EWG News and Analysis

The latest from EWG’s staff of experts >>

EWG News Roundup (5/17): Cover Crops Expand Across the Corn Belt, Billion Dollar Monsanto Ruling and More

In the News
Friday, May 17, 2019

This week EWG released an updated analysis of the expansion of cover crops as a conservation practice across the corn belt. Using satellite photography, EWG was able to observe a net increase of cover crops between 2015 and 2017 in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.

A jury in California awarded more than $2 billion to a couple who developed cancer after longtime use of Monsanto’s Roundup – a pesticide whose key ingredient, glyphosate, has been linked to cancer. This is the third time in less than a year that a jury has sided with people who have taken Monsanto to court over the company’s cancer-causing herbicide.

“The cloud hanging over Bayer will only grow bigger and darker, as more juries hear how Monsanto manipulated its own research, colluded with regulators and intimidated scientists to keep secret the cancer risks from glyphosate,” said EWG President Ken Cook.

The International Monetary Fund has recently estimated that the U.S. coal industry ran up a $650 billion bill in subsidies in 2015 – a staggering number that exceeds national defense spending and is 10 times what is spent on education.

Finally, on Wednesday, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on 13 bills that look at the risk of contamination by and exposure to the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS. You can watch the hearing here.

A bill was introduced in Congress this week that aims to limit PFAS chemicals in water. A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the Senate introduced legislation that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to set a health-protective legal limit for PFAS in drinking water. 

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

PFAS Legislation

The Detroit News: House lawmakers debate regulating PFAS compounds

A recent report by the Environmental Working Group found Michigan has 192 PFAS sites — the highest in the nation —  when including locations such as schools or apartment buildings where testing found levels of PFAS at times well below 70 ppt.

The Detroit News: U.S. House panel to hold hearing on 13 PFAS bills

State officials have detected high levels of PFAS at 49 sites in Michigan, though a recent report by the Environmental Working Group found the state has 192 PFAS sites — the highest in the nation —  when including locations such as schools or apartment buildings where testing found levels of PFAS below the federal health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion.

Ionia Sentinel-Standard (MI): Stabenow, Peters and others introduce PFAS legislation in Senate

A recent report conducted by the Environmental Working Group found Michigan has 192 PFAS contamination sites, the most in the country. Reprinted Holland Sentinel (MI)

The Oakland Press (Troy MI): U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin introduces bill that expands PFAS testing for all public water systems

Last week, the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute and Environmental Working Group released a report showing Michigan with the highest number of PFAS-contaminated sites in the country at 192.

Stars and Stripes: Stabenow, Peters and others introduce PFAS legislation in Senate

A recent report conducted by the Environmental Working Group found Michigan has 192 PFAS contamination sites, the most in the country.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting: Capito Among Senators Seeking Faster EPA Action On PFAS Chemical Pollution

“This bipartisan, common-sense proposal should send a signal to the Trump administration that this out-of-control PFAS contamination crisis needs serious leadership from Washington,” Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs for the Environmental Working Group, said in a statement. Reprinted by wvik (Rock Island IL)

PFAS Chemicals in 610 Locations in 43 States

Blacklisted News: Internal Documents Show 3M Hid PFAS Dangers For Decades

And it's not just the Great Lakes State's problem. In a new study, citing updated federal government data, the Washington-based nonprofit Environmental Working Group identified 610 sites in 43 U.S. states or territories known contaminated with PFAS, including drinking water systems serving 19 million people.

Bloomberg Environment: Lawmakers, 13 Bills Seek Answers to Nonstick Chemical Pollution

The 13 bills up for consideration at this time fall in three areas, said Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group. 

Bucks County Courier Times (PA): Map sparks chemical concern in Quakertown

This news organization previously reported those results in 2016, but they gained renewed interest after the nonprofit Environmental Working Group posted a nationwide map of the chemicals earlier this week. Reprinted by The Intelligencer (Doylestown PA)

Charlotte Stories (NC): New Study Finds 22 Locations In North Carolina With Dangerous Chemical in Drinking Water

A new report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that 22 locations across North Carolina are exposed to high levels of contaminated drinking water.

Circle of Blue: What’s Up With Water – Only A Third Of The Planet’s Major Rivers Are Still Free-Flowing            

The Environmental Working Group and researchers at Northwestern University have created an interactive map of PFAS contamination in the United States.

