hunger of his people was "no
justification to give them food that is intrinsically dangerous to
their health." It wasn't until Dec., 2005, that Zambia reversed course
in the face of further famine and allowed the importation of
genetically modified corn.

Such opposition to GM is particularly counterproductive now. In 2008,
malnutrition in mothers and their young children claimed 3.5 million
lives. Global food stocks reached historic lows last year, and food
riots erupted in West Africa and South Asia. Consumers in transitional
economies like China and India are demanding more than subsistence
diets, and drought has hindered Australian crop production. Progress
is distressingly slow on the United Nations' goal of halving the
proportion of hungry people by 2015.

Of course, before we adopt genetically modified foods, we should
always test them rigorously for their potential impact on the
environment and on people's health. But it would be criminal to
disregard the hope that biotechnology offers to the world's most
malnourished people.

"Some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the
salt of the Earth, but many of them are elitists," Borlaug once
memorably said, referring to critics squeamish about the tools that he
used during the Green Revolution. "They've never experienced the
physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable
office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month
amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for 50 years,
they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals
and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to
deny them these things." - Bjorn Lomborg, an adjunct professor at the
Copenhagen Business School, is the author of The Skeptical
Environmentalist and Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide
to Global Warming.

Genetically modified corn being grown near Cairo, Egypt. Khaled
Desouki, AFP

© 2009 The National Post Company. All rights reserved.

http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=1424305

------------------

Bjorn Lomborg - SourceWatch Profile
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Bjorn_Lomborg

------------------

Wed, Mar 18 2009
Introducing the Flat Earth Society
Climate skeptics, there is a club for you.
Fellow blogger Jerry Cope of the Huffington Post just last week
interviewed Katherine Richardson, chair of the International Climate
Congress held in Copenhagen which prepares international lawmakers for
the upcoming COP 15. Jerry asked her about this, and she seemed to
indicate that it has a lot to do with media and the popular press. She
cited Fox News darling Bjorn Lomborg who always manages to get equal
air time because he adds an element of controversy.
http://www.mnn.com/technology/research-innovations/blogs/introducing-the-flat-earth-society

------------------

Fri, Mar 06 2009
Al Gore weathers confrontation at ECO:nomics summit
Gore kept his cool despite the bravado of the 'Skeptical
Environmentalist'.
http://www.mnn.com/technology/research-innovations/blogs/al-gore-weathers-confrontation-at-economics-summit

=========================

March 24, 2009

Salmon Arm Observer

Land process an option

Re: Warren Bell’s opinion column in the March 13 issue of the Shuswap
Market News.

Warren Bell is quite correct when he contends that “we must adopt a
whole new approach to chemical and molecular residues (in our sewage
waste-stream)”

Unfortunately, his assertions concerning the characteristics of land
treatment of sewage effluent are oversimplified and though thoughtful,
are, in part, scientifically unsupported.

In particular, the assertion that land treatment only postpones
effluent materials – including micro-organisms, viruses, inorganic
phosphates, nitrates and heavy metals, and a host of organic
materials, including pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and cosmetics –
reaching fresh water bodies unchanged, is in serious error.

A prominent researcher in this field, Termes, 2007, has stated that
most pharmaceuticals and inorganics are significantly biodegraded in
soils by the action of soil organisms and sunlight. The percentage
removal of many such materials from the waste-stream during land-
treatment range from 60 to 80 per cent, so that sewage effluent is
definitely not reaching freshwater unchanged, or merely postponed in
reaching said waters. That is, this chemical and biochemical
degradation of sewage effluent by the soil and its microbiological
processes follows directly from a consideration of soil ecology.

That small percentages of some effluent materials may reach freshwater
– even after land treatment is a matter of concern, however. For
example, Carbamazepine and Sulfamethoxazole remain relatively un-
degraded during land treatment due to their hydrophilic (water-loving)
chemical behaviour. Of course, it must be noted that at present, 100
per cent of pollutants, including the above-mentioned inorganics,
heavy metals, and organic pharmaceuticals, pesticides and cosmetics,
DO reach such freshwater, like Shuswap Lake, by direct sewage effluent
discharge, without land-treatment

And this is where human ecology and our cultural “dependence on
synthetic molecules and toxic minerals”, as Warren Bell nicely states
it, enters the equation.

