The North American states continue their legislative campaign to reduce the use of pesticides and agrochemicals in agriculture and in public areas.
Lawmakers in the US state of Nebraska have passed a law restricting the use of seeds treated with pesticides for the production of ethanol. Earlier, environmental authorities had to admit that under their supervision, AltEn LLC ethanol plant contaminated the area around the small town of Mead with an array of pesticides in quantities far exceeding what is considered safe.
The contamination has been going on for several years and is complicated by accidental spills and leaks of the plant’s pesticide-laden waste, which was stored in poorly maintained lagoons and piled into hills of a putrid lime-green mash called “wet cake." The company had also distributed the waste to area farmers for spreading across fields as “soil conditioner.”
Mead residents say there is a fear of a repeat of the situation in other cities in the state, where large agricultural processors are located.
Pepperell is one of at least 13 municipalities in Massachusetts to take advantage of a new law that allows communities to request the state’s permission to forgo pesticide spraying. To reduce the spread of eastern equine encephalitis and other mosquito-borne diseases, the state has sprayed millions of acres in recent years with a pesticide found to contain significant amounts of PFAS. The PFAS leached into the pesticide from its packaging.
Environmental advocates fear the broad dispersal of the pesticide, and the large amounts used over the years, may have resulted in the chemicals leaching into groundwater. Under pressure from environmental advocates who have long raised concerns about the ecological dangers of pesticide spraying, lawmakers added a provision that allows communities to seek exemptions from spraying. But the state can reject their requests.
After 53 years of use, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) issued a three-year plan to ban the persistent, toxic insecticide chlorpyrifos. The deadline for using chlorpyrifos is December 10, 2023.
Scientists and public health advocates cite reams of science in the public domain damning chlorpyrifos and related insecticides that emerged from military nerve agents. These chemicals damage the brain and nervous system, interfere with hormone systems, impair development and the immune system, and culminate in chronic disease and cancers. Early exposures can alter the lifelong trajectory of health.
A Mexican federal judge ruled against a request by the National Farm Council to freeze a government plan to ban genetically modified (GMO) corn and the widely used herbicide glyphosate by 2024.
The scientists are tasked by the president's order with identifying a substitute for glyphosate, which thousands of Mexican farmers use to clear fields prior to planting.