Coyote Gulch: Mapping the #PFAS Contamination Crisis: New Data Show 610 Sites in 43 States —

From the Environmental Working Group (Monica Amarelo):

The known extent of contamination of American communities with the toxic fluorinated compounds known as PFAS continues to grow at an alarming rate, with no end in sight.

Engineering News-Record: Study: More Than 600 Sites in US Contaminated by PFAS

The Environmental Working Group is proposing a stringent drinking water and cleanup standard of 1 part per trillion for a group of toxins known as PFAS after a study found triple the amount of contamination that was known a year ago.

Florida Courier (Tampa): DATABASE: WATER SOURCES IN 43 STATES CONTAIN POTENTIALLY UNSAFE LEVELS OF CHEMICALS

More than 610 drinking water sources in 43 states contain potentially unsafe levels of chemical compounds that have been linked to birth defects, cancers, infertility and reduced immune responses in children, according to a new database compiled by the Environmental Working Group and Northeastern University.

Patch Milwaukee: Toxic PFAS Chemical Found In 6 Wisconsin Water System

Researchers at the Environmental Working Group, an activist nonprofit group, said this week that at least 610 places in 43 states are now known to be contaminated with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known collectively as PFAS.

Reprinted by Patch Alameda (CA)Patch Birmingham (MI)Patch New Port Richey (FL)

Wdet (Detroit public radio): Where’s the PFAS? Michigan Leads in Detection of Contaminant [MAP]

The Environmental Working Group has created an interactive map showing where these sites are. Users can click on the map to learn more about each location.

7 News: Recent study finds PFAS contamination is in nearly all U.S. states

According to the Environmental Working Group, 43 states in the country including military sites, drinking water sites and other known locations, are contaminated by PFAS chemicals.

Trump Administration

Courthouse News: Softer EPA Rules for Toxic Chemical Review Riles Ninth Circuit

Other petitioners include the Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, Environmental Working Group and Learning Disabilities Association of America.

Cumulative Cancer Risk Assessment

Before it’s News: Shocking New Study: Chemicals in California Tap Water Predicted to Cause Over 15,000 Cases of Cancer

Now, thanks to a shocking study from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), we now know that these and other harmful contaminants are found in California’s public tap water.

Duke Energy Report

Pacific Standard: How Utilities Stall Progress On Alternative Energy

According to a new report from the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit advocacy group, utilities across the country are actively trying to undermine improvements in energy efficiency and the transition away from fossil fuels.

Cover Crops Report

The Gazette (Cedar Rapids IA): For Iowa farmers, profiting from cover crops may unlock potential

Iowa had 907,000 acres planted in cover crops over the 2017-2018 winter season, or about 3.9 percent of all farmed acres, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group’s 2017 cover crop study of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.

Indy Star: How Indiana craft beer is helping save porpoises in Florida

“I think it’s pretty amazing they doubled the footprint,” Soren Rundquist, EWG's spatial analysis director and study coordinator, said of Iowa. “But the sobering reality is that 1 million acres is just a drop in the bucket.”

Iowa Wells Report 

AgriNews: Iowa needs to do more for its water

The Environmental Working Group and the Iowa Environmental Council issued a report that found that there are 290,000 private wells in the state and only 55,000 have been tested for nitrates.

NWest Iowa: Data finds many private wells contaminated

An investigation by the Environmental Working Group and Iowa Environmental Council has discovered widespread contamination of private water wells across Iowa.

Michelle Pfeiffer’s Henry Rose Launch

US Weekly: Michelle Pfeiffer launches fragrance collection inspired from the clean beauty trend

The collection is reportedly the first fragrance line to be certified by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) - it was developed in partnership with (...) -

Bug Repellents

Mind Body Green: 6 Expert-Approved Tips To Prevent Lyme Disease This Summer

Some of these repellents (like DEET) are considered more toxic than others, so be sure to check out the Environmental Working Group’s guide to bug repellent chemicals to assess which one might be right for you and your family.

Philly Voice: Lyme disease prevention for little ones

To me, it seems like poison. But according to the Environmental Working Group – which is my go-to resource for safe products – DEET effectively reduces risk from diseases like Lyme with very low toxicity concerns.

Cleaning Products

New York Times: One Think You Can Do: Clean Greener

In a review of more than 2,000 cleaning products, the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit advocacy organization, found that 53 percent contained ingredients known to irritate the lungs.

Mother Earth Living: The Very Best Homemade Cleaning Recipes

In a recent study, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested 21 common cleaning products and identified 457 air pollutants that can be released into the air through normal product use.

