STOP POISON PLANES
Tree damage occurs in cotton growing areas during annual defoliation. This is known as 'overspray' and 'spray drift'. The vegetation clearly shows that synthetic chemicals are landing throughout communities and on food and water production areas. Our food chain is at risk, with livestock grazing areas covered with overspray. Rainwater that many rural people rely on is exposed to overspray. The health of farming communities are put at risk by persistent and cumulative exposure. Overspray is getting worse every year. It's time to get responsible policy in place. The Community Overspray Groups NSW (COGS) have created this website as a resource for those affected. It is time to change policies to stop poison planes.
SPRAY DRIFT IS KILLING OUR TREES
'The GoverNment is hiding this from you.'
Friendly Jordies is summing it up brilliantly... With gratitude to Friendly Jordies #PoisonPlanes #Overspray #SprayDrift #SilentSpring #FriendlyJordies
SIGN THE COnsensus Statement
On 16 December 2020, the Commonwealth Government AgVet Panel released a draft report and recommendations on their review of the Australian Agricultural and Veterinary (AgVet) chemical regulatory system.
Joining environmental health experts, independent scientists and other civil society organisations, the Community Overspray Groups (COGS) are signatories to the Consensus Statement dated 12 March 2021, which raises major concerns regarding the Panel report and recommendations.
For example, the Panel failed to utilise crucial scientific evidence, and the independence of the Panel is questioned. If the recommendations were to be implemented, they would put health and safety in danger. It would be allowed to continue using unsafe AgVet chemicals that have long been banned in other countries.
The Consensus Statement then goes on to make recommendations about how the AgVet regulatory system should be reviewed and reformed.
Please read and sign the Consensus Statement on the National Toxics Network website.
MEDIA REPORTS & SCIENTIFIC PAPERS
"EVERYDAY CHEMICALS AND HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS 'TO BLAME FOR 450,000 EARLY DEATHS FROM POLLUTION A YEAR' "
By Kaya Burgess, Science Reporter, The Times, 27 July 2021
“Air pollution created by everyday items including cleaning fluids, grooming products, paints, glues, wood stoves and pesticides causes up to 450,000 premature deaths worldwide in cities including London, a study has found.
"The total death toll each year from a specific type of particle pollution known as manmade “secondary organic aerosols” (or ASOAs) is as high as 900,000, researchers have estimated, a figure ten times higher than previously thought.
"Around half of this pollution comes from vehicle exhausts, but an equally large amount comes from “everyday chemicals” in products we use in and around our homes, according to research led by scientists at the University of Colorado.
"It has prompted scientists to call for urgent action to identify the harm being caused to public health."
"MOISTURE BLAMED FOR OVERWATCH VOLATILITY"
By Shannon Beattie, The Land, 9 Jul 2021
Recent news from Western Australia and South Australia. Chemicals activating long after application times.
It will render the NSW EPA’s practice of only attending pollution notifications if they think the application has happened 2 days to 2 weeks prior to the noticed damage completely untenable.
How odd to blame 'moisture' when it's the pesticides that are causing the damage. Without moisture, no agriculture. Without trees, no agriculture.
“HOW PESTICIDES ARE HARMING SOIL ECOSYSTEMS”
By Meg Wilcox, Civil Eats, 4 June 2021
"Compiling data from nearly 400 laboratory and field studies, researchers at the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, and the University of Maryland found that pesticides harmed beneficial soil invertebrates in 70.5 percent of cases reviewed. Studies conducted in the field alone, however, resulted in fewer significant negative impacts (about 50 percent of cases reviewed).
“ 'What this study really drives home is that pesticide use is incompatible with healthy ecosystems, across organisms, pesticide classes, and a whole set of different health outcomes, including death,' said Kendra Klein, senior scientist at Friends of the Earth
and co-author of the study. 'We have to be talking about pesticide reduction in
conversations about regenerative agriculture.'
“ ‘A MONSTROUS ISSUE’: WHAT IS KILLING THE TREES IN THE COTTON BELT?”
