Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Paul Towers
Apr 07, 2016
What’s being applied on the strawberry field next door? For many Californians, the answer is a big question mark. And the issue has taken on added significance as state officials consider how best to answer that question — and then inform parents about the health-harming pesticides being applied near homes and schools. According to a 2014 report from the California Department of Public Health, fumigants are the top five pesticides most commonly used near schools. And with more than 25 million pounds applied annually on strawberry fields, they're the most widely used pesticide across the... Read More
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Chloe Schwabe
Apr 03, 2016
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On February 4, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was signed by 12 countries in North America, South America and Asia. Now each country’s congress is considering whether or not to ratify this global trade agreement. All eyes are on the United States, where free trade has become a key election issue. The deal was negotiated in secret with 600 corporate advisors; anyone who did read it faced a gag rule. When the text was finally released it became clear that across the board, the deal put profit before people — with disturbing implications for farmers, rural communities and the poor, in the U... Read More
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Medha Chandra
Mar 31, 2016
World Autism Awareness Day is on April 2 this year. It's a day to shine a light on this condition and reaffirm our support for adults and children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and for their families. It's also a day to learn more about what increases risks of autism — and to think about prevention. ASD and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)... Read More
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Paul Towers
Mar 23, 2016
Maybe it’s time for a beekeeper for president. They can manage complex hives, provide critical support for farms and ecosystems, and ensure we get to eat an amazing array of fruits, nuts and vegetables. And they are some of the first to recognize that bee declines are a symptom of larger problems in our broken agricultural system. The fact is, it can seem like everyone is taking meaningful action to protect bees from pesticides besides our federal government. Officials in France, for example, recently announced that country is moving forward with not only banning bee-harming neonicotinoids,... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Mar 18, 2016
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Can the marketplace help reform the food system and bring justice to farmworkers? Yes it can. And it just did! Yesterday, Whole Foods joined Costco, farmworkers, growers and consumer advocates to bring real, concrete improvements to the lives of hundreds of thousands of farmworkers across the Americas. By joining the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) buyers of fresh produce promise to help compensate growers who invest substantially to bring their workforce and farm systems into compliance with some of the highest standards addressing labor, pest management and food safety — ensuring voice and... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Mar 18, 2016
Great news! Two days ago, the Senate voted to block a bill that would keep states from labeling genetically engineered (GE) food — or regulate GE crops at all. If passed, this bill — dubbed the “Denying America’s Right to Know” Act , or DARK Act —  would  have nullified existing labeling laws, like the one set to go into effect in Vermont this July. It would also prohibit existing state and local rules to restrict genetically engineered crops in any way, even if those laws are already on the books. As an additional nod to corporate interests, the bill included a program to use... Read More
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Sara Knight
Mar 10, 2016
Late last year, a respected scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed a whistleblower compaint, claiming scientific suppression of his research on pesticides and pollinators. Today, PAN and our supporters helped deliver comments to USDA from more than 140,000 concerned individuals, calling on the agency to respect and support scientific integrity. As a recent article from the The Washington Post Magazine highlights, Dr. Jonathan Lundgren's allegations are not the first to surface at USDA. Other flagged incidents also involve research looking into the impacts of pesticides... Read More
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Paul Towers
Mar 10, 2016
There’s a lot of power in the San Joaquin Valley. It's a hub for industrial agriculture interests, no doubt, as they've grown in size and scale. But there’s also power in the communities that are organizing to reclaim and protect shared water, soil and farmland. That was the focus this week, as a group of academics, farmers, students, food and environmental justice advocates, and community organizers gathered at the University of California Merced for a “Rural Summit.” The entire day was grounded, as is the San Joaquin Valley, in the history of water and land laws. And, at the summit, the... Read More
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