My Soulful Home: More Decorating Lessons via Video & a Give Away

Want to know more about Aunt Fannie’s?  Visit Aunt Fannie’s dot com for the back story and to learn why their products receive A’s from the Environmental Working Group.

EWG VERIFIED™

Bustle: The 4 Best Natural Moisturizers For Oily Skin

Last, if a product has been certified organic by the USDA, the Soil Association, or ECOCERT — or is NSF- or EWG-certified — you can probably trust it.

Ethical Marketing News: Walmart Strengthens Sustainable Chemistry Commitment

The Cradle to Cradle (silver level and above) and EWG Verified programs are being recognized as aligning with Walmart’s commitment along with EPA Safer Choice.

Twiniversity: 7 Summer Shopping Must-Haves for Kids

Our family favorites are from Babo Botanicals, which are EWG verified.

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

Business Insider India: The best natural skin-care products you can buy

It's important to check ingredients and watch out for phthalates, sulfates, and formaldehyde, as well as mineral oil, artificial fragrance, and silicones.  You can also check the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database for more detail.  Reprinted by San Antonio Express

Beauty Brite: Green Beauty with a Tropical Twist

Made in a family-owned, green beauty facility in Texas

Score a 1 or 2 on the EWG toxicity scale (meaning they are safe & nontoxic 

For Women First: 5 Ways to Transition to An All-Natural Beauty Routine

Get on to your laptop and start looking up what you don't understand on websites like the Environmental Working Group cosmetics database.

Glyphosate Lawsuit

The Hill: California jury links weedkiller Roundup to cancer, awards couple $2 billion

Glyphosate is the most heavily used weedkiller in the country, and its use has been spreading year after year, according to analysis by the Environmental Working Group.

Bullet Proof: The Verdict is In: Glyphosate Causes Cancer, According to a California Jury

Toxins accumulate in meats, so if you buy nothing else organic, choose ethically-raised, grass-fed meats as much as you can. For produce, the Environmental Working Group maintains a “Dirty Dozen” list — a list of the 12 vegetables with the highest toxic load.

Consumer Affairs: Jury awards plaintiffs $2 billion in latest Roundup case

“The cloud hanging over Bayer will only grow bigger and darker, as more juries hear how Monsanto manipulated its own research, colluded with regulators and intimidated scientists to keep secret the cancer risks from glyphosate,” Environmental Working Group (EWG) President Ken Cook said in a statement.

The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide: Jury awards couple $2 billion in lawsuit against Roundup

“The cloud hanging over Bayer will only grow bigger and darker, as more juries hear how Monsanto manipulated its own research, colluded with regulators, and intimidated scientists to keep secret the cancer risks from glyphosate,” Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said.

World Health Network: Monsanto/Bayer Hit With Another Hefty Verdict Against Roundup

Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group said, "The cloud hanging over Bayer will only grow bigger and darker, as more juries hear how Monsanto manipulated its own research, colluded with regulators and intimidated scientists to keep secret the cancer risks from glyphosate."

NPR: California Jury Awards $2 Billion To Couple In Roundup Weed Killer Cancer Trial

Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said: “The cloud hanging over Bayer will only grow bigger and darker, as more juries hear how Monsanto manipulated its own research, colluded with regulators and intimidated scientists to keep secret the cancer risks from glyphosate.” Reprinted by GPB (Atlanta GA NPR)WSIU (Carbondale IL)Alabama Public RadioAgri Pulsekpbs (San Diego State University)KTEP (El Paso TX)Wisconsin Public RadioSouth Dakota Public BroadcastingKEDM (LA)Capital Public Radio (Sacramento)South Caroline Public Radio; 29 other media outlets

Lead in Jewelry

California Health Report: In Effort to Protect Children, California Could Set Nation’s Strictest Limits on Cadmium and Lead in Jewelry

“The bill is precedent setting in that it’s creating a new standard for the nation for lead and cadmium in jewelry,” said Susan Little, senior advocate for California government affairs at the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Maumee River Basin and Harmful Algal Blooms

Counter Punch: The Third Battle for Lake Erie

Also in April, ACLE promoted a new report issued by the Environmental Working Group and the Environmental Law and Policy Center, that showed the number of hog, poultry and dairy factories in the Maumee River Watershed, all upstream from Toledo’s location on Lake Erie, has exploded in the last decade, far outnumbering anything state officials have claimed.

