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EWG News Roundup (3/29): Monsanto’s Weedkiller ‘Guilty,’ Lawmakers Offer Plans To Test Water for PFAS, Ban Toxic Pesticide and More

In the News
Friday, March 29, 2019

On Wednesday, a second jury in eight months found that glyphosate, the signature ingredient in Bayer-Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup, causes cancer. The plaintiff in the case was awarded $80 million in damages after arguing the herbicide played a role in the development of his non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

“Clearly, the testimony that informed the jury’s decision was Bayer-Monsanto hiding Roundup’s carcinogenic properties, manipulating the science and cozying up with EPA so it would not have to warn consumers of its dangerous product,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “Bayer-Monsanto has known for decades the cancer-causing properties of Roundup, and I applaud the jury for holding the company accountable for failing to warn consumers of the known danger.”

On Thursday, Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and a dozen of his fellow senators introduced legislation to ban chlorpyrifos, an insecticide that can harm children’s brains and nervous systems. But if the Trump administration had listened to Environmental Protection Agency scientists, the legislation wouldn’t have been needed.

Two years ago today, then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt sided with the pesticide lobby over the agency’s scientists in an 11th-hour decision to abort a proposal to ban chlorpyrifos from use on food crops.

Given the historical use data from the U.S. Geological Survey, the delay means that an estimated five million pounds of the weedkiller were sprayed on U.S. cropland last year, with the same amount of use expected this year.

Over on Capitol Hill, a bipartisan bill was introduced that would authorize the USGS to sample water for contamination with the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS. This would be a major first step in exposing the scope of the nationwide contamination crisis.

This week, the Army back-tracked on its $300,000 price tag for PFAS contamination data that EWG recently requested through a public records request. The fee for such information from a federal agency is almost always waived for nonprofit organizations.

“Considering the Pentagon is one of the largest sources of pollution in this ballooning drinking water crisis, the Army and the rest of the military must be part of the solution, not more of the problem,” said EWG Legislative Attorney Melanie Benesh in response to the Army’s decision.

EWG touted the Green New Deal this week, supporting its call to put the U.S. on the path toward a future where the nation is powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

“To treat the climate crisis like a crisis, we must do everything we possibly can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “That means dramatically accelerating the production of renewable energy. The good news is that the share of electricity from renewables has doubled in just a decade and continues to grow at a remarkable rate.”

Along with 18 companies, EWG called upon the EPA to severely limit the use of glyphosate on oats and prohibit use of the cancer-causing herbicide as a pre-harvest drying agent.

And finally, we laid out the argument that consumers across the nation have been making – when it comes to cosmetics, safety and transparency matter just as much as looks.

Here’s some news you can use going into the weekend.

2019 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Wall Street Journal: Finally, I Can Win My Battle Against Kale

According to the Environmental Working Group, which has compiled a list of the Dirty Dozen foods for the past 15 years, standard supermarket kale is just loaded with pesticides. It has almost as much bug-killer clinging to it as its supernaturally repellent cousin, spinach.

Business Insider: Kale is now one of the most pesticide-contaminated vegetables, and the dangers go beyond eating salad

It's also one of the most pesticide-contaminated vegetables in the US, according to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG), which lists kale among its "Dirty Dozen" guide to the most contaminated food products. Reprinted by Business Insider Malaysia

The Hill: Did kale lose its superstar status?

The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 2019 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce was recently released, catapulting kale to a place of infamy on the so-called “Dirty Dozen list, where it joined strawberries, spinach, nectarines and apples in the top five.

HuffPost: We’re Already Seeing The Health Effects Of Pesticides – Just Not Where You’d Expect

In all, around 70 percent of produce sold in the U.S. has pesticide residues, according to the annual “Dirty Dozen” report by nonprofit group The Environmental Working Group (EWG), which lists the foods with the highest and lowest levels of pesticide residues. It says we may be exposed to worrying amounts of pesticides.

MassLive: Non-organic kale one of the ‘dirtiest’ vegetables with high pesticide residue contamination, report says

The “EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce” says that U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows “more than 92 percent of kale samples had two or more pesticide residues detected, and a single sample could contain up to 18 different residues.”

NOLA.com: Kale pesticide residue puts it on health advocacy group’s Dirty Dozen list

Kale has joined 11 other fruits and vegetables on the Environmental Working Group’s new Dirty Dozen list for pesticide residue. The leafy green is often touted for its vitamins and antioxidants, but U.S. Department of Agriculture testing data showed more than 90 percent of the samples had detectable levels of two or more pesticides, some of them potentially cancer-causing.

