October 12, 2022

Happy fall! It's truly a beautiful time of year that we hope brings you uplifting moments in nature, despite continued challenging times.

While this month's newsletter contains some disturbing news and research, we each can still make a difference in how we live our lives and care for our families and community. If you haven't heard it before, there is this saying -- if you've been in bed with a mosquito, you know the power of what just one life can do!

First and foremost, we all get to vote in just a few weeks to make our voices heard.

We can take heart in the examples in this newsletter of how people are making a difference... from the college student activists that are helping their campuses go organic, to residents in Florida and Illinois protecting their rights to grow food on their own property, to the esteemed Rodale Institute urging Congress to promote organic regenerative farming! And there are the actions you can take -- from just leaving those falling leaves on your property to support wildlife, to urging your Congressional representative to co-sponsor HR5987 to prevent EPA from bending to industry pressure and replacing the worldwide definition of a PFAS with a weakened definition that eliminates 6,000 of the existing 12,000 PFAS chemicals from regulation.

Honor with us, the 60th Anniversary of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring on October 25th at 1 pm in a webinar we've co-sponsored with Friends of the Earth. See Good Reads & Deeds below for details and registration.

We are grateful for all the actions each of you take to make this a better world. 

Oh, and of course, we very much appreciate donations to help us continue to work on your behalf, especially as we near the start of the 2023 Maryland General Assembly session. We will take on protecting Marylanders from PFAS found in pesticides used in our state. No donation is too small! 

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


Vote With Your Wallet, Vote With Your Fork! GO Organic: How to go organic in all you do. Learn more

Registered-pesticide disinfectants? Yes. Over 80% of disinfectants for Covid-19 carry health risks. Find safer disinfectants. Learn more


A survey shows over 80% of us are familiar with what the term "regenerative" means, compared to the term "organic" but take note: regenerative does not = organic! Here's guidance on making sense of "regenerative" labels Learn more
Vegetable Garden Protection Acts take root. In recent years, only Illinois & Florida passed legislation protecting citizens' right to grow food on their property. A movement is underway to pass more laws around the country. Growing your own organic food is a healthy action and saves money.  Learn more
Campus quads look lush and quaint, but students complain they're also loaded with harmful chemicals. Across the nation, college students are pushing for organic and regenerative grounds keeping on campus.  Learn more
Roof-grown lettuces and warehouse-cultivated tomatoes could be more than just a frivolous trend, especially if organically grown. A new study finds crops cultivated in cities can be up to 4 times more productive per square meter, than those grown in conventional agricultural fields. Learn more
For the eighth year in a row, consumers rated chemicals including pesticides as their top food safety concern according to the annual industry survey of consumer perspectives on food issues. Learn more


  NEWS and VIEWS  
 More on 'forever' PFAS chemicals found in widely used pesticides...
Breaking news: Substantial PFAS contamination found in pesticides pose a threat to our food chain. This research has alarming implications that demand immediate regulatory action: EPA must test all #pesticides and immediately ban the use of pesticides that contain PFAS. Learn more from The Guardian


More breaking news: EPA finally moves to label some 'forever chemicals' as hazardous. The long-awaited move will help clean up two, out of thousands, of these omnipresent and dangerous substances. But it leaves many others unaddressed. Learn more
An overwhelming majority of Marylanders want the government to crack down on toxic chemicals like PFAS - especially in pesticides like Maryland's mosquito control products! Learn more

Take Action! Tell your Congressional Rep to co-sponsor HR5987 to prevent EPA from bending to industry pressure and replacing the worldwide definition of a PFAS with a weakened definition, that lets industry off the hook by eliminating 6,000 of the 12,000 PFAS chemicals from regulation. Take 2 minutes to please send an email now.

Other concerning news...
New study: Pyrethroid insecticides shown to cause developmental delays in toddlers. Low level exposure to synthetic pyrethroid insecticides at 6-8 months of age is associated with language development delays in two-year old toddlers, according to research published in Neurotoxicology this month. Learn more
Ten of 29 pesticides were connected to thyroid cancer over a 20-year period experts found, including some of the most commonly used in the United States. Learn more
Researchers have found a link between antibiotic and certain pesticide exposures to onset of childhood type 1 diabetes through effects on the gut microbiome. Learn more
Agro-chemical giant Bayer helped fund a study, then pressured university academics to omit evidence that implicated a defective insecticide-treated seed product as a threat to bees, according to communications obtained by U.S. Right to Know. Learn more 
Monarchs are in decline across much of North America. One of the best things YOU can do is plant milkweed host plants and nectar-rich native perennials. Learn more
New Friends of the Earth Scorecard reveals half of major U.S. food retailers have pesticide policies, but progress falls short to protect bees and biodiversity. Despite important momentum across the food retail sector, action falls far short of what is needed to protect bees & other biodiversity from toxic pesticides. Learn more
Ever struggled to walk in a straight line after having one too many? After a dose of insecticides, honeybees are having similar issues. Learn more
Other studies confirm neurological impairment from pesticides: "...results are reason for concern because the ability of bees to respond appropriately to visual information is crucial for their flight and navigation, and thus their survival." Learn more
  LET'S GET SERIOUS ABOUT SOIL, food security & climate change--yes they're related!  
At a US House Committee hearing, Rodale Institute CEO Jeff Moyer urged lawmakers to improve the regulatory environment for farmers with federal support for the regenerative organic agriculture model because of the system's reliability, resiliency, and independence from foreign-produced commodities, like Russian-made synthetic fertilizer. Learn more
Leave the leaves in your yard this fall! Your garden's wild residents benefit immensely when you leave things a little messy & wild with a variety of leaves, hollow stems, brush piles or dead wood, soil & flower heads available for winter shelter. Learn more
Each year as many as 20,000 farmworkers are poisoned by pesticides and an estimated 11,000 fatalities occur worldwide. Consider: In a country where the average life expectancy is 78 years, the people who work in the fields tend to live to be just 42. Learn more
You're invited: Honoring Silent Spring Webinar, October 25, 1 pm. MPEN is thrilled to be a sponsor of Friends of the Earth's anniversary webinar. Sixty years ago, Rachel Carson released her seminal book, Silent Spring, whose publication gave birth to the EPA, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and sparked the ban on the toxic insecticide DDT and the movement for organic agriculture. Six decades on, the threats Carson warned about are still very real. In this engaging webinar, we'll hear about what's at stake and what we can do about it. Download event flyer and register to attend here

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