Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

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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Linda Wells
Mar 30, 2013
Well, it's been signed. The biotech rider, or the "Monsanto Protection Act," as it has been appropriately dubbed, was signed into law last week by President Obama. What does this mean, and why is everyone so upset about it? For me, this sneaky little earmark, which was introduced anonymously into the short-term funding bill to keep the government afloat, is just one more example of an unfair system stacked in favor of big agribusiness — and stacked against the rest of us. The rider, Section 735, states that if the USDA has already approved a particular crop for market... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Mar 28, 2013
Two new studies confirm that common pesticides are scrambling the circuits of bees’ brains. Researchers report that certain neonicotinoids and an organophosphate pesticide — particularly in combination — interfere with the insects' ability to learn, smell or remember, all critical capacities for foraging honey bees. The new studies add to a growing body of evidence pointing to pesticides as a key driver to the dramatic losses in bee colonies reported by beekeepers. The research, reported in the journals Nature Communications and the Journal of Experimental... Read More
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Medha Chandra
Mar 28, 2013
Did you know it was Poison Prevention Week last week? It is ironic that as we marked this week, we also grappled with the news that for the first time in nearly 20 years, a company went to court to challenge a decision by EPA to cancel one of their products — a pesticide that causes thousands of accidental poisonings each year. Earlier this month Reckitt Benckiser — manufacturer of d-Con rat control products — filed a challenge against EPA’s decision to cancel specific over-the-counter rodenticide products, which are hazardous for children, pets and wildlife. No... Read More
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Ana Duncan Pardo
Mar 26, 2013
In honor of National Farmworker Awareness Week, we are reposting this powerful story of young farmworkers in North Carolina. This guest blog was originally published in September, 2011. Last week Toxic Free North Carolina released our latest Farm Worker Documentary Project film, Overworked & Under Spray. It’s a short piece featuring six high school-aged farmworkers’ stories about being sprayed with agricultural pesticides while tending crops in fields across the state. For two months this summer, I crisscrossed the eastern side of North Carolina with our Student Action... Read More
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