PesticideSmart News
January 2, 2021
  Welcome to the year 2021! Hoping you are all staying safe and well. And if you are one of our readers who contracted COVID-19, we hope that you have recovered/are recovering with few and, hopefully, no lingering impacts. While we are still challenged by this pandemic and its direct impacts on all too many of us, we can together strive for a better year with better outcomes.

In that vein, we have a timely request that can help make it a better year for Maryland's children.

As you have heard us say over the past three years, autism, learning disabilities, neurobehavioral deficits and developmental delays, are the brain-harming impacts associated with the pesticide chlorpyrifos, along with links to autism, pediatric cancer, and asthma. Prior to the Trump administration, the EPA had concluded that this pesticide is unsafe at any detectable level.

While our Maryland General Assembly passed a bipartisan chlorpyrifos ban bill in 2020, Gov. Hogan vetoed the bill, putting in place a regulation instead. We need the power of the law--not regulations. There is a reason that legislators pass laws each year and don't just rely upon administrative regulations: regulations can be changed, challenged, and unilaterally altered by unelected administrative figures. Legislation banning pesticides leaves less room for loopholes. To protect our children, our environment, and our wildlife, join us in calling on the Maryland General Assembly to override Governor Hogan's veto, so Maryland can ban chlorpyrifos with the certainty of law!

The 2021 Maryland General Assembly (MGA) leadership will be prioritizing which of the 30 bills the Governor vetoed will be voted on for an override early in the MGA 2021 session, beginning January 13. Please just take a minute to make your voice heard this week. The sooner your legislators hear from you the better.

Tell your legislators to vote for a veto override--click NOW to send a message.

Please help support our work to protect our babies, bees, and the Bay!  

Get rid of the "Dirty Dozen" in 2021--
the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables. Put these at the top of your organic list. Get the list--there's even an app for that!

Check out FoodPrint's Tips for Sustainable Grocery Shopping!  Incorporate your desire to support a better food system into your grocery or farmers' market shopping. Read more.

Maryland cites and counties take heed: Philly parks are going organic with a ban on synthetic weedkillers. Read more.

  NEWS and VIEWS  

Thank you, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh! Maryland's AG joined with four other states to sue Trump's EPA for weakening farmworker protections from pesticides. Read more.

Old guard, old problems--will Biden Administration challenge the corporate grip on agriculture with Tom Vilsack at the helm again?  Advocates question whether Tom Vilsack is the right Secretary of Agriculture for the job. Here's why there is concern.

Scientists report that pesticide poisonings on farms around the world have risen dramatically in 30 years. Based on an evaluation of poisoning data from countries all over the world, the researchers conclude that there are about 385 million cases of acute poisonings each year. Read more.

Toxic 'forever chemical' PFAS found in Sumethrin, used on millions of acres when spraying for mosquitoes. Sumethrin is in the same class of pesticides as the pesticide permethrin, applied by Dept. of Agriculture in communities signed up for its mosquito control program and used by private companies here in Maryland. To be determined: whether permethrin also contains PFAS. Read more.

And sadly, there is always news on glyphosate/roundup...

Glyphosate-induced changes to sperm from exposed laboratory rats could be used as biomarkers for determining propensity in subsequent generations for prostate and kidney diseases, obesity, and incurring multiple diseases at once. Read more.


Maryland pediatrician, medical toxicologist and Emery School of Medicine professor emeritus Lorne Garrettson urges Montgomery Co. to stop its use of glyphosate and protect its children.
Read the op-ed.



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agrees that monarchs are threatened with extinction, but does not yet provide the protection that monarchs need to recover. Read more.

Widespread displacement of native plant communities by non-native plants in U.S. agriculture, agroforestry, and horticulture is a key cause of insect declines, and affecting birds.  Another study, published last year, calculates agriculture is 48 times more toxic to insects than it was 25 years ago. Neonicotinoid pesticides account for 92 percent of lethal escalation. Read more.

  Take a virtual tour of Rodale's farm.
World-renown experimental organic farm Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania offers this excellent virtual tour! Take the tour.

Unfair labor laws just got worse
In the 1930s, agriculture was excluded from federal labor laws in a process now known as agricultural exceptionalism. In 2020, the Trump administration pushed for more H-2A farmworker visas during the pandemic claiming it was necessary to ensure ample food supply. But the administration also proposed a decrease in already low farmworker wages. Read more.

Please help support our work to protect our babies, bees, and the Bay!  

Maryland Pesticide Education Network thanks its 2020 Pesticides & the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Project Conference sponsors for their support of our 14th annual conference. We urge you to check out these partners, and their offerings, who support protecting Maryland's babies, bees and the Bay watershed: Moms Organic MarketCottingham Organic Farm in EastonFox Haven Organic Farm, Ecological Retreat & Learning Center in Fredrick Co.; KW Landscaping and Maryland Clean Water Action