GroundTruth Blog | Pesticide Action Network
Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Pesticide Actio...
Aug 18, 2016
PAN stands in solidarity with families that have been impacted by microcephaly and other serious health impacts of the Zika virus. Unfortunately, the primary response to the outbreaks to date has been widespread spraying with pesticides to control mosquito populations. Decades of vector management around the world show that this approach is not only often ineffective, it can also compound the risks to human health. Zika is a mosquito-borne disease, spread by the daytime biting Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, and outbreaks are occurring throughout Latin and Central America — as... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Aug 15, 2016
Monsanto’s latest genetically engineered (GE) seeds are wreaking havoc this season in soybean country. “Xtend,” the corporation’s new GE soybean, is engineered to tolerate application of the drift-prone herbicide dicamba. The seed was approved in 2015, and now soybean farmers who did not adopt it are reporting damage to their crops from dicamba drift. And the damage is extensive. An estimated 200,000 acres of soybeans have been lost so far on farms in Arkansas, Tennessee and Misssouri. Growers of other crops, such as peaches, are suffering significant losses as well. How did this happen?... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
Aug 04, 2016
As I follow the news from this very unusual (!) presidential election cycle, it's clear that food and farming issues aren't high on the political agenda — which is a shame. Fixing our very broken system could help us tackle a wide range of health, equity and environmental issues, including our resilience in the face of a changing climate. The need for food system reform also showcases the broader, deeper problem of undue corporate influence on both politics and policymaking. As the powerful "Big 6" pesticide and biotech corporations further consolidate into the (even bigger) three or four,... Read More
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Linda Wells
Aug 04, 2016
Last night, my neighborhood gathered for a community potluck. My neighbor David planned kid-friendly activities, including a piñata. He confessed to me that there was no candy inside it, only toys — he had originally bought a big bag of Tootsie Rolls, but when he read "this product made with genetic engineering" on the packaging, he decided to fill the paper maché Minion doll with trinkets instead. David looked at me incredulously: "Tootsie Rolls?!?" As in, how could something so classic include genetically engineered ingredients? David's decision shows the power of on-package labeling of GE... Read More
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Emily Marquez
Aug 04, 2016
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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