Our ‘Human Ecological Footprint’ analyses are based on two safe
assumptions: 1. that the resources we consume come from the Earth –
that is, land and water environments and 2. that the wastes we
inevitably produce as we use and transform such resources, are
absorbed and recycled in these same environments. I say safe
assumptions, because obviously we don’t import resources from space
(except for the Sun’s energy), nor do we send our wastes into space.
That is, everything we use, or do, ecologically good or bad, is right
here with us here on Earth, as long as we are – no ifs or buts – those
are house-rules and ecos, and ecology means household, anyway.

So, Warren Bell’s valid concerns regarding our unhealthy dependence on
the synthetic chemical soup that our culture is immersed in, perhaps
could more meaningfully address the cultural roots of this dependence,
and as well, address those cultural attributes that permit – indeed
encourage – greater and greater population size, density and
consumption habits, which, acting together, have resulted in our
unsustainable ecological footprint (environmental impact) – including
production of dangerous wastes – in every environment we find
ourselves inhabiting.

In the meantime, as the principles of Warren Bell’s cited Swedish
natural step model of waste-management evolve, we could do no worse,
in our current imperfect world, than to accept the scientific evidence
that land treatment of sewage waste is ecologically and practically,
the lesser of the two evils now facing sewage waste management in a
consumer-oriented society.

Thomas J. Crowley

http://www.bclocalnews.com/bc_thompson_nicola/salmonarmobserver/opinion/letters/41792597.html Best Blogger Tips
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Big Daddy Dow and the Weedkiller of Doom...And More

NAFTA - Dow, Chapter 11, & The Standing Committee on International
Trade

The Standing Committee on International Trade met this morning (March
24th) to review Chapter 11, the investor-state clause of the North
American Free Trade Agreement.

The audio from this morning's proceedings can be accessed by going to
http://www2.parl.gc.ca/CommitteeBusiness/CommitteeMeetings.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=2#DT20090324AANOMEE11.

The short 'minutes of the proceedings' are at
http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=3763202&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=2.

Board member Steven Shrybman presented for Council of Canadians.
Equiterre, the David Suzuki Foundation, and Ecojustice also jointly
presented this morning. They spoke primarily about the Dow NAFTA
challenge against Quebec’s pesticide ban. You can read more about that
at http://www.canadians.org/media/trade/2008/06-Nov-08.html and at
http://www.canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=138.

To read about the current Chapter 11 cases against the Government of
Canada, you can go to the Department of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade website at
http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/disp-diff/gov.aspx?lang=en.

==============================
=====

Tue 10 Mar 2009.

NDP SUCCEEDS IN PUSHING FOR HEARINGS ON 2 4-D PESTICIDES

OTTAWA – On Tuesday, the International Trade Committee passed a New
Democrat motion calling for hearings on a trade dispute over Quebec’s
province wide cosmetic pesticide ban. The motion, tabled by New
Democrat’s International Trade Critic Peter Julian, will allow the
committee to look into the NAFTA Chapter 11 challenge by Dow Agro
Sciences against Quebec’s ban of lawn and garden pesticides.

“NAFTA’s Chapter 11 provisions have been criticised as shutting down
democratic governments and Dow’s challenge is clearly a case in
point,” said Julian. “The province of Quebec, with broad support from
the population, banned toxic pesticides and now a major chemical
company is trying to use Chapter 11 to shake the government down and
get compensation for products that clearly have profound health
effects. This issue must be brought in the public domain.”

Dow Agro Sciences in suing the federal government for loss of profits
which would occur as a result of this pesticide ban. Dow filled a $2
million notice of action last under Chapter 11 of NAFTA last August.

Currently, there are approximately 1,000 commercial pesticide products
for sale in Canada that cannot be sold in other nations because of
health and environmental concerns.

Julian’s motion was amended at committee to include discussion of
another Chapter 11 case regarding the seizure of Abitibi Bowater
assets by the Newfoundland government.

------------

LE NPD RÉUSSIT À OBTENIR DES AUDIENCES SUR LES PESTICIDES 2 4-D

OTTAWA – Mardi, le Comité du commerce international a adopté une
motion du NPD demandant la tenue d’audiences concernant un conflit
commercial issue de l’interdiction au Québec de l’usage de pesticides
à des fins esthétiques. La motion, déposée par le porte-parole du NPD
en matière de commerce international, Peter Julian, permettra au
Comité d’examiner le recours au Chapitre 11 de l’ALENA par Dow Agro
Sciences pour contester l’interdiction de l’utilisation de ces
pesticides dans les pelouses et les jardins au Québec.

