GroundTruth Blog

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

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Yesterday, a few dozen people filled a room in downtown Sacramento just blocks from the state Capitol building to celebrate a small but critical ally – the honey bee. They tasted food and drinks made with local honey, and learned about steps they can take to protect the threatened pollinator.

PAN was on hand to provide information about the link between bee declines and increased exposure to a systemic class of pesticides (neonicotinoids), while partners Slow Food Sacramento and the California State Grange explained the importance of pollinators to the food system as well as the agricultural economy.

Kathryn Gilje's blog
By Kathryn Gilje,

Last weekend, my backyard beehive was once again the hub of attention. My nieces (4 and 5 years old) are visiting, so we pulled on bee suits and went out to take a deep look into the hive.

The bees themselves are fascinating to observe, each with their own specialized job, deep into the magic of pollination, building the hive and making honey.

The hubbub around the hive also gave me the chance to talk about how bees and pollinators around the world are in trouble, and how it's up to us, this generation, to make a change.

Today, PAN and Beyond Pesticides are launching our Honey Bee Haven website, where you can meet others who — in the face of policymaker inaction — are building a groundswell of support for honey bees and other pollinators.

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

As reported in this week's UK Guardian, Nina Federoff spoke about threats to science at a meeting of 8,000 professional scientists. The former Bush Administration official and GMO proponent described her "profound depression" at how difficult it is to “get a realistic conversation started on issues such as climate change or genetically modified organisms.” I too have agonized over our inability to talk seriously about climate change.

However — and this is no small matter — by conflating fringe climate-deniers with established scientists raising valid concerns about the effects of GMOs, Federoff undermines the scientific integrity that she purports to uphold. The hypocrisy is astonishing.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Smock, an artisan letterpress based in Syracuse, NY, has created unique, honey bee-inspired cards...for PAN!

These cards are part of Smock's “change the world” card series, where 100% of profits are donated to a critical environmental issue.

The cheery "Sunflower" cards — sustainably letterpressed on bamboo paper — offer a beautiful way for members to spread the word about the ways in which pesticides are putting bees in peril.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

On Valentine’s Day, Monterey County Supervisors voted overwhelmingly to urge California to take action on methyl iodide. Over one hundred farmworkers filled the hearing room in the heart of strawberry country, along with farmers, rural residents and physicians.

Tuesday’s vote was historic not only because of the resolution passed, but because of the triumph in the face of powerful corporate pressure. 

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

On Monday, a French court ruled in favor of farmer Paul François, who suffered neurological symptoms including headaches, memory loss and stammering after inhaling Monsanto’s herbicide, Lasso.

The decision marks the first time the pesticide and biotech giant — the largest of the Big 6 — has been held liable for poisoning caused by its products. Monsanto is appealing the verdict.

Chela Vazquez's blog
By Chela Vazquez,

En un evento que no pasa todo el tiempo, un Tribunal del Pueblo, frente a cientos de campesinos y trabajadores agrícolas en Bangalore, India, el 3-6 de diciembre del 2011, escuchó como las seis corporaciones agroquímicas más poderosas del planeta han violado sistemáticamente los derechos humanos básicos, como el derecho a la vida, a la salud, al ambiente sano, a la alimentación, a condiciones sanas de trabajo, y a ganarse el sustento.

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

Flowers on Valentine's Day? It's a lovely tradition, and I enjoy a gorgeous bouquet as much as anyone. I also do my best to remember — and support — the workers behind the enormous global flower trade.

They are mostly women, many of whom work in Colombia and Ecuador. They toil long hours for low wages, and too often brave exposure to pesticides known to be harmful to their health and the health of their children. They deserve our support.

Kristin Schafer's blog
By Kristin Schafer,

Lawmakers are taking another run at weakening the national rules protecting our waterways.

This time, they're using the specter of West Nile virus to make the case for reviving a pesticide loophole that was recently closed. But their arguments simply don't (ahem) hold water, and PAN and our allies are calling on the Senate leadership to hold the line.

Heather Pilatic's blog
By Heather Pilatic,

Influential philanthropists like Bill Gates hold a responsibility to be well informed about the impacts of their spending — and their words. Late last month in his annual letter on his foundation's priorities, Gates asserted that lack of support for genetically engineered (GE) crops allows world hunger to endure. He is wrong. 

We engaged the editorial team at TakePart.com, which covered Gates' letter, in a dialogue to correct a few of the key points that Gates gets wrong about world hunger, the Green Revolution and the broken promises of GE.