By Harriet Alexander, Sydney Morning Herald, 31 May 2021
#defoliation #herbicides #NSWEPA
"Several landowners in Narromine have reported defoliation and scorch marks on their trees, grasses and vegetables, which they believe is caused by herbicides that are applied by crop duster planes to defoliate cotton crops. It has stoked tensions between landowners and the aerial operator."
“VIDEO OF CROP DUSTING PLANE FLYING NEAR NEIGHBOURS”
Sydney Morning Herald, 25 May 2021
“PESTICIDES THREATEN THE ‘FOUNDATIONS OF THE WEB OF LIFE’, NEW SOIL STUDY WARNS”
By Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams, 4 May 2021
"Below the surface of fields covered with monoculture crops of corn and soybeans, pesticides are destroying the very foundations of the web of life," said study co-author Nathan Donley, a scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, in a statement.
"Study after study indicates the unchecked use of pesticides across hundreds of millions of acres each year is poisoning the organisms critical to maintaining healthy soils," Donley added. "Yet our regulators have been ignoring the harm to these important ecosystems for decades."
"PLAN TO RELAX AUSTRALIAN RULES FOR CHEMICALS AND PESTICIDES ATTACKED BY ENVIRONMENT GROUPS"
By Anne Davies, The Guardian, 4 April 2021
#Pesticides #APVMA #Paraquat #Parkinsons #Neonicotinoids #BeeDeaths
"Environment and health groups have fiercely criticised proposals to relax the regulation of chemicals and pesticides in Australia, saying they are “totally at odds” with public health and safety expectations. …
NTN coordinator Jo Immig wrote to Littleproud last month about her group’s concerns. '… The recommendations seek to place rapid access to Agvet chemicals above the protection of health and safety…’
For example most common neonicotinoids have been banned in the EU because of their impact on bee populations. They have recently been restricted in the US and Canada but are still permitted in Australia…
Paraquat, a herbicide used for weed control since 1961, has been banned in 30 countries and is on a restricted list in the US. In Australia it has been under review for 20 years by the authority and is still sold for commercial use.
One of the panel’s most controversial suggestions is to exempt consumer products from the new regulatory regime on the grounds that most are well tested around the world in agricultural settings before reaching supermarket shelves. …"
"A THIRD OF GLOBAL FARMLAND AT ‘HIGH’ PESTICIDE POLLUTION RISK"
By Kelly MacNamara, Phys.org, 29 March 2021
#farms #pesticide #pollution
“Researchers in Australia modelled pollution risk across 168 countries with data on the usage of 92 active pesticide ingredients and found ‘widespread global pesticide pollution risk’. …
The study, published in Nature Geoscience, found that overall 64 percent of global agricultural land —approximately 24.5 million square kilometres (9.4 million sq miles)—was at risk of pesticide pollution from more than one active ingredient, and 31 percent is at high risk.
‘It is significant because the potential pollution is widespread and some regions at risk also bear high biodiversity and suffer from water scarcity,’ said lead author Fiona Tang, of the University of Sydney's School of Civil Engineering.”
“ ‘A SIP CAN KILL: DID A CHEMICAL COMPANY MISREPRESENT DATA TO AVOID MAKING A SAFER PRODUCT?”
By Carey Gillam, The Guardian, 25 March 2021
#Paraquat #poison #Syngenta #Parkinsons
“If you ingest just three drops of paraquat you’re going to die,” said the US farmer Cameron Peirce who uses the chemical sparingly in his fields of canola and mung beans in Kansas.
Switzerland, the home base of the paraquat maker Syngenta, has banned the chemical since 1989, and it has been banned for use in the EU since 2007, because of paraquat’s deadliness. …
Paraquat exposure is also believed by some scientists to cause Parkinson’s disease, and Syngenta is facing litigation on that issue – though it denies responsibility.