« La disposition du Chapitre 11 de l’ALENA a été dénoncée comme étant
une forme de bâillonnement des gouvernements démocratiques, et ce
recours par Dow est un excellent exemple, a déclaré M. Julian. Le
gouvernement du Québec, avec le soutien d’une grande partie de la
population, a interdit l’utilisation de pesticides toxiques, mais
voilà qu’un important fabricant de produits chimiques tente de se
prévaloir des dispositions du Chapitre 11 pour obliger le gouvernement
à l’indemniser pour des produits qui sont manifestement nocifs pour la
santé. La question doit être débattue publiquement. »

Dow Agro Sciences poursuit le gouvernement fédéral pour la perte de
bénéfices qu’entraînerait cette interdiction. En août dernier,
l’entreprise a déposé un avis d’action de deux millions de dollars aux
termes du Chapitre 11 de l’ALENA.

Un millier environ de pesticides commerciaux actuellement en vente au
Canada sont frappés d’interdiction dans d’autres pays à cause de leur
impact sur la santé et l’environnement.

Le Comité a modifié la motion de M. Julian en y incluant une autre
contestation déposée en vertu du Chapitre 11 concernant la saisie des
avoirs d’Abitibi Bowater par le gouvernement de Terre-Neuve.

http://www.peterjulian.ca/page/657

===================================

Thursday March 5, 2009

Dow Suing Canada Because Quebec Bans Controversial Pesticide

That's right Montreal. Our federal tax money is being spent as we
speak on defending Quebec's Pesticides Management Code -- a code that
limits the use of cosmetic or non-essential lawncare products -- to a
company that brought you innovations as varied as saran wrap,
Styrofoam and napalm-b!

Dow AgroSciences -- a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical -- and
their legal team invoked a nifty NAFTA provision and want compensation
in the order of $2 million plus legal fees reimbursed over Quebec
"wrongfully" banning the use of products containing 2,4-D (which is,
incidentally, the "safer" of two herbicides used, in ester form, to
make chemical superstar Agent Orange, another fine Dow product).

This Montreal Gazette article interviews Donald Page, then executive
director of the Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research and he is
adamant that Quebec is going to lose the suit because they won't be
able to prove 2,4-D causes cancer. So as long as it doesn't cause
cancer, it must be safe? Does that kind of logic make anyone feel
safe? Page says nothing about the herbicide's reported links to birth
defects, damage to reproductive systems, irreversible eye damage,
endocrine system disruption, neurological impairments, and a
compromised immune system.

Why?

So what is 2,4-D? It's a weed-killing pesticide Dow's in-house
research deems safe and non-carcinogenic. Health Canada agrees, as
long as it's used properly. So does the European Union. And the World
Health Organization only considers 2,4-D "moderately hazardous." The
Environmental Protection Agency also reports 2,4-D is safe as long as
it does not exceed a "maximum contaminant level," kind of like how
chocolate can contain a certain amount of rat poop and still be deemed
safe (and legal) for human consumption (the FDA calls said poop
"mammalian excreta" and group the latter, as well as fly legs,
maggots, insect filth, rodent hairs, parasitic cysts, and mold under
the foodie blanket term, "defects"; kinda makes the allergy-prone
wonder what they're allergic to, the food or the "defects," n'est-ce-
pas?)

On the other side of the coin, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Kuwait
prohibit using 2,4-D on lawns and gardens, Belize severely restricts
its use, South Australia seasonally bans certain formulations of the
herbicide used by farmers, About.com's lawn care expert Kelly Burke
thinks chemical pesticides should be restricted to licensed
applicators, suggesting household use may not be appropriate, Ontario
is following Quebec's lead and prohibiting 85 pesticides, including
2,4-D, starting April 22nd and New York-based Natural Resources
Defense Council is urging the EPA to recant their "safe" position on
2,4-D, pointing to a flawed risk assessment.

Now the city of Montreal is chiming in, declaring their full support
in defending Quebec's Pesticides Management Code along with over 40
Quebec environmental and community organizations.

But before the plot thickens, tell me what you think. Do you feel in
safe hands with Dow's multi million dollar research and Health
Canada's heads up or do you support Quebec's and Montreal's respective
bans on pesticides?

