GroundTruth Blog

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

Kristin Schafer's blog
By Kristin Schafer,

Hats off to this mother of three who got fed up and took charge. Thirteen years ago, Sofía Gatica's newborn died of kidney failure after being exposed to pesticides in the womb. After the despair came anger, then a fierce determination to protect the children in her community and beyond.

Today, she's one of six grassroots leaders from around the world receiving the Goldman Environmental Prize, in recognition of her courageous — and successful — efforts.

Kathryn Gilje's blog
By Kathryn Gilje,

On March 21, the Chilean Transparency Council stood with its citizenry against Monsanto and other global seed corporations to protect Chileans' right to know about genetically engineered (GE) crops.

The Council's decision ensures that farmers, beekeepers and rural residents can find out exactly where GE crops are planted — basic information that is critically important as they seek to protect their farms, apiaries and families from toxic pesticide drift and contamination by pollen from GE plants.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Scientific evidence continues to mount strengthening the case that neonicotinoid pesticides are indeed key drivers behind colony collapse disorder (CCD). Three new studies out in the past two weeks, including one today, add to the growing body of evidence that implicate pesticides as a critical catalyst behind drastic declines in bee population. 

With beekeepers continuing to lose more than one-third of their hives each year, on average, the research is timely. Yet pesticide manufacturers like Bayer are attacking the science and attempting to delay regulatory action.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

To many, Hawai’i is a veritable paradise on earth. But trouble has been brewing as the Big 6 pesticide and biotech companies have begun staking their claim on the islands.

“Pesticide corporations and their seed companies are consuming Kauai’s resources — especially land and water — at dramatic rates,” reports PAN staff member Paul Towers. Last week, Towers toured the island of Kauai with members of Hawai’i SEED to learn first-hand about the community group's efforts to challenge Monsanto & Co. head on, and to advance their alternative vision of healthy farming systems. 

Kristin Schafer's blog
By Kristin Schafer,

It's been the official mantra of pesticide companies for decades: "The dose makes the poison." While it makes intuitive sense — you'd think that the more of a chemical you're exposed to, the sicker you'll get — the science has, in fact, been saying otherwise for years.

A team of 12 scientists recently released a report calling on EPA to completely revamp the way they evaluate chemicals, to better reflect this now fully understood reality: Tiny amounts of certain chemicals can have devastating effects on human health.

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

This week PAN joined farmworkers and farmworker advocates in urging Congress to protect a small, unsung program that’s vital to the health and safety of the nation's nearly two million farmworkers: pesticide recordkeeping.

USDA's Pesticide Recordkeeping Program is on the congressional chopping block, though it has long served as an essential tool for the proper identification, treatment and ultimately, prevention of pesticide-related illnesses that are far too common among U.S. farmworkers.

Heather Pilatic's blog
By Heather Pilatic,

Bees are still dying and EPA is still sitting on its hands. Luckily for those of us who like to eat, scientists have been hard at work cracking the "mystery" of colony collapse disorder (CCD). Today two new studies were published in Science, strengthening the case that neonicotinoid pesticides are indeed key drivers behind recent pollinator declines.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Timing is everything. On March 20, Arysta LifeScience pulled its cancer-causing pesticide, methyl iodide, from the U.S. market. The decision came after years of public outcry against the undue influence that Arysta, the largest privately held pesticide corporation in the world, had on science and governance during the rulemaking.

Interestingly enough, Arysta's decision was announced on the eve of a critical hearing in the methyl iodide lawsuit that Earthjustice and California Rural Legal Assistance filed on behalf of Pesticide Action Network, farmworkers, Californians for Pesticide Reform and many others.

Kathryn Gilje's blog
By Kathryn Gilje,

After years of promoting their controversial pesticide in the face of scientific and public opposition, Arysta LifeScience has pulled cancer-causing methyl iodide off the U.S. market.

The Tuesday evening announcement ends use in this country of what scientists have called "one of the most toxic chemicals on earth."

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

As if the disaster of RoundUp resistant superweeds sweeping our farmland weren’t enough, Monsanto is now preparing to launch an even greater disaster: a new soybean engineered to be resistant to the older, more toxic weedkiller, dicamba. The seed — which Monsanto plans to market in 2014 if approved — will also come stacked with the company’s RoundUp Ready gene, and is designed to be used with Monsanto’s proprietary herbicide “premix” of dicamba and glyphosate.

More dicamba-tolerant crops (corn, cotton, canola) are all waiting in the wings. If this new generation of GE crops is approved, then dicamba use will surge, just as it did with RoundUp. And we all know how well that didn't work out.