GroundTruth Blog

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

Linda Wells's blog
By Linda Wells,

Monsanto has really been on a roll lately — with the company's new pesticide-intensive genetically engineered (GE) crop system being approved, Obama gaining Fast Track Authority for the TPP,  and the introduction of an even scarier version of the "DARK Act" to block GE labeling.

But just when we thought Monsanto was as big and bad as it could be, the agricultural giant out-Monsanto's itself. In case you missed the news, Monsanto, the largest seed company in the world, is putting in aggressive offers to acquire Syngenta, the largest pesticide company in the world. Because global domination of just one market is never enough. 

Kristin Schafer's blog
By Kristin Schafer,

Last month's groundbreaking DDT study — linking exposure in the womb to increased risk of breast cancer — represents more than an interesting footnote in the story of this legacy pesticide.

Not only is DDT still in our environment more than 40 years after it was banned in the U.S., it also continues to be sprayed inside homes in many African countries as part of malaria control programs — a practice that could be quadrupling the risk, it turns out, of breast cancer among daughters of women exposed to the chemical during pregnancy.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

We've been saying it for years: the rules governing genetically engineered (GE) crops, and how they get on the market, are broken. There are significant loopholes, insufficient transparency, and outdated practices that fail to account for today's on-the-ground farming realities.

The White House agrees, at least in part. In a memorandum released July 2, the President called on the three agencies involved — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — to fully review and update GE regulations. It's about time.

Medha Chandra's blog
By Medha Chandra,

California's Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced today that the brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos is now a "restricted use" pesticide. Sounds pretty impressive, right? But wait, it’s actually not that great.

What it really means is this: anyone wanting to use chlorpyrifos in the state now has to file additional paperwork with county agricultural commissioners. Some conditions may apply once use is approved, such as adhering to small "protection zones" — which can be as little as 25 to 150 feet — around sprayed fields. We think California's children and rural communities deserve much better.

Lex Horan's blog
By Lex Horan,

It’s been quite a roller coaster. After a series of gubernatorial vetoes and late-night negotiations, the Minnesota legislative session came to a close on June 13. This time around, our legislators passed a bundle of worrisome agricultural and environmental policy that had Minnesotans across the state voicing their concerns loud and clear.

Here at PAN, we focused on fighting for state policies to better protect honey bees and other pollinators from pesticides. How did things shake out on our issues? Well, there was some good, some hopeful and some ugly.

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

Innovative farmers and ranchers have, for generations, deliberately invested in building soil health. And this year — with the UN’s International Year of Soils and implementation of California's Healthy Soil Initiative well underway — we'll be pressing policymakers to turn innovation for healthy soil into standard practice.

The timing could not be better. Widespread implementation of practices that build and protect soil health is the only certain thing that will ensure farmers’ ability to both mitigate and adapt to worsening conditions associated with climate change. California's historic drought provides a dramatic case in point.

Paul Towers's blog
By Paul Towers,

Gadgets and ties are great, but this Father's Day I'm celebrating the growing momentum to protect kids' health from pesticides in California and beyond.

Over the past two weeks, parents, teachers and health professionals filled hearing rooms across the state demanding better protections for their children. It's still not clear, though, if decisionmakers are listening.

Lex Horan's blog
By Lex Horan,

Last month, on the heels of the rollout of the White House’s plan to protect honey bees and other pollinators, EPA announced its own piece of the plan: a new rule that would limit the use of some bee-harming pesticides when honey bee colonies are contracted for pollination.

EPA’s new rule has made headlines. After years of pressure from PAN and our partners for federal decisionmakers to take the bee crisis seriously, it’s good to see EPA acknowledge the pesticide problem. But EPA’s proposed new rule is remarkably short on meaningful action.

Linda Wells's blog
By Linda Wells,

Criticisms of genetically engineered (GE) food have gone mainstream lately — from Chipotle going GMO free to GE labeling bills moving forward in states across the country. But very little public attention has been given to the important crossroads we are facing right now around how GE crops get onto the market to begin with.

After the controversial approval of Dow Chemical's latest GE corn and soybeans, Enlist Duo, USDA announced it will finally be revising the agency's outdated, ineffective, hands-off approach to regulating GE crops. We have until June 22nd to weigh in on how GE products should be evaluated before they enter our fields, and how the USDA should regulate them once they are planted. So what needs to change?

Judy Hatcher's blog
By Judy Hatcher,

To mark World Environment Day on June 5, the United Nations challenged the whole world to take action: “Seven billion dreams. One planet. Consume with care.”

A beautiful sentiment, to be sure. But I’d add, between the dreams and the planet, “Thousands of networks.” Because we’ll need to link our dreams — and our actions — across communities, borders and oceans if we want to see the sweeping changes that many of us envision.