And at the end of the day, who is genuinely protecting you and your
family's health?

More on:
* Chapter 11 of NAFTA
* 2,4-D Faces Scrutiny and Possible Ban in the United States
* Quebec's Pesticides Management Code

* Comments (2)

http://montreal.about.com/b/

===================================

Tue, 10/28/2008

Big Daddy Dow and the Weedkiller of Doom

by: El Dragón

Ah, NAFTA! What a wonderful web of malfeasance you've wrought. In your
efforts to enhance "free trade" (one of the greatest examples of real-
life newspeak there ever was), you've created a crowbar for
multinationals to pop open markets against their will. Cool!

Take the stand-off currently going on between Quebec and Dow
AgroSciences. Quebec has the audacity to tell Dow, a company that's
roughly 4.5 times the size of God, that they don't want Dow's
weedkiller "2,4-d" to be used in Quebec for merely cosmetic, squirt-it-
around-the-lawn purposes. I mean, who the hell is Quebec? Dow has
divisions bigger than Quebec's GNP, and they're gonna throw down a
ban?

Well, Dow doesn't have an army with which to invade (yet), so they
submitted a 27-page brief under Chapter 11 of NAFTA, which allows
companies and investors to end-run local courts and sue the federal
government, if the locals get uppity. In their paper, Dow calls
Quebec's actions tantamount to "nationalization" (??) in an effort to
get Canada's federal government to lean on its provinces. From the
above article:

Dow's legal brief accuses the Quebec government of implementing a
pesticide ban that "is not based on science" and was applied to 2,4-D
"without providing any meaningful opportunity" for the company to make
its case that the herbicide is safe.

Such nice, polite talk, eh? "Here now, my good man, you've done me a
disservice by not affording me a meaningful opportunity!" What crap.
I know a smackdown when I see one, so, here, now, is the Food Fighter
interpretation of Dow's argument.

Oh, no, no, no, you gonna suck Big Daddy's weedkiller, baby! Don't
like that? Too bad! Cuz after the 24D, we gonna make you buy our
breast implants, too! Someone's gotta take em! Thank God for NAFTA!
Wazzup, Canada?!

OK, so they aren't looking to dump breast implants on Quebec as far as
we know (but where DO you think all those Ziplock bags of silicone
went?).

Anyway, here's the real Kicker. If Big Daddy Dow doesn't get his way?
Dow's going to go crying to the U.S. federal government and claim $2+
million in lost trade damages. That's right. Joe the Plumber is gonna
have to pay up to Dow because Quebec doesn't want people overusing
pesticides and tainting their groundwater.

Ah, the rich, syrupy taste of socialism. Nar um num num num num!

http://www.fairfoodfight.com/blog/el-drag-n/big-daddy-dow-and-weedkiller-doom

===================================

24 March 2009

edie.net - providing green news, views and commercial data tailored to
the needs of professional environmentalists

Canadian province bans pesticides

The Canadian province of Ontario will ban cosmetic pesticides from
next month.

Under new legislation to take effect from Wednesday, April 22 - Earth
Day, an environmental awareness event - the cosmetic use of pesticides
on lawns, gardens, cemeteries, parks and schools will be banned and
products removed from the shelves.

John Gerretsen, Ontario environment minister, said: "We have fulfilled
our commitment to ban the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides in
Ontario.

"I'm proud to say that, when the ban takes effect on Earth Day, we
will have eliminated this unnecessary risk to our environment, our
families, and especially our children."

The moves is the final step in the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, passed
last year.

It covers a range of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.

More than 250 pesticide products including Roundup, Killex and Weed
and Feed will be taken off shop shelves and some 80 ingredients banned
for use.

Lawn companies and homeowners will be prohibited from using them.

Exceptions include for public health or safety reasons such as
fighting West Nile Virus, killing stinging insects, or controlling
poison ivy and other plants poisonous to the touch.

Other exceptions include agriculture and forestry and golf courses.
Municipalities can apply to the Ministry of the Environment for
exemptions to maintain sports fields for a national or international
event.

Ontario is the second Canadian province to ban cosmetic pesticide use
after Quebec in 2006, it is understood. The ban replaces existing
municipal bylaws.

The environment ministry has said previously that the government
"believes the use of pesticides to control pesky weeds and insects for
purely cosmetic reasons is an unnecessary risk to our families and
pets, especially when you can have a healthier lawn and garden without
chemicals".

