Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Pesticide Actio...
Oct 29, 2015
How will we feed over 9 billion people by 2050, and who exactly will feed whom? One thing we do know: business as usual is not the answer. As the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General, José Graziano da Silva said in a speech earlier this year, “The model of agricultural production that predominates today is not suitable for the new food security challenges of the 21st century.” When the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) convened hundreds of scientists from around the world... Read More
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Kamyar Enshayan
Oct 26, 2015
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to present a workshop on pesticides at the National Environmental Health Association’s Region 4 gathering in Waterloo, Iowa. I focused in on the public health problems caused by heavy pesticide use in Iowa — and the need to shift to safer alternatives. I also highlighted the urgency of supporting solutions, and specifically the importance of PAN’s work with farmer groups in the state to put policies in place that protect farmers and rural families from pesticide exposures. “When you see something, say something” The mission of the National... Read More
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Lex Horan
Oct 15, 2015
Last Tuesday at lunchtime, I stood on the sidewalk outside a McDonald’s in St. Paul, facing the busy traffic on University Avenue with a colorful sign that said “Stop the Drift.” I was with a group of other supporters of the Toxic Taters Coalition: students, parents and community members who made time in their day to stand in solidarity with rural communities combatting pesticide drift. “Hi there, do you have a second to hear about pesticides used to grow potatoes for McDonald’s?” I turned toward a woman walking by on her way to work. She stopped, interested, and took the flyer that I... Read More
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Medha Chandra
Oct 15, 2015
A new study in Environmental Health Perspectives confirms that when children eat organic, the levels of pesticides in their bodies — including the brain-harming variety — go down. This seems a common-sense conclusion for many of us, but the more science we have to document the case, the better. As we've discussed earlier in GroundTruth blogs, residues found on food are an important source of pesticide exposure for children. Earlier, smaller scale studies have also shown that switching to an organic diet reduces pesticide breakdown products in children’s bodies. This new study, conducted by... Read More
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Paul Towers
Oct 05, 2015
Sixteen years ago, a group of California parents sued state regulators for failing to protect their children from hazardous pesticides. The parents showed that their children – who were Latino – were more likely than their white counterparts to be exposed to pesticides at school. More than a decade later, without involving the impacted children and their families, the lawsuit was settled by state and federal officials. The only result was one new air monitor near one school, without anything more comprehensive or meaningful for schoolchildren across the state. If the outcome of that lawsuit... Read More
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Lex Horan
Oct 01, 2015
Crop dusters flying overhead, irrigators pumping, and chemical odors in the air. For people who live near RD Offutt’s pesticide-intensive potato fields in Minnesota, these are characteristics of summertime, as much as canoe rides across the lake or picking fresh vegetables from the garden. The story is a familiar one for many communities who face pesticide drift. For those of us who don’t live near industrial agriculture, it may be hard to imagine. That’s why we’re excited to share a short new video amplifying the courageous voices of those most impacted by potato pesticides in northern... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Sep 29, 2015
Monday was a great day for the nation’s two million farmworkers and their families. On September 28, EPA released its long-awaited improved rules for the protection of farmworkers from on-the-job exposure to hazardous pesticides. While we didn't get everything we hoped for, the rules are now much, much stronger than they've been for the past 20 years. And that’s a real victory! For years we’ve been working with farmworker advocates to improve the only rule in this country designed to protect farmworkers from exposure to hazardous pesticides. The federal Worker Protection Standard (WPS) was... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Sep 28, 2015
Extended drought in California, freeze warnings in Oregon, flooding in the Southeast…. Today’s mounting environmental stresses of extreme and unpredictably shifting patterns in the weather, along with exhausted soil, resistant “superweeds” and pollinator losses, are taking a toll on farms across the country. These stressors, many brought on or exacerbated by the destructive practices of industrialized farming, are also giving us a pretty clear warning that our approach to farming is going to have to change — significantly and fast.  Biodiversified farming offers one of our best hopes... Read More
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