Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

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
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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
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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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Paul Towers
Mar 21, 2013
With other options exhausted over the past two years, beekeepers and partner organizations are now suing EPA to protect pollinators. We've filed over a million signatures from concerned individuals, a legal petition and a notice of intent to sue. And all to little avail. Now we're upping the ante. There's too much at stake for EPA to stay stuck. Bees are in trouble, and they're vital to our food system and our agricultural economy. They're responsible for pollinating one in three bites of food we eat, including 95 types of fruits and nuts in North America. And commercial... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
Mar 21, 2013
Access to information can be a powerful thing. The pesticide industry understands this, which must be why they're fighting tooth and nail to block — for the third time — a commonsense law that would require pesticide use reporting in Maryland. But the people of Maryland are fighting back. A strong coalition has formed around the "Smart on Pesticides" law, which is being considered right now by state legislators. They're making the case that children, communities and the precious Chesapeake Bay will all be better protected if decisionmakers know what pesticides... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Mar 20, 2013
Turns out, the pesticides that harm bees are also harming birds. According to a report out this week, the class of widely used, systemic insecticides that science shows are a key factor in dramatic bee die-offs are also contributing to falling bird populations. At a congressional briefing yesterday, an expert panel highlighted the damage that neonicotinoid pesticides — or "neonics" — inflict on bees, birds and the agricultural economy. Beekeepers, scientists and public interest organizations called on elected officials to take action, and soon. Commercial beekeepers... Read More
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