It added: "We have listened to medical experts, who have made a
convincing case for reducing our exposure to pesticides, particularly
children who are generally more susceptible to the potential toxic
effects of pesticides."

But the ban has provoked resistance in some quarters, including the
landscaping industry.

Pierre Petelle, director of regulatory affairs at Croplife Canada, a
trade association representing manufacturers, developers and
distributors of pest control products, said: "The main problem with
these regulations is they arenÕt science-based. This will have an
effect on innovation in developing new products."

Supporters say non-toxic lawn care, which involves hand-weeding and is
more labour-intensive, will spur job creation especially among young
people looking for holiday work.

It is has reportedly already sparked a boom in mechanical weeding tool
sales.

For more details visit the Ontario ministry of environment website @
www.ene.gov.on.ca

David Gibbs

© Faversham House Group Ltd 2009.

http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=16179

===================================

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CBC News

Widows seek changes for Agent Orange compensation rules, deadline

A group of military widows is trying to have the deadline extended for
people seeking compensation for illness and death from Agent Orange
spraying at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in the 1960s.

The deadline to apply for the federal government's compensation
package is April 1, but an organization is pushing to have that date
moved and for a change to the qualifying date to cover when their
husbands died.

Calling themselves Widows on the Warpath, the group has about 80
members across the country, said founder Bette Hudson.

"I wasn't eligible because he didn't die on or after Feb. 6, 2006. He
was to have died on or after that date. And he died in 2004," Hudson
said.

All members of Hudson's group have seen their claims rejected by the
compensation package, which offers payments of up to $20,000 to
veterans with specific diseases linked to the spraying of the
herbicide Agent Orange in 1966 and '67.

The U.S. military tested Agent Orange, Agent Purple and several other
defoliants on a small section of the base over seven days in 1966 and
1967.

The federal government's compensation offer is subject to tight
restrictions, with payments only available to veterans and civilians
who worked on or lived within five kilometres of the base between 1966
and 1967, and only those who have illnesses associated with Agent
Orange exposure.

Those illnesses include Hodgkin's disease, lymphoma, respiratory
cancers, prostate cancer and type 2 diabetes, as determined by the
U.S. Institute of Medicine.

It is anticipated roughly 4,500 people will be eligible for the
payment.

Hudson's claim is one of 878 denied by the Department of Veterans
Affairs, while 2,153 have been approved.

Widows on the Warpath will be pressing federal politicians to open up
the compensation package with public meetings and protests planned
before the April 1 deadline.

"As far as we know and as far as our feeling is, they were eliminated
before it was ever announced in 2007. And that wasn't right and it's
not fair to these widows," Hudson said.

The widows' fight has caught the attention of a documentary film crew
from New York.

"A lot of people think the compensation package addressed the issues.
In actuality, only about 2,000 people have gotten the compensation
package and over 315,000 travelled on the base during the times of the
chemical defoliation period," said director Danny Feighery.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2009/03/24/nb-agent-orange-433.html

DND Agent Orange Report
www.dnd.ca/site/reports-rapports/defoliant/FFReports/Task2A/1009662_Task%202A-Final%20Report-May%2019_2006.pdf

===================================

March 24, 2009

Fighting Lawn Weeds Organically
by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

So many homeowners pump gallons of post-emergent herbicides on their
lawns that they deplete their soil of vital nutrients, as well as
potentially poison the local water sources. Some commercial herbicides
have been linked to non-Hodgkins lymphoma and reproductive woes. It's
a completely avoidable practice since plenty of effective, safe,
organic post-emergent solutions are available. You can find a wide
assortment of controls using natural oils to treat crabgrass,
dandelion, chickweed, clover, and basket-grass.

Most of the organics available as post-emergent applications typically
not kill seeds, but they do the job nicely in killing off crabgrass
and weeds without damaging your lawn. Many use clove oil as the active
ingredient, and they may also include lemon oils, vinegar, soybean
oil, citric acid, mineral oil, lecithin, and sodium lauryl sulfate, a
foaming agent that helps coat the leaves of target broadleaf weeds.

Non-Synthetic Weed Killers and Lawn Care
Clove oil and corn gluten weed killers are reviewed by the
Environmental Protection Agency. While manufacturers assert that the
weeds will die in an hour, you may have to apply the herbicide several
times to eradicate perennials. Typically, you mix the treatment with
water and spray it on the weeds directly.

