California Updates: February 2021 | Pesticide Action Network
Reclaiming the future of food and farming

California Updates: February 2021

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As California is one of the states in which PAN does on-the-ground campaign work, we send out regular updates on PAN and partners' work in California and beyond — from pesticide-related science to opportunities to take action. If you'd like to receive these updates via email, sign up here.

State updates

Increased, tiered mill fee: For years, California has charged a flat “mill assessment” fee for all pesticide sales at the point of first sale into the state, with revenues from this mill fee supporting the state’s pesticide regulatory programs. But Governor Newsom’s proposed 2021-2022 budget features an increased, tiered mill fee that would place higher fees on pesticides of greater toxicity to encourage reduced use of the most harmful pesticides. The proposed mill fee increase would be phased in over the next four years, and would raise an additional $45 million per year. These funds could support the adoption of ecological farming practices, greater enforcement of pesticide laws, increased pesticide air monitoring, and enhanced community engagement on these issues, particularly with “pesticide-impacted disadvantaged communities.

International updates

Global solidarity for India’s farmers: The Government of India’s move to undermine the rights of farmers by passing three new farm laws has sparked a massive farmers’ movement. Legislation that would give corporations more control over the food system has pushed Indian farmers, their families, and supporters to flock to state borders, staging protests and sit-ins, reportedly the biggest in history. The farmers’ movement in India has been gaining wide support from the international community, including in the Asia Pacific region where many food producers experience similar challenges. Read more from our partners at PAN Asia Pacific here.

Latest science

Toxic chemicals and reproduction: In 2017, scientist Shanna Swann coauthored a paper on declining sperm count in men from Western countries, conducting a systematic review of 185 studies that found a general decline in sperm count spanning four decades. Her new book, Countdown, focuses on sex development and fertility, and how lifestyles and chemical exposures — including to pesticides — are factors that are likely causing shifts in the human population worldwide. Read an interview with Dr. Swann here.

Announcements

We’re hiring! PAN is seeking an experienced Organizer to lead our work in California. The ideal candidate brings several years of organizing experience and the ability to effectively lead a team. We are seeking candidates who hold a deep commitment to racial, economic, environmental, and social justice and brings a bold vision to their work, as well as an appetite for continued learning. See the full (updated!) job posting here!

Take action

The incoming Biden administration has made a commitment to listen to science and to limit exposure to dangerous pesticides. Now it’s our job to hold them to this commitment! Sign our petition urging quick action to protect farmers, farmworkers, rural families, children, and pollinators from harmful pesticides that were approved for use — or expanded uses — by the outgoing administration.

 

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Pesticide Action Network
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