Letter from Senator Wolf and the General Court to MDAR, Oct. 28, 2013
Click to read at full scale
Nstar IVM to Watson- 10

Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases,
a new MIT study

Abstract: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup®, is the most popular herbicide used worldwide. The industry asserts it is minimally toxic to humans, but here we argue otherwise. Residues are found in the main foods of the Western diet, comprised primarily of sugar, corn, soy and wheat. Glyphosates inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play critical roles in biology, one of which is to detoxify xenobiotics. Thus, glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of other food borne cheical residues and environmental toxins. Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Here, we show how interference with CYP enzymes acts synergistically with disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria, as well as impairment in serum sulfate transport. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. We explain the documented effects of glyphosate and its ability to induce disease, and we show that glyphosate is the “textbook example” of exogenic semiotic entropy: the disruption of homeostasis by environmental toxins.
Read more…

NSTAR Update
Public Comment Period Extended to November 4th

Memo from Senator Dan Wolf

Oct. 25, 2013
In compliance with the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources (MDAR), and as a result of the requests from state and local officials, NSTAR has extended the period that members of the public may comment on their proposed Yearly Operating Plan. A controversial aspect of this plan includes the utility company’s
Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) program, which uses herbicides to mitigate overgrowth on their gas and electric rights-of-way.
Along with other members of the Cape Cod delegation, I have expressed concern with the impact the herbicides have on the local ecosystems near the rights-of-way, as well as the the effects the infiltration of chemicals may have on the Cape’s drinking water and its single-source aquifer. Over the past few weeks, I have met with representatives from both MDAR and NSTAR, and have recently sent a letter to town managers on the Cape strongly encouraging them to reach out to NSTAR to discuss the implications of their programs before the extended comment period ends on November 4th. All fifteen towns on Cape Cod have passed resolutions requesting NSTAR not to spray herbicides, but we must continue to voice our concerns.
Please note that the town of Falmouth did not join the other towns in passing this resolution, 14 out of 15 towns is the correct number.

Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors.
Thongprakaisang S, Thiantanawat A, Rangkadilok N, Suriyo T, Satayavivad J.
Environmental Toxicology Program, Chulabhorn Graduate Institute, Laksi, Bangkok 10210, Thailand.
Glyphosate is an active ingredient of the most widely used herbicide and it is believed to be less toxic than other pesticides. However, several recent studies showed its potential adverse health effects to humans as it may be an endocrine disruptor. This study focuses on the effects of pure glyphosate on estrogen receptors (ERs) mediated transcriptional activity and their expressions. Glyphosate exerted proliferative effects only in human hormone-dependent breast cancer, T47D cells, but not in hormone-independent breast cancer, MDA-MB231 cells, at 10(-12) to 10(-6)M in estrogen withdrawal condition. The proliferative concentrations of glyphosate that induced the activation of estrogen response element (ERE) transcription activity were 5-13 fold of control in T47D-KBluc cells and this activation was inhibited by an estrogen antagonist, ICI 182780, indicating that the estrogenic activity of glyphosate was mediated via ERs. Furthermore, glyphosate also altered both ERα and β expression.
Read more…

Falmouth Selectmen Refuse to Ask NStar to Halt Herbicide Program
October 25, 2013
By Christopher M. Kazarian
The Enterprise

After more than an hour of debate on the potential impacts NStar’s spraying of herbicides could have on Cape Cod’s sole-source aquifer, selectmen elected not to send a letter to either the utility or the state objecting to its use of the chemicals.

And when the discussion was coming to a close, chairman Brent V.W. Putnam complained that it was a waste of their time as it took the board’s focus away from items at the local level. “We spent an hour listening to these presentations,” he said. “Whatever we do or say here tonight will have absolutely no impact on what NStar does… It is something that is regulated by the state and the EPA. Spending an hour of our time doing this is quite frankly a waste of our time.”
Read more…

Silent Spring Institute Research Update
How can we protect cape drinking water?
New research motivates innovative wastewater plans
Progress in breast cancer prevention research

Laurel Schaider, PhD, Research Scientist, Silent Spring Institute
Ann Maguire, first president and co-founder of Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition and co-founder of Silent Spring Institute
John K. Erban, MD, Clinical Director, Tufts Medical Center Cancer Center; and Silent Spring Institute Board of Directors

Recent findings and next steps for Silent Spring Institute study of contaminants of emerging concern in Cape Cod groundwater

Previous studies by Silent Spring Institute have shown pharmaceuticals, consumer product chemicals, and other contaminants of emerging concern in Cape Cod drinking water and groundwater. With funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Institute researchers recently completed a study that synthesized existing information about contaminants of emerging concern in septic system discharges and used these results to estimate contaminant inputs into watersheds and areas that recharge drinking water wells on Cape Cod. Starting this fall, Silent Spring Institute will be conducting a new study of contaminants of emerging concern in eco-toilets, a sustainable, low-cost approach being considered to treat wastewater and address nutrient pollution on the Cape. These studies are especially important now because Cape Cod is debating wastewater management options to address nutrient pollution into sensitive ecosystems, and these decisions have long-term implications for protection of drinking water quality.
Read more…

Dr. Don Huber Explains Problems with Glyphosate


Cape town boards lobby NSTAR against pesticides
By Mary Ann Bragg
October 08, 2013

TRURO — The boards of selectmen in Truro and Wellfleet recently agreed to send letters to NStar urging the utility company to permanently abandon its use of herbicides or pesticides to manage vegetation in rights-of-way on Cape Cod.