The Oregonian: Kale joins ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of produce with the most pesticide contamination; will you stop eating it? (poll)

According to the Environmental Working Group, conventionally grown kale has the third-most pesticide residue of produce found at the grocery store. On Wednesday, the health advocacy group released its annual "Dirty Dozen" list of contaminated produce. It's the first time in a decade that kale has been on the list. 

POPSUGAR: Kale Is One of the Dirtiest Vegetables, According to the EWG's 2019 “Dirty Dozen” List

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) makes this easier by releasing a list every year called the “Dirty Dozen,” which names the 12 pieces of produce that contain the most pesticides. Stick to EWG's “Clean 15” list for everything that's OK to buy nonorganic.

Simplemost: Kale Has Been Added To The ‘Dirty Dozen’ List

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG), which puts out the Dirty Dozen list as part of an annual Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce, found that kale ranks behind only strawberries and spinach when it comes to the amount of pesticide covering it.

The Times (London, U.K.) Kale among worst fruit and veg for contamination by pesticides

However, the report by the Environmental Working Group in the U.S. has found that kale also has higher pesticide residues than other fruit and vegetables found in American supermarkets.

Yahoo! Finance: Produce with the most pesticides in your grocery store

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is out with its annual list of the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” when it comes to pesticides in produce. The worst three are strawberries, spinach and kale — as the most likely to remain contaminated after being washed. Kale has been under the radar since 2009, but recent reports showed 92% of kale samples had two or more — sometimes up to 18 different pesticide residues.

The Daily Meal: Avocados in 6 States Recalled Over Listeria Concerns

Meet the Clean 15: The Fruits and Vegetables Least Likely to Poison You Slideshow

Elite Daily: Kale Is One Of The “Dirtiest” Vegetables According To A Watchdog Group, Which, Great

Kale is one of the "dirtiest" vegetables according to non-profit activist group The Environmental Working Group (EWG), and may not actually be the absolute epitome of health, despite what you may have heard. Well, there goes my post-workout smoothie.

HTV: These fruits and veggies topped the list for pesticide contamination

But how do you choose the most crucial fruits and vegetables to seek out? A 2019 report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is breaking down the top pesticide-ladened produce — known as the "Dirty Dozen" — to help steer you in the right direction. Reprinted byGreenwich Time, the Stamford Advocate, New Haven RegisterThe Hour SFGateWDSU,  WGALWLKYWESHWMTW (abc).

MSN: These Are the Most Contaminated Foods on the Market

These superfoods are among the fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group’s 2019 “Dirty Dozen” report. The last time kale made the list was a decade ago.

Newsmax: 6 Foods That Lower Blood Pressure

The Environmental Working Group recommends that you consume organic greens due the high levels of pesticide residues in commercially grown veggies.

Romper: Organic Baby Food Options For WIC-Eligible Families Are Expanding With The Help Of Happy Family Organics

That's concerning when you consider the EWG's Dirty Dozen report, which found that almost 70 percent of conventional produce sold in the United States contains pesticide residues. 

Santa Cruz Sentinel: Dirty Dozen, Clean 15 lists released

Environmental Working Group recently released its 2019 Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 lists. Part of EWG’s annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, the organization analyzed the Department of Agriculture’s most recent tests and discovered nearly 70 percent of samples of conventionally grown produce are contaminated with pesticide residues.

Dr. Weil: Foods You Don't Have To Buy Organic: The Clean 15

I am pleased to have an ongoing partnership with the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies that protect global and individual health. Specifically, I am honored to help EWG spread the word about one of its most valuable pieces of research – its Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

Dr. Weil: Foods You Should Always Buy Organic: The Dirty Dozen Plus

The following “Dirty Dozen Plus” had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy organic versions – or to grow them organically yourself.

Eating Well: 15 Foods You Don't Need to Buy Organic

Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, releases a Shopper's Guide to Pesticides that identifies fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest pesticide residues.

Experience L!fe: EWG Releases 2019 “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” Lists

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released its 2019 “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists — a catalog of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest amounts of pesticide residue.

Food Politics: Environmental Working Group: Pesticides in Produce

I am often asked about pesticides on fruits and vegetables, how serious a problem they are, and how to avoid them.  I don’t know how harmful they are; the research is too hard to do definitively.  But I generally favor the Precautionary Principle: while the science is pending, avoid them as much as you can.  Here’s how. The Environmental Working Group has released its annual lists of the most and least pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables.

