Subject: Who will act on pesticides? - Prevent Cancer Now updates

Pesticides ~ Action Opportunities and Updates
 
Albertans’ Opportunity
Vote for urban least-toxic pest control
Albertans have the opportunity on October 16th to advance from a failing grade for not restricting pesticides on lawns and gardens to a grade of excellence, by voting for progressive councillors who will work to protect people from pesticide exposures, and for healthier landscapes.
 
TAKE ACTION
Federal regulation is not sufficient to protect people and the environment from pesticides. Find out where your candidates stand with a handy handout. Share with your community, and be sure to get out and vote! 
 
If you don’t live in Alberta, please share this email with those who do.
 
We all wish Alberta the dawn of a healthier era, by voting for progressive leaders and health at the polls on October 16th!
Why worry about mucky mouse butts and cancer?
Objection to Glyphosate Registration
 Glyphosate is the most-used herbicide in Canada and around the world, and according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) glyphosate probably causes cancer including non-Hodgkin lymphoma (Monograph here).
 
Prevent Cancer Now has summarized concerns, followed controversies, submitted comments to the federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), and now, along with Équiterre, David Suzuki Foundation, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and Environmental Defence, has formally objected to the glyphosate re-registration. The objection process has no timelines and is secretive, so we are asking the Minister of Health for a formal review.
 
So, what does this have to do with mucky mouse (and rat) butts? As described in the objection, industry-provided studies examined in the PMRA Reading Room reported that animals eating glyphosate had, well, mucky butts. This sign of effects in the intestines is consistent with glyphosate being an antibiotic, changing the microbial makeup (microbiome) and inducing inflammation. Anal staining and leakage was not, however, considered to be “adverse” so had no impact on the assessment conclusions.
 
In related news, in 2017 inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Canadian youth below sixteen years of age increased 4.6% annually from 1999-2010, driven by a horrifying 7% annually increased incidence in children younger than five. Doubtless with common causes as IBD, from 1997 to 2010 colorectal cancer increased 6.7% per year in 15 to 29 year old Canadians.
 
This is but one of many concerns regarding the glyphosate registration – check out the 58 page objection for more!
How a bureaucratic manoeuvre bought another year for Atrazine
 Atrazine most famously causes male tadpoles to develop into reproductively functional females, when grown in the lab equivalent of agricultural ditch water. Thus, atrazine and has complex effects on hormones and sensitive tissues (it is an “endocrine disrupting chemical or EDC). For example, atrazine can increase risks of cancer in estrogen sensitive tissues such as the breast and ovaries.

Atrazine is used commonly to kill weeds in corn fields, and is commonly found in Canadian water. It was banned in Europe in 2003 due to widespread groundwater contamination, which should trigger a special review in Canada. Eventually, encouraged by a lawsuit the PMRA conducted the legally required review. With time running out and planting season looming, on March 31, 2017 atrazine was re-registered based only on limited data and high permitted levels in groundwater, and the same day a new special review was commenced. No explanations have been offered, but the re-registration meant another year of atrazine in Canada’s fields, food and water.
Stay tuned for more news on atrazine!
Neonic update
The International Task Force on Systemic Pesticides is back, with yet more damning indictment of persistent, pervasive neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics).

In the words of Task Force Vice-Chair Jean-Marc Bonmatin, “Overall, the global experiment with neonics is emerging as a clear example of pest-control failure. Governments around the world must follow the lead of countries like France to ban neonics and move toward sustainable, integrated pest management models, without delay.”

Bees many exposures are reflected in new research on honey. Globally 75% of samples were contaminated, while all five Canadian honey samples contained between two and five neonics.

A number of alternatives to neonics and other pesticides in agriculture may include insurance against crop losses when forgoing pesticides. This effective encouragement for organic practices has been found to be cost-effective.

The multi-ring chemical structures of neonics raises suspicions that they could mimic or interfere with hormones. There was no evidence of a problem (there was no research) until September 2017, when a report in Nature detailed acute and delayed toxicities, and impacts on hormones and neurotransmitters in newly emerged bees.

As neonics break down, the new chemicals can be even more toxic than the original one.

The PMRA has a slow plan eventually to re-evaluate and possibly phase out some of the six neonicotiod insecticides in Canada. Prevent Cancer Now has submitted that banning only one or three of six similar insecticides on the Canadian market would be a hollow victory, as it would only encourage use of more expensive neonics that are still patented – a win for pesticide companies, and a loss for the environment and health.
 
Prevent Cancer Now calls for an urgent phase out of all neonics, and we stand poised for the PMRA’s upcoming report on neonics at the end of the year.
Solutions

Pesticides are chemicals designed to be toxic, and spread in the environment for toxic effects.
Use and advocate for least-toxic pest control strategies.

 Support trusted farmers, and
buy certified organic, whole foods
 
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wish you all health, and good food and friendship at this harvest time.
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