Bibliography Tag: policy and politics

Benbrook et al., 2021a

Benbrook, Charles, Perry, Melissa J., Belpoggi, Fiorella, Landrigan, Philip J., Perro, Michelle, Mandrioli, Daniele, Antoniou, Michael N., Winchester, Paul, & Mesnage, Robin; “Commentary: Novel strategies and new tools to curtail the health effects of pesticides;” Environmental Health, 2021, 20(1); DOI: 10.1186/s12940-021-00773-4.

ABSTRACT:

BACKGROUND: Flaws in the science supporting pesticide risk assessment and regulation stand in the way of progress in mitigating the human health impacts of pesticides. Critical problems include the scope of regulatory testing protocols, the near-total focus on pure active ingredients rather than formulated products, lack of publicly accessible information on co-formulants, excessive reliance on industry-supported studies coupled with reticence to incorporate published results in the risk assessment process, and failure to take advantage of new scientific opportunities and advances, e.g. biomonitoring and “omics” technologies.
RECOMMENDED ACTIONS: Problems in pesticide risk assessment are identified and linked to study design, data, and methodological shortcomings. Steps and strategies are presented that have potential to deepen scientific knowledge of pesticide toxicity, exposures, and risks.
We propose four solutions:
(1) End near-sole reliance in regulatory decision-making on industry-supported studies by supporting and relying more heavily on independent science, especially for core toxicology studies. The cost of conducting core toxicology studies at labs not affiliated with or funded directly by pesticide registrants should be covered via fees paid by manufacturers to public agencies.
(2) Regulators should place more weight on mechanistic data and low-dose studies within the range of contemporary exposures.
(3) Regulators, public health agencies, and funders should increase the share of exposure-assessment resources that produce direct measures of concentrations in bodily fluids and tissues. Human biomonitoring is vital in order to quickly identify rising exposures among vulnerable populations including applicators, pregnant women, and children.
(4) Scientific tools across disciplines can accelerate progress in risk assessments if integrated more effectively. New genetic and metabolomic markers of adverse health impacts and heritable epigenetic impacts are emerging and should be included more routinely in risk assessment to effectively prevent disease.
CONCLUSIONS: Preventing adverse public health outcomes triggered or made worse by exposure to pesticides will require changes in policy and risk assessment procedures, more science free of industry influence, and innovative strategies that blend traditional methods with new tools and mechanistic insights.

FULL TEXT


Messina and Goodis, 2020

Messina, Edward & Goodis, Mike; “Overview of EPA’s Pesticide Program”; Presented at the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee Meeting; November 13, 2020. Environmental Protection Agency, 2020.

PRESENTATION OUTLINE

  • Background
  • Office of Pesticide Programs Structure and Responsibilities
  • Pesticide Legislation
  • Pesticide Registration and Registration Review Process
  • Risk Assessment, Risk Characterization, and Risk Management
  • Public Involvement
  • Collaboration with Domestic & International Partners
  • Updates on EPA Issues

 FULL PRESENTATION


Schipanski et al., 2016

Schipanski, Meagan E., MacDonald, Graham K., Rosenzweig, Steven, Chappell, M. Jahi, Bennett, Elena M., Kerr, Rachel Bezner, Blesh, Jennifer, Crews, Timothy, Drinkwater, Laurie, Lundgren, Jonathan G., & Schnarr, Cassandra; “Realizing Resilient Food Systems;” BioScience, 2016, 66(7), 600-610; DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biw052.

ABSTRACT:

Food systems are under increasing pressure to produce sufficient food for the global population, decrease the environmental impacts of production, and buffer against complex global change. Food security also remains elusive for many populations worldwide. Greater emphasis on food system resilience could reduce these vulnerabilities. We outline integrated strategies that together could foster food system resilience across scales, including (a) integrating gender equity and social justice into food security research and initiatives, (b) increasing the use of ecological processes rather than external inputs for crop production, (c) fostering regionalized food distribution networks and waste reduction, and (d) linking human nutrition and agricultural production policies. Enhancing social–ecological links and fostering adaptive capacity are essential to cope with short-term volatility and longer-term global change pressures. Finally, we highlight regional case studies that have enhanced food system resilience for vulnerable populations. Efforts in these areas could have dramatic impacts on global food system resilience. FULL TEXT


Sheppard et al., 2020

Sheppard, L., McGrew, S., & Fenske, R. A.; “Flawed analysis of an intentional human dosing study and its impact on chlorpyrifos risk assessments;” Environment International, 2020, 143, 105905; DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2020.105905.