ZNet: Lake Waits for People to Wake

Also in April, ACLE promoted a new report issued by the Environmental Working Group and the Environmental Law and Policy Center, that showed the number of hog, poultry and dairy factories in the Maumee River Watershed, all upstream from Toledo’s location on Lake Erie, has exploded in the last decade, far outnumbering anything state officials have claimed.

Reprinted by Counter Currents

Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate + Health

EcoParent: Why Avid Omnivores Go Meatless for May

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) estimates that in the U.S. alone, growing livestock feed requires 167 million pounds of pesticides and 17 billion pounds of nitrogen fertilizer each year.

Health Nut News: Likely the filthiest food on Earth, yet it’s seen as wholesome

An Environmental Working Group analysis of food testing done by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2015 found 36% of chicken breasts, legs, thighs and wings were contaminated with drug-resistant enterococcus faecalis, 71% of which were resistant to tetracyclines.

Miami News Times: Is Burger King's Impossible Whopper Worth the Hype?

According to a study by the Environmental Working Group, a D.C.-based nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, the production, processing, and distribution of meat requires huge outlays of pesticides, fertilizer, fuel, feed, and water while releasing greenhouse gases, manure, and a range of toxic chemicals into our air and water.

The Signal (Santa Clarita Valley CA): Cher Gilmore | Personal Power, Hope and Climate Change

Figures from the Environmental Working Group show that lamb and beef have the highest carbon dioxide equivalent — 39.2 kilos of CO2 per kilogram of lamb and 27 kilos of CO2 per kilogram of beef.

Stone Pier Press (San Francisco): Unhealthy conditions for farm animals are—no surprise—bad for humans, too

The Environmental Working Group, Earthjustice, and Animal Legal Defense Fund are among those working hard to check the worst practices of these CAFOs.

Monsanto’s Glyphosate

The Cap Times (Madison WI): Bill Berry: We should be cautious of glyphosate use

As for that question, I asked Craig Cox, a friend and a longtime researcher with the Environmental Working Group. His answer: “Glyphosate is similar to DDT in the sense that it is everywhere.

E&E News: Monsanto lost again on Roundup. What's next for glyphosate?

Alexis Temkin, a toxicologist with the Environmental Working Group, pointed to studies that have linked cancer in agriculture workers to glyphosate exposure.

Easy Health Options: Glyphosate triggers generational toxicology that could harm your family line

If you want to promote widescale changes when it comes to glyphosate, you can follow and support organizations that educate people and policymakers about potentially dangerous chemicals like glyphosate. A few of my favorites are the Environmental Working Group…

Post Bulletin (Rochester MN): Letter: It’s our job to keep ourselves safe

By the way, glysophate has migrated into many breakfast cereals and was found in nearly every sample conducted by the Environmental Working Group.

Wisconsin State Farmer: Trial lawyers are once again coming for U.S. farmers and dairy producers

It’s no surprise though that organizations like the Environmental Working Group (EWG) have come out against the EPA’s findings and are in support of the erroneous claims against the product. Reprinted by dairy agenda today;AG DailyHoard’s DairymanCalifornia Ag Network

Wochit News (Youtube): Weed-Killing Chemical Roundup Found In Cheerios And Quaker Oats Products

According to a report by Business Insider, the Environmental Working Group has conducted multiple tests to determine the presence of weed-killer in certain breakfast foods.

WS Buzz: The weed-killing chemical in a Monsanto lawsuit was found in beer and wine. Here's how worried you should be.

In 2018, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) discovered traces of glyphosate, the most widely used agricultural pesticide in the world, in dozens of Quaker, Kellogg’s, and General Mills products, including cereals like Cheerios and Lucky Charms.

EWG's Guide to Seafood

Chelsea Green Publishing: Quality Matters: Where to Source Foods

The Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) has a fantastic online Seafood Calculator that can help you determine the best fish to consume on a regular basis. 

2019 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Art of Natural Living: Broccoli Waldorf Salad

Go organic on the pear or apple if you can. Those consistently make the dirty dozen section of the EWG’s rating system.

Bangor Daily News (ME): How to make your own produce wash with a few simple ingredients

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), nearly 70 percent of the produce sold in the United States comes with pesticide residues, according to an analysis of test data from the Department of Agriculture.

Bullet Proof: Diet Induced Inflammation: Why Dirty Keto is Making You Miserable

Buy as much organic as you can. If you have to choose what to buy organic, check your produce against the Environmental Working Group’s list of vegetables with the highest toxic residues, and avoid the “Dirty Dozen.”