Be careful about over-using organic post-emergents, however, since too
much vinegar can alter soil pH. You should still avoid using them on
septic fields or vegetables. These products may be better employed as
spot killers.

Some organic weed killers need to be "activated" with a following
spray of water. The weeds should turn yellow within a day, and should
be left undisturbed for two days. Washing off the powdery residue can
dilute the killer.

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for
Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems,
Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

http://www.allaboutlawns.com/lawn-maintenance-care/green-technology/fighting-lawn-weeds-organically-10315.php

===================================

Press Release, March 23, 2009
Coalition against Bayer Dangers (Germany)

Bayer Institute: Flawed emergency systems
Congress and Chemical Safety Board investigate fatal explosion at
Bhopal “sister plant” / Countermotion to Bayer shareholder meeting

The safety situation at Bayer's facilities in Institute, West
Virginia, remains critical. Large quantities of highly toxic chemicals
such as methyl isocyanate (MIC) and phosgene are produced and stored.
Serious accidents occur on a regular basis. The Coalition against
Bayer Dangers, based in Germany, now introduced a countermotion to
Bayer´s Annual Stockholders´ Meeting which demands not to ratify the
board until the MIC stockpiles are dismantled and the frequent spills
are stopped. The countermotion, which also has been published on Bayer
´s website, will be discussed in the meeting at Duesseldorf/Germany on
May 12.

In the 1980s, the factory belonged to Union Carbide and was regarded
as the "sister plant" to the infamous factory in Bhopal, India where
in December 1984 thirty tons of MIC leaked and at least 15,000 people
died. Today, nowhere else in the United States such large quantities
of MIC are produced and stored.

At last year's shareholder meeting, Bayer CEO Werner Wenning rejected
any need for action. He said that the plant conformed to the "latest
safety standards" and had an "excellent incident rate". Despite these
mollifications, the next serious accident in the plant happened just
four months later, on August 28, when a storage tank at Institute
exploded. Two workers lost their lives and thousands of residents were
not allowed to leave their houses for several hours. The tremors were
felt in a radius of more than 10 miles. Eye witnesses talked of
"shockwaves like an earthquake". A nearby highway was closed.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), after
analyzing the incident, criticized "faulty safety systems, significant
shortcomings with the emergency procedures and a lack of employee
training". In total, OSHA identified 13 serious violations of safety
regulations and imposed a penalty of $143,000.

Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper sharply criticized
Bayer on the night of the accident: “We are getting such poor
information from the plant, it's worthless." For several hours, the
rescue teams had tried to obtain information on the leaked substances,
but had been turned away by the gatekeeper (!). In a letter to the
Chemical Safety Board, the rescue services complained that they would
not have been able to help the residents in the event of an escape of
MIC or phosgene. The governor of the state of West Virginia issued an
order, specifically on account of this accident, stating that serious
incidents have to be reported to the authorities within 15 minutes.

Bayer endeavored to placate everyone after the explosion by
maintaining that the large MIC tanks were accommodated in another part
of the factory. Weeks later it emerged that one MIC tank containing up
to 20 metric tons of the deadly gas is located above ground less than
20 meters from the explosion. If it had been damaged, the lives of
other employees and residents would have been in extreme danger.
Although the plant management apologized for the communication
breakdowns, the company is still not taking any fundamental
consequences, and production based on MIC and phosgene is to continue.

Bayer meanwhile opposes a full clarification of the accident and has
especially hired PR consultants and an army of attorneys. A public
hearing by the Chemical Safety Board scheduled March 19 was called off
following threats from Bayer. Attorneys from Bayer referred to the
Maritime Transportation Security Act that was passed after September
11 – a law to protect ports and ships, even though the plant is around
500 km from the sea. It is evident that the company intends to use
legal tricks to prevent safety problems from being discussed in
public.

Only after an Open Letter by twelve environmental groups and pressure
from the media the CSB re-scheduled the meeting for April 23 (see
www.cbgnetwork.org/2810.html). John Bresland, Chairman of the Chemical
Safety Board, says he wants to discuss in particular the safety of the
MIC tanks. On the same day the Congress Committee on Energy and
Commerce will investigate the causes of the accident and the adequacy
of the response.