Still, many countries allow wide use of paraquat, and the toll from paraquat poisonings is estimated at well into the thousands. The low cost and high toxicity makes paraquat a popular poison for people trying to kill themselves. Syngenta says it is just one of 377 companies worldwide that have registered paraquat for sale.
But now, internal corporate documents, obtained by a US law firm and provided to the Guardian, detail how the need for a safer formulation of Syngenta’s popular Gramoxone paraquat-based product has been the subject of in-depth company discussions for decades. Years of analysis and debate over the issue are laid out in the records, as are arguments about the accuracy of data presented to regulators, and strategies to avoid regulatory bans.
The documents, which date back to 1968, show that Syngenta and its predecessor corporate entities rejected or resisted many different options for changes to the formulations of Gramoxone, due, at least in part, to a desire to protect profits. Financial concerns were cited repeatedly in the discussions about formulation changes as company officials pushed to keep Gramoxone on the market despite mounting concerns about fatalities. …
The first case to go to trial over the allegations against Syngenta over paraquat and Parkinson’s is scheduled for 12 April in Illinois. The trial is very likely to be delayed due to precautions related to the Covid-19 virus, however, according to a court spokesperson.
That Illinois case – Hoffman V Syngenta – is one of several pending against Syngenta alleging the company’s paraquat products cause Parkinson’s disease. Syngenta was acquired by China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) in 2015, giving an added international twist to the litigation. ..."
'WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR FARMERS TO GROW MORE ORGANIC COTTON?'
By Nicole Rasul, Civil Eats, 15 March 2021,
#organic #cotton #polycultures #biodiversity #ecosystemservices
“Organic farmers grow cotton in rotation with other crops while conventional producers are more likely to grow cotton in back-to-back seasons. Members of TOCMC also grow peanuts, wheat, corn, milo, forage sorghum, soybeans, black-eyed peas, and sesame.
These rotations mean more biodiversity, says Delate. As a result, organic farms contribute a range of ecosystem services to the regions where they are located. This approach has real and tangible impacts on soil, waterways, and human and animal health, the researcher said.”
'HUNDREDS OF VICTORIAN HOME GARDENERS OUT OF POCKET AFTER USING TOXIC COMPOST FROM MAJOR RECYCLER SUEZ'
By Ben Knight and Richard Willingham, ABC News, 14 February 2021
#Chemicals #Damage #BroadleafHerbicides #Herbicides
“The toxic substance is probably a powerful broadleaf herbicide, according to Chris Williams, a lecturer in Urban Horticulture at Melbourne University. 'Anecdotally, this pops up all the time,' he said.
Dr Williams has seen it firsthand, when plants at the University's Burnley campus died the same way three years ago. He says he is often sent emails from former students asking him about why certain vegetables aren't growing, and says the symptoms are exactly the same. He believes the contamination at Burnley came from pea straw treated with horse manure. 'Livestock are eating pasture that's been treated with these chemicals, which goes straight through them to the manure, and doesn't break down,' he said.
Phenoxy acid herbicides are sold in variations like aminopyralid, clopyralid, picloram, and triclopyr. They are restricted to agricultural and commercial use, but can find their way into green waste used to make compost.”
'THE CHEMICAL REPORT COTTON AUSTRALIA WON'T RELEASE'
By Harriett Alexander, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 July 2020
#Chemicals #cotton #CottonAustralia #SprayDrift
“Cotton Australia did its own investigations around the same time in response to community concerns, commissioning a researcher from the University of New England to inspect. But it has declined to release the report, despite numerous requests from the Lower Macquarie Overspray Group, which represents concerned locals.
National Toxics Network co-ordinator Jo Immig said spray could drift up to 20 kilometres in inversion levels. The EPA should have obtained spray application records to find out what chemicals were being applied, she said.
