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Trick or Treat!

Seeing doorsteps adorned with jack-o'-lanterns reminds me fondly of childhood pumpkin carving and visits to the pumpkin patch. It also reminds me of a story I saw years back about how pumpkins can clean pollutants out of the soil.

The process is called phytoremediation, and scientists in Canada discovered that the ever popular orange Halloween pumpkin is particularly good at it. DDT and other pesticides, as well as PCBs and dioxin, get sucked right out of the soil and into the plant.

This is good news for soil everywhere, but it does lead one to ask: if pumpkins are pulling pesticides out of the ground, what are the implications for pumpkin carvers and pie eaters?

I certainly don't mean to frighten anyone out of a classic tradition (although, 'tis the season to be scary), my goal is only to provide food for thought, and perhaps another reason to choose organic. Organic pumpkins wont incur the kind of pesticide use that conventionally grown pumpkins might, and that makes a big difference.

Simply put, less pesticide use today means fewer problems in the future, for pumpkins or people! So check your area for certified organic pumpkins or, if you like to get out on a fall day and pick your own, call your local 'u-pick' patches and support the ones who don't spray.

Meanwhile, here's a quick update on our autumn activities. We're reporting on the growing national campaign for GE labeling, misinformation concerning pesticides and salmon, goats who graze knapweed, and NCAP's 2011 Rachel Carson Awardees.

Happy Halloween (almost),

Kim Signature

cropped kim
Kim Leval, Executive Director
Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP)

Visit our website at for information and the latest news!
Just Label It

Just Label ItGenetically engineered (GE) foods, also referred to as genetically modified organisms or GMOs, consist of plants or animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to produce traits that would not occur naturally.

For example, resistance to the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) is a trait commonly engineered in many GE food crops, allowing for vast increases in the use of that particular herbicide.

Because our food choices matter, and because it's our right to know what we're eating and how it's produced, NCAP has joined the Just Label It campaign to call for the labeling of all GE foods.

Learn More


Steingraber Talk Rescheduled

Steingraber4We are sad to announce that our much anticipated evening with Sandra Steingraber in Portland was postponed due to a sudden medical emergency involving a member of her family. Please keep her in your thoughts and look for an announcement from us once we have set a new date.

Any tickets you purchased for the private reception will be honored at the time of the event. Those who are unable to attend will receive a refund.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Industry Misinformation Exposed

Steelhead Trout FryWhen the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recently concluded that several common pesticides were harmful to endangered fish, Dow Agrosciences and other pesticide manufacturers responded with a lawsuit arguing that the science was faulty.

Last week, NCAP and allies submitted detailed testimony to the court which systematically refutes their false claims.

Learn More

Read the Full Legal Brief

Goats for Knapweed Control

image_previewFollowing their campaign to establish a city-wide Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, health and environmental advocates in Ketchum, Idaho are now broadening the reach of the new policy. As a part of this, they're grazing goats at various points along the county's popular pedestrian path as an alternative to spraying for knapweed.

Learn More

2011 Rachel Carson Awards

IMG_1065It is a joy to honor people in the community whose efforts have resulted in more pesticide awareness, and less pesticide use. That's why we present the Rachel Carson Awards each year. 

This year, our winners are Jon Wild of Portland, Oregon and Kathryn Goldman of Bellevue, Idaho. Jon is a property manager with Home Forward who has instituted alternatives to pesticides to manage bed bugs. Kathryn is the Campaign Director for PAN BC, a community group that is rapidly reducing pesticide use in public spaces. Many congratulations you two! Keep up the excellent work.

We also honored a dear and special person, Dahinda Meda with the Rachel Carson Lifetime Achievement Award. Visit the NCAP blog to read more about him and each of these inspiring people.

Business League Spotlight: Organically Grown Company

OGC logo 2Organically Grown Company is the largest wholesaler of organic produce in the Pacific Northwest with Eugene and Portland, OR and Kent, WA locations. They are a proud supporter of regional organic farmers and have been committed to providing customers with fresh and flavorful organic produce since 1982. Their passion for organic produce has helped them become the largest wholesaler of organic fruits, vegetables and herbs in the Pacific Northwest. Not only are they committed to organic produce, they are also committed to becoming ever more sustainable in business practices, and encourage similar methods throughout the trade.

Organically Grown was founded by farmers. They have built on those relationships by expanding their grower network to ensure they have access to the best produce available. Because they work within a small trade system, they are able to purchase over 90% of products directly from growers. To learn more about Organically Grown Company, visit

Do you have a business? 

Join the growing list of businesses that are standing up for a healthy environment! Visit the Business League webpage to learn more about becoming an NCAP Business League member.

Get a 'Pesticide-free Area' Sign

Donate through the Ladybug Lovely monthly giving program and receive a new Pesticide-free Area sign from NCAP and Mountain Rose Herbs. The sign is made from recycled aluminum, so it's a responsible and durable way to state your values!

Call 541-344-5044 ext.17 to learn more about the Ladybug Lovely and how to get your sign.

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October 2011
  • Letter from the Director
  • Just Label It
  • Steingraber Talk Postponed
  • Industry Misinformation
  • Goats and Knapweed
  • Rachel Carson Awards
  • NCAP Business League
  • Get a 'Pesticide-free' Sign!

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Take Action:
Label GE Foods!

GE Corn

A petition has been filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calling on them to label genetically engineered (GE) foods.

The petition has generated over 100,000 comments, and that number is climbing. Add your voice now and be heard!

Submit Comments to FDA

Other News

EPA InertFinder database is now online; identify inerts in pesticide products.
Read More

A list of rodenticides up for cancellation is announced.
Read More

Sustainable Places Information Network


Worried about pesticide use in your kid's school? See what's happening on SPIN, a profesional network creating sustainable urban places.

Learn More

- It's Free!

Become a Member!

Join NCAP today and add your voice to the pesticide reform movement. Your tax-deductible donation will help protect the health of people and the environment!


Treat Your Skin and Support NCAP!

Alchemilla has partnered with NCAP by pledging a two dollar donation from the sale of every Alchemilla Organic Skin Care Trial Kit.

This financial commitment to NCAP helps to support our work and provides Alchemilla customers a convenient way to sample their skin care products. 

Business Sponsors


Mountain Rose Herbs Logo 2



New and Renewing Business League Members

A big thank you to Business League members who joined or renewed in October!

Mountain Rose Herbs

King Estate Oregon Wines

Tabard Inn & Moby Dick Hotel

Willis Consulting

Click here to view the full business league roster.

Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides | | 541-344-5044

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