Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Paul Towers
Apr 30, 2013
Last Thursday, I joined about 50 farmworker, health and sustainable farming advocates in Sacramento to cheer California on towards fumigant-free farming. We were there to urge legislators to support new technologies and practices that will make agriculture in the state more sustainable and resilient. Fumigants are among the most hazardous pesticides on the market, and their continued use threatens the health of California communities. But transitioning away from these chemicals won’t happen if pesticidemakers, and their lobbyists and allies roaming the Capitol's halls, get their... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Apr 26, 2013
When arch-competitors Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences make a GE seed deal and both come out looking very smug, you have to wonder. When, five days later, Monsanto and Bayer CropScience announce a deal to cross-license their competing GE seed technologies with each other, you should probably start to worry. What are all these deals about and why should you care? Because these agreements are the latest, most visible way that the Big 6 pesticide/biotech companies are speeding up the consolidation —and their control — of the world’s seed markets. Corporations win, farmers... Read More
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PAN International
Apr 24, 2013
This year, we mark World Malaria Day by highlighting communities here in Africa that are winning the battle against this deadly disease. Locally-led programs from Senegal to Kenya to Ethiopia are employing malaria control methods that are safe for human health and environmentally sustainable. And it's working. Over the past decade, our organizations — based in West and East Africa — have watched as global malaria control efforts focused in on a small handful of tactics: indoor spraying of insecticides, insecticide treated bed nets, treatment of malaria cases and preventative... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Apr 18, 2013
The U.S. movement to label genetically engineered (GE) foods is gaining ground. More states introduced GE labeling bills this year than ever before. And word from D.C. is that a federal labeling bill will be announced in the next week or so. Whether or not these initiatives pass in 2013, this much seems clear: we will win labeling of GE foods. It’s just a matter of time. Naturally, the pesticide and biotech industry players have come out swinging with a host of dire but false predictions that food prices will rise and the sky will fall if people are allowed to know what’s in our... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
Apr 16, 2013
Experts at CDC recently released another round of data on how many kids in the U.S. are affected by autism and ADHD. The numbers are, once again, dramatically up. One in five boys are now diagnosed with ADHD by the time they reach high school. And one in 50 kids are on the autism spectrum, up from 1 in 88 just last spring. Interestingly, some of the news stories on these latest trends are — finally — noting the science linking pesticides and other chemicals with derailed brain development. This is exactly where the conversation needs to go. While there's still some... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Apr 16, 2013
There's plenty of Farm Bill news from DC these days. Hopeful proposals are in the works that support local food economies, family farms and conservation. But we still have lots of work to do to protect the good programs won in the 2008 Farm Bill — most were "stranded" without funding at the end of last year. Here's a brief rundown of what bits of legislation are moving, what last week's budget proposal from the President means to farmers and conservation programs, and what's up next in the 2013 Farm Bill process. The bottom line? We need to continue to... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Apr 10, 2013
After cancer-causing methyl iodide was pulled from the U.S. market last year, California state officials convened a panel to investigate ending reliance on all fumigant pesticides (like methyl iodide) in strawberry fields. Yesterday, the Department of Pesticide Regulation released the panel's report detailing current research to help strawberry growers transition away from using fumigant pesticides. And while farmers, scientists and health advocates welcome the report, many are calling for bolder, swifter action. Fumigants are among the most toxic and difficult-to-control pesticides... Read More
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Paul Towers
Apr 04, 2013
Last week, our colleagues at NRDC released a compelling new report that highlights just how broken the pesticide approval process really is. The report spotlights the problem of so-called “conditional” registrations, a streamlined approval process that pesticide manufacturers use to rush their products to market — while EPA turns a blind eye. Jennifer Sass, lead author of the report and senior staff scientist at NRDC, said: “Pesticides are harmful chemicals that Congress intended go through a rigorous scientific review process. Instead, they’re going... Read More
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