The Truro selectmen sent a letter Oct. 1 to NStar officials and regulators at the state Department of Agricultural Resources. The Wellfleet selectmen approved a resolution Sept. 24.

Laura Kelley, founder of Protect Our Cape Cod Aquifer, is leading a letter-writing campaign in all the Cape’s towns. Most of the towns have agreed to send letters asking NStar to stop its use of pesticides to manage right-of-way vegetation, Kelley said Monday. She plans in the coming days to take copies of the letters to the Statehouse to meet with legislators, with the goal of creating a bylaw that would protect the Cape’s aquifer.
Read more…

What’s the deal with glyphosate?
by Emily Marquez
Ground Truth Magazine
Oct. 3, 2013

Glyphosate, the active ingredient of Monsanto’s RoundUp, is the most commonly used pesticide active ingredient in the U.S. From the product’s beginnings back in the 1970s, it’s been touted as a relatively safe, non-toxic chemical.

But the use of glyphosate has surged dramatically since the 1990s, when genetically engineered (GE) “RoundUp Ready” corn and soybean crops were introduced. This intensive usage raises an important and increasingly urgent question: have the human health and environmental impacts of glyphosate been carefully and exhaustively evaluated? What do we know and what don’t we?

I’ve heard a few of our community partners quoting neighbors or others assuring them that glyphosate is completely harmless. The product’s familiar presence in home garden centers seems to lull people into thinking that it must be safe — so safe that some say “you could drink the stuff!”

What do we know?
We know this herbicide is in our air and water. A 2011 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study documented glyphosate and its breakdown product in the air and rain of agricultural areas in Mississippi and Iowa over two growing seasons. Preliminary data was also collected in Indiana. Overall, glyphosate was detected in 60-100% of the samples taken.

Another 2011 USGS study tested for the presence of glyphosate and its breakdown product in the surface water of four agricultural basins, and concluded that where glyphosate is used, it will be detected in surface water. So we know it is in our environment.
Read more…

Selectmen send anti-herbicide plea to electric co.
By Marilyn Miller
Cape Codder

WELLFLEET — Selectmen agreed to urge NStar not to use herbicides in efforts to clear brush.

Laura Kelley, an Eastham landscaper, and Dr. Brian O’Malley, a Provincetown resident and physician for 35 years, Tuesday asked the selectmen to voice their feelings about NStar’s use of herbicides along the rights of way of Cape Cod.

Kelley said she has been working four years to educate NStar that there are other ways than using pesticides to control the vegetation on the rights of way.

She is making the rounds of all towns, asking the boards of selectmen to voice their objections to the utility’s use of pesticides.

She has won the support of the Dennis, Brewster, Harwich and Barnstable selectmen, to date, and Tuesday got Wellfleet’s support as well.
Read more…

Protect Our Sole-Source Aquifer
By Alexandra Grabbe

Yesterday the Cape Cod Times published another letter to the editor I wrote.

The editor chose a title that sums up the situation quite well: “Everyone’s doing it’ is a poor defense for NStar.” Here is the letter:

“Columnist Sean Gonsalves (‘Experts weigh in on chemical use,’ Sept. 26) states the amount of herbicides NStar intends to use for vegetation control under the power lines is minimal compared with the tons of fertilizers and herbicides uninformed homeowners and non-organic lawn companies dump in gardens. This may be true.

But how does that make NStar’s choice to use herbicides OK? As a ‘green’ innkeeper, I avoid toxic chemicals, period. Why can’t NStar, which claims to be a green business, do the same? It should take the lead and point out emerging science shows even traces of endocrine disruptors are judged dangerous to the developing fetus. Instead, the utility company persists in basing decisions on antiquated science.
Read more…

Sowing seeds of activism; Eastham’s Laura Kelley
By Rich Eldred
The Cape Codder
Posted Sep 27, 2013

She’s a beekeeper who’s busy as a bee, an activist who’s an herbalist and a businesswoman who battles big business.
Laura Kelley’s life is a whirlwind of speaking, writing, designing, digging, lobbying, preserving, protesting and who knows what else. This week she’s speaking before local boards of selectmen, urging them to ask NStar to forgo the use of herbicides under power lines – in between running a full-time landscaping business and serving on two watershed working groups.
Read more:

Harwich selectman backs herbicide spraying
By Tom Redmond
Harwich Oracle
Posted Sep 24, 2013 @ 11:23 AM

Harwich —
It isn’t everyday you hear an elected official on the Lower Cape voice support for NStar’s controversial plan to spray herbicides along its power line rights of way. But Harwich selectman Larry Ballantine did just that on Monday night.

