Press Kit

FOR THE PRESS
…to contact Beyond Toxics, please call or email:
Lisa Arkin, Executive Director
Beyond Toxics
Phone 541-465-8860
info@beyondtoxics.org | www.BeyondToxics.org

Photos of our Executive Director, Lisa Arkin, and logo graphics are available at the bottom of this page…


NEWS RELEASE – June 3, 2019

FULL Press Release (PDF)

Halie Loren Headlines Benefit for Bees

EUGENE, ORE. – Beyond Toxics kicks off National Pollinator Week early this year at the 6th annual Bee Jazzy, a benefit to Save Oregon’s Bees co-hosted by Mountain Rose Herbs and GloryBee.

On Thursday, June 13th, internationally acclaimed pop/jazz chanteuse Halie Loren will be headlining the 6th annual Bee Jazzy. Popular local jazz artists The Paul Biondi Trio open this year. This gala evening takes place from 5:30pm to 9:30 pm in the wine country of southern Lane County. Proceeds from the evening benefit Beyond Toxics and its Save Oregon’s Bees Campaign.

“As a life-long lover of nature, I know how important bees are in creating and maintaining a thriving ecosystem. I love being able to support Beyond Toxics and the work that they do to preserve and protect the health of our precious pollinators,” says Halie. “And I love to play music in my hometown, so it’s a multifaceted joy for me!”

Fittingly, this year’s Bee Jazzy takes place during National Pollinator Week, “an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.” While a great deal of attention has been focused on honeybees for their pivotal role in agriculture, less attention has been given to native bee species – like bumblebees, miner bees and mason bees – which face even more alarming declines across the continent and are equally vital to the health of native ecosystems and the food supply.

Beyond Toxics works to protect bees by educating the public about the danger posed to pollinators by neonicotinoid pesticides and other toxic products, promoting legislation to protect Oregon’s bees and promoting the Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA movement. Last year, the University of Oregon signed a pledge to become an official Bee Campus, meaning it will not use chemicals toxic to bees and will establish and maintain healthy, non-toxic pollinator habitat.

In addition to jazz music by the Halie Loren Jazz Trio and opening act The Paul Biondi Trio, Bee Jazzy features a silent auction with packages that include getaways to some of Oregon’s hidden gems and date night excursions to the opera or the theater. Two of Eugene’s favorite food carts, Navarro’s Latin Creole Kitchen and Lani Moku Grill, will be on hand with a selection of delicious food. 

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door, and include a glass of Silvan Ridge wine. Visit beejazzy.org for tickets and full details.


NEWS RELEASE – February 5, 2019

FULL Press Release (PDF)
See images to download below*

New National Food Study finds Dangerous Pesticides in Common Family Foods

Oregon has the second highest concentration of brain-damaging pesticides in apples

EUGENE, OR.A new report produced in cooperation with Beyond Toxics, Friends of The Earth and 12 other organizations and individuals across the U.S. found store and name brand foods contain residues of toxic pesticides linked to a range of serious health and environmental problems, including those commonly produced and sold by the top four U.S. food retailers, Kroger, Walmart, Costco and Albertsons. Eugene, Oregon was one of the locations where popular foods were purchased in 15 cities across the country to test for the presence of toxic pesticides.

The report found that tested products–oat cereals, apples, applesauce, spinach and pinto beans–contained detectable amounts of glyphosate, organophosphates and neonicotinoids. The average level of glyphosate found in cereal samples (360 parts per billion) was more than twice the level set by scientists at Environmental Working Group for lifetime cancer
risk for children. The average level of glyphosate found in pinto beans (509 ppb) was more than 4.5 times the benchmark.

In Oregon, foods tested by Beyond Toxics, yielded similar results. The average level of  glyphosate found in cereal samples gathered in Oregon (500 parts per billion) was more than 3 times the level set by scientists at Environmental Working Group for lifetime cancer risk for children. The average level of glyphosate found in pinto beans (507 ppb) was more than 4.5 times the benchmark. Out of 12 states measured in the study, Oregon had the 2nd highest concentrations of organophosphates in apples.

“We should all be concerned that the food we are eating and feeding to our loved ones contain dangerously high levels of pesticides,” said Lisa Arkin, Executive Director of Beyond Toxics. “The take-away here is that when pesticides are sprayed on food crops, they remain in our food and are taken into our brains, organs and blood. Not enough research has been done to determine the level of harm. Could the food you eat today be an important contributor to your chronic disease a decade later?”

