pesticides

Governance on the Ground—Evaluating Pesticide Regulation in California

California uses more pesticides than any other U.S. state, primarily because of the large acreage of high value specialty crops. Photo credit: Fotokostic, Shutterstock

In a new study, UCLA and USC researchers find that California state and county officials are falling short in evaluating use of agricultural pesticides.

Editor’s note: a new report from researchers at UCLA and USC provides a systematic review of California’s county-level regulation of pesticides. Read the report, a 4-page summary, and a press release.  It is well known that the law on the ground often looks quite different than the law on the books. California’s pesticide regulatory program …

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The Trump Administration Is On An Environmental Losing Streak

Courts Continue to Strike Down Anti-Environmental Actions

While the Trump Administration’s assault on the environment  is alarming, courts are continuing to hand the administration  an impressive string of losses that mean that, at least in the short term, the assault is much less effective than the administration’s claims of deregulating the economy would lead us all to believe.    In just the …

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Trump Loses Another Big Court Case

Ninth Circuit reverses Pruitt decision to allow a dangerous pesticide on food.

Last Thursday, the Ninth Circuit ruled that Scott Pruitt had no justification for allowing even the tiniest traces of a pesticide called chlorpyrifos (also called Lorsban and Dursban) on food. This is yet another judicial slap against lawlessness by the current Administration. Chlorpyrifos was originally invented as a nerve gas, but it turns out that …

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The Tricky Problem of Cumulative Exposures

A new UCLA report finds reason to be concerned about cumulative risk, and notes that under CA law regulators are required to act

We are all exposed to hundreds, if not thousands of chemicals through consumer products, air pollution, drinking water, and occupational exposures, just to name a few.  Yet chemicals and pollutants are largely assessed and regulated individually.  Increasingly, environmental health professionals have been attempting to grapple with assessing the risk of exposure to multiple chemicals. New …

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The Ninth Circuit Takes EPA to Task (Twice)

EPA’s pesticide registration efforts trigger forceful response

Judge McKeown of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently wrote of the EPA, “Although filibustering may be a venerable tradition in the United States Senate, it is frowned upon in administrative agencies tasked with protecting human health.”  Yikes.  What did the EPA do to elicit such a reaction from a federal judge? The short …

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Ban the Quad?

The grassy Quad is emblematic of university life. But its days may be numbered.

When I picture a university, I immediately envision the quad: an area of grass and trees surrounded by campus buildings, like the photo from one of America’s oldest universities accompanying this post.  But those beautiful lawns may need to go. That would be a bit sad, and not just because the students could lose a place to …

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Congress Moves Forward on the Farm Bill

Congress conference committee considers Farm Bill, including numerous provisions with serious environmental consequences

Finally.  There is a Farm Bill conference committee, and it began meeting last week.  The Farm Bill is the vehicle for our major federal farm and food policy, including commodity subsidies, crop insurance, food assistance, and farm conservation.  Congress let the 2008 Farm Bill expire on September 30, 2012, and we have been living on extensions ever since. Although the most …

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Pesticide Registration: Time for an Upgrade

UCLA Study Offers Recommendations to Improve the Pesticide Approval Process in California

We love our fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts in California.  They are healthy for us and for our economy; California leads the nation with agricultural revenues of over 44 billion dollars annually, and produces nearly half of the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the U.S.  But modern agriculture relies heavily on fumigants to produce this bounty …

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The Emergence of Food Law

As with most holidays, Memorial Day is associated with a traditional food component — in this case, picnics.  So this seems like a good occasion to talk about the emerging legal field of food law. According to the Food and Drug Law Institute, about sixty law schools have courses on Food and Drug Law, a …

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Our strawberries’ safety: will California approve methyl iodide this year?

As Margot Roosevelt reports in the Los Angeles Times, California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation has signaled that it will make a decision before Governor Schwarzenegger leaves office about whether to approve the use of methyl iodide as a strawberry fumigant.  Farmworker advocacy groups and environmental advocates fear the pesticide will be approved, and are planning …

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