We’re so excited to share that a newly updated, more intuitive, and easier-to-use pesticide information database is now available to the public, accessible at pesticideinfo.org.
Pesticide Info brings together a diverse array of information on pesticides from many sources, providing human toxicity, ecotoxicity, regulatory information, and more for over 15,000 pesticides. Ultimately, Pesticide Info facilitates public access to critically important data.
In anticipation of the big launch, we chatted with Nathan Donley, senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, where he studies pesticide regulation and policy. Nathan shared some thoughts on how he sees Pesticide Info supporting his and others’ work toward a safer and more just food and farming system:
PAN: Tell us about your work and its relationship to advocacy and the science of pesticides.
Nathan: I am a scientist and my work focuses on where science, policy and regulation meet. This involves writing scientific papers, reaching out to media, providing science support for our litigation, writing technical comments to government agencies and identifying emerging issues of concern.
PAN: How have you used Pesticide Info in the past? Can you give us a concrete example or story of how it’s supported a specific goal or campaign?
Nathan: There are about 1,000 pesticide ingredients registered in the U.S., ranging from extremely harmful to relatively benign. This is way more than any one group can tackle. One way we prioritize our work is by identifying the pesticides that have the most potential for harm to humans and the environment. Pesticide Info is a great initial resource to use when you want to find information about a pesticide you’ve never heard about or one that you just want more information on. It compiles info from multiple, authoritative sources in one convenient place. Then you can go back to the cited sources if you want more detailed information.
When I wrote about pesticides that were used in the U.S. but banned in other countries (here), the PAN International consolidated list of pesticide bans was an extremely important resource for that work. The list is now available in an interactive map on the new Pesticide Info site and is a great way to learn where pesticides have been banned across the world.
PAN: How will this new Pesticide Info resource support your work at the intersection of advocacy and the science of pesticides?
Nathan: The new Pesticide Info has a great search engine that gives me easy access to tons of useful info about an individual pesticide. It has also compiled all of the great information about pesticide use in California that is collected every year by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. National pesticide use estimates by the United States Geological Survey are also conveniently linked for each pesticide. So almost everything I need to know about a pesticide’s harms and trends in use I can find on this site. This gives us helpful information on our strategies and priorities moving forward.
PAN: What’s one thing you’d like to highlight for folks who haven’t used Pesticide Info yet?
Nathan: If you think you’ve been poisoned by a pesticide or want to report an incident that happened to others, this site has a nice link to an interactive map by the Migrant Clinicians Network where you can find your state and immediately find a phone number or online form you need to report an incident.
Interested in learning more? RSVP to join PAN, author and activist Sandra Steingraber, and the Pesticide Info team on Tuesday, March 23rd, at 11am PT for a launch event, including a walkthrough of the tool, campaign examples, and ample time to ask organizers and scientists your pesticide-related questions.