Toxic pesticide turning up everywhere we don’t want it

Consumers should be concerned that the toxic chemical glyphosate, shown here being sprayed on crops, is being found in places we really don't want it to be

Consumers should be concerned that the toxic chemical glyphosate, shown here being sprayed on crops, is being found in places we really don’t want it to be

The push to get glyphosate – – a key ingredient in Monsanto’s cash cow RoundUp – banned by the U.S. EPA as a highly toxic pesticide continues. Even more of a concern to consumers is the fact that traces of glyphosate are showing up in a lot of things Americans use every day.

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The 2013 list of pesticide-filled produce is here

EWG 2013 Pesticide List

Just saw the latest list of produce that’s on the Environmental Working Group’s 9th annual 2013 “Dirty dozen” list. It documents pesticide contamination for 48 popular fruits and vegetables based on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

There are some eye-openers here. But the good news is what’s on the “clean” list this year. Take a look below. Then perhaps make some different choices the next time you’re out shopping.

Being an informed consumer is getting to be more critical every day.

Indie Lee – real natural beauty products

indie Lee uses natural ingredients you can count on in her beauty products

As consumers get more savvy about what’s in their food, what’s in our personal care and beauty products often gets by us. Yet many major manufacturers continue to use ingredients considered to be toxic.

Chemicals like Propylene Glycol (PG), Polyethylene glycol (PEG) and Sodium Lauryl (or Laureth) Sulfate are also found in brake fluid, antifreeze and paint, and in engine degreasers. They have been found to cause all sorts of health issues including kidney damage, rashes, even linked to hair falling out.

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A unique Halloween event – Reverse Trick-or-Treating

Kids doing Reverse Trick-or-Treating will reach over 100,000 adults this year

Halloween’s a time for ghosts, goblins and the latest cartoon or sci-fi characters. And oh the candy!

This year is the fifth annual Reverse Trick-or-Treating on Halloween. Trick or Treaters around the country will be handing out Fair Trade chocolate to over 100,000 adults who normally would be handing goodies to them.

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TAP insulation — green insulation plus long-lasting pest control

TAP Insulation – energy efficient, green and a safe pesticide too

It’s always a good time to think about home energy efficiency. These days, there are some innovative green options to consider with the more traditional choices.

Perhaps one of the most exciting of these is TAP Insulation. Made from recycled paper and a process that uses liquid natural borates, TAP insulation not only reduces energy loss and both indoor and outdoor noise, it’s a highly effective insect repellent.

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Grave Matters brings helpful green alternatives to modern burial

Grave Matters offers tasteful green alternatives to traditional burials

Two things in life are certain – death and taxes.

Death’s a subject rarely discussed unless one is forced to. Whatever the reason, death and burials are mired with grief, strained coping abilities and a myriad of details to deal with.

With a mind-numbing cost upwards of $10,000. traditional funerals and burials are generally left to funeral homes to manage. But this fairly new impersonal tradition is changing.

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Plastisoil could alleviate stormwater / groundwater contamination

Plastisoil - an innovative product that lets stormwater to flow into the ground

Groundwater contamination from stormwater runoff is an age-old and growing problem, particularly due to widespread pesticide use.

Earlier this year, a researcher at Philadelphia’s Temple Unversity introduced a cement-like material that would lessen the problem of polluted stormwater runoff.

Naji Khoury,Ph.D.,  an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Temple University, created Plastisoil, a substance made from discarded polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic water bottles. Pulverized and mixed with soil, the combined mixture is blended with a coarse aggregate and heated to create a hard yet non-watertight substance similar to pervious concrete or porous asphalt.

For more details on this excitingly innovative product, see

Conventional celery highest in hidden pesticides

Diet-conscious folks have relied on celery for no-calorie munchies. But doing so has now been shown to have a serious negative side.

Dirty Dozen list

Conventional celery have now topped the soon-to-be released updated Dirty Dozen’s” list for having the highest amount of pesticide residue, according to green nonprofit Environmental Working Group’s latest Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides.

Dr. Andrew Weil, renowned author and integrative medicine guru, is straightforward about non-organic produce. “If I can’t get organic versions of those, I’m not gonna eat them.”

 So consumer beware. Shop smart and avoid the known hidden pesticides.Making a few small buying changes can make a big difference.







"Organic" isn't what you think

organic.2According to a recent investigative report, current national standards allow dozens of pesticides, chemicals and other synthetic materials in organic foods. Worse yet, only 16 staffers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture are assigned to its National Organic Program! A network of certifiers, whose inspectors are paid by farmers and typically visit organic operations once a year, on a prearranged basis. They’re the supposed bastion of what gets certified as organic.

Here are some sobering facts about what we consumers are really getting with much of our organic food:

In 2002, when national organic regulations first took effect, there were 77 exemptions. Since then, the list has ballooned to 245. Current exemptions include copper sulfate and tetracycline.

According to the Material Safety Data Sheet, copper sulfate’s an algaecide toxic to fish and potentially dangerous if it enters public water systems. Tetracycline, used to control fire blight on fruit trees, is toxic to the human liver and reproductive organs.

  • Certain pesticides, often called “botanical” or “natural,” are allowed on organic farms. These are certified “organic pesticides”, meaning they contain ingredients contained in nature. These include garlic, soap and essential oils but also can include copper and sulfur.
  • Pesticides, often called “botanical” or “natural,” actually are allowed on organic farms. Organic doesn’t necessarily mean organic.The “natural” label is on 1 out of 4 new food and drink products, according to Mintel, a global market researcher. Yet the label has has no seal, regulation, certification, or concrete definition.

So how do consumers really know what they’re getting when buying organic? That’s a tough call.

The best way is to be informed. Don’t assume that labels are telling you everything. Do your homework.

The OCA helps you get educated about what's really organic

The OCA helps you get educated about what's really organic

With so many large corporations and agri-business jumping into the exploding organic industry, consumers need to get educated. One of the leading consumer watchdog groups – the Organic Consumers Association – publishes a newsletter that has alerts to false organic claims and periodically lists brands that are trustworthy.

It’s easy to breathe a sigh of relief when you see the latest organic product on the shelves. But buyer beware, especially these days. Check it out first to be sure you’re getting what you pay for.

A Pesticide by any other name

North Face shoesThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is cracking down on what retailers can claim their products can do, especially if they supposedly do something that’s healthy.

They’ve filed suit against San Leandro, California  based VF Corporation for the alleged sale and distribution of unregistered pesticides through their outdoor gear and apparal retail company, The North Face.

The issue centers around over 70 styles of footwear that have an AgION silver treated footbed. The North Face sold these with claims that the footwear would prevent disease-causing bacteria. Their claims included:

•    AgION antimicrobial silver agent inhibits  growth of disease-causing bacteria
•    Prevents bacterial and fungal growth
•    Continuous release of antimicrobial  agents

Making these claims, says the EPA, is a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and are unsubstantiated public health claims regarding unregistered products, and their ability to control germs and pathogens.

“The EPA takes very seriously its responsibility to enforce against companies that sell products with unsubstantiated antimicrobial properties,” said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division in EPA’s Pacific Southwest region.  “Unverified public health claims can lead people to believe they are protected from disease-causing organisms when, in fact, they may not be.”

The North Face has since ceased making these claims, removing them from their website, and have revised their product packaging.

The EPA considers products that kill or repel bacteria or germs to be pesticides which then must be registered with the EPA prior to distribution or sale.  Until a pesticide has been tested to show that it will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the directions, they won’t register it. Registered products have an EPA registration number printed on product labels.

The North Face’s parent company now faces nearly $1million in federal fines for making these unsubstantiated claims.