Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Paul Towers
Apr 03, 2014
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On Cesar Chavez Day, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delivered a slap in the face to that day’s namesake. Five years after PAN and partners challenged the agency’s lack of protections for children from drifting pesticides — and eight years after Congress passed a law requiring it — the agency yet again failed to take any substantive action. Frustrated yet? I am. EPA is suggesting it's better to keep pesticides on the market without any new protections, even after acknowledging potentially serious impacts on children. In Monday’s response, EPA stated that “young children may have... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Apr 03, 2014
Farmers have been saying it for years: it's nearly impossible to find corn seed that isn't pre-treated with neonicotinoid pesticides. At a Congressional briefing in DC last week, Dr. Christian Krupke of Purdue University presented hard data to support what farmers are reporting: 94% to 98% of corn seed in the U.S. is pre-treated with neonics. This is particularly bad news for pollinators, since we know neonics pose a threat to bees even at low levels. Dr. Krupke and other scientists have been looking at this issue more closely, and recent studies are showing that neonic seed treatments don't... Read More
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Medha Chandra
Apr 02, 2014
A while ago I blogged about a new EPA rule banning a specific set of super-toxic rat poisons for retail sale to homeowners. The ban was put in place to protect children and pets from the dangers of these rodenticide products. The company that makes them, Reckitt Benckiser, challenged the rule in court. Well, history repeats itself. When California's Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) recently restricted the retail sale of these same super-toxic rat poisons, Reckitt Benckiser, sued DPR as well. This means that while the legal petition winds its slow way through the judicial system,... Read More
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Judy Hatcher
Mar 31, 2014
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Update: Be sure to see the new Cesar Chavez biopic, in theaters around the country now. Released in conjuction with Farmworker Awareness Week, it will inspire viewers to support better worker protections and pledge to support responsibly grown food. See the film, then take action —Viva La Causa! Originally posted March 28, 2013. As I cross Cesar Chavez Avenue on my way to work each morning, I'm greeted by murals with the visionary labor organizer's portrait. When I reach the PAN office, he smiles down at me from a poster hanging prominently in the hall. This week marks the 14th annual... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Mar 24, 2014
Happy Farmworker Awareness Week! Each year we celebrate this nationwide event by encouraging the PAN community to join us in a variety of actions, from lifting up stories from the field to supporting actions to protect the health of farmworkers and their families. Among the urgent challenge these workers face every day is exposure to harmful pesticides on the job. Our food system depends on the labor of these more than two million workers, and they depend on our support! This year there’s a lot happening. Topping our list of action opportunities is the fact that EPA has finally... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Mar 20, 2014
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Pressure on the Environmental Protection Agency to safeguard bees continues to grow stronger. Today in DC, PAN joined partners to hand deliver a message from more than half a million people to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy: Step up and prioritize protecting bees from harmful pesticides. Even though independent studies clearly show that neonicotinoid pesticides (or "neonics") are hazardous to bees, EPA won't conclude its review of these chemicals until 2018. Meanwhile, neonics are the most widely used class of insecticides in the world. And bee populations continue to decrease... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Mar 20, 2014
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Growing environmental threats of climate change on top of ever-intensifying economic stresses are pushing many farmers around the world to their edge. At the same time, a growing number of these farmers and scientists are realizing that 1) continued reliance on the energy, water and chemical-intensive industrial model of agriculture is simply no longer an option and 2) our most robust response to today’s converging stresses lies in cultivating resilience and food democracy. This message is at the heart of several new reports by international scientists and development experts that analyze... Read More
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Medha Chandra
Mar 18, 2014
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Last Thursday, my daughter and I had the opportunity to join a group of Californians urging state officials in Sacramento to take action on the brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos. In an event organized by Californians for Pesticide Reform, we made our case to the cameras on the north steps of the capitol, then submitted a petition signed by over 12,000 people to the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). Members of the group El Quinto Sol de América from Tulare County were among those who traveled to Sacramento to help shake the agency into action. For these residents of the... Read More
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