A Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Kapetan has ruled that the state of California will require Monsanto to place a cancer warning label on the company’s Roundup weed killer.
All three pesticides are organophosphates widely used on crops such as corn, watermelon and wheat. Last year, the World Health Organization announced that malathion and diazinon are probable carcinogens.
Seed libraries and banks are critically important because the seeds are adapted to the local environment. Seed libraries have multiplied from only a handful a few years ago to as many as 300 located in towns across America today. Public libraries check out seeds to plant in your garden, asking only that you return harvested seeds for others to enjoy. Farmers can now “back up” their seeds in local seed banks, which are also becoming important educational resources to teach students about these issues.
For instance, replacing Kentucky bluegrass, Bermuda grass or another non-native species with natives can deliver drought resistance and lower irrigation needs; eliminate any need for fertilizers or toxic pesticides; reduce or eliminate labor-intensive and often polluting mowing and edging; enhance the beauty of a home; and attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife.
At age 6, climate change activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez gave his first speech to a packed crowd in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado. Raised in the Aztec tradition, he was taught that as indigenous people, they are descendants of the land and inherit a duty to protect it.
“I felt such sadness that my generation inherited this crisis to clean up. That night, I saw that those emotions could be channeled into action and my voice could make a difference,” says Martinez, founder and youth director of the nonprofit Earth Guardians.
Sikkim, the northeastern Indian state located between Bhutan and Nepal, has rid its agricultural land of pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified crops and other artificial inputs on around 75,000 hectares, or about 300 square miles, of agricultural land, making it its country’s first organic state. Instead, farmers use natural alternatives such as green manure and compost.
Amidst the growing pollinator crisis and due to public pressure, Aldi Süd, the German supermarket chain with stores in the U.S., has become the first major European retailer to ban pesticides toxic to bees, including the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, from fruits and vegetables produced for their stores. Starting in January, Aldi produce suppliers have had to ensure their cultivation practices exclude eight pesticides identified as toxic to bees. Other retailers in the U.S. and Europe are also beginning to shun bee-toxic pesticides.