Common Herbicide May Devastate Future Generations

Common Herbicide May Devastate Future Generations

The study provides evidence that glyphosate-induced changes to exposed rats could be used as biomarkers for determining propensity in subsequent generations for prostate and kidney diseases as well as obesity and incurring multiple diseases at once. In fact, by the time third- and fourth-generation rats whose predecessors had been exposed to the chemical were middle-aged, 90% had one or more of these health problems, a dramatically higher rate than the control group.

Epigenome-wide association study for glyphosate induced transgenerational xxxxx DNA methylation and histone retention epigenetic biomarkers for disease

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15592294.2020.1853319

#glyphosate #herbicide #epigenome

Glyphosate, herbicide, transgenerational, histone, DNA methylation, prostate, kidney, obesity, epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of pathology, toxicology, pesticide, organic, generation, diagnostic tests, germline epimutation, include imprinted-like gene characteristics

Pesticide residues on produce associated with poor pregnancy outcomes

 

Pesticide residues on produce associated with poor pregnancy outcomes

Researchers discovered that the EPA permitted level of pesticide residues of Fruits and Vegetables may have a significantly negative effect on pregnancy outcomes.
Citation: Association Between Pesticide Residue Intake From Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables and Pregnancy Outcomes Among Women Undergoing Infertility Treatment With Assisted Reproductive Technology. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2017; DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.5038

Pesticide linked to 3 generations of disease

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

24-Jul-2014

Methoxychlor causes epigenetic changes
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers say ancestral exposures to the pesticide methoxychlor may lead to adult onset kidney disease, ovarian disease and obesity in future generations.

“What your great-grandmother was exposed to during pregnancy, like the pesticide methoxychlor, may promote a dramatic increase in your susceptibility to develop disease, and you will pass this on to your grandchildren in the absence of any continued exposures,” says Michael Skinner, WSU professor and founder of its Center for Reproductive Biology.

Epigenetic mechanisms
Epigenetic mechanisms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He and his colleagues document their findings in a paper published online in PLOS ONE. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

DDT replacement banned in 2003 Continue reading “Pesticide linked to 3 generations of disease”

Common crop pesticides kill honeybee larvae in the hive

Date: January 27, 2014
Source:
Penn State
Four pesticides commonly used on crops to kill insects and fungi also kill honeybee larvae within their hives, according to new research. Scientists also found that N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone — an inert, or inactive, chemical commonly used as a pesticide additive — is highly toxic to honeybee larvae.
]
Bee feeding larva in the hive.

Credit: Maryann Frazier/Penn State

Four pesticides commonly used on crops to kill insects and fungi also kill honeybee larvae within their hives, according to Penn State and University of Florida researchers. The team also found that N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) — an inert, or inactive, chemical commonly used as a pesticide additive — is highly toxic to honeybee larvae. Continue reading “Common crop pesticides kill honeybee larvae in the hive”

RNA-interference pesticides will need special safety testing

Contact: Tim Beardsley tbeardsley@aibs.org 703-674-2500 x326 American Institute of Biological Sciences

A new technology for creating pesticides and pest-resistant crops could have effects on beneficial species that current toxicity testing will miss

Standard toxicity testing is inadequate to assess the safety of a new technology with potential for creating pesticides and genetically modifying crops, according to a Forum article published in the August issue of BioScience. The authors of the article, Jonathan G. Lundgren and Jian J. Duan of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, argue that pesticides and insect-resistant crops based on RNA interference, now in exploratory development, may have to be tested under elaborate procedures that assess effects on animals’ whole life cycles, rather than by methods that look for short-term toxicity.

RNA interference is a natural process that affects the level of activity of genes in animals and plants. Agricultural scientists have, however, successfully devised artificial “interfering RNAs” that target genes in insect pests, slowing their growth or killing them. The hope is that interfering RNAs might be applied to crops, or that crops might be genetically engineered to make interfering RNAs harmful to their pests, thus increasing crop yields.

The safety concern, as with other types of genetic modification and with pesticides generally, is that the artificial interfering RNAs will also harm desirable insects or other animals. And the way interfering RNA works means that simply testing for lethality might not detect important damaging effects. For example, an interfering RNA might have the unintended effect of suppressing the action of a gene needed for reproduction in a beneficial species. Standard laboratory testing would detect no harm, but there could be ecological disruption in fields because of the effects on reproduction.