‘The idea that pesticides can be applied safely to paddocks and not move ‘off target’ is perhaps one of the greatest cons perpetrated by the chemical industry and regulators on the Australian public and environment," Ms Immig said. "All ecological systems are inter-connected via the atmosphere, water and soil.’ “
'CHEMICALS THE MOST LIKELY CAUSE OF MYSTERY LEAF LOSS IN COTTON TOWNS, SECRET REPORT FINDS'
By Harriett Alexander, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 July 2020
#Chemicals #cotton #TreeDamage #Peppercorns #SprayDrift
"Chemicals used in cotton farming are the most likely cause of trees losing their leaves in parts of central western NSW and may pose a threat to human health, according to a government report that has been blocked from the public since it was circulated internally two years ago."
'ANY COTTON INDUSTRY IN THE NT FACES A COMMUNITY BACKLASH, FARMERS HAVE BEEN WARNED'
By Chris McLennan, Katherine Times, 15 July 2020
#Cotton #Unsustainable #GovernmentSubsidies #FishKill #DarlingRiver
"But Mr Fowler said cotton and other large scale agriculture had devastated the Murray-Darling system already.
'An independent assessment by the prestigious Australian Academy of Science assessed that the horrific mass fish kills along the Darling River last year were caused by over-extraction of water by irrigation upstream, stripping water from the river which was already impacted by drought,' he said.
'This is an unsustainable industry that benefits very few and is not labour intensive.
'Big cotton companies have already outlined in reports to the government that they are looking for large subsidies.
'For these industries to survive, they need large crops and huge infrastructure...' "
'BAYER PAYS OUT $15.9B TO SETTLE ROUNDUP CANCER CLAIMS'
By national regional and rural affairs reporters Lucy Barbour and Kath Sullivan, ABC Rural, 25 June 2020
#Pesticides #Roundup #PersonalInjury #Cancer #ClassAction #Australia
"Bayer will also pay $US800 million ($1.16b) to settle claims involving the highly carcinogenic substance polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which have been found in US waterways and which Monsanto used to make.
Another $US400m ($582m) will go towards settling cases relating to damage caused to crops after the weedkiller Dicamba drifted onto nearby farms, killing plants not resistant to the herbicide.
The settlement will be of interest to claimants behind an Australian class action, which alleges Monsanto knew or should have known that Roundup was inherently unsafe and that the company failed to provide suitable directions for use.
Law firm Maurice Blackburn has launched a class action against Monsanto on behalf of people diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Australia."
'COTTON SPRAY DRIFT ALLEGEDLY DEFOLIATING TREES NEAR NARROMINE'
By Jessie Davies, ABC Western Plains, 25 May 2020
#Cotton #Herbicides #SprayDrift #TreeDamage
"The Lower Macquarie Overspray Group believes the trees were damaged by herbicides applied by the region's cotton growers to defoliate their crop."
'APIARIST CALLS FOR CHEMICAL FIPRONIL TO BE BANNED AFTER MILLIONS OF BEES DIE IN SOUTHERN NSW'
By Emily Doak and Rosie King, ABC Riverina, 18 June 2019
“In April, five apiarists, from near Griffith, lost the bees from 340 hives after they were poisoned by the pesticide Fipronil.
Ian Carter, a small-scale commercial apiarist providing pollination services to local farmers, said his business had been devastated by the loss of three quarters of his hives. ‘One drop of this poison from one bee that takes it back to the hive will then kill the whole hive,’ Mr Carter said.”
'A DRIFTING WEEDKILLER PUTS PRIZED TREES AT RISK'
#Dicamba #SprayDrift #TreeDamage
By Dan Charles, NPR News, 27 September 2018
"Last year, though, Hayes noticed that the trees didn't look right. Their needles were turning brown. Some were curling. 'Something was going on that never happened before,' he says.
Neighbors were talking about it. Everybody had a theory: disease; drought; insects. 'They thought of other things, but when it came down to it, it was a drifting chemical,' Hayes says.
The chemical is called dicamba. It's a weedkiller, and it blew in from nearby soybean and cotton fields."
