July 24, 2013 |
NEW DELHI - The principal at an Indian elementary school where 23 children died last week after eating free lunches contaminated with pesticide was arrested Wednesday on murder and criminal conspiracy charges after eight days on the run. Principal Meena Devi, 35, was caught in Chhapra, the city where the tragedy occurred in India's impoverished northern state of Bihar. On July 16, about 50 children - most younger than 10 - attending Dharmasati Gandaman Primary School complained of feeling sick after eating their lunch, which was provided free under a national government program that feeds an estimated 120 million children.
July 24, 2013 |
Pesticides sprayed on crops could be making honey bees susceptible to a fatal parasite and contributing to recent declines in bee populations, according to a study. Researchers found 35 pesticides, some at lethal levels, in the pollen collected from bees servicing major food crops in five states, including California, according to the study published online Wednesday in the journal PLOS One. Levels for two chemicals were above the dose that would kill half a population within two days, according to the report.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 30, 2013 |
The illegal marijuana-growing operations that have proliferated in remote areas of the Sierra Nevada appear to be taking a toll on the fisher, a forest animal whose numbers are dangerously low. Researchers studying fishers in the Sierra National Forest in the southern Sierra found that mortality rates were significantly higher for females living in areas with a number of marijuana-growing sites. Liberal amounts of pesticides and anticoagulant rodent poison are commonly used at the operations, tainting small prey the fisher eats.
June 27, 2013 |
State officials in Oregon are temporarily restricting the use of more than a dozen pesticide products following the deaths of an estimated 50,000 bumblebees in the Portland area this month. The measure, effective immediately, will last for 180 days while the Oregon State Agricultural Department investigates incidents of a mass bee die-off in the Portland suburb of Wilsonville , and a much smaller die-off in neighboring Hillsboro. Eighteen pesticide products containing the active ingredient dinotefuran and used for ornamental, turf and agricultural applications have been banned for now. “I have directed the agency to take this step in an effort to minimize any potential for additional incidents involving bee deaths connected to pesticide products with this active ingredient until such time as our investigation is completed and we have more information,” the agency's director, Katy Coba, said in a statement released Thursday.
June 21, 2013 |
A pesticide used to control aphids has been singled out as the cause in this week's deaths of tens of thousands of bumblebees in a retail parking lot in Oregon, state officials said Friday. At least 25,000 bees were found dead and more were dying in a Target parking lot in Wilsonville, about 18 miles southwest of Portland, in what experts have described as the largest known die-off of bees in the United States. Witnesses reported bees falling from trees and littering the ground.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 16, 2013 |
Los Angeles County bus drivers say they are regularly becoming ill - sometimes while behind the wheel - from pesticides sprayed inside their vehicles by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. At least 14 Metro drivers are pursuing workers' compensation claims, and more than 110 have signed a petition that demands a halt to the spraying, according to their attorney. Some operators are on medical leave, and a few say they have left Metro because of repeated exposure. "You can be driving your bus and get hit with the symptoms," said Frank Portillo, a 23-year coach operator who retired in March, sooner than planned, because of medical issues he believes are pesticide related.