Lundgren and Duan suggest that researchers investigating the potential of interference RNA pesticides create types that are designed to be unlikely to affect non-target species. They also suggest a research program to evaluate how the chemicals move in real-life situations. If such steps are taken, Lundgren and Duan are optimistic that the “flexibility, adaptability, and demonstrated effectiveness” of RNA interference technology mean it will have “an important place in the future of pest management.”

###

 

BioScience, published monthly, is the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS; http://www.aibs.org). BioScience is a forum for integrating the life sciences that publishes commentary and peer-reviewed articles. The journal has been published since 1964. AIBS is a meta-level organization for professional scientific societies and organizations that are involved with biology. It represents nearly 160 member societies and organizations. The article by Lundgren and Duan can be accessed ahead of print as an uncorrected proof at http://www.aibs.org/bioscience-press-releases/ until early August.

The complete list of peer-reviewed articles in the August 2013 issue of BioScience is as follows. These are now published ahead of print.

Improving Ocean Management through the Use of Ecological Principles and Integrated Ecosystem Assessments. Melissa M. Foley, Matthew H. Armsby, Erin E. Prahler, Margaret R. Caldwell, Ashley L. Erickson, John N. Kittinger, Larry B. Crowder, and Phillip S. Levin

How Far Are Stem-Cell-derived Erythrocytes from the Clinical Arena? Xiaolei Li, Zhiqiang Wu, Xiaobing Fu, and Weidong Han

Invasive Plants in Wildlife Refuges: Coordinated Research with Undergraduate Ecology Courses. Martha F. Hoopes, David M. Marsh, Karen H. Beard, Nisse Goldberg, Alberto Aparicio, Annie Arbuthnot, Benjamin Hixon, Danelle Laflower, Lucas Lee, Amanda Little, Emily Mooney, April Pallette, Alison Ravenscraft, Steven Scheele, Kyle Stowe, Colin Sykes, Robert Watson, and Blia Yang

RNAi-based Insecticidal Crops: Potential Effects on Nontarget Species. Jonathan G. Lundgren and Jian J. Duan

Expert Opinion on Climate Change and Threats to Biodiversity. Debra Javeline, Jessica J. Hellmann, Rodrigo Castro Cornejo, and Gregory Shufeldt

Discovering Ecologically Relevant Knowledge from Published Studies through Geosemantic Searching. Jason W. Karl, Jeffrey E. Herrick, Robert S. Unnasch, Jeffrey K. Gillan, Erle C. Ellis, Wayne G. Lutters, and Laura J. Martin

Pesticide combination affects bees’ ability to learn

Contact: Rob Dawson Rob.Dawson@bbsrc.ac.uk 01-793-413-204 Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Two new studies have highlighted a negative impact on bees’ ability to learn following exposure to a combination of pesticides commonly used in agriculture. The researchers found that the pesticides, used in the research at levels shown to occur in the wild, could interfere with the learning circuits in the bee’s brain. They also found that bees exposed to combined pesticides were slower to learn or completely forgot important associations between floral scent and food rewards.

In the study published today (27th March 2013) in Nature Communications, the University of Dundee’s Dr Christopher Connolly and his team investigated the impact on bees’ brains of two common pesticides: pesticides used on crops called neonicotinoid pesticides, and another type of pesticide, coumaphos, that is used in honeybee hives to kill the Varroa mite, a parasitic mite that attacks the honey bee.

The intact bees’ brains were exposed to pesticides in the lab at levels predicted to occur following exposure in the wild and brain activity was recorded. They found that both types of pesticide target the same area of the bee brain involved in learning, causing a loss of function. If both pesticides were used in combination, the effect was greater.

The study is the first to show that these pesticides have a direct impact on pollinator brain physiology. It was prompted by the work of collaborators Dr Geraldine Wright and Dr Sally Williamson at Newcastle University who found that combinations of these same pesticides affected learning and memory in bees. Their studies established that when bees had been exposed to combinations of these pesticides for 4 days, as many as 30% of honeybees failed to learn or performed poorly in memory tests. Again, the experiments mimicked levels that could be seen in the wild, this time by feeding a sugar solution mixed with appropriate levels of pesticides.