ABSTRACT:

In March 1972, Frederick Coulston and colleagues at the Albany Medical College reported results of an intentional chlorpyrifos dosing study to the study’s sponsor, Dow Chemical Company. Their report concluded that 0.03 mg/kg-day was the chronic no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) for chlorpyrifos in humans. We demonstrate here that a proper analysis by the original statistical method should have found a lower NOAEL (0.014 mg/kg-day), and that use of statistical methods first available in 1982 would have shown that even the lowest dose in the study had a significant treatment effect. The original analysis, conducted by Dow-employed statisticians, did not undergo formal peer review; nevertheless, EPA cited the Coulston study as credible research and kept its reported NOAEL as a point of departure for risk assessments throughout much of the 1980’s and 1990’s. During that period, EPA allowed chlorpyrifos to be registered for multiple residential uses that were later cancelled to reduce potential health impacts to children and infants. Had appropriate analyses been employed in the evaluation of this study, it is likely that many of those registered uses of chlorpyrifos would not have been authorized by EPA. This work demonstrates that reliance by pesticide regulators on research results that have not been properly peer-reviewed may needlessly endanger the public. FULL TEXT


Qu et al., 2021

Qu, R. Y., He, B., Yang, J. F., Lin, H. Y., Yang, W. C., Wu, Q. Y., Li, Q. X., & Yang, G. F.; “Where are the New Herbicides?;” Pest Management Science, 2021; DOI: 10.1002/ps.6285.

ABSTRACT:

Herbicide resistance has become one of the foremost problems in crop production worldwide. New herbicides are required to manage weeds that have evolved resistance to the existing herbicides. However, relatively few herbicides with new modes of action (MOAs) have been discovered in the past two decades. Therefore, the discovery of new herbicides (i.e., new chemical classes or MOAs) remains a primary but ongoing strategy to overcome herbicide resistance and ensure crop production. In this mini-review, starting with the inherent characteristics of the target proteins and the inhibitor structures, we propose two strategies for the rational design of new herbicides and one computational method for the risk evaluation of target mutation-conferred herbicide resistance. The information presented here may improve the utilization of known targets and inspire the discovery of herbicides with new targets. We believe that these strategies may trigger the sustainable development of herbicides in the future.


Klingelhöfer et al., 2020

Klingelhöfer, D., Braun, M., Brüggmann, D., & Groneberg, D. A.; “Glyphosate: How do ongoing controversies, market characteristics, and funding influence the global research landscape?;” Science of The Total Environment, 2020, 765, 144271; DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144271.

ABSTRACT:

Glyphosate is a systemic broad-spectrum herbicide that is by now the most extensively used herbicide in the world and has been the source for a still heated controversy about its harmful effects on human health and the environment. The different weighting of scientific studies has led to different attitudes in most countries towards appropriate handling and their regulatory authorities. Therefore, an in-depth analysis of the global research landscape on glyphosate is needed to provide the background for further decisions regarding appropriate and careful use, taking into account the different regional conditions. The present study is based on established bibliometric methodological tools and is extended by glyphosate-specific parameters. Chronological and geographical patterns are revealed to determine the incentives and intentions of international scientific efforts. Research output grew in line with the exponential growth in consumption, with the field of research becoming increasingly multidisciplinary and shifting towards environmental and medical disciplines. The countries with the highest herbicide use are also the leading countries in glyphosate research: USA, Brazil, Canada, China and Argentina. The link between publication output and market parameters is as evident as the association with national grants. The research interest of the manufacturing company Monsanto could be shown as the second largest publishing institution behind the US Department of Agriculture, which interest is underscored by its position among the otherwise government-funded organizations. Developing countries are generally underrepresented in glyphosate research, although the use of glyphosate is increasing dramatically. In conclusion, the incentives are strongly linked to market and agricultural interests, with the scientific infrastructure of the countries forming the basis for financing and conducting research. The existing international network is important and needs to be expanded and strengthened by including the lower economies in order to take into account all regional and social needs and aspects of glyphosate use.


Szekacs et al., 2018

Székács, András, Wilkinson, Martin G., Mader, Anneluise, & Appel, Bernd; “Environmental and food safety of spices and herbs along global food chains;” Food Control, 2018, 83, 1-6; DOI: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2017.06.033.

ABSTRACT:

Spices and herbs, which are consumed in small quantities, but used in a wide range of foods and food products, represent a unique segment within the food sector. Moreover, being distributed as mostly in their dried, low water activity formats and associated with very complex distribution product chains, specific concerns as regards food safety apply to these particular commodities. To promote the capability of the food sector and the society to detect, respond to and prevent bio-threats, data generated from the EU FP7 project “Securing the spices and herbs commodity chains in Europe against deliberate, accidental or natural biological and chemical contamination” (SPICED) are presented thematically including: general considerations, issues of sampling, chemical and microbial contamination, and food chain and societal aspects. FULL TEXT


Attina et al., 2016

Attina, T. M., Hauser, R., Sathyanarayana, S., Hunt, P. A., Bourguignon, J. P., Myers, J. P., DiGangi, J., Zoeller, R. T., & Trasande, L.; “Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the USA: a population-based disease burden and cost analysis;” Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, 2016, 4(12), 996-1003; DOI: 10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30275-3.

