GroundTruth Blog

GroundTruth: PAN's blog on pesticides, food & health

Emily Marquez's blog
By Emily Marquez,

New California data about pesticides in food have been getting a fair amount of attention recently. Earlier this month, the state's Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) released results from 2013 food sampling by their Pesticide Monitoring Program.

Unfortunately, DPR’s conclusion that the residues they found on these latest food samples “pose no health risk” is more than a bit misleading. In fact, the trends indicated by the data are that the percentage of food samples containing pesticides has gone up over the past five years — as has the percentage of illegal residues found.

Lex Horan's blog
By Lex Horan,

Last Saturday morning, I started my day ushering traffic down a dirt road into a potato field. The Toxic Taters Coalition was hosting a field day at Larry Heitkamp’s Yellow Rose Organic Farm outside of Sebeka, MN. About twenty people gathered from surrounding counties to educate themselves about organic potato production, connect with local farmers and learn more about Toxic Taters.

Why tour an organic potato farm? Although a single, massive company — RD Offutt Company, or RDO — plants tens of thousands of acres of potatoes each year in north central Minnesota, it’s certainly not the only potato producer in the region. Local residents who live near RDO potato fields launched the Toxic Taters campaign because they know that RDO’s model of potato production isn’t the only way. Our Coalition wanted to learn more about sustainable potato production — and who better to learn from than a local farmer who is hard at work implementing organic, ecosystem-based practices on his farm?

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

Last week a Georgia business journal reported that the Georgia Farm Bureau, on behalf of state farmers, opposed EPA’s proposed rules to improve on-the-job protections for farmworkers. Their reasoning? They say a stronger Worker Protection Standard (WPS) would be detrimental to farmers and without “real benefit to anyone.”

Why would a Farm Bureau organization, claiming to support growers’ interests, lobby to undermine the health and safety of their workers? After all, laws that help keep workers safer, healthier and on the job are good for business. And they're good for our entire food system.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Beekeepers and indigenous groups in the Mexican state of Yucatán recently won an important court decision against Monsanto. A district judge overturned Monsanto's permit for  commercial planting of RoundUp-ready soybeans in the state.

The judge found that "co-existence between honey production and GMO soybeans is not possible," given European restrictions on imports of honey contaminated with GMO pollen. The court also took regulators to task for ignoring the constitutional requirement to consult with indigenous groups on decisions affecting their territory.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Thousands of community members and children's health advocates participated in our "week of action" last week, ramping up the pressure on California officials to take action on the brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos.

Our message? It's high time for the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to provide leadership to protect children from this chemical that scientists link to IQ drops and increased risk of ADHD and autism. Thank you for helping to make the week of action successful!

Kristin Schafer's blog
By Kristin Schafer,

The start of the school year is filled with so many (exciting!) rituals. New pencils, notebooks and erasers — maybe even a cool new backpack. The grinning first-day-of-school photo op on the front porch. And...figuring out what to pack for lunch.

In our house, we have just a few more years of packing lunches, and my highschooler now often packs his own. But we're always looking for creative new ideas — and the Twittersphere has been buzzing for weeks with fun, healthy lunch ideas. Here's another resource that lunch-packing parents might want check out: WhatsOnMyFood.org.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

The battle for healthy communities in Kaua'i is once again ramping up. Last week, a federal judge issued a ruling overturning a popular pesticide reform law passed by the Kaua'i County Council last year.

Four global pesticide and GE seed corporations — BASF, Syngenta, Dow, and DuPont Pioneer — were all parties to the legal challenge. In the face of this latest round of industry pressure, PAN has vowed to work with community partners and lawyers to "explore all available options" to help defend the County of Kauai and support a fair and green food system in Hawai'i.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

As summer comes to a close and kids head back to school in the next few weeks, we invite you to take action to protect their futures and help them achieve their full potential.

With our partners here in California, we are organizing a "week of action" pressuring state officials to better protect children's health by taking a stand against brain-harming pesticides. Please join us!

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Earlier this month, USDA made clear that they plan to give the final go-ahead to the next generation of herbicide-resistent GE seeds. Widespread public concern about this new technology delayed its approval by more than two years. But on September 6, the final 30-day "waiting period" will come to a close, and Dow's new 2,4-D corn and soy will be approved for market.

PAN stands with communities across the country who are outraged at the pending decision. "USDA is much more interested in working with Dow and Monsanto to bring their products to market than in protecting the well-being of our farmers and rural communities," says PAN Senior Scientist Dr. Marcia Ishii-Eiteman in a passionate press statement.

Paul Towers's blog
By Paul Towers,

Just yesterday, Colorado advocates got the signatures they needed to put a public initiative to label genetically engineered (GE) foods on the November ballot. Colorado's proposition 105, and its counterpart in Oregon which qualified last month (Measure 92), are the latest in efforts by a broad coalition of farmers, public interest groups and public health experts to provide consumers with straightforward information about what’s in our food and how it’s grown.

There are plenty of reasons to want that choice, and it should rest with families to make it. Labeling lifts the veil on the vast consolidation of the pesticide and seed market, highlights potential damages to the health and livelihood of family farmers and rural communities, and highlights environmental impacts.