Dr Geraldine Wright said: “Pollinators perform sophisticated behaviours while foraging that require them to learn and remember floral traits associated with food. Disruption in this important function has profound implications for honeybee colony survival, because bees that cannot learn will not be able to find food.”

Together the researchers expressed concerns about the use of pesticides that target the same area of the brain of insects and the potential risk of toxicity to non-target insects. Moreover, they said that exposure to different combinations of pesticides that act at this site may increase this risk.

Dr Christopher Connolly said: “Much discussion of the risks posed by the neonicotinoid insecticides has raised important questions of their suitability for use in our environment. However, little consideration has been given to the miticidal pesticides introduced directly into honeybee hives to protect the bees from the Varroa mite. We find that both have negative impact on honeybee brain function.”

“Together, these studies highlight potential dangers to pollinators of continued exposure to pesticides that target the insect nervous system and the importance of identifying combinations of pesticides that could profoundly impact pollinator survival.”

###

This research is part of the Insect Pollinators Initiative, joint-funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Defra, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Scottish Government and the Wellcome Trust under the auspices of the Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) partnership.

Contact

Rob Dawson, BBSRC Head of News

Notes to editor

‘Cholinergic pesticides cause mushroom body neuronal inactivation in honeybees’. Nature Communications.

‘Exposure to multiple cholinergic pesticides impairs olfactory learning and memory in honeybees.’ J Exp Biol Advance Online Articles. 7 February 2013 as doi:10.1242/jeb.083931. Access the most recent version at http://jeb.biologists.org/lookup/doi/10.1242/jeb.083931

 

Contaminated water used to dilute pesticides could be responsible for viruses entering the food chain, warn scientists

Contact: Sacha Boucherie S.Boucherie@elsevier.com 31-204-853-564 Elsevier

Pesticide application as potential source of noroviruses in fresh food supply chains

Human norovirus (hNoV), also known as the winter vomiting bug, is one of the most common stomach bugs in the world. The virus is highly contagious, causing vomiting and diarrhea, and the number of affected cases is growing. Currently there is no cure; sufferers have to let the virus run its course for a few days.

The consumption of fresh produce is frequently associated with outbreaks of hNoV but it remains difficult to identify where in the supply chain the virus first enters production.

A new study, published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology investigated whether contaminated water used to dilute pesticides could be a source of hNoV. Farmers use various water sources in the production of fresh fruits and vegetables, including well water and different types of surface water such as river water or lake water – sources which have been found to harbour hNoV.

To test this theory, eight different pesticides were analyzed in the study; each was diluted with hNoV contaminated water. The researchers tested whether traces of the virus were present in the samples after the two elements were combined. Results showed that the infectivity of the norovirus was unaffected when added to the pesticide samples. In other words: pesticides did not counteract the effects of the contaminated water.

The authors conclude that the application of pesticides on fresh produce may not only be a chemical hazard, but may in fact also be a microbiological risk factor; both having consequences on public health.

###

Notes for editors

This article is “Persistence of human norovirus in reconstituted pesticides — Pesticide application as a possible source of viruses in fresh produce chains” by Katharina Verhaelen, Martijn Bouwknegt, Saskia A. Rutjes and Ana Maria de Roda Husman  (DOI: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2012.11.007) and appears in International Journal of Food Microbiology published by Elsevier.

The article is available to credentialed journalists at no charge through free access to ScienceDirect, the world’s largest repository of scientific information. Please use your ScienceDirect media login and password to access the full text research paper. For a new media login, forgotten password or if you have any specific questions, please contact newsroom@elsevier.com

If you are a credentialed journalist and are interested in receiving other research alerts from Elsevier, please sign up for Elsevier’s Monthly Research Selection (EMRS) – a monthly email developed by the Elsevier Newsroom which highlights new, interesting, or otherwise intriguing research articles for health and science media. The full text research articles included are peer reviewed and have been publicly available for no more than 4-6 weeks (they are usually articles-in-press). They have not been press-released nor covered in the media (that we are aware of) and they are not embargoed.