“ ‘DEVASTATING' BEEHIVE LOSSES DUE TO INSECTICIDE DRIFT FROM COTTON FARMS, KEEPER SAYS”,
By Sean Murphy, ABC Landline, 18 Feb 2017
#Cotton #Fipronil #Neonicotinoid #SprayDrift #Bees
"The largest commercial honey bee pollinator in one of Australia's key food bowls claims he can no longer base his 2,000 hive operation in the region because of chemical use by the emerging cotton industry.
Harold Saxvik's family has been keeping bees at Darlington Point in the New South Wales Riverina for more than 80 years.
In 2013, he lost 500 hives to insecticide spray drift which he believes came from nearby cotton farms.
The president of the New South Wales Apiarist's Association, Neil Bingley, said the cotton industry needed to do more.
'The cotton industry thinks that we're a small industry but when you take the pollination of all the other horticultural crops, we're a major player and Cotton Australia does not have the right to drive us out,' Mr Bingley said.
He believes some cotton growers along the Murrumbidgee are still spraying up to nine times a season.
'Our biggest concern is the Fipronil. It doesn't take much of that spray at all, a light drift will kill thousands of hives,' Mr Bingley said."
'COTTON SPRAYING LIMITING PRODUCTION AT NELSON'S HONEY BOGGABRI'
By Sam Woods, Namoi Valley Independent, 11 January 2017
“Marlene Nelson has operated Nelson’s Honey in Boggabri for 50 years but said pesticide spraying is crippling their business. ’They [cotton growers] are wiping out our industry,’ Mrs Nelson said. ‘We are hardly getting any honey.’ “
'NELSON'S HONEY OWNER CALLS FOR ACTION OVER BOGGABRI BEE DEATHS'
Namoi Valley Independent, 6 March 2014
“The owner of Nelson’s Honey Factory at Boggabri is demanding answers after losing thousands of bees that she believes may have died from a cotton insecticide. Marlene Nelson is devastated after finding the bees dead in front of their hives during a routine inspection several weeks ago. … Around the time of the deaths, Marlene said she had noticed cotton spraying in the area and contacted the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to investigate.”
"PESTICIDE ACUTE TOXICITY IS A BETTER CORRELATE OF U.S. GRASSLAND BIRD DECLINES THAN AGRICULTURAL INTENSIFICATION"
Mineau P, Whiteside M, PLoS ONE 8(2): e57457. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057457, 2013
The use of chemicals is a better indicator of bird life survival than the amount of agricultural intensity in an area. For Grasslands, which are some of the most threatened ecosystems, it means that chemicals are preventing refuges and parks from being anything like an effective tool for biodiversity protection.
1996 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
#Cotton #SprayDrift #SilentSpring #ChronicDiseases #BirthDefects #Cancer #NeurologicalDiseases #Allergies #Asthma
“On Sunday January 21, the wind was blowing straight towards our place (and the town) while a nearby crop was being sprayed and our family have been quite ill, experiencing sore throats, headaches from the effects of the spray.
Studies have shown that towns close to areas of intense chemical use have higher rates of birth defects and serious illnesses such as cancer. It is time we stopped this now before Narromine becomes another statistic.
No one has the right to poison another person without their permission and aerial spraying is doing just that.”
~ Lyn Kammermann, 24 Jan 1996, Narromine
“As for water pollution, endosulphan was found in rainwater 10kms from the nearest cotton farm in Narromine. Please read ‘Impact of cotton spray drift on rainwater’ by Bob Madley."
~ Julie Head, 29 March 1996, Narromine
“15 per cent of Australians suffer from MSC (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity). It is a loss of brain function, lung disease, immune system deficiency, chronic fatigue, cancer and a range of common allergies. We are slowly killing ourselves. Greenpeace estimates that 25 million people are chemically poisoned with 220,000 dying each year.”
~ Julie Head, 3 April 1996
"1996 JANUARY: MOREE CATTLE CONTAMINATION. PESTICIDE DETECTED: CHLORFLUAZURON, ENDOSULFAN"; Australian Pesticides Map, Friends of the Earth