Healthline: Kale Near Top of ‘Dirty Dozen’ Produce List

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) bases its list on yearly reports released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program. It ranks produce items with the most pesticide residue levels, and includes the “Clean Fifteen” list of items with the least amounts of contaminants.

Longevity: 2019 Dirty Dozen List: Which Produce Has The Most Pesticides?

When it comes to the consumption of organic produce, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) does its best to advocate for this practice by releasing an annual list of which produce in the United States contains the most pesticides. 

Monsanto Roundup Verdict

Associated Press: Man awarded $80M in lawsuit claiming Monsanto's Roundup causes cancer 

 “Clearly, the testimony that informed the jury’s decision was Bayer-Monsanto hiding Roundup’s carcinogenic properties, manipulating the science and cozying-up with EPA so it would not have to warn consumers of its dangerous product,” said Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, in a statement.

USA Today: Man awarded $80M in lawsuit claiming Monsanto’s Roundup causes cancer

Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), said in a statement that “the testimony that informed the jury’s decision was Bayer-Monsanto hiding Roundup’s carcinogenic properties, manipulating the science and cozying-up with EPA so it would not have to warn consumers of its dangerous product.” Reprinted by Gannett affiliates.

Agence France Presse: Monsanto ordered to pay $80 mn in Roundup cancer trial

The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organisation, cheered Wednesday's verdict.

"Clearly, the testimony that informed the jury's decision was Bayer-Monsanto hiding Roundup's carcinogenic properties, manipulating the science and cozying-up with EPA so it would not have to warn consumers of its dangerous product," said the group's president Ken Cook. Reprinted by Raw StorySaudi GazettePulse.comThe Sun DailyFrance 24Yahoo! and 53 other media outlets.

Common Dreams: ‘Verdict Is In’: Monsanto Found Liable for Man’s Cancer, Ordered to Pay $80 Million in Damages

"Clearly, the testimony that informed the jury's decision was Bayer-Monsanto hiding Roundup's carcinogenic properties, manipulating the science, and cozying up with EPA so it would not have to warn consumers of its dangerous product," Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said in a statement. Reprinted by Truth Out

Drug Watch: $80M Roundup Verdict: Jury Finds Monsanto Liable for Man’s Cancer

Meanwhile, Los Angeles County this month put a temporary ban on Roundup use because of a need for more research on its potential dangers. According to the Environmental Working Group, more than 50 cities and counties have banned the use of the chemical on parks, schoolyards and playgrounds.

Green New Deal

Windpower Engineering & Development: Reaching 100% renewables with the Green New Deal

The path toward a U.S. electricity grid powered entirely by renewable energy is right in front of us and can be achieved if Congress commits to investing in clean energy production and storage, said Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook.

Electrek: EGEB: Puerto Rico 100% renewables by 2050, $130M for solar research, and more

Before Tuesday’s Green New Deal vote, the Environmental Working Group called the legislation “visionary,” and noted that a U.S. electricity grid powered completely by renewable energy “is right in front of us and can be achieved if Congress commits to investing in clean energy production and storage.” 

Energy Central: Path to 100 Percent Renewable Energy Is Here

The path toward a U.S. electricity grid powered entirely by renewable energy is right in front of us and can be achieved if Congress commits to investing in clean energy production and storage, said Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook. Reprint of EWG news release.

Department of Defense and PFAS Cleanup

Politico: PFAS Waiver Request Granted

The U.S. Army has backtracked on its request for $290,400 in fees from the Environmental Working Group to execute a public records request seeking data from 154 installations where water is contaminated by PFAS. In a letter Monday to EWG, the Army instead said it has since granted the fee waiver request.

SEJ: SEJ Joins Lawsuits; Press Freedom Tracker Gets Update; Docs on ANWR Drilling Concealed, and More

AP reporter Ellen Knickmeyer wrote March 20 about the Army’s demand for a FOIA search fee for records sought by the Environmental Working Group. EWG was seeking records on around 154 Army facilities regarding contamination of water by the toxic chemical family known as PFAS.