If you would like to sign up for the EMRS please send an email to newsroom@elsevier.com

Death knell for nerve agent pesticides in move to save bees

European Food Safety Authority states that neonicotinoid use acceptable ‘only…on crops not attractive to honey bees’

Charlie Cooper

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

European safety regulators have finally moved against nerve-agent insecticides blamed for a worldwide decline in bee populations, significantly increasing pressure for a UK ban on the chemicals.

In a report published today, the European Food Safety Authority stated for the first time that neonicotinoid use was acceptable, “only…on crops not attractive to honey bees” and that the chemicals pose “a number of risks” to bee health.

The findings add to a growing body of scientific evidence linking the use of neonicotinoid chemicals in agriculture with sharp falls in populations of bees and other pollinators.

Yesterday Defra, which has so far been reluctant to legislate on the insecticide threat to bees, said that it was awaiting the results of its own “extensive research”, which will be considered by the independent Advisory Committee on Pesticides.

“If it is concluded that restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids are necessary, they will be brought in,” a Defra spokesman said.

Friends of the Earth called for the Government to “urgently remove” the named chemicals – clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid – from sale in the UK

“We can’t afford to dither when it comes to protecting these key pollinators,” said director Andy Atkins, director of Friends of the Earth. “Ministers must urgently remove these dangerous chemicals from sale, overhaul inadequate pesticide safety tests and ensure farmers have access to safe, effective alternatives to enable them to produce food without harming our bees.”

However, manufacturers were quick to downplay the significance of the EFSA report and claimed that banning the chemicals would have dire consequences for the farming industry.

Bayer, which makes the world’s most widely-used insecticide imidacloprid, warned against “over-interpretation of the precautionary principle” and said “multiple factors” were behind bee colony losses.

In a paper published a day before the EFSA report, the agrichemical industry claimed that banning neonicotinoids could cost the farming industry £620m in lost food production.

The report, by the EU think tank the Humboldt Forum for Food and Agriculture, and funded by Bayer and Syngenta, which makes the neonicotinoid insecticide thiamethoxam, also suggested one million jobs would be lost and the price of food would go up.

Mike Bushell, Principal Scientific Advisor at Syngenta said the EFSA study “focused on highly theoretical risks to bees.”

Dr Chris Hartfield, horticulture advisor to The National Farmers Union said that hasty changes to UK regulations might “do nothing to improve bee health, while compromising the effectiveness of crop production”, but conceded that “improving science” was enabling lawmakers to “identify gaps in current regulatory processes.”

The EFSA report concluded that, due to risk of exposure from pollen and nectar, the use of the three neonicotinoid chemicals was unacceptable on crops attractive to honey bees. The use of the insecticides on crops planted in greenhouses also posed a risk to bees by exposure by dust, the report said.

The report stopped short of recommending a ban on the chemicals but urged further investigation into the risks, particularly to other pollinators such as bumble bees, butterflies and moths, pointing out that the findings only looked at the impact on honey bees.

Bans on some neonicotinoid products have already been introduced in France, Germany and Slovenia.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/death-knell-for-nerve-agent-pesticides-in-move-to-save-bees-8454443.html

Aquatic Weed Killer Allowed on Cotton: Because GMO Cotton is Failing as Weeds Adapt. Will allow Fluridone to be used above approved Safety limits

Aquatic Weed Killer Allowed on Cotton

By RAMONA YOUNG-GRINDLE

Aquatic Weed Killer Allowed on Cotton

WASHINGTON (CN) – The Environmental Protection Agency is allowing Arkansas cotton growers to use fluridone on cotton through 2014, to avoid an expected 25 percent crop loss from aggressive weeds resistant to glyphosate, the commonly used pesticide, according to a new regulation.

“Since the introduction of glyphosate resistant cotton in 1997, twenty-one weed species have developed resistance to [it],” the regulation notes. Glyphosate-resistant palmer amaranth has become the most severe weed problem that Arkansas cotton growers face, according the regulation.

Fluridone is generally used on pond weeds such as duckweed, milfoil and watermeal, according to commercial pesticide websites.