ABSTRACT:

BACKGROUND: Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) contribute to disease and dysfunction and incur high associated costs (>1% of the gross domestic product [GDP] in the European Union). Exposure to EDCs varies widely between the USA and Europe because of differences in regulations and, therefore, we aimed to quantify disease burdens and related economic costs to allow comparison.

METHODS: We used existing models for assessing epidemiological and toxicological studies to reach consensus on probabilities of causation for 15 exposure-response relations between substances and disorders. We used Monte Carlo methods to produce realistic probability ranges for costs across the exposure-response relation, taking into account uncertainties. Estimates were made based on population and costs in the USA in 2010. Costs for the European Union were converted to US$ (€1=$1·33).

FINDINGS: The disease costs of EDCs were much higher in the USA than in Europe ($340 billion [2·33% of GDP] vs $217 billion [1·28%]). The difference was driven mainly by intelligence quotient (IQ) points loss and intellectual disability due to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (11 million IQ points lost and 43 000 cases costing $266 billion in the USA vs 873 000 IQ points lost and 3290 cases costing $12·6 billion in the European Union). Accounting for probability of causation, in the European Union, organophosphate pesticides were the largest contributor to costs associated with EDC exposure ($121 billion), whereas in the USA costs due to pesticides were much lower ($42 billion).

INTERPRETATION: EDC exposure in the USA contributes to disease and dysfunction, with annual costs taking up more than 2% of the GDP. Differences from the European Union suggest the need for improved screening for chemical disruption to endocrine systems and proactive prevention.


Robinson et al., 2020

Robinson, Claire, Portier, Christopher J., ČAvoŠKi, Aleksandra, Mesnage, Robin, Roger, Apolline, Clausing, Peter, Whaley, Paul, Muilerman, Hans, & Lyssimachou, Angeliki; “Achieving a High Level of Protection from Pesticides in Europe: Problems with the Current Risk Assessment Procedure and Solutions;” European Journal of Risk Regulation, 2020, 11(3), 450-480; DOI: 10.1017/err.2020.18.

ABSTRACT:

The regulation of pesticides in the European Union (EU) relies on a network of hard law (legislation and implementing acts) and soft law (non-legally binding guidance documents and administrative and scientific practices). Both hard and soft laws govern how risk assessments are conducted, but a significant role is left to the latter. Europe’s pesticide regulation is one of the most stringent in the world. Its stated objectives are to ensure an independent, objective and transparent assessment of pesticides and achieve a high level of protection for health and environment. However, a growing body of evidence shows that pesticides that have passed through this process and are authorised for use may harm humans, animals and the environment. The authors of the current paper – experts in toxicology, law and policy – identified shortcomings in the authorisation process, focusing on the EU assessment of the pesticide active substance glyphosate. The shortcomings mostly consist of failures to implement the hard or soft laws. But in some instances the law itself is responsible, as some provisions can only fail to achieve its objectives. Ways to improve the system are proposed, requiring changes in hard and soft laws as well as in administrative and scientific practices. FULL TEXT


Powles and Gaines, 2017

Powles, Stephen B., & Gaines, Todd A.; “Exploring the Potential for a Regulatory Change to Encourage Diversity in Herbicide Use;” Weed Science, 2017, 64(SP1), 649-654; DOI: 10.1614/ws-d-15-00070.1.

ABSTRACT:

An overreliance on herbicides in several important grain- and cotton-producing regions of the world has led to the widespread evolution of herbicide-resistant weed populations. Of particular concern are weed populations that exhibit simultaneous resistance to multiple herbicides (MHR). Too often, herbicides are the only tool used for weed control. We use the term herbicide-only syndrome (HOS) for this quasi-addiction to herbicides. Growers and their advisers focus on herbicide technology, unaware of or ignoring basic evolutionary principles or the necessary diversity provided by other methods of weed control. Diversity in weed control practices disrupts resistance evolution. Significant challenges exist to implementing diversity, including how to address information so that producers choose to alter existing behaviors (HOS) and take calculated risks by attempting new and more complex strategies. Herbicide resistance management in the long term will require creativity in many sectors, including roles for growers, industry, researchers, consultants, retailers, and regulators. There can be creativity in herbicide registration and regulation, as exemplified by the recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program that encourages herbicide registrants to register products in minor crops. We propose one idea for a regulatory incentive to enable herbicide registrants in jurisdictions such as the United States to receive an extended data exclusivity period in exchange for not developing one new herbicide in multiple crops used together in rotation, or for implementing stewardship practices such as robust mixtures or limitations on application frequency. This incentive would provide a mechanism to register herbicides in ways that help to ensure herbicide longevity. Approaches based only on market or financial incentives have contributed to the current situation of widespread MHR. Our suggestion for regulatory creativity is one way to provide both financial and biological benefits to the registering company and to the overall stakeholder community by incentivizing good resistance management. FULL TEXT