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Monsanto Pulls Launch of New Pesticide After Skin Rash Complaints
Monsanto is halting the commercial launch of its latest pesticide, NemaStrike, after receiving reports of skin irritation, including rashes, that appear to be associated with the handling and application of the product, the company announced.
NemaStrike is a seed treatment designed to provide broad-spectrum nematode control for corn, soybeans and cotton. Monsanto said it conducted three years of field trials across the U.S. and noted that 400 growers were able to safely use the technology.
"Out of an abundance of caution, we are pausing the 2018 commercialization of NemaStrike Technology while we evaluate the circumstances associated with these cases," Brian Naber, Monsanto's U.S. Commercial Operations Lead, said.
Company spokeswoman Christi Dixon explained to Reuters that the users who experienced such problems might not have followed instructions to wear gloves or other protective equipment.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced approval of the nematicide, also known as tioxazafen, in May 2017. Monsanto said the EPA conducted “extensive evaluations" before it issued registration for tioxazafen.
Reuters reported that Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant expected NemaStrike to launch across up to eight million U.S. crop acres in fiscal year 2018.
"This blockbuster technology will be a game-changing addition to our seed applied solutions portfolio by providing a novel solution to a yield robbing pest," Brett Begemann, Monsanto President and Chief Operating Officer, said after the EPA stamped its approval.
But this latest news is yet another blow for the St. Louis-based agritech giant. Monsanto's other federally approved product—the dicamba-based XtendiMax Herbicide—has been linked to widespread crop damage in the United States due to dicamba's tendency to volatilize and drift onto neighboring non-target fields. Monsanto insists its product is safe and that farmers are improperly using the weedkiller.
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Ethics investigations have been opened into the conduct of senior Trump appointees at the nation's top environmental agencies.
The two investigations focus on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and six high-ranking officials in the Department of Interior (DOI), The Hill reported Tuesday. Both of them involve the officials' former clients or employers.
"This is demonstrative of the failures at the very top of this administration to set an ethical tone," Campaign Legal Center Ethics Counsel Delaney Marsco told The Washington Post of the DOI investigation. "When people come to work for government, they're supposed to work on behalf of the public. It's a betrayal of the public trust when senior political appointees seem to give privileged access to their former employers or former clients."
By Dipika Kadaba
We've known for more than 50 years that smoking cigarettes comes with health hazards, but it turns out those discarded butts are harmful for the environment, too. Filtered cigarette butts, although small, contain dozens of chemicals, including arsenic and benzene. These toxins can leach into the ground or water, creating a potentially deadly situation for nearby birds, fish and other wildlife.
By Wenonah Hauter
Five years ago this week, an emergency manager appointed by then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made the devastating decision to save money by switching Flint's water supply over from Detroit's water system to the Flint River. Seen as a temporary fix, the new water supply was not properly treated. High levels of lead leached from the old pipes, poisoning a generation of Flint's children, and bacteria responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease killed more than a dozen residents.
Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.