The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
ACTION: Encourage the USDA to Stand Up for Consumer Interests, Not Cave to Pesticide Lobby
By Ken Cook
For the last two years, the pesticide lobby, especially a front group called the Alliance for Food and Farming, has waged a multi-front campaign to get the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to repackage its pesticide data with industry talking points that downplay risks and consumers' concerns. And they attacked Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce in the bargain.
We expect to see USDA's 2010 pesticide data soon and fully expect that the agency has not caved to industry pressure. Giving you the information you need is too important. Your tax dollars paid for the government's pesticide tests. Stand with EWG today to make sure the USDA tells us the whole truth about pesticides on our food.
Last year, we launched an investigation into the Alliance for Food and Farming and its efforts to influence the USDA. We learned that:
- The Alliance for Food and Farming—which represents the interests of conventional agriculture producers and pesticide companies—received a $180,000 grant from USDA in 2010 to slam "Environmental Working Group's 'dirty dozen' report," and to denounce "[c]laims by activist groups about unsafe levels of pesticides."
- One top USDA official even wrote a letter endorsing the use of federal tax dollars to attack EWG. When EWG supporters like you called USDA out for funding the project with your tax money, internal documents obtained by EWG show that some USDA officials tried to do damage control, discussing whether they could rescind the grant or tone down disclosures about the project.
- At the same time the Alliance for Food and Farming was preparing to attack EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce, industry representatives were lobbying hard to have USDA change the way it would release pesticide data to include more industry-friendly spin downplaying the risks of pesticide residues.
- More than a dozen industry representatives—including members of the Alliance for Food and Farming board of directors who led the campaign against EWG—wrote Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last year telling him to prevent "environmental activists" from presenting USDA pesticide data in a way that would hurt business.
Thanks to you, the Alliance for Food and Farming's government grant was not renewed. You told the USDA that consumers (and taxpayers) want unbiased pesticide data released.
Let's do it again this year. Make sure USDA officials know they can't cave to industry pressure—Americans want to know the truth.
Take action today by clicking here to tell the USDA not to cave to industry's pressure—you want to know what you're eating.
For more information, click here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill that that bans the sale and manufacture of fur products in the state. The fur ban, which he signed into law on Saturday, prohibits Californians from selling or making clothing, shoes or handbags with fur starting in 2023, according to the AP.
By Simon Evans
During the three months of July, August and September, renewables generated an estimated total of 29.5 terawatt hours (TWh), compared with just 29.1TWh from fossil fuels, the analysis shows.
By Will Sarni
It is far too easy to view scarcity and poor quality of water as issues solely affecting emerging economies. While the images of women and children fetching water in Africa and a lack of access to water in India are deeply disturbing, this is not the complete picture.
- Mice exposed to nicotine-containing e-cigarette vapor developed lung cancer within a year.
- More research is needed to know what this means for people who vape.
- Other research has shown that vaping can cause damage to lung tissue.
A new study found that long-term exposure to nicotine-containing e-cigarette vapor increases the risk of cancer in mice.
Six months: That's how much time Mexico now has to report on its progress to save the critically endangered vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus) from extinction.
It may seem innocuous to flush a Q-tip down the toilet, but those bits of plastic have been washing up on beaches and pose a threat to the birds, turtles and marine life that call those beaches home. The scourge of plastic "nurdles," as they are called, has pushed Scotland to implement a complete ban on the sale and manufacture of plastic-stemmed cotton swabs, as the BBC reported.