Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Emily Marquez
Aug 04, 2016
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A new study from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that when pregnant mothers live within one kilometer of fields where certain pesticides are used, their children are more likely to have lower IQs. These findings confirm those in several earlier studies. Which leads me to wonder: just how much evidence do we need before taking action? This latest study looked at 283 seven-year-olds living in the Salinas Valley, an agriculturally intensive area along the Northern California coast. Researchers found that higher levels of organophosphate (OP) pesticide use in nearby... Read More
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Judy Hatcher
Jul 21, 2016
In the 1960s, Black-led protests over police brutality and other discriminatory practices inspired other marginalized groups of people to join social change movements. Fifty years later, it feels as if we are at a similar historical moment, alive with possibilities. Is the food movement ready to step into this moment?  As Audre Lorde said in a speech at Harvard in 1982, "The '60s were ... vital years of awakening, of pride and of error. Even though we fought common enemies, at times the lure of individual solutions made us careless of each other. Sometimes we could not bear the face of... Read More
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Lex Horan
Jul 20, 2016
Early this month, California health officials declared Syngenta's flagship herbicide atrazine a reproductive toxicant, adding it to the Prop 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm. Proposition 65 is a California law mandating labels and notification for all chemicals known to cause these health harms. Pesticide giant Syngenta fought tooth and nail to keep atrazine off of the Prop 65 list, but scientists at the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) followed the science instead. There’s no doubt that atrazine fits the bill. It’s an... Read More
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Paul Towers
Jul 19, 2016
Air blaster. Aerial spraying. Fumigation. Unless things change, another school year will go by with pesticides being applied by these methods right outside classroom windows. That’s why we hand-delivered boxes carrying over 26,000 comments demanding protections for schoolkids last Tuesday, as a crowd gathered outside the California Environmental Protection Agency and its Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). With "back-to-school" just around the corner, frustrated teachers, parents, grandparents and students pressed state officials to limit the use of volatile and potent pesticides near... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Jul 07, 2016
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[Update: On July 7, the Senate voted to pass this latest version of the DARK Act. The House approved the bill on July 14. It is now headed to the President's desk.] You heard right, a new version of legislation to undermine GMO labeling is moving quickly through the Senate. Lauded as a "compromise" by supporters, this bill would preempt state rights to label genetically engineered (GE) foods — starting with Vermont's first-in-the-nation law that just went into effect on July 1. In the place of clear, on-product labels, the Senate compromise — put together by Senators Pat Roberts (D-KS) and... Read More
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Paul Towers
Jun 30, 2016
Earlier this month, dozens of pesticide and industrial agriculture lobbyists filled the halls of California’s Capitol as they worked to defeat the Pollinator Protection Act (SB 1282) on the Senate floor. If passed, this bill that would have created new protections for bees from harmful pesticides, along with ensuring that seeds and plants pre-treated with neonicotinoid pesticides be labeled as such. But unfortunately, pesticide industry interests prevailed — a deeply disappointing turn of event for those of us working to protect bees. But thanks to the hard work of a state senator and many... Read More
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Paul Towers
Jun 23, 2016
Outside Bayer’s North Carolina headquarters this week, a beekeeper stood with 2.5 million dead bees — a symbol for the number of kills U.S. beekeepers face across the country annually — thanks in part to the bee-harming pesticides that Bayer and others manufacture. This was one stop on the beekeeper-led Keep the Hives Alive Tour, which made its way across the country during National Pollinator Week. The tour's aim is to build momentum for state and national action to protect bees and support farmers and beekeepers at each stop, in each region. The tour is also part of the effort to reclaim... Read More
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Medha Chandra
Jun 15, 2016
Pesticide drift happens all too frequently, especially in rural California where homes, schools and agricultural fields can be nextdoor neighbors. Children — the most vulnerable members of these communities — are often the first to experience drift exposure and its resulting health impacts. Unfortunately, our regulatory process is so weak and broken that those responsible for drift too often get away with minor consequences, despite clear evidence of culpability and harm. This has to change. Now, after years of community pressure, California officials are finally considering measures that... Read More
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