Ballantine was the only member of the board of selectmen who voted against sending a letter to the utility asking that it abandon its plan to spray chemicals and find another way to prevent vegetation from affecting power lines.

NStar has used herbicides on the Cape but citizen and political pressures caused it to temporarily suspend the program several years ago. The utility announced earlier this year it would resume spraying this fall.
Read more…

Scientists Link Monsanto’s Glyphosate To Birth Defects
Another credible study can be added to the list of research that shows how Monsanto’s glyphosate, otherwise known as ’roundup herbicide’ can be hazardous to human health. This time, its been linked to birth defects. Roundup, also known as Glyphosate is a herbicide used to kill weeds. It started to be used en mass by farmers when they realized they could spray it without killing their crops. Of course these are herbicide resistant genetically modified (GMO) crops that have been designed to be resistant to the herbicide.
Read More…

Glyphosate Is Destructor of Human Health and Biodiversity
This review paper is a comprehensive document prepared by Dr. Rosemary Mason which succinctly summarizes many of the findings regarding glyphosate’s toxicity to human health. By courtesy of independent researchers around the world we present evidence that glyphosate interferes with many metabolic processes in plants, animals and humans, and glyphosate residues have been found in all three. Glyphosate is an endocrine-disruptor (as are many herbicides) it damages DNA and it is a driver of mutations that lead to cancer. We present graphs from the US which correlate glyphosate application and the percentage of GE soy and corn crops to the incidence and prevalence of various diseases in those on a Western diet

It was prepared to send to the Scottish Parliament. The Full Paper: (PDF) Author: Dr. Rosemary Mason Glyphosate: Destructor of Human Health and Biodiversity

Introduction: Glyphosate: Destructor of Human Health and Biodiversity

An increase in the incidence of Type 2 diabetes, obesity and autism has been reported in Scotland. Similar increases have been seen globally. The herbicide glyphosate was introduced in 1974 and its use is accelerating. The manufacturers claim it to be safe, but none of the Regulatory Agencies are monitoring glyphosate levels in groundwater.
Read more…

Monsanto’s Roundup Linked to Autism, Parkinson’s, and Cancer
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is the most popular herbicide used worldwide. Monsanto asserts it is not toxic to humans, but here a new study proves otherwise.
Read More…
How Glyphosate Worsens Modern Diseases 
Research Reveals Previously Unknown Pathway by which Glyphosate Wrecks Health.
“Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.”
    The main finding of the report is that glyphosate inhibits cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, a large and diverse group of enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of organic substances. This, the authors state, is “an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals.”
Read more…
EPA to American People: ‘Let Them Eat Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Cake’ 
The EPA, whose mission is to “to protect human health and the environment,” has approved Monsanto’s request to allow levels of glyphosate (Roundup) contamination in your food up to a million times higher than have been found carcinogenic.

If you haven’t already heard, it’s now official. Monsanto’s request to have the EPA raise allowable levels of its herbicide glyphosate in food you may soon be eating has been approved [see Final Rule]. Public commenting is also now closed, not that it was anything but a formality to begin with.
Read more…

Environmentalist Landscaper Laura Kelley | WOMR – Outermost Community Radio 
WOMR Radio in Provincetown, MA features an interview with one of the Cape’s most outstanding proponents for environmental issues, the founder of POCCA, an organic landscaper and bee-keeper, Laura Kelley, who has devised several ways to rethink and address the issues brought to the forefront by NSTAR’S plans to resume spraying toxic herbicides around the Cape’s power lines. Listen to Laura Kelley’s interview at WOMR HERE.

Judge Questions Cape Cod Wastewater Pollution Claims 
By Patrick Cassidy
August 21, 2013
BOSTON — After months of inaction on two lawsuits brought by environmental groups against the Environmental Protection Agency over Cape Cod’s wastewater management plans, a federal judge hinted Tuesday at the possible outcomes of the cases.

The first lawsuit, filed in 2010 by the Conservation Law Foundation and Buzzards Bay Coalition, challenged the EPA’s approval of “total maximum daily loads” that limit how much nitrogen may enter local water bodies. The second lawsuit, filed by the nonprofit groups in 2011, argued the federal agency had failed to live up to a mandate to annually approve a Capewide wastewater management plan that hasn’t been updated by the state since it was first released in 1978.
Read more….


POCCA Comes Together 
The inaugural meeting of POCCA

The mission is to research solutions and educate the public about drinking water and wastewater issues on Cape Cod. Cape Cod shares a single aquifer and all the towns need to work together on these issues. POCCA will meet every Tuesday at 7pm to help protect our drinking water. All are welcome. More details and posting on the next location will be coming soon.


Laura Kelley Presents her “Green Carpet” Solution to Herbicide Use 
Get the lowdown on details on research in herbicides, the many unanswered questions, and factors that need more adequate testing to determine safety and effects.

See the video HERE


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