February 9, 2022

Exciting news! For the 2022 Maryland General Assembly, we are working to pass two very important bills addressing needed systemic change--this is your time to shine! 

With the help of this community, who shares our concerns for pesticides, we have a good chance of passing these needed reforms.

Please help us protect you and yours from highly toxic pesticides, including mosquito control products that are even more toxic due to containing PFAS: the "forever chemicals" that are in the news these days. PFAS never leave our bodies or environment and are linked to serious long-term health consequences.

  • It's time! We must move pesticide oversight from the Dept. of Agriculture (MDA) to the Md Dept. of Environment, already charged with oversight of toxics. MDA is charged with promoting and protecting agriculture in our state. It has opposed all health-based pesticide-restricting bills including Md's first-in-the-nation laws like the Integrated Pest Management in Schools law, passed in 1998 to protect the health of school children and staff with common sense measures. MDA opposed a 2016 law banning sales of a pollinator harming pesticide, and most recently, despite MDA's initial opposition, the Maryland General Assembly got the state to ban brain-harming chlorpyrifos. Their enforcement continues to be a problem.
  • And, we need to make sure that the widely used pesticides for mosquito control in our state do not also contain the forever chemicals PFAS, which further jeopardize our health. This bill requires pesticides used for mosquito control to be first tested to ensure they are PFAS- free prior to their being registered for use in our state
    • TAKE ACTION: See our fact sheet here. Look for action alerts in coming weeks.

And if you aren't convinced as to why we need you to help us on this effort, take a look at our News & Views section this month! Sadly, there was more than usual not-so-good-news to share...

- Ruth Berlin, Executive Director, Maryland Pesticide Education Network

Vote With Your Wallet, Vote With Your Fork!  GO Organic! Where to shop and how to go organic in all you do--even on a budget! Learn how
Pandemic-driven shortages have given fresh relevance to co-ops, hubs & other forms of collective agriculture. See how these movement is having a shot at becoming a viable alternative to Big Ag: Read more
Gardening can help bring communities together. When people feel a sense of belonging, agency, and autonomy, they are far less likely to destroy--and far more likely to enjoy--communal spaces. Read more
Vox has written on how to avoid endocrine-disrupting chemicals in beauty products, as well as the surprising difficulty in doing so. Read more
  NEWS and VIEWS  

First...  some encouraging news

The Biden Administration has revived a working group made up of members of various agencies, including the Council on Environmental Quality & NOAA, on the issue of pesticide use that might pose a threat to vulnerable wildlife & plants. Read more
EPA announces new policies designed to address the agency's multi-decade failure to assess harms to endangered species before approving new pesticides. Read more

The not-so-good news...

Some blame western diets for the global spread of autoimmune diseases, writes the Guardian: "Human genetics hasn't altered over the past few decades... so something must be changing in the outside world in a way that is increasing our predisposition to #autoimmune disease"Read more
The internet has a rat poison problem: online sales of highly regulated, super-toxic rodenticides exploit gaps in the law and imperil wildlife. Read more
US Supreme Court is asking the Biden administration whether the justices should hear Bayer's bid to dismiss claims by customers regarding its cancer-causing pesticide Roundup, as the company seeks to avoid billions of dollars in damages... really?? Read more
A new FDA report shows that a long-awaited Obama-era initiative to stop the spread of superbugs and improve animal welfare has stalled out.  Read more
Dicamba spray is known to easily drift off target, killing or damaging whatever vegetation it lands on. Monsanto tried to pretend it had the answers but real-world usage has painted a different story. Hard numbers are difficult to come by but no one is denying millions & millions of soybean acres have been damaged by dicamba drift since 2017.  Read more
Environmentalists & food safety advocates are urging a federal appeals court to compel EPA to obey an earlier order that it study the effects of a dangerous pesticide on imperiled species, or else restrict the chemical's use.  Read more
A 2021 study from University of Nebraska Medical Center indicates Nebraska counties applying the highest amounts of the toxic pesticide atrazine also exhibit higher incidences of estrogen-related cancers, including breast & prostate cancer.  Read more
Our friends at Beyond Pesticides are out with a petition urging the White House EPA & Congress "to address the ongoing threat of Covid-19 by eliminating toxic pesticide use that elevates overall, and disproportionately for people of color, the public's vulnerability to the virus". SIGN ON
Center for Food Safety & Pesticide Action Network of North America are suing EPA, demanding that the agency close a loophole that allows seeds coated with bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides to escape labelling & registration under existing federal law. Read more
Neonicotinoids & other systemic insecticides can contaminate honeydew, which is an important food source for beneficial insects in agro-ecosystems, according to an international team of researchers.  Read more
A team of Mexican scientists are developing a successful experiment that allows for the recovery and maintenance of endemic trees in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve that provide a habitat for monarch butterflies every winterRead more
  LET'S GET SERIOUS ABOUT SOIL, food security & climate change--yes they're related!  
The Watershed Impact Trial by Rodale Institute is designed to explore and educate the public on connections between farming practices & clean waterRead more
The new blockbuster book "Seed Money" examines how Bayer-Monsanto's tactics are 'tearing apart parts of the fabric of society,' harming farm communities, and reshaping the food system. Read more

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