- Author: Karey Windbiel-Rojas
Pesticide labels are legal documents providing directions on how to mix, apply, store, and dispose of a pesticide product. This means that using a pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its labeling is a violation of federal law. Make sure you always read the label before buying and using any pesticide product.
Essential information on pesticide labels
- Trade or Brand Name. This is the name the manufacturer has given the product. It is used for marketing purposes and is not a reliable guide to the actual chemical makeup of the product. Products with similar names may contain very different ingredients. Manufacturers sometimes change the active ingredient of a product but keep the same brand name. See the Summer 2018 issue of the Retail Nursery & Garden Center IPM News for more details.
- Ingredients. The active ingredient is the part of the product that kills or otherwise affects the target pest. Inert ingredients may have been added to help the active ingredient work better. Both are listed as percentages.
- Precautionary Statements. These describe the known human and environmental hazards associated with the pesticide, how to avoid exposure, which personal protective equipment is required, and how to store and dispose of the product. These statements also include first aid instructions and may include directions for physicians.
- Signal Word. The signal words "CAUTION," "WARNING," "DANGER," and “DANGER-POISON” (in order of increasing toxicity) indicate the relative acute toxicity, or short-term effects, of the active ingredients to humans. They do not refer to long-term effects to humans nor do they indicate the potential toxic effect on other organisms. There may not be a signal word if the product has very low acute human toxicity. See table below for more information about each signal word.
- U.S. EPA Registration and Establishment Numbers. Every registered pesticide has a number assigned to it, indicating that the product has been reviewed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and found effective to use with limited risk if you use it according to label directions. The establishment number is the code that identifies the site of manufacture or repackaging. Some pesticides are exempt from registration and won't have a US EPA number.
- Manufacturer. The manufacturer's name and address are always shown on the product label in case you need to contact them for any reason.
- Directions for Use. This section lists the plants or sites and the target pests on which the pesticide may legally be used. It tells how to mix and apply the pesticide and how much to use. Always follow these instructions carefully. It also includes information about how to store and dispose of the pesticide and the container.
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
In low-income communities, corner markets and convenience stores abound, but residents still buy most of their groceries at supermarkets. Unfortunately, larger grocery stores are also pushing shoppers in the direction of unhealthy food.
“Chips are near the salad. Chips are at the checkout. About 25 times during a shopping trip, sugary drinks nudge, prompt, poke and cajole you to buy,” Wootan said. “If healthy choices are not available, reasonably priced and attractively presented and promoted, people will have a hard time eating well.”
Sridharshi Hewawitharana, data analyst with the UC Nutrition Policy Institute, opened the retail session with the food shopping experiences of SNAP-eligible consumers, which they shared in focus groups. (SNAP is the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps.) Hewawitharana also provided information from a survey of retail establishments and a literature review.
“SNAP participants want to eat healthfully, but report that it is too expensive,” she said.
For SNAP participants who want to shop in their own neighborhoods, price is a particularly high barrier. Prices of many produce items in convenience stores in low-income neighborhoods were more than double the county's average supermarket prices.
“It's so much more expensive if you want to get a good piece of fruit,” said a focus group participant. “I mean, this is California, a lot of them grow right here. We shouldn't have that issue buying fresh delicious fruit. But if you can't afford it, you do have issues.”
Participants said they used a variety of strategies to stretch their dollars and benefits, but often it still wasn't enough.
“When I get my food stamps, I try to stock up. Stock up on every meat, canned goods. Vegetables I know go bad within a couple of days, so I try to buy just for that week and save, but even at the end of the month, I'm out.”
Focus group participants also expressed stress and guilt for being unable to provide their children with an adequate amount of high quality food.
A team of NPI researchers conducted the healthy retail literature review. Hewawitharana said they identified promising ways to help SNAP participants make heathy choices when food shopping. Surprisingly, opening new supermarkets was found to be ineffective. Addressing food prices is the most effective strategy. Taxing unhealthy food discourages these purchases. Reducing the price of healthy foods by offering coupons or vouchers is the best way to motivate healthy supermarket choices.
“The low income populations are really struggling,” Hewawitharana said. “High housing costs in California makes it more difficult. This is causing them emotional and mental stress.”
Wootan suggested changing grocery store layouts and promotions to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Currently, food vendors – many who sell processed foods high in sugar, salt and fat – pay grocery stores for prime locations, including eye-level shelves and end caps.
“Grocery stores earn a lot of revenue by giving large food companies preferential treatment,” said Gail Woodward-Lopez, associate director of research at the UC Nutrition Policy Institute, who moderated the session. “A really big company can go in with a loss, but a small, local manufacturer cannot.”
The current condition of America's supermarkets leaves room for public health, consumer advocacy and government agencies to make substantive impacts.
“We need research,” Wootan said. “What does a profitable, healthy grocery store look like?”
As for implementing changes, other obstacles await.
“I don't think voluntary (changes) will work. We are working on policy,” Wootan said.
The store offers free fruit for children in the produce section and stocks no sodas in the checkout stands. In the cereal section, Raley's has changed the layout, giving prime shelf space to products with less sugar. Cereals with 25% or more of total calories from sugar are now on the bottom shelf.
“And we aren't stopping at the cereal aisle,” Waters said.
Invasive plants can reduce native plant and animal diversity, threaten endangered species habitat, and increase wildfire and flood danger. Most invasive plants were introduced as ornamentals from the retail nursery industry, or for the purposes of soil stabilization, animal forage, human food, fiber, or medicinal plants. Some may still be found for sale at retail nursery and garden centers, including the following:
Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima)
[From the May 2017 issue of the UC IPM Retail Newsletter]
As part of this effort, UC IPM partnered with several UC Cooperative Extension Advisors and Specialists to offer three regional train-the trainer workshops in 2016 and early 2017. A total of 188 participants from 41 retail stores in 23 counties attended the workshops. Attendees participated in hands-on learning and discussions on the topics:
- identifying and reducing the spread of the invasive Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing disease (ACP and HLB);
- household pests such as cockroaches and ants;
- integrated pest management and understanding pesticides and labels;
- exotic and invasive pests found in California.
Resources from UC IPM
UC IPM plans to offer future workshops on vertebrate pest identification and management tools, new tools and resources, and other emerging pests and topics. Keep an eye out for announcements about upcoming workshops. Subscribe to the Retail IPM Newsletter and follow UC IPM on social media!
Are you and your staff registered for one of UC IPM's hands-on, train-the-trainer workshops? Are you UC Master Gardener who would like more IPM training? If so, spaces are still available in both our January 24 and January 31 workshops. Don't miss this opportunity to learn about some important topics to better serve your clientele. Only $30 and includes breakfast, lunch, lots of training materials to take home, and great information!
Oakland Workshop, Jan. 24, 2017
Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 17, is the final day to register for the Oakland IPM Training for Retail Nurseries and Garden Centers workshop on January 24. Registration is now open to all.
Registration closes at 10:00pm. Come learn and received tons of materials about Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing disease, household pests, invasive pests, and IPM and pesticides.
Register, view the agenda, and see parking and directions at http://ucanr.edu/sites/retailipm2016oakland/.
Sacramento Workshop, Jan. 31, 2017
Priority registration for retailers will also end on January 17 for the Sacramento workshop on January 31! After that, registration will be open to the general public. View information and register for the Sacramento workshop at http://ucanr.edu/sites/retailipm2017sac/.
If you are not in the retail nursery industry, sign up for the Wait list to get the first chance to register after Jan. 17.
We look forward to seeing you at one of these workshops! You will be happy you came!