PesticideSmart News
March 7, 2021
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Good news this month on our efforts in the 2021 Maryland General Assembly (MGA) to protect our babies, bees and the Bay!  
  • After Governor Hogan vetoed the bipartisan-passed 2020 chlorpyrifos ban bill, we had hoped our legislators would vote to override his veto in the 2021 session. 
  • Due to a large number of bills and veto overrides legislators need to address during this challenging COVID-impacted legislative session, the chlorpyrifos override was not included on the list of override voting sessions. Doesn't sound good so far... we know... but
  • Both the bill and the current regulation -- that the Governor had the Md. Dept. of Agriculture (MDA) draft to stop bill passage -- ban all uses of chlorpyrifos, as of 12/31/21.
  • To ensure MDA adheres to this total ban, our efforts resulted in the Senate President and House Speaker writing an official letter to MDA clarifying that if MDA tries to extend any current user exemptions beyond 12/21, the legislature will swiftly address the need for a total ban by law.
With your help and persistence, our efforts to pass a ban by law has resulted in ensuring our state is the fourth state in the country to implement a total chlorpyrifos ban. With the Md. General Assembly overseeing MDA's implementation of the regulation, this result is a huge win for our children, our Bay, bees, and all wildlife.
  • Here's more good news... HB208/SB375, a bill implementing an important fix to a loophole in the 2016 Pollinator Protection Act -- that was interpreted as allowing certain retailers to still sell consumers neonic-containing pollinator-harming products even though its illegal for consumers to use them -- has passed the House and the Senate! The bill, on its way to law, clarifies that intent of the law is to stop all sales of pollinator-harming, neonic-containing outdoor products to consumers.
  • In progress & needing your support... Please urge your legislators to provide COVID19 protections for essential farmworkers, poultry and seafood processing workers who feed us. View video here and SIGN the letter: Sign here.

Watch this John Oliver Last Week Tonight segment on Meatpacking. A warning: it may upset and even enrage some folks to see what these workers are
dealing with: View here.

  • Read this excellent op-ed: Essential farmworkers deserve pesticide protections. COVID-19 pulled back the veil on farmworker conditions. We need to better safeguard the health of the people who feed our nation.  Read here.
Please help support our work to protect our babies, bees, and the Bay!  

Food companies are stepping up to the plate and funding organic food production research to counter the system that favors conventional agriculture. Read more here.

Our gardens: sustainable trends that can inspire us and give us hope for a better future. One great thing to come out of this terrible pandemic is that more people are valuing their gardens and making the most of all they can produce. Read more here.

Organic cotton: one of the most important choices you can make for the environment because it supports a healthy ecosystem and prevents the use of toxic synthetic chemicals when it comes to our clothes, our bedsheets, the mattresses we sleep on, and more: Read more here.

To protect pollinators, talk to your nursery. Xerces Society offers bee-safe plant buying guides and 2 days of action, March 13 and April 22, to help beleaguered bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects. Read more here.


  NEWS and VIEWS  
  While a bill banning glyphosate was withdrawn by its sponsor, due to overwhelming opposition in the current Maryland legislative session...

The German cabinet approved legislation to ban glyphosate in 2024: Read more here

Internal government emails
reveal Monsanto/Bayer AG and CropLife America have been working closely with US officials to pressure Mexico into abandoning its intended ban on glyphosate -- so far its not working. Read more here.

And, new research examining the potential health impacts of this cancer-causing pesticide found links between exposure and an increase in a type of amino acid known to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Read more here.

Time for systemic change to address all these toxic pesticides?

Hundreds of millions of people are being injured by pesticides, according to the first global estimate of unintentional human pesticide poisoning released in three decades. Read more here and read the research here.

And here's one of many reasons why we need a paradigm change...

new book, "Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race". Read more here.
Scientists point to the long-term negative impacts of neonicotinoids and advocates hope a regulatory overhaul will help. Read more here.

Bee-killing neonicotinoid use in agricultural areas are also linked with significant declines of birds. Read more here.

President Biden has introduced an
ambitious climate plan for the United States
. Could regenerative agriculture help us get there? The prestigious Rodale Institute  examines this need. Read more here.

How California crops fought off a pest without using pesticide... it's all about the fungi. Read more here.

Unusual partnership launches the
U.S. Organic Grain Initiative
 to transition 50,000 acres of corn and soy to organic to help fill a growing gap in domestic organic animal feed. Read more here. 


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