The agency will revoke the time-limited tolerances allowing .1 parts per million of fluridone residues on cotton, before 2015 “if any experience with, scientific data on, or other relevant information on this pesticide indicate that the residues are not safe,” according to the regulation.

Learn more by clicking on the document icon for this action and others.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/11/09/52173.htm

 

On-the-job pesticide exposure associated with Parkinson’s disease

Contact: Jonathan Friedman jfriedman@thepi.org 408-542-5606 JAMA and Archives Journals

Individuals whose occupation involves contact with pesticides appear to have an increased risk of having Parkinson’s disease, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The development of Parkinson’s disease related to chemical exposure was identified in the late 20th century, according to background information in the article. Since then, occupations such as farming, teaching and welding have all been proposed to increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease. However, associations have been inconsistent and few previous studies have evaluated the direct relationship between occupational chemical exposure and disease risk.

Caroline M. Tanner, M.D., Ph.D., of the Parkinson’s Institute, Sunnyvale, Calif., and colleagues studied 519 individuals with Parkinson’s disease and 511 controls who were the same age and sex and lived in the same location. Participants were surveyed about their occupational history and exposure to toxins, including solvents and pesticides.

Working in agriculture, education, health care or welding was not associated with Parkinson’s disease, nor was any other specific occupation studied after adjustment for other factors.

Among the patients with Parkinson’s disease, 44 (8.5 percent) reported pesticide exposure compared with 27 (5.3 percent) of controls, such that occupational pesticide exposure was associated with an increased risk of the disease. “Growing evidence suggests a causal association between pesticide use and parkinsonism. However, the term ‘pesticide’ is broad and includes chemicals with varied mechanisms,” the authors write. “Because few investigations have identified specific pesticides, we studied eight pesticides with high neurotoxic plausibility based on laboratory findings. Use of these pesticides was associated with higher risk of parkinsonism, more than double that in those not exposed.”

Three individual compounds—an organochloride (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid), an herbicide (paraquat) and an insecticide (permethrin)—were associated with a more than three-fold increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. All three have been shown to have effects on dopaminergic neurons—affected by Parkinson’s disease—in the laboratory.

“This convergence of epidemiologic and laboratory data from experimental models of Parkinson’s disease lends credence to a causative role of certain pesticides in the neurodegenerative process,” the authors conclude. “Other pesticide exposures such as hobby gardening, residential exposure, wearing treated garments or dietary intake were not assessed. Because these exposures may affect many more subjects, future attention is warranted.”

###

(Arch Neurol. 2009;66[9]:1106-1113. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org.)

Editor’s Note: This study was supported by an unrestricted grant from a group of current and former manufacturers of welding consumables awarded to The Parkinson’s Institute. Co-author Dr. Hauser has received fees for providing expert testimony in cases related to Parkinson’s disease in welders. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

American Academy of Pediatrics Weighs In For the First Time on Organic Foods for Children ( Actual Press Release from AAP)

10/22/2012
AAP report cites lower pesticides in organic produce and potentially lower risk of exposure to drug-resistant bacteria, but says the most important thing for children is to eat a wide variety of produce, whether it’s conventional or organic

