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Reclaiming the future of food and farming

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Pesticide Actio...
Jul 07, 2016
[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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Emily Marquez
Jun 15, 2016
EPA recently released its assessement of the ecological risks posed by the widely used herbicide atrazine. Agency scientists found that current exposures greatly exceed its "levels of concern" for chronic risk for birds, mammals and fish — by 22, 198, and 62 times, respectively. When it comes to wildlife harms, these new findings on atrazine are pretty damning. This Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) is a step in the agency's long overdue evaluation of the risks posed by atrazine. EPA is conducting these reviews as part of the re-registration process for pesticides, which takes place about... Read More
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Judy Hatcher
Jun 15, 2016
Berta Cáceres, an outspoken environmental activist and leader of the indigenous Lenca people in Honduras, was assassinated in early March. One of her colleagues was also killed two weeks later. After some dawdling and several irregularities, five men were arrested for the crime. The accused are associated with Desarrollos Energéticos (DESA), the construction firm at the center of a long struggle with the Lenca people over a proposal to build four hyrodelectric dams along the Gualcarque River. Some of the defendants are retired or active Armed Forces officers. Berta's death catalyzed a... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Jun 09, 2016
The fate of Monsanto's flagship herbicide in the European Union (EU) remains unclear. Earlier this week, the standing Committee on Plants, Animals Food and Feed declined to extend authorization for glyphosate sales in the region. The sales license is set to expire at the end of this month. Concerns about potential impacts of the widely used herbicide on human health are the main driver of the controversy. In April 2015, the World Health Organization's cancer experts found that glyphosate was "probably carcinogenic to humans." The European Food Safety Agency later found that glyphosate was... Read More
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Linda Wells
Jun 08, 2016
Pesticide drift is not just a health issue. It can also cause significant financial problems for farmers growing sensitive crops. This spring, PAN lobbied alongside a growing coalition of farmer organizations in Iowa to promote solutions to the economic issues presented by drift. The Iowa state legislative session just wrapped up, and it looks like a small victory for these farmers might be just around the corner. Being drifted on can be a huge setback for organic farmers and other specialty crop growers. It can mean less product to provide loyal customers, surprisingly high financial losses... Read More
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