GroundTruth Blog

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

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Last Saturday, PAN staff marched alongside 700+ people who came out in support of Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to participate in a 3-mile march to the headquarters of Florida grocery chain Publix. CIW and allies called on the retailer to sign the Fair Food Agreement. This agreement would guarantee farmworkers better, safer working conditions and an additional penny per pound of tomatoes harvested. It has already been signed by Whole Foods, Subway and Trader Joe’s, among a host of others.

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

Today, March 19, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) released its platform for the 2012 Farm Bill — Farming for the Future: A Sustainable Agriculture Agenda for the 2012 Food and Farm Bill.

This powerful document lays out a vision of agriculture where safe, nutritious and affordable food is produced by a legion of diverse family farmers. These farmers make a decent living pursuing their trade while sustaining the environment and contributing to the strength of their communities. I hope decisionmakers in Congress are paying attention.

Rob Endelman's blog
By Rob Endelman,

As a cooking instructor, one of my obvious objectives is to teach people how to prepare simple, tasty and healthy meals at home. Yet there's another essential aspect of what I do, one which flies under the radar of most food television shows and cooking magazines: helping people understand how our food is grown, how these growing practices can affect our health and how to shop accordingly.

Maricela Morales's blog
By Maricela Morales,

Do you need clean and safe water? So do farmworker communities along California's central coast. Yet for far too long, their water has been polluted and contaminated by unsustainable agricultural practices.

This week, our organization is joining with partners to press the Regional Water Quality Board to address the severe water pollution problems the communities in this region face. A new Agricultural Waiver that would help has been under study, review and discussion for the past four years. Now it's time for local policymakers to take action.

Kristin Schafer's blog
By Kristin Schafer,

In the past year, there have been a slew of studies showing that when a child is exposed to certain pesticides — whether before birth or while eating conventionally-grown food — his or her IQ may drop. Sometimes by several points.

But what does this really mean? As a society, what might the impacts be? In short, should we be worried? The answer, according to one recent study, is an emphatic and sobering "yes".

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

A raging public controversy over genetically engineered (GE) rice in China captured media attention in recent months, and has culminated in a surprising win. A few weeks ago, the country’s State Council released a new Draft Food Law1 that, if passed, would protect the genetic resources of China’s food crops and restrict the application of GE technology in its main food crops.

This is significant progress in the effort by farmers and campaigners in China and indeed across Asia to protect the genetic integrity, diversity and heritage of their rice.  

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

The call for labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods continues to grow louder. The Just Label It campaign — with more than 500 partner organizations — is well on its way to collecting one million comments urging the Food and Drug Adminstration to mandate GE (or GMO) labeling.

Members of Congress are joining the groundswell of concerned citizens by signing onto a bicameral letter to FDA signaling their support for GMO labeling.

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

A new study by French scientists demonstrates that pesticide use can be dramatically reduced — maybe even by half — without impacting crop yields or farm income.

And the French government is acting on the findings, pledging to cut chemical inputs in the country's agricultural fields in half by 2018. Why not, if it means spending less while maintaining yields and reducing risks of exposure to hazardous pesticides? Any responsible government would do the same.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

In 2005, Connecticut passed a landmark law prohibiting the use of hazardous pesticides in schools. And ever since, the state has been successfully ensuring that children are exposed to fewer chemicals where they learn, play and grow.

Now this historic program is under attack.

 A proposed state law — supported by the pesticide industry — would reverse Connecticut’s strong stance on keeping schools pesticide-free. Connecticut groups and concerned legislators are fighting back.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Last week, the Iowa Senate amended and passed the controversial Ag Gag Bill, which originally criminalized reporting of conditions at agricultural operations in the state.

Thanks to a great deal of public opposition to the original bill, including from PAN supporters, amendments removed all language about recordings taken of agricultural operations. The bill now focuses on tougher penalties for anyone who obtains access to agricultural operations under false pretenses.