Article Body
NEW ORLEANS – Parents know it’s important for children to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. But it’s less clear whether spending the extra money on organic foods will bring a significant benefit to their children’s health.
To offer guidance to parents – and the pediatricians caring for their children’s health – the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has conducted an extensive analysis of scientific evidence surrounding organic produce, dairy products and meat. The conclusion is mixed: While organic foods have the same vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, lipids and other nutrients as conventional foods, they also have lower pesticide levels, which may be significant for children. Organically raised animals are also less likely to be contaminated with drug-resistant bacteria because organic farming rules prohibit the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics.
However, in the long term, there is currently no direct evidence that consuming an organic diet leads to improved health or lower risk of disease. However, no large studies in humans have been performed that specifically address this issue.
“What’s most important is that children eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products, whether those are conventional or organic foods. This type of diet has proven health benefits,” said Janet Silverstein, MD, FAAP, a member of the AAP Committee on Nutrition and one of the lead authors of the report. “Many families have a limited food budget, and we do not want families to choose to consume smaller amounts of more expensive organic foods and thus reduce their overall intake of healthy foods like produce.”
The AAP report, “Organic Foods: Health and Environmental Advantages and Disadvantages,” will be released at a news conference at 1 p.m. CT Monday, Oct. 22 at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans. It will be published in the November 2012 issue of Pediatrics (published online Oct. 22).
The report outlines the research that has been conducted on organic foods, including convincing evidence of lower exposure to pesticides and less contamination of livestock with drug-resistant bacteria.
“At this point, we simply do not have the scientific evidence to know whether the difference in pesticide levels will impact a person’s health over a lifetime, though we do know that children – especially young children whose brains are developing – are uniquely vulnerable to chemical exposures,” said Joel Forman, MD, FAAP, a member of the AAP Council on Environmental Health and one of the lead authors of the AAP clinical report.
If cost is a factor, families can be selective in choosing organic foods, Dr. Forman said. Some conventionally grown fruits and vegetables tend to have lower pesticide residues. The AAP cites organic shopper’s guides like those provided by Consumer Reports and the Environmental Working Group as references for consumers.
The AAP found no individual health benefit from purchasing organic milk, but emphasizes that all milk should be pasteurized to reduce the risk of bacterial infections. Raw milk increases the risk of serious infection with bacteria including Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, Campylobacter and Brucella.
Purchasing meat from organic farms that do not use antibiotics for nontherapeutic uses has the potential to reduce antibiotic resistance in bacteria that infect people. The AAP calls for large, well-designed, prospective cohort studies that directly measure environmental exposures such as estrogen at low levels to understand the impact of hormonal exposure of children through milk and meat.
The AAP report also notes that the motivation to choose organic produce, meat and dairy products may be reasonably based on larger environmental issues, as well as human health impacts like pollution and global climate change.
“Pediatricians want families to have the information they need to make wise food choices,” said Dr. Forman. “We hope that additional research will improve our understanding of these issues, including large studies that measure environmental exposures and neurodevelopment.”
###
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.

Association Found Between Parkinson’s Disease and Pesticide Exposure in French Farm Workers: pesticide exposure may lead to neurodegeneration

2009 study posted for filing

Paris, France – June 04, 2009 – The cause of Parkinson’s disease (PD), the second most frequent neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease, is unknown, but in most cases it is believed to involve a combination of environmental risk factors and genetic susceptibility. Laboratory studies in rats have shown that injecting the insecticide rotenone leads to an animal model of PD and several epidemiological studies have shown an association between pesticides and PD, but most have not identified specific pesticides or studied the amount of exposure relating to the association.

A new epidemiological study involving the exposure of French farm workers to pesticides found that professional exposure is associated with PD, especially for organochlorine insecticides. The study is published in Annals of Neurology, the official journal of the American Neurological Association.

Led by Alexis Elbaz M.D., Ph.D., of Inserm, the national French institute for health research in Paris, and University Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC, Paris 6), the study involved individuals affiliated with the French health insurance organization for agricultural workers who were frequently exposed to pesticides in the course of their work. Occupational health physicians constructed a detailed lifetime exposure history to pesticides by interviewing participants, visiting farms, and collecting a large amount of data on pesticide exposure. These included farm size, type of crops, animal breeding, which pesticides were used, time period of use, frequency and duration of exposure per year, and spraying method.

The study found that PD patients had been exposed to pesticides through their work more frequently and for a greater number of years/hours than those without PD. Among the three main classes of pesticides (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides), researchers found the largest difference for insecticides: men who had used insecticides had a two-fold increase in the risk of PD.

“Our findings support the hypothesis that environmental risk factors such as professional pesticide exposure may lead to neurodegeneration,” notes Dr. Elbaz.

The study highlights the need to educate workers applying pesticides as to how these products should be used and the importance of promoting and encouraging the use of protective devices. In addition to the significance of the study for those with a high level of exposure to pesticides, it also raises the question about the role of lower-level environmental exposure through air, water and food, and additional studies are needed to address this question.

Miracle-Gro to pay big fine for fake pesticides, poison bird feed: Falsifying pesticide registration documents, distributing pesticides with misleading and unapproved labels and distributing unregistered pesticides.

