Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Lex Horan
Jun 29, 2015
Last month, on the heels of the rollout of the White House’s plan to protect honey bees and other pollinators, EPA announced its own piece of the plan: a new rule that would limit the use of some bee-harming pesticides when honey bee colonies are contracted for pollination. EPA’s new rule has made headlines. After years of pressure from PAN and our partners for federal decisionmakers to take the bee crisis seriously, it’s good to see EPA acknowledge the pesticide problem. But EPA’s proposed new rule is remarkably short on meaningful action. What’s in the rule? Bees need your help... Read More
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Linda Wells
Jun 29, 2015
Criticisms of genetically engineered (GE) food have gone mainstream lately — from Chipotle going GMO free to GE labeling bills moving forward in states across the country. But very little public attention has been given to the important crossroads we are facing right now around how GE crops get onto the market to begin with. After the controversial approval of Dow Chemical's latest GE corn and soybeans, Enlist Duo, USDA announced it will finally be revising the agency's outdated, ineffective, hands-off approach to regulating GE crops. We have until June 22nd to weigh in on how GE products... Read More
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Judy Hatcher
Jun 10, 2015
To mark World Environment Day on June 5, the United Nations challenged the whole world to take action: “Seven billion dreams. One planet. Consume with care.” A beautiful sentiment, to be sure. But I’d add, between the dreams and the planet, “Thousands of networks.” Because we’ll need to link our dreams — and our actions — across communities, borders and oceans if we want to see the sweeping changes that many of us envision. “Human prosperity need not cost the earth,” say World Environment Day’s organizers. “Living sustainably... is about knowing that rising rates of natural resource use... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Jun 10, 2015
Last Friday, I was sitting at a coffee shop thinking about the previous 24 hours — and feeling uncertain about my next steps. I’d just gotten back from the McDonald’s annual shareholder meeting in Chicago, where I had planned to share my concerns about pesticides used to grow potatoes that become McDonald’s french fries. Though I had mustered up the courage to speak before hundreds of people at the high-profile meeting, the corporation's security people turned us away. This trip originated in the pine forests surrounding my small vegetable farm in Sebeka, Minnesota. The forests... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Jun 10, 2015
Once again, it looks like federal decisionmakers are sidestepping the issue of bee-harming pesticides. The Pollinator Health Task Force, launched almost a year ago by President Obama, released its strategy for addressing pollinator declines last week — without tackling the pesticide problem. While the plan sets an ambitious goal for reining in honey bee losses, and calls for state plans to increase habitat for pollinators, it fails to directly address the impact of neonicotinoids and other insecticides, despite crystal clear science that these chemicals are impacting pollinators.... Read More
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Medha Chandra
Jun 10, 2015
An important victory and a disappointing setback came out of the global policy meetings I wrote about recently. The victory is a huge one: civil society leaders helped to secure a worldwide ban of the pesticide pentachlorophenol (PCP) under the Stockholm Convention.  In a dramatic twist, participating countries took the historic step of 'voting to vote' instead of trying to achieve consensus, as is the norm. The step was taken in response to a few countries' aggressive efforts to thwart progress. Not so successful were efforts to add the toxic herbicide paraquat to the Rotterdam... Read More
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Paul Towers
May 14, 2015
Chalk up another win for the little guy. A handful of residents of Kauai’s Waimea community prevailed in court over biotech giant DuPont-Pioneer last week. Citing extensive, harmful dust generated by DuPont’s seed operations, a jury awarded 15 residents $500,000 in damages. This is just the latest in an impressive string of victories against pesticide and genetically engineered (GE) seed corporations in Kaua’i, the global epicenter for GE seed testing. Why the lawsuit? Picture red (pesticide-contaminated) dust blanketing your house and yard, regularly blowing over from neighboring fields... Read More
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Emily Marquez
May 13, 2015
What, you may ask, is the "spring flush?" In late spring and early summer, large concentrations of herbicides are flushed from croplands. These chemicals — like the herbicide atrazine — then get transported far and wide through surface water systems. Herbicides are water-soluble and thus have the potential to leach into groundwater supplies as well as streams, lakes and other surface waters. Atrazine is a frequently found contaminant in drinking water supplies throughout the Corn Belt, and every year the spring flush raises concerns over the potential of atrazine spikes in drinking water... Read More
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