GroundTruth Blog

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

Kathryn Gilje's blog
By Kathryn Gilje,

This is a global Week of Food Action, and as part of the push, a broad alliance of Christians from around the world has released a set of recommendations for ending world hunger. 

Despite best attempts by the chemical industry to use "feeding the world" as moral justification to sell pesticides and proprietary, genetically engineered (GE) seeds to farmers worldwide, members of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance are calling instead for food and farming systems that embody Christian values of fairness, care for creation and sustenance for generations. Rather than pesticides and GE seeds, this global network of Christians calls for investment in agroecology. Why? Because it works.

Linda Wells's blog
By Linda Wells,

Last week PAN released a new report, A Generation in Jeopardy: How pesticides are undermining our children's health & intelligence with events in 10 cities. The report has landed well, with media outlets across the country spotlighting the growing body of evidence that pesticides are one of the reasons that children are less healthy today.

We're excited this national conversation is underway — and we could not have made it happen without the support of our PAN Partners. Here in Minnesota we worked with doctors, moms and advocacy organizations who are also working in the state to keep kids safe from toxic chemicals.  

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

According to filings released by the California Secretary of State last week, the world’s six largest pesticide corporations are now the six largest funders of opposition to Proposition 37.

Collectively the "Big 6"  have contributed more than $20 million to oppose the measure that would label genetically engineered food, including an intensive advertising campaign over the past two weeks.

Judy Hatcher's blog
By Judy Hatcher,

One of America’s most influential environmentalists, Barry Commoner, died last week. Over 40 years ago, he promoted these Four Laws of Ecology:

Everything is connected to everything else.
Everything must go somewhere.
Nature knows best.
There is no such thing as a free lunch.

I saw evidence of all four laws in action at the UN-sponsored Strategic Approach to Integrated Chemicals Management (SAICM) meeting in Nairobi last month.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

The Collaborative on Health and the Environment, an international partnership of more than 4,000 health professionals and organizations engaged with environmental health issues, is sponsoring an open-access teleconference to explore the latest research on how pesticides are affecting children's health.

50 Years After Silent Spring: Pesticides, Children's Health and the State of the Science will feature PAN staff scientist Dr. Emily Marquez, co-author of PAN's new report A Generation in Jeopardy, along with Dr. Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH, senior scientist at the Child and Family Research Institute at Children's Hospital in Vancouver, BC.

Kristin Schafer's blog
By Kristin Schafer,

Today's children are less healthy than they were a generation ago, and science shows that pesticides are contributing to the trend. This is the core finding of PAN's new report, released today with partners in California, Minnesota and Iowa.

As a mom who, like all parents, cares deeply about the health of my kids, I find the report both profoundly disturbing and deeply motivating. As one of the report co-authors, I'm hoping A Generation in Jeopardy will be used to jumpstart a long overdue national conversation about how pesticides are undermining our children's health and intelligence — and how we can do better.

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's blog
By Marcia Ishii-Eiteman,

As a scientist at Pesticide Action Network, I am frequently asked these days to explain what genetically engineered (GE) crops have to do with pesticides. When I answer that GE crops both contain and drive up pesticide use, I am often met with earnest incredulity. We seem to need to believe that GE technology is the best thing since sliced bread.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

In news out earlier this week, food and farming leaders from the Evergreen State are taking up the issue of labeling genetically engineered foods on the state’s ballot. Despite the fact that federal and state governments have largely either ignored or assiduously avoided the issue, Washington joins California in taking the matter directly to the voters.

This should be no surprise, as ballot initiatives have proven the last resort when other policy arenas fail to take up or take action on public issues.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

A new study this week adds more weight to the case against atrazine. A rare birth defect that requires surgical correction to avoid life-threatening airway obstruction was associated with counties in Texas known to have high rates of atrazine use. The defect, known as choanal atresia and stenosis, is characterized by complete blockage and narrowing of regions of the airway, and often requires multiple surgeries to be corrected.

Mothers living in areas with high use rates of the common herbicide had a nearly two-fold increase in risk. 

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

Last week California’s pro-farmworker governor of the 70s showed himself as a farmworker foe when he vetoed two important bills — The Humane Treatment for Farm Workers Act and the The Farm Worker Safety Act. The first would make it a misdemeanor crime, punishable by jail time and fines, to not provide appropriate water or shade to workers laboring under high heat conditions. The second bill would have allowed workers to enforce the state’s heat regulations by suing employers who repeatedly violate the law. Both common-sense interventions are critical precisely because what few protections exist for farmworkers are rarely enforced.