July 5, 2010
I was disheartened to read that, although 54 eminent scientists urged the EPA not to approve methyl iodide in 2007, they nonetheless approved it ["A Closer Look: Pesticides in strawberry fields," June 28]. Now Mary-Ann Warmerdam, director of California's Department of Pesticide Regulation, says that if used per their restrictions "it can be used safely." I'd like to invite Ms. Warmerdam to go pick strawberries for a few months when the fields have been poisoned with this chemical.
June 28, 2010 |
California strawberry farmers may soon have a new pesticide to use on their fields. The state's Department of Pesticide Regulation is recommending approving use of the soil fumigant methyl iodide. However, scientists say that methyl iodide is very toxic and can cause cancer, brain damage and miscarriages. An independent panel of scientists, invited to review the health FOR THE RECORD: Pesticide: An article in Monday's Health section on the debate over a pesticide that may be approved for use on strawberry crops said that molecular biologist Edward Loechler works at Brandeis University.
June 23, 2010 |
Last year about this time, as John Tenerelli, a farmers market grower in Littlerock, Calif., was starting to harvest his late varieties of cherries, he noticed little wriggling bugs in the fruit. "Oh, my God, what are these things?" he remembers thinking. "I can't sell these cherries." The pest was the spotted wing drosophila, or SWD, a tiny insect native to Japan and eastern Asia that was first discovered near Watsonville, Calif., in August 2008 and has since spread to many areas from the Mexican to the Canadian borders, and around the country.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 2010 |
A Los Angeles judge overseeing a lawsuit by Nicaraguan banana workers against food giant Dole said Monday that she was concerned for her safety and the safety of witnesses due to escalating unrest in the Central American country. "Statements made in radio broadcasts and a press conference were pretty direct against me, or this court," 2nd District Court of Appeals Judge Victoria G. Chaney said after hearing evidence presented to her by Dole attorneys in a closed hearing. She did not elaborate on what the statements were.
May 16, 2010 |
The widespread planting of a genetically engineered crop designed to withstand a menacing pest has had the unanticipated consequence of transforming benign bugs into agricultural predators, according to a new study. In findings that drive home the difficulty of trying to stay one step ahead of nature, scientists explain how farmers of bioengineered cotton in northern China were able to drastically reduce their insecticide use for more than a decade, only to find themselves spraying a crop that wasn't supposed to need such measures.
May 16, 2010 |
Children with higher levels of the pesticide malathion in their urine seem to be at an increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, researchers reported Monday. Several previous studies have linked neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders such as ADHD to exposure to pesticides, but generally in children of farmworkers and others exposed to abnormally high levels of the chemicals. The new study is the first to focus on "a population sample more representative of the United States, and not one selected for being at high exposure," said epidemiologist Marc G. Weisskopf of Harvard University's School of Public Health, the senior author of the paper in the journal Pediatrics.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 2010 |
A Los Angeles judge this week heard evidence on whether a jury relied on fraudulent evidence three years ago when it awarded $2.3 million to six Nicaraguan banana workers who alleged they were left sterilized by exposure to pesticide. Attorneys for food giant Dole Food Co., which operated the farms in the 1970s and used the pesticide dibromochloropropane, alleged the plaintiffs in the 2007 trial were the "foot soldiers" in a pervasive scheme to defraud U.S. courts and corporations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 4, 2010 |
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has agreed to pay $27.6 million to settle charges that it violated California environmental laws in its handling and disposal of hazardous materials, prosecutors involved in the case announced Monday in San Diego. The settlement was signed by San Diego County Superior Court Judge Linda B. Quinn. The San Diego County district attorney's office and the state attorney general's office had filed a civil complaint last month alleging that all of Wal-Mart's 236 stores, Sam's Club stores, distribution centers and storage facilities in the state were in violation of environmental laws.
October 17, 2009 |
A program to test the effect of pesticides on the human hormonal system will be compromised by an Office of Management and Budget order allowing data from past studies by pesticide companies to substitute for new studies, according to some scientists involved in developing the new program. The OMB directive requires the Environmental Protection Agency to accept "to the greatest extent possible" existing toxicity data on pesticides in lieu of conducting new tests on the 67 chemicals selected for investigation.