GroundTruth Blog

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

Bob McFarland's picture

Bees are an economic engine. At least that’s what I’d call something experts say is worth about $15 billion to our economy every year.

Last month at our annual convention, the California State Grange took a hard look at the issue of pollinators; their value, and the fact that today they are under threat. Last week, we followed up with a clear message for policymakers: Farm communities can't survive without bees. Let's protect our pollinators from pesticides. Today.

Kristin Schafer's picture

At an all-day seminar last week, I listened to university researchers discuss this startling question: Are we poisoning our children?

Quite a provocative topic — some might even say alarmist. Yet scientist after scientist got up to the podium and presented hard data linking pesticides and other chemicals to learning disabilities, asthma, early puberty, childhood cancer and more.

Pesticide Action Network's picture

As we prepare for Thanksgiving, a day to celebrate all that sustains us and brings us together, wouldn't it be nice to know whether the ingredients we're chopping, mixing and roasting have been genetically engineered?

Up to 80% of non-organic food on our shelves contains a GE ingredient. We don't know which of our foods are engineered though, because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t require labeling. Pushed onto the market by big agribusiness corporations like Monsanto, GE products are hidden in plain sight.

Pesticide Action Network's picture

The out-of-season tomato. It's beautiful to behold, tastes of cardboard and holds questionable nutritional value. And according to food writer Barry Estabrook, it embodies much of what's wrong with industrial agriculture. 

PAN sat down with Estabrook and spoke to him about how he got interested in the unsavory story of winter tomatoes from Florida, and what he learned. Estabrook's initial research on tomatoes for Gourmet Magazine evolved into the powerfully compelling story he tells in his recent book: Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit.

Kathryn Gilje's picture

There are two things that PAN and Occupy hold deeply in common: (1) We know that corporate control of our government, economy and food system undermines our attempts to push forward real change. And (2) As government has failed to rein in the corporate occupation of our food and farms, we believe we must hold them to account ourselves. And so we move forward. PAN will bring the Big 6 pesticide corporations to rigorous, public trial on December 3, 2011 in Bangalore, India.

I will be there, testifying and reporting from the ground, alongside hundreds of others from the 99% —  farmers, farmworkers and scientists who feed our world. I hope to see you engaged and active, too. 

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture

What a week! PAN and over 1,000 food movement activists from around the country have just wrapped up the Community Food Security Coalition’s 15th Annual National Conference, Food Justice: Honoring our Roots, Growing the Movement, which filled five days with stimulating field trips, workshops and discussion in Oakland and around the Bay area. As Jim Embry of Sustainable Communities Network in Kentucky observed, “More than 1,000 kindred folks from USA, 1st Peoples Nations, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Kenya and all in between attended. The conference held near Occupy Oakland was a blessing. The healing (between groups) was so needed and inspiring!”

Pesticide Action Network's picture

Atrazine is in the news yet again, as a panel of independent scientists call into question EPA's conclusion that the widely used herbicide is "not likely to be a human carcinogen."

For several specific cancers — including ovarian, thyroid and non-Hodgkins lymphoma — there is clear "suggestive evidence" linking atrazine exposure to increased cancer risk, according to a recently released report. Citing these and other new findings, thousands of concerned citizens across the country are calling on EPA to follow the science, and discount misleading science sponsored by atrazine's maker, the Syngenta corporation.

Margaret Reeves's picture

Today, PAN and our partners at Earthjustice and Farmworker Justice filed a legal petition demanding that EPA act quickly to better protect farmworkers from hazardous pesticides. These much needed changes would be the first improvements in farmworker protection rules since 1995. The move is long overdue.

Margaret Reeves's picture

Update on the crazy, secret Food and Farm Bill: The House and Senate Agriculture committees failed (at least by the time of preparing this blog post) to get their Food and Farm Bill proposals to the congressional Super Committee so now our ONLY opportunity to influence this unprecedented secret process is to target the Super Committee members themselves.

Pesticide Action Network's picture

Despite the cooler weather, things are simmering in California’s strawberry country this week. Santa Cruz County passed a unanimous resolution against methyl iodide on Tuesday, and other local governments are also stepping up in the effort to ban the cancer-causing pesticide.

But pesticide manufacturers and fumigant applicators aren’t taking the news sitting down; they’re doing everything in their power to hold back the tide of safe strawberry farming.