By Agence France-Presse Saturday, September 8, 2012 9:13 EDT

tomatoes_shutterstock

Lawn and garden products company Scotts Miracle-Gro will pay $12.5 million in fines for poisoning bird feed and violating pesticide laws, officials said Friday.

Scotts will pay record criminal and civilian penalties for a litany of pesticide violations, including “illegally applying insecticides to its wild bird food products that are toxic to birds,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

The company pleaded guilty in February to that violation as well as falsifying pesticide registration documents, distributing pesticides with misleading and unapproved labels and distributing unregistered pesticides.

A Columbus, Ohio, federal court on Friday sentenced Scotts to pay a $4 million fine and perform community service for 11 criminal violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

In a separate agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which resolves additional civil pesticide violations, Scotts agreed to pay more than $6 million in penalties and spend $2 million on environmental projects.

Both the criminal and civil settlements are the largest under FIFRA to date, the Justice Department said.

“As the world’s largest marketer of residential-use pesticides, Scotts has a special obligation to make certain that it observes the laws governing the sale and use of its products,” said Ignacia Moreno, assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice.

As part of the criminal settlement, Scotts will contribute $500,000 to organizations that protect bird habitat.

In the plea agreement, Scotts admitted that it applied pesticides to its bird food products against EPA rules to protect them from insects during storage.

Scotts sold the illegally treated bird food for six months after employees warned management of the dangers of the pesticides, the department said.

“By the time it voluntarily recalled these products in March 2008, Scotts had sold more than 70 million units of bird food illegally treated with pesticide that is toxic to birds,” it said.

Scotts, based in Marysville, Ohio, also imported pesticides into the United States without required documentation. More than 100 Scotts products were found in violation of FIFRA.

“It’s important for all of our stakeholders to know that we have learned a lot from these events and that new people and processes have been put in place to prevent them from happening again,” Jim Hagedorn, Scotts chairman and chief executive, said in a separate statement

Organic diets lower children’s exposure to two common pesticides

Contact: Tia McCollors tia.mccollors@emory.edu 404-727-5692 Emory University Health Sciences Center

Organic diets lower children’s dietary exposure to two common pesticides used in U.S. agricultural production, according to a study by Emory University researcher Chensheng “Alex” Lu, PhD. The substitution of organic food items for children’s normal diets substantially decreased the pesticide concentration to non-detectable levels.

Dr. Lu, an assistant professor in the department of environmental and occupational health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, will review his findings from the recent study at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in St. Louis.  The seminar, entitled, “Opportunities to Reduce Children’s Exposures to Pesticides Through Organic Food and Farming,” will take place on Sunday, February 19.

Previous research has linked organophosphorus pesticides to causes of neurological effects in animals and humans, Dr. Lu says.

“The use of organophosphorus pesticides in residential areas has either been banned or restricted by recent regulatory changes,” Dr. Lu continues. “This helps to minimize children’s exposure, but still few restrictions have been imposed in agriculture.”

In his initial research, Dr. Lu and his colleagues from Emory University, the University of Washington, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specifically measured the exposure of two organophosphorus pesticides (OP) – malathion and chlorpyrifos – in 23 elementary students in the Seattle area by testing their urine over a 15-day period.

The participants, ages 3 to 11-years-old, were first monitored for three days on their conventional diets before the researchers substituted most of the children’s conventional diets with organic food items for five consecutive days.  The children were then re-introduced to their normal foods and monitored for an additional seven days.

According to Dr. Lu, there was a “dramatic and immediate protective effect” against the pesticides until the conventional diets were re-introduced. While consuming organic diets, most of the childrenÕs urine samples contained zero concentration for the malathion metabolite.  However, once the children returned to their conventional diets, the average malathion metabolite concentration increased to 1.6 parts per billion with a concentration range from 5 to 263 parts per billion, Dr. Lu explains.

