Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

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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Margaret Reeves
May 31, 2016
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Regenerative agriculture can reverse climate change within our lifetime. That's the inspiring, well-documented message of longtime farmer and author Eric Toensmeier in his new book The Carbon Farming Solution. Deftly integrating explanations of science, local knowledge and public policy opportunities, Toensmeier shows how regenerative agriculture can and must be central to collective global action to address climate change. The book, completed shortly after the 2015 climate talks, examines many of the key issues raised in Paris. In particular, Toensmeier presents solid, scientific evidence... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
May 26, 2016
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Last week, the National Academies of Science (NAS) attracted much media attention with the release of its new report, "Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects." The report assessed a range of health, environmental, social and economic impacts of GE crops. According to report authors, genetically engineered (GE) crops have failed to live up to the hype advertised by corporate manufacturers. And more rigorous monitoring and oversight by regulatory agencies is needed, they say, to protect against unexpected adverse outcomes. I heartily agree.  Unfortunately, these and... Read More
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Lex Horan
May 26, 2016
Long before legislators filed back to the Minnesota Capitol this spring, political analysts were predicting that not much progress would be made in this year’s legislative session. With split control of the legislature and a short eleven weeks to get their work done, folks across the political spectrum anticipated gridlock. So as the dust settles after the end of session this week, how did things shake out for food and pesticide policy here in Minnesota? No surprise, the session had its share of ups and downs overall. Advocates for robust and sustainable transportation systems, racial... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
May 26, 2016
A batch of encouraging news emerged in the world of healthy farming this week. First off, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) reported that U.S. sales of organics continue to grow by leaps and bounds. Then there's the new study showing that organics bring significant economic benefits to rural communities. And in France, the Minister of Agriculture launched a national celebration of agroecological farming. Well then! The news on organic sales was released during #OrganicWeekDC, the annual OTA conference (and lobby effort) in the nation's capitol. The report shows that organic food is still... Read More
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