BPA

FOX11: KTTV (Los Angele, Calif.): California lawmakers consider 'Skip the Slip' bill banning paper receipts

Ting cited studies by the Environmental Working Group and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that show retail workers have higher concentrations of BPA or BPS than those who do not have regular contact with receipts. Reprinted by FOX5: WDCA (Washington, D.C.),  FOX10: KSAZ (Phoenix, Ariz.),  FOX2: KTVU (Oakland, Calif.) and other Fox affiliates

CAFOs

Community Word: County residents object to proposed hog farm

Matt Price of the Peoria County Farmers and Citizens for Responsible Agriculture (PCFCRA) said citizens are concerned about the amount of water CAFOs use, the effect on the tax base, and adequate preparation for using manure. Indeed, the amount of waste CAFOs generate is staggering, according to the International Water Association – about 40 times the waste treated in wastewater treatment facilities, and the urine and feces can drain or leach into groundwater, according to Sarah Graddy of the Environmental Working Group.

Cleaning Products

Active Times: You Should Stop Using Air Fresheners — Here’s What to Use Instead

“You want to be wary of this category especially due to respiratory health concerns,” Samara Geller, senior research and database analyst for the Environmental Working Group (EWG), told The Active Times.

Consumer Guides

Reader’s Digest Best Health: 14 Ways Toxins Are Sneaking Into Your House

You can also check the EWG’s lists of safe cosmetics and cleaning products. According to the EPA, dioxane is “probably a human carcinogen,” linked to liver, kidney, and respiratory toxicity. Reprinted by MSN.

Cosmetics

Apartment Therapy: JVN Hit Over 100 Episodes of “Getting Curious” and Hunny, We’ve Learned A Lot

She sells masks using green tea, rice, and seaweed—what she claims is the basis of beautiful skin. She also gives some great advice when picking your product of choice: look it up on Environmental Working Group.

Daily Mail: What toxic chemicals lurk in YOUR bathroom cabinet? From moisturising lotions that may lead to infertility to shower gels that could raise the risk of eczema

Although little is known about dipropylene glycol, it has been linked to skin and eye irritation, particularly in babies, the elderly and those with allergies, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) - a non-profit activist group - reports. Reprinted by Health Medicine Network.

TreeHugger: American cosmetic regulations haven’t been updated in 81 years

Fast forward to 2019 and the United States is falling behind more than 40 other nations when it comes to regulation of chemicals and contaminants in cosmetics. The following graph, created by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) as part of its latest analysis of cosmetics safety, reveals how poorly the U.S. ranks compared to the rest of the world.

 California Cosmetics Bill

Northern California Record: California legislators move to ban certain chemicals in personal care products, including PFAS

"Many cosmetics companies are already reformulating their products to exclude these dangerous chemicals, but it’s important to establish a floor other companies can’t drop below,” said Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), in a press release. The EWG supports the bill along with CALPIRG, the consumer organization.

Kourtney Kardashian 

Daily Mail: Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian attend brother-in-law Kanye West's Sunday Service in LA

“I met with Environmental Working Group, with the women, we all had lunch together and I said, "How can I help?" I had been using their app for years, since I had my first son and I got really into it and checking my products,” Kardashian told TODAY last month. Reprinted byMSN.

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

Bustle: 7 Household Products You’re Using That You Didn’t Realize Can Trigger Inflammation

SLS, or sodium lauryl sulfate, can cause inflammatory pain on the skin, and has a low to moderate health concern level according to the Environmental Working Group.

Mercola: Does Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Cause Cancer?

If you don’t know where to start, head over to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. It contains ingredient lists and safety ratings for around 75,000 cosmetics and personal care products to help you make safer choices.

MindBodyGreen: Here's How This Wellness Mama Changed Her Skin Care Routine With A New Baby On The Way

For a quick and easy way to know whether or not a product is safe, the EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is a trusted resource in the personal care products space. You can see the safety rating for tens of thousands of products (based on their ingredients) by searching the online database or scanning the product's bar code through the app. 

EWG VERIFIED™ 

Barron’s – Penta: Good Company: Planted in Beauty’s Vegan Skincare

Planted in Beauty’s skincare products have passed several rigorous certifications, including Ecocert, which certifies natural and organic cosmetics, and Environmental Working Group (EWG), which checks that products are adequately preserved and free of contaminants.

Beauty Independent: Striking Gender-Neutral Skincare Brand Schaf Strikes Out From Canada To Grow Its U.S. Presence

The brand’s products garner the Environmental Working Group’s lowest score for chemicals of concern. It participates in the EWG Verified program to signal its commitment to clean, simple and effective skincare.