Parade: 10 Surprising Foods Experts Say You Should Buy Organic

If you ever buy organic produce, you might be familiar with the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen—the list of fruits and vegetables that contain the highest level of pesticide residues.

The Weather Network: WASHING FRUITS AND VEGGIES: Worth it or worthless?

Each year The Environmental Working Group releases its dirty “Dirty Dozen” report, listing the top 12 foods containing the most pesticides.

EWG's Guide to Sunscreen

AT&T: The 7 Best Organic And Natural Sunscreens That Will Have You Covered This Summer

This lotion provides a powerful shield against UV rays, but without any problematic additives identified by the EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database.

Business Insider India: The best sport sunscreen you can buy

Another Amazon reviewer also appreciated that this is "among the safest choices for sunscreen," saying, "I am outdoors and purchased this product because it is one of the safer sunscreens according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).”

Travel Weekly: Hotel Wrap: Marriott’s $320M Renovation, IHG Takes VOCO to Sydney, Six Senses Ban Bad Sunscreen + More!

All approved sunscreens have been recognized as 100 percent reef-safe, passing safety measures established from acceptable Environmental Working Group standards and the latest scientific research on coral reef health, Six Senses has also selected products that use plant-based or fully compostable packaging.

Before it’s News: CNN Admits the Health Ranger Right All Along: Sunscreen Chemicals Absorbed Into Bloodstream Where They Can Promote Cancer

“It’s not news that things that you put on your skin are absorbed into the body,” says Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a consumer advocacy group.

The Best Organic Skin Care: 6 Best Organic Sunscreens for Kids

Further, we love that this sunscreen has a high rating on the EWG safety scale, and it’s reef-safe, making it environment-friendly!

Daily Mail: Europeans have more and better sunblock: The EU allows 27 ingredients that are more effective at blocking UVA – but the FDA has been ‘reviewing’ them for going on 30 years

Between 2003 and 2010, the FDA received numerous applications from sunscreen makers who wanted to make products with active ingredients commonly used in the EU, according to the Environmental Working Group.

Genetic Literacy Project: Summer is coming: Just how much sun can your DNA take before being damaged?

Environmental Working Group in 2008 identified 588 different sunscreen products which contain oxybenzone.

Market Watch: Half of Americans are just one paycheck away from financial disaster and read this before you buy sunscreen this summer

The Environmental Working Group’s review of 1,300 sunscreens has some alarming results.

(Reprinted from CNN) CBS Baltimore: Sunscreen Chemicals Enter Bloodstream After One Day Of Use, Study Says

“The sun is the real enemy here,” said Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, or EWG, an advocacy group that publishes a yearly guide on sunscreens.

Wave 3 News (Montgomery AL): Mineral sunscreens touted as healthier, more environmentally friendly alternatives to typical sunscreens

The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit that puts out a yearly guide to sunscreen, calls zinc oxide the “gold standard” when it comes to protecting your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Reprinted by WIS 10 News (Columbia SC)KFDA 10 (Amarillo TX)WCSC Live 5 (Charleston SC)19 News (Cleveland OH)KLTV (East TX)KFVS 12 (Girardeau MO); 41 other media outlets

Sugar in Cereals

Medical News Today: What are the best cereals for people with diabetes?

An analysis by the Environmental Working Group found that the average serving of cereal contains 9 grams of sugar.

PFAS in Drinking Water 

10z US Politics: Will this proposal help DoD’s water cleanup efforts?

Of those on the Environmental Working Group’s list, 117 are military sites, including 77 military airports.

New England Cable News: Wife of Former Firefighter Testifies About PFAS Danger

Cotter was joined in Washington by The Environmental Working Group, a national advocacy organization, which calls PFAS "a crisis" for the environment. Reprinted by 10 Boston (NBC) 

KALB (Alexandria LA): England Airpark monitoring groundwater quality following study of contaminated bases

CBS News recently reported that a new study by non-profit Environmental Working Group and Northeastern University found that England Airpark, formerly England Air Force Base, is among the more than 600 locations that may have chemicals linked to health issues in the groundwater.

News Center Maine (Portland): Where in Maine PFAS pollutants exist

Complied by Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Northeastern University's Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute (SSEHRI), the data include publicly known PFAS pollution in public water systems and military bases, airports, industrial plants and dumps and firefighter training sites.

 

comments powered by Disqus