###

A similar trend was observed for chlorpyrifos. as the average chlorpyrifos metabolite concentration increased from one part per billion during the organic diet days to six parts per billion when children consumed conventional food. The study was funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Organic and sustainable foods have more polyphenolics linked to health benefits

Contact: Andy Fell ahfell@ucdavis.edu 530-752-4533 University of California – Davis

Organically or sustainably grown berries and corn contain up to 58 percent more polyphenolics, natural antioxidants that are a natural defense for plants and may be good for our health, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Davis. The work suggests that pesticides and herbicides may actually reduce the production of polyphenolics by plants.

“This really opens the door to more research in this area,” said Alyson Mitchell, assistant professor of food science at UC Davis, who led the research team.  The researchers compared levels of total polyphenolics and ascorbic acid content in marionberries (a type of blackberry) and corn grown organically, sustainably or conventionally, and in strawberries grown sustainably or conventionally. The fruits and corn used were frozen, freeze-dried or air-dried.

Frozen sustainably-grown and organic marionberries and corn contained 50 to 58 percent more polyphenolics than conventionally grown crops from neighboring plots. Sustainably-grown frozen strawberries contained 19 percent more polyphenolics than conventional fruit. Sustainably-grown and organic produce also had higher levels of ascorbic acid.

Frozen fruit and corn tended to have higher levels of polyphenolics than freeze-dried or air-dried foods.

The polyphenolics in the organic crops were at levels you would expect to see in wild plants, suggesting that pesticide use reduces the need for plants to make these chemicals, Mitchell said

Polyphenolics are natural chemicals produced by plants as by products of other processes. When plants are stressed, for example by insects, they produce higher levels of polyphenolics, which can taste bitter, to drive away pests.

Studies show that eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, which is high in polyphenolics can reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. But scientists don’t know exactly how polyphenolics cause these effects.

“We know they’re beneficial, but we don’t know what types of polyphenolics are beneficial , or in what quantities,” Mitchell said.

The organic foods were grown according to the definition set by the U.S.  Department of Agriculture, without artificial pesticides or fertilizers used in conventional farming. Sustainably-grown produce was grown with artificial fertilizers, but without pesticides.

Total polyphenolics levels were slightly higher in sustainably grown produce, suggesting that a combination of organic and conventional practices yields the highest levels. Crops grown without using pesticides or herbicides might make more polyphenolics because they are more likely to be stressed by insects or other pests, Mitchell said.

“This may reflect the balance between adequate nutrition in the form of fertilizers and external pest pressures because of the lack of pesticides and herbicides,” she said.

###

The research, which was partly supported by a gift from Oregon Freeze-Dry Inc., was published in the Feb. 26 edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Repost 2003

Health effects of pesticide mixtures are Deadly: Unexpected insights from the salmon brain

Contact: Ben Sherman ben.sherman@noaa.gov202-253-5256 NOAA Headquarters

In his research, scientist Nat Scholz examines how pesticides that run off the land and mix in rivers and streams combine to have a greater than expected toxic effect on the salmon nervous system. These pesticides are widely used in the United States and their occurrence as mixtures in the food supply for humans may also pose an unexpected risk for people.

“We have a pretty good handle on how to assess the health effects of single chemicals in conventional toxicity trials,” said Scholz, a fishery biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “But the real world is usually more complex, and exposures to mixtures of chemicals can be more of the rule than the exception. One of the major scientific challenges of our generation is to develop new approaches to anticipate and head off any ill effects of interacting chemicals.”

Scholz will present his research along with five other scientists from the U.S. government, the Canadian government and academia in the symposium entitled “From Kitchen Sinks to Ocean Basins: Emerging Chemical Contaminants and Human Health.” Organized by NOAA’s Oceans and Human Health Initiative, the symposium is one of the features of the AAAS Annual Meeting.

Scholz and his colleagues found that salmon died when exposed to combinations of pesticides that were not deadly when tested in individual trials. The findings for salmon could have important implications for the recovery of many threatened and endangered salmon populations throughout the western United States. The research also points to the need for more study of how combinations of pesticides found on fruits and vegetables may be affecting humans.

###

To learn more about Dr. Scholz’s research, please attend his presentation. Journalists are welcome to interview Dr. Scholz. To set up an interview, please call Monica Allen at 202-379-6693 or Ben Sherman at 202-253-5256. For more information on the Oceans and Human Health Initiative go to www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/ohh

Reposted from 2008