The Kit: Here’s How to Score the Cool-Girl Hair of Your Dreams

It all starts in the shower, says Brager. “Fine hair needs weightless moisture, whereas thicker hair requires heavier conditioning to weigh it down,” she explains. She’s a fan of Herbal Essences’ new sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, the first mass products to ever be certified by the Environmental Working Group.

Retail News Asia: Global beauty brand Paul Penders Opens in Asia

All Paul Penders’ products are cruelty free, certified vegan, Halal and EWG verified.

EWG VERIFIED™ and Herbal Essences

Savings With Denise: My Hair Transformation Thanks to Herbal Essences

Herbal Essences heard this call and is bringing two new sulfate-free botanical shampoos to the market, formulated to meet the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) EWG VERIFIED™ stamp of approval.

Farm Subsidies

New Food Economy: Thinly sliced: Damages continue to mount in historic Midwest flooding

Boom or bust? In recent weeks, we’ve seen a lot of signals indicating that we either are or aren’t headed for a farm crisis like the big one in the 1980s. Politico and The Wall Street      Journal published stories suggesting the former; lobbyists at the Environmental Working Group published a blog post accusing farm lobbies of crying wolf. This week, Chris Clayton explains why no single number tells the whole story.

Monsanto’s Glyphosate

U.S. News & World Report: Los Angeles County Bans Use of Roundup Weed Killer

More than 50 cities and counties have banned the chemical, according to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Environmental Working Group, which has long spoken out against the use of glyphosate.

The Epoch Times: Cereals, Beers and Other Food Contain Weed Killer Chemical – What Does It Do to Your Body?

Last August, the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) released test results that showed General Mills’ Cheerios, Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran and at least 28 other popular breakfast food contained levels of glyphosate above EWG’s health benchmark of 160 ppb.

OpEd News: Los Angeles County bans Monsanto weed killer citing health concerns

“Kicking Bayer-Monsanto and its cancer-causing weedkiller off L.A. County property was absolutely the right call,” Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement. “We know glyphosate causes cancer in people and shouldn’t be sprayed anywhere – period. We don’t know how many Angelenos have been exposed to this dangerous chemical through its use by the county, but we can keep others from being exposed.”

EWG's Guide to Sunscreens

Treehugger: New study links chemical sunscreens to birth defects

It is clear that we should not be using chemical sunscreens, and that physical sunblocks with minerals such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are a much safer choice. Fortunately there are a growing number of these on the market – and even some that won't make you look like Snow White. Check the EWG's guide to safe sunscreens for more info.

PFAS in Drinking Water

North Jersey Record: One in five residents get contaminated tap water. NJ is ordering companies to clean it up

Testing required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2013 to 2016 showed that about 16 million Americans were being served water in which PFOA had been detected, according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group. Of those, 1.6 million were in New Jersey — the most of any state. Reprinted by Asbury Park Press, Courier Post, and MyCentralJersey.

Delaware News Journal: New Jersey regulators issue 'directive' to Delaware companies over Teflon

Testing required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2013 to 2016  showed that about 16 million Americans were being served water where PFOA had been detected, according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group. Of those, 1.6 million were in New Jersey -- the most of any single state. 

NJ Spotlight: DEP Says Five Companies Must Pay for PFAS Contamination in NJ

The Environmental Working Group, a national nonprofit that advocates for tougher PFAS standards, said New Jersey’s latest move shows that it is far ahead of the EPA in curbing the chemicals. Reprinted by StateImpact Pennsylvania (NPR).

Chemical and Engineering News (C&E News): ‘Forever chemicals’ no more? These technologies aim to destroy PFAS in water

Nationwide contamination. Credit: Environmental Working Group/Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute/Northeastern University (links to EWG’s PFAS map)

Patch: 5 Companies Did 'Extensive Contamination' Of Your NJ Water: DEP

The Asbury Park Press, citing statistics from The Environmental Working Group, recently reported that nearly one in five New Jerseyans are delivered tap water that contains at least trace amounts of a chemical linked to cancer and low birth weights.

Teflon Cookware

Good Housekeeping: Is Nonstick Cookware Safe? Here's Everything You Need to Know, According to Experts

At 680 F, Teflon releases at least six toxic gases, including two carcinogens, according to a study by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit watchdog organization.

Water Filters

Mother magazine: Mother Essentials

Berkey Water Filter. “Also on the water front, I recently learned on the EWG just how contaminated it can be, so whenever I’m home I use filtered water for myself and my family. This is especially important to me as I begin adding formula into my daughters’ routine.” Crown Berkey Water Filter System, $453, Amazon.

 

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