Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Paul Towers
Oct 05, 2015
Sixteen years ago a group of California parents sued state regulators for failing to protect their children from hazardous pesticides. The parents showed that their children – who were Latino – were more likely than their white counterparts to be exposed to pesticides at school. More than a decade later, without involving the impacted children and their families, the lawsuit was settled by state and federal officials. The only result was one new air monitor near one school, without anything more comprehensive or meaningful for schoolchildren across the state. If the outcome of that lawsuit... Read More
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Lex Horan
Oct 01, 2015
Crop dusters flying overhead, irrigators pumping, and chemical odors in the air. For people who live near RD Offutt’s pesticide-intensive potato fields in Minnesota, these are characteristics of summertime, as much as canoe rides across the lake or picking fresh vegetables from the garden. The story is a familiar one for many communities who face pesticide drift. For those of us who don’t live near industrial agriculture, it may be hard to imagine. That’s why we’re excited to share a short new video amplifying the courageous voices of those most impacted by potato pesticides in northern... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Sep 29, 2015
Monday was a great day for the nation’s two million farmworkers and their families. On September 28, EPA released its long-awaited improved rules for the protection of farmworkers from on-the-job exposure to hazardous pesticides. While we didn't get everything we hoped for, the rules are now much, much stronger than they've been for the past 20 years. And that’s a real victory! For years we’ve been working with farmworker advocates to improve the only rule in this country designed to protect farmworkers from exposure to hazardous pesticides. The federal Worker Protection Standard (WPS) was... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Sep 28, 2015
Extended drought in California, freeze warnings in Oregon, flooding in the Southeast…. Today’s mounting environmental stresses of extreme and unpredictably shifting patterns in the weather, along with exhausted soil, resistant “superweeds” and pollinator losses, are taking a toll on farms across the country. These stressors, many brought on or exacerbated by the destructive practices of industrialized farming, are also giving us a pretty clear warning that our approach to farming is going to have to change — significantly and fast.  Biodiversified farming offers one of our best hopes... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Sep 17, 2015
Earlier this month I had the great pleasure of participating in a two-day Soil Not Oil conference in Richmond, California. Dozens of workshops and presentations addressed both crises and opportunities at the nexus of food, farming and climate change — from the science and culture of agroecology to renewable energy, land trusts and worker cooperatives. The bottomline: climate change is upon us. And everyone from consumers to farmers to policymakers can — and must — work together to mitigate and reverse our current trajectory. Agroecology, resilience & community A host of inspiring... Read More
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Paul Towers
Sep 17, 2015
Last week, the federal courts took a stand for bees and beekeepers. In their written decision, the judges said EPA had approved a new neonicotinoid pesticide — sulfoxaflor — without adequate review. The court ordered the Dow product be pulled from the market. The judges also took EPA to task for saying yes to the pesticide despite strong evidence showing that the pesticide was “highly toxic” to bees. This is a real and important, much-needed win for pollinators. Greg Loarie, the lead attorney for the national beekeeper groups that brought the suit — Pollinator Stewardship Council, American... Read More
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Medha Chandra
Sep 16, 2015
We’ve often talked about how low-dose exposure to pesticides are a serious cause for concern, and at the root of many health problems for children. Last fall, Dr. Bruce Lanphear — a physician and professor of pediatrics from Simon Fraser University in Canada — released a video entitled Little Things Matter, clearly illustrating the impact of chemicals on children's developing brains. I’m very happy to report that Dr. Lanphear recently toured India to spread the word about the harms of low-dose exposures to pesticides and other common environmental toxins. Over the course of the five-city... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
Sep 09, 2015
It's that time of year! Freshly scrubbed, nervous-looking kids don backpacks, pack lunches and head off to school. This back-to-school season there's both excellent and not-so-great news when it comes to schoolkids and pesticides. On balance, it's fair to say there's exciting progress afoot for children's health — from pesticide-free school lunches to a nasty brain-harming chemical finally getting the boot. No more "egregious" delays First, the excellent news. That neurotoxic pesticide you've heard us talk about so often? It's called chlorpyrifos, and while it's not yet a done deal, it... Read More
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