Axel Koehler-Schnura from the Coalition against Bayer Dangers says:
“Highly hazardous substances such as phosgene and MIC do not belong in
mass production, and certainly not in the vicinity of residential
areas. The company's practice of preventing public debate through
legal loopholes should be condemned. Ever since the company became
established, Bayer has endeavored, by exerting pressure and making
threats, to suppress information and criticism. It uses its economic
power indiscriminately in order to protect its profits. The truth and
the interests of humans and the environment are left by the wayside.”

The Board of Management and the Supervisory Board have not taken any
steps to substantially improve the safety situation in Institute or to
enlighten the general public. The Coalition against Bayer Dangers will
therefore urge the shareholders not to ratify them.

More information: A Collection of Materials on Bayer´s Institute Plant

Coalition against BAYER Dangers
www.CBGnetwork.org
CBGnetwork@aol.com
Tel: (+49) 211-333 911 Fax: (+49) 211-333 940
please send an e-mail for receiving the English newsletter Keycode
BAYER free of charge

Advisory Board
Prof. Juergen Junginger, designer, Krefeld,
Prof. Dr. Juergen Rochlitz, chemist, former member of the Bundestag,
Burgwald
Wolfram Esche, attorney, Cologne
Dr. Sigrid Müller, pharmacologist, Bremen
Eva Bulling-Schroeter, member of the Bundestag, Berlin
Prof. Dr. Anton Schneider, biologist, Neubeuern
Dr. Janis Schmelzer, historian, Berlin
Dr. Erika Abczynski, pediatrician, Dormagen

===================================
Warning Industry Propaganda Below
===================================

March 24, 2009

Ban is unwarranted

Kitchener-Waterloo Record

RE: PESTICIDE BAN UNFAIR, March 13

Diane Girard, in her letter questioning the fairness of the new
provincial pesticide law that takes effect this year, is absolutely
correct when she argues that the rationale breaks down when the law
allows golf courses to use the banned substances but not homeowners.

Even more bizarre is the fact that farmers can continue to use the
banned products, allowing these chemicals to get into our food system.
Why?

This law is all about the optics.

As well, the banned products are, as pointed out, federally tested and
approved for use. They have been scientifically proven to be safe when
used properly.

The rationale for implementing the law has not been based upon any
scientific conclusions, but on mere postulation that ponders the link
between these pesticides and health problems.

The argument basically boils down to: "There is no scientific basis
for the ban but better safe than sorry." If that is the rationale then
the law should also be extended to farms and golf courses. People who
play golf spend far more time standing on grass than those who don't.

Michael Williams
Waterloo

http://news.therecord.com/Opinions/article/508441
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St. John's Daily Spray Advisory

My Past Articles

More enforcement needed for pesticide spray regulations
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 413 words
Karen Griffin - Judie Squires says someone needs to patrol the companies that spray residential areas for pesticides because she's observed nine violations of the Environmental Protection Act in her Paradise neighborhood alone


Spray woes: Province falling down on monitoring pesticides
The Telegram (St. John's) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 253 words
Judie Squires - environment to become poisoned? A temporary ban on all residential pesticides has to be put into place, to protect us, our wildlife and our environment as a whole. Judie Squires Paradise


Government lax on cosmetic pesticide regulation: advocate
The Telegram (St. John's) - 08-28-2004 - 613 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic the province will ban cosmetic use


Woman doesn't expect cosmetic pesticide ban any time soon
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - 08-30-2004 - 712 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic that the province will ban the


Province lagging behind in pesticide control
The Telegram (St. John's) - 09-04-2005 - 496 words
Squires, Judie - it to do is to prohibit the cosmetic use of synthetic pesticides altogether in order to protect our citizens and the environment. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's


The two sides to pesticide use
The Telegram (St. John's) - 07-16-2006 - 781 words
Judie Squires - health of your families. When Canada's most respected health authorities tell us pesticides threaten our health, we should all be listening. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's


Inquiry implicates BTk
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 353 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - of trees. The live spores can be inhaled by humans and animals exposed to BT. Judie Squires, secretary of the Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, says despite claims that


Delayed pesticide laws 'disappointing'
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 833 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - at the end of this year. These products will only be sold to certified dealers. Judie Squires, secretary of the newly formed Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, isn't


Above Articles available through Trancontinental Newsnet

Time for provincial lawn pesticide regulation
The Telegram (St. John's) - 03-14-2009 - 419 words
pesticides. Please join me in lobbying our province for a pesticide ban Judie Squires Portugal Cove...

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