Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Kristin Schafer
Oct 03, 2013
When you're pregnant, there's a lot to think about. If it's your first, you're vaguely aware that your life is about to change forever. In the meantime, you worry. Am I eating right? Taking the right vitamins? And just what do I need to know about pesticides and other harmful chemicals during pregnancy? The critical importance of this last question just got an official nod from the largest national organization of OB/GYNs. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released a groundbreaking report last month recommending that every mother-to-be receive advice in prenatal... Read More
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Linda Wells
Oct 02, 2013
Here in Minnesota, the state Department of Agriculture (MDA) just announced a review of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for all agricultural insecticides, but with a special focus on chlorpyrifos. Why chlorpyrifos? Like many places around the globe, Minnesota has alarmingly high levels of chlorpyrifos in our lakes and rivers. And while chemical build-up in the environment is never a good thing, with chlorpyrifos it's especially troubling because of its well-documented harms to children's health. The review is a good step for Minnesota, but the global chlorpyrifos problem is too... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Oct 01, 2013
Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released compelling findings from a study on the air-borne movement (aka "drift") of the pesticide endosulfan in Florida. Researchers found that this soon-to-be-banned persistent pesticide traveled miles from tomato fields where it was applied, and that drift levels jumped significantly during spray season. More details on the study are outlined below, but first consider this: with USDA stepping into the ring to document pesticide drift, is it possible that EPA and USDA might actually look at pesticide use and regulations... Read More
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Medha Chandra
Sep 27, 2013
September was a good month for wins against hazardous pesticides. China took steps to end the use of the persistent pesticide endosulfan — as did Mexico, which will ban it fully by January 2015. Costa Rica announced it will stop using the ozone-depleting pesticide methyl bromide. And El Salvador banned a host of pesticides in one fell swoop. Many PAN partners and allies were involved in campaigns against these pesticides, and these health-protective actions from around the world are inspiring us in the U.S. to keep up the good fight. This news of real progress reminds me once again... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
Sep 19, 2013
EPA is doing a better job protecting children's health, according to a new government report. This is very welcome news indeed — kudos to EPA for recognizing that when it comes to environmental harms, kids cannot be treated like little adults. The bad news? The report flagged one arena where kids' health protection is lagging: pesticide decisionmaking. Yikes. As we know from our recent A Generation in Jeopardy report, pesticide exposure is a biggy when it comes to childhood health harms. The GAO — or Government Accountability Office, for those of us outside the beltway... Read More
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Paul Towers
Sep 19, 2013
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“We are a united Kaua’i.” That’s what over 4,000 Hawaiians chanted as they marched across the Garden Island last week in the sweltering sun. The broad Pass the Bill coalition of physicians, teachers, hotel workers and farmers has continued to press for greater information around pesticide use. The issue is being hotly debated before the Kaua’i County Council, and the world’s largest pesticide-seed corporations are clearly not happy about it. Despite repeated statements about the desire for compromise and unity, this handful of pesticide corporations and... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Sep 18, 2013
Here we go again. With November's election on the horizon, the world's largest pesticide and biotech corporations are investing heavily to defeat Washington state's GE labeling ballot initiative. Topping the list of opponents, Monsanto gave $4.6 million to the "No on 522" campaign earlier this month. And last week, DuPont gave $3.2 million. Bayer and Dow — also among the "Big 6" pesticide corporations — have contributed significant funds to defeat the initiative, too. And as we know from last year's labeling battle in California, the corporate... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Sep 17, 2013
I just called my legislators on Capitol Hill to tell them how important it is to get a fair Food and Farm Bill passed, and soon. I told them we need policies that support farmers who are working to protect vital resources — soil, water, pollinators — and that provide access for everyone to good quality food. It's pretty clear that Congress needs some pressure on this one. They were on the hook to pass a new Farm Bill in 2012 — and they didn’t. Instead, we’ve seen two failed attempts, followed by a terrible last-minute extension of the 2008 Farm Bill that... Read More
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