Bayer, the corporate owner of Monsanto, must pay $2.25 billion in damages due to Monsanto’s product called Roundup. The chemical spray kills insects very quickly (which is really bad for the planet) and due to it being permitted to use on residential properties the harm it has caused seems pretty great. One regular user of the chemical soup got cancer due to it and sued the company, thus leading the court ordering the payment. The lesson here: don’t use pesticides on residential properties. It’s good to see a massive corporation being held to account for its damaging actions.
“The jury’s punitive damages award sends a clear message that this multi-national corporation needs top to bottom change,” they said, calling the verdict “a condemnation of 50 years of misconduct by Monsanto.”
The claims rest on the ingredient glyphosate, introduced as a herbicide by Monsanto in 1974, which inhibits a certain enzyme in most plants, preventing them from growing. Monsanto also introduced genetically modified crops that are resistant to glyphosate.
This is the year nobody should use pesticides, if you’re on the fence about using pesticides I’ll remind you that they do more harm than good. They negatively impact human health, kill unintended species, and even taint groundwater. Many smart gardeners already avoid using the killer chemicals and you too can be a smart gardener. Why use dangerous chemicals when you can use plants?
Over at PopSci they’ve complied a list of what plants in North America you should plant to protect your garden from pests.
You can find examples of pesticide plants stretching back thousands of years. Native Americans, for example,may have developed companion plantingas early as10,000 years ago, long before home gardening became a pastime. Although synthetic chemical-based pesticides have become common, you don’t need to follow that trend.
When you use plants to keep pests away, you’re employing a proven gardening technique backed byscientific research. Installing the right plants in your garden is fast, easy, and (the best part) extremely fun. If you’re not sure where to start, we have some suggestions for every planting zone in the US.
Neonicotinoids kill bees, specifically their hives, and the EU just expanded their ban on neonicotinoids to help protect the world’s dying bee populations. Back in 2013 the EU banned pesticides with neonicotinoids in them when spraying pesticides on plants and flowers that attracted bees. That meant that the deadly chemicals could still get into the ecosystem and kill hives of bees, and researchers found that the best solution to protecting bees would be an outright ban on neonicotinoids. By this end of this year the total ban will be put in place.
Vytenis Andriukaitis, European commissioner for Health and Food Safety, welcomed Fridayâ€™s vote: â€œThe commission had proposed these measures months ago, on the basis of the scientific advice from Efsa. Bee health remains of paramount importance for me since it concerns biodiversity, food production and the environment.â€
The EU decision could have global ramifications, according to Prof Nigel Raine, at the University of Guelph in Canada: â€œPolicy makers in other jurisdictions will be paying close attention to these decisions. We rely on both farmers and pollinators for the food we eat. Pesticide regulation is a balancing act between unintended consequences of their use for non-target organisms, including pollinators, and giving farmers the tools they need to control crop pests.â€
People in Ontario will have nicer grass to roll around in next year – except on golf courses and farmer’s fields. No, I have no idea how using pesticides on a golf courses aren’t classified as a cosmetic use, although golf course might still be subject to the law (I don’t know yet). The main thrust of the legislation is to ban the sale of consumer pesticides, municipal bans could be circumvented by buying the pesticides and using them anyway. Now that loophole will be closed.
The provincewide ban is aimed at replacing a patchwork of local pesticide bylaws, but Ontario farmers will be exempt. There’s no word yet if the province also plans to exempt golf courses from the ban.
The Conservatives and New Democrats said Monday they would likely support the legislation, but they first want to make sure the ban will actually help the environment and isn’t just a public relations move by the Liberal government.
“I think our inclination is to probably support it, but at the same time we want to hear from the folks who are experts in this area, and whether they think it’s all politics or whether there is going to be some meaningful benefit to the environment,” said Opposition Leader Bob Runciman.
In Oregon farmers are working with a class of 4th graders to educate them on natural alternatives to pesticides. For earth day this year the farmers from the Coalition of Environmentally Conscious Growers will release 10,000 ladybugs that will eat the bad things that hurt the farmers’ crops.
Because when you consider the fact that most people have never had the opportunity to watch tens of thousands of insects working together towards a positive, natural result I think it becomes obvious the kind of impression it will leave. And a lasting impression provides their teachers with a great opportunity to teach math, art, literature, social studies and science to them in various ways around the theme of environmental sustainability.