GroundTruth Blog

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

Heather Pilatic's blog
By Heather Pilatic,

In the last few weeks beekeepers have reported staggering losses in Minnesota, Nebraska and Ohio after their hives foraged on pesticide-treated corn fields. Indiana too, two years ago. What's going on in the Corn Belt?

Linda Wells's blog
By Linda Wells,

Today Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is releasing Pesticide Drift Monitoring in Minnesota, a report that documents multiple pesticides in the air near homes and farms throughout Central Minnesota. This report is the result of diligent, on-the-ground monitoring by a group of citizens who have directly experienced harm from pesticide exposure — and are refusing to let it continue.

Since joining PAN earlier this year, collaborating with this group of farmers and rural residents has been my absolute favorite work. Their persistence in shining a light on pesticide exposure in their communities has both given me hope and shown me the severity — and urgency — of the problem. 

Kristin Schafer's blog
By Kristin Schafer,

Part of my job here at PAN is keeping track of the latest research about how pesticides are harming children’s health. This has kept me too busy of late, as studies seem to be coming fast and furious linking pesticides with childhood asthma, autism, birth defects, cancer and more.

One recent study gave me serious pause. We already understand that some chemicals can change how our genes function; now researchers know that this damage can be passed from one generation to the next. I’m no scientist, but I understand enough to know that compromising the DNA of future generations is not a good idea.

Kathryn Gilje's blog
By Kathryn Gilje,

The controversial pesticide atrazine, found in U.S. drinking water and linked to cancers, birth defects and low fertility, is on the big screen this weekend. And Syngenta, largest pesticide corporation in the world and maker of atrazine, is fighting with fire.

The chemical giant's PR machine is in high gear, downplaying the risks of atrazine exposure and even claiming that its gender-bending chemical can save the day. Greenwashing at its best.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

This week PAN released Honey Bees and Pesticides: State of the Sciencea 22-page report on the factors behind colony collapse disorder (CCD) with a sustained focus on the particular role of pesticides. 

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

I’ve been hearing through the grapevine that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was startled by the public uproar over Dow AgroScience’s application for approval of its controversial new GE corn, designed to be used with the infamous and highly hazardous weedkiller, 2,4-D.

By quietly opening the public comment period on December 21, 2011, the agency had apparently hoped to slide this one by without attracting public attention. Instead, a vocal and growing movement of people from all walks of life has emerged to challenge the Big 6 pesticide/biotech companies’ introduction of this new generation of toxic pesticide-seed combinations.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Today, PAN released water sampling results from communities across four Midwestern states — Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota — that indicate atrazine is present in drinking water at levels well above those linked to birth defects and low birth weight.

Exposure to this common herbicide and potent endocrine disruptor can also increase risk of several types of cancer, including ovarian and thyroid.

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

Media are all atwitter about a new Nature study by researchers at McGill University and the University of Minnesota that compares organic and conventional yields from 66 studies and over 300 trials. In extrapolating the study's findings to the charged question of how to feed the world, more than a few got it all wrong.

The core finding of the study is that “yield differences [between organic and conventional] are highly contextual, depending on system and site characteristics.” In other words, sometimes organic does better, sometimes conventional does. In fact, the sheer variety of comparisons led Mother Jones columnist Tom Philpott to observe that the study “like a good buffet… offered something for every taste.” 

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Last week, the Chinese government officially announced that the country will phase out use of Syngenta's paraquat, an herbicide linked to Parkinson's, cancer and reduced fertility.

The official announcement stated that the ban had been imposed "in order to protect the health and safety of the people" and gave a phaseout timeline of four years.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

On Tuesday, 971,126 signatures were delivered to county registrars throughout California in support of a ballot initiative to require labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods.

Ninety-three percent of Americans say they want to know when they are eating GE food. With up to 80% of the non-organic products on our shelves containing GE ingredients, and little-to-no studies on their long term health effects, people across the country are concerned. And people in California are demanding the right to know.