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March 29, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Scientists have identified a new suspect in the mysterious die-off of bees in recent years - a class of pesticides that appear to be lethal in indirect ways. The chemicals, known as neonicotinoids, are designed to target a variety of sucking and chewing insects, including aphids and beetles. Bees are known to ingest the poison when they eat the pollen and nectar of treated plants, though in doses so tiny that it was not seen as a threat. But two reports published online Thursday by the journal Science indicate that the pesticides are not altogether benign.
January 11, 2012 | Bloomberg News
The U.S. temporarily halted shipments of imported orange juice from all countries and said it would destroy or ban products containing even low levels of a banned fungicide. The imports will be held while they're tested and may be sold if levels are below trace amounts, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday. The fungicide, linked in studies to a higher risk of liver tumors in animals, was found in trace amounts last month in products from Brazil, which produces almost 1 in 6 glasses of orange juice consumed in the U.S., according to CitrusBR, an export industry association.
August 31, 2011 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times
Researchers at USC have found an increased prevalence of prostate cancer among older men exposed to certain pesticides in Central Valley neighborhoods. The authors used the state cancer registry to recruit 173 white and Latino seniors in Tulare, Fresno and Kern counties who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer between August 2005 and July 2006. They compared them with 162 men without prostate cancer, found through Medicare and tax records. Researchers then traced where the men lived and worked from 1974 to 1999 and compared those locations with state records of pesticide application.
June 19, 2011 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
Leather, tulle and silk may be the stuff of runway dreams, but when it comes to most U.S. apparel, cotton is king. Almost 75% of clothing sold in the U.S. contains at least some of the tufty fiber, according to the 2010 Cotton Inc. Retail Monitor, a survey of mass retailers. Farmers in this country will grow 8.16 billion pounds of cotton during the current growing season. Add China, India and the 100-plus other countries that cultivate cotton, and the yield is 62 billion pounds produced annually worldwide.
June 14, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Apples are getting a lot of flack in headlines and news reports after topping a list of pesticide-tinged fruit and vegetables, ominously nicknamed the dirty dozen. The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that compiles the list from USDA data, announced Monday that pesticides were found on 98% of the apples the USDA tested. But the apple industry says that the levels of these pesticides fall within safe ranges and that cutting fruit and vegetables from your diet is a much riskier health move than consuming trace amounts of pesticides.
June 1, 2011 | By Amanda Mascarelli, HealthKey
Consumers now have an array of "natural" insect repellents from which to choose. These are made from benign-sounding plant extracts or oils such as citronella oil, soybean oil, peppermint oil, cedarwood oil, lemon grass oil and geranium oil. What consumers don't always have is proof that they work. Many natural insect repellents, deemed "minimum-risk pesticides" by the Environmental Protection Agency, are exempt from safety testing because their active and inert ingredients have been deemed safe for the intended use. These ingredients have been used for long enough in consumer products that they're generally regarded as safe, says Scott Carroll, director of Carroll-Loye Biological Research Consulting, an independent company that does extensive testing on insect repellents.
May 27, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots Blog
California researchers who first established a link between two commonly used pesticides and Parkinson's disease have found a third crop-enhancing chemical -- ziram -- that appears to raise the risk of developing the movement disorder. And they have found that people whose workplaces were close to fields sprayed with these chemicals -- not just those who live nearby -- are at higher risk of developing Parkinson's. In a study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, a team of researchers led by UCLA neurologist  Dr. Beate Ritz  found that exposures to the trio of pesticides were actually higher in workplaces located near sprayed fields than they were in residences.
April 21, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey
Pesticides on fruits and vegetables may be harmful to a developing fetus — slightly. Children whose mothers were exposed to low doses of a specific class of pesticides may have a slightly lower IQ in later childhood, three new studies suggest. The new research found children had a slightly lower IQ by age 7 if their mothers, mostly low-income and mostly Latina and black, had higher-than-average exposure in pregnancy to organophosphates, pesticides farmers still sometimes spray on fruits and vegetables.
March 24, 2011 | By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
The State Bar of California has declined to discipline a Los Angeles attorney who was accused of orchestrating a massive fraud in representing Nicaraguan banana workers in lawsuits against U.S. corporations, according to a document reviewed by The Times. Then-Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Victoria G. Chaney had referred attorney Juan Dominguez, a personal injury lawyer whose ads are ubiquitous on Los Angeles buses, to the state bar after she made findings that he was central in a scheme to recruit fake plaintiffs, coach them to lie about working on Dole-affiliated banana farms, and fabricate medical evidence.
December 20, 2010 | By James S. Fell, Special to the Los Angeles Times
"Holistic nutrition. " You may not know the term, but you've surely heard its claims. Among other things, holistic nutritionists (or HNs, as they call themselves) may teach that fluoride and pesticides are lethal, that most diseases and detrimental behaviors are diet-related and that many people would benefit from taking numerous supplements. I've read plenty of articles by HNs in which they assert that they are disparaged by mainstream medicine and warn you not to trust modern medicine.
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