Findings of the food testing commissioned by Friends of the Earth are significant because of how common it was to find significant levels of toxic pesticides in a wide variety of non-organic foods children eat on a daily basis. Findings include:

• Glyphosate, a probable human carcinogen according to the World Health Organization’s cancer research agency, was found on 100% of oat cereal samples and 100% of pinto bean samples tested.

• Organophosphates, which are so toxic to children’s developing brains that scientists have called for a complete ban, were found in 100% of applesauce samples, 61% of whole apples and 25% of spinach samples, at levels ranging from 0 to 3.31 nmol/g.

• Neonicotinoids, which the European Union has banned due to robust science linking the chemicals to bee die-offs and which have been linked to endocrine disruption and autism spectrum disorder, were found in 80% of spinach and 73% of applesauce samples ranging from 0 to 0.14 nmol/g.

Brands tested by an independent laboratory included Great Value (Walmart), Kroger (Kroger), Signature Kitchens and Signature Select (Albertsons/Safeway). Kroger, Walmart, Albertsons and Costco control over one third of all food and beverage sales in the U.S. Friends of the Earth and over 100 organizations are urging these companies and all food retailers to phase-out toxic pesticides in their supply chains and increase offerings of organically-grown and produced foods, which do not allow the use of these, and many other, toxic synthetic pesticides.

Stacy Kraker, Director of the Oregon Organic Coalition says, “Oregon’s organic agricultural sector serves to protect people, land and water, while increasingly contributing our State’s economic growth. Oregon consumers can make a tremendous difference to reduce their exposure to pesticides in food by buying organically grown fruits, vegetables and grains, and by supporting organic farmers and producers.” 

“Toxic pesticides are showing up in what should be some of the healthiest and most affordable foods supermarkets sell,” said Kendra Klein, PhD, senior staff scientist at Friends of the Earth. “Children, farmworkers and rural communities are routinely exposed to multiple pesticides linked to cancer, learning disabilities and hormone disruption.”

Chlorpyrifos and neonicotinoids, two of the most harmful types of pesticides found in popular brands of food are the target of 2019 legislative efforts in Oregon, work supported by dozens of businesses and organizations.

Neonicotinoids are a particularly potent family of pesticides, whose use is detrimental to bees and other pollinators. In 2018, the European Union banned neonicotinoids in order to prevent bee populations from collapsing. Chlorpyrifos, which is extremely dangerous to the farmworkers who are exposed to it, is an organophosphate, which is already banned in Hawaii, and was slated to be discontinued for use on food crops by the United States EPA. However, Scott Pruitt, the former head of the EPA, reversed the agency’s earlier decision. In 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court ruled that the EPA must ban Chlorpyrifos, but the Trump Administration has not acted, necessitating action at the state level.

 

* IMAGES AVAILABLE for download (all RGB jpg files):

Suggested caption for images below: “Krystal Abrams, Social Media and Pollinator Projects Manager for Beyond Toxics, collects food samples for the February 2019 Friends Of The Earth food testing study. Photo by Daniel Abrams.”


 


Beyond Toxics’ Mission

Beyond Toxics works to guarantee environmental protections and health for all communities and residents, regardless of their background, income or where their home is located. We expose root causes of toxic pollution and help communities find solutions that are appropriate to their needs.

Beyond Toxics’ Promise
Beyond Toxics will act responsibly and aggressively to protect the public and the environment from toxic poisoning.

Beyond Toxics’ Vision
We envision a future in which all Oregonians:

Know about the pollutants they are exposed to in our air, water, food and consumer products; the sources of those pollutants; and the health impacts of short and long term exposure.

Guarantee an equal right for each and every human to have clean air, clean water, unpolluted soils, safe consumer products and a healthy community in which to live.

Prioritize a child’s health as the standard by which decisions are made regarding the use and disposal of toxic chemicals.

Choose the least toxic alternatives available for products used in homes, businesses and public facilities.

Participate actively in decision-making processes that impact public and environmental health.

 Hold our elected officials and regulatory agencies accountable to enforce environmental protection, pollution prevention and clean-up laws.

Hold our elected officials and regulatory agencies accountable to promoting laws, policies and technologies that provide protections for environmental and human health.

What We Do
Beyond Toxics was founded in 2000 and has since played a unique organizing role in Oregon: we put equal emphasis (and equal resources) into environmental justice engagement and community-based environmental research with the intent to influence state policy reform. We fulfill our mission by building social justice concerns into all environmental decision-making, thereby uniting the goals of human rights and environmental protection in all our work.

MORE about Beyond Toxics

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Lisa Arkin, Executive Director (photos)

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120 Shelton-McMurphey Blvd., Suite 280

 

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