GroundTruth Blog

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

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. 

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signaled a new direction for California agriculture with the appointment of Brian Leahy as the state’s chief pesticide regulator.

Leahy, a former conventional-turned-organic rice farmer, takes the helm of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) at a key moment: the agency is embroiled in controversy over its decision to approve the cancer-causing pesticide methyl iodide despite strong scientific opposition to the chemical.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

From attacks on independent scientists to smear campaigns against the courts, we thought we’d seen it all from Syngenta. But the world’s largest agrichemical producer continues to lower the bar in its efforts to protect its flagship product, atrazine.

New documents obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy reveal the details of Syngenta’s multimillion dollar “message management” campaign for atrazine. Their tactics? Muddy the science, manipulate public perception, and prevent a clear, independent scientific review.

Pamela Miller's blog
By Pamela Miller,

In Alaska, our railroad lines traverse hundreds of salmon streams and wetlands, drinking water sources, berry-picking areas, farms and neighborhoods.

After more than 30 years of controlling vegetation without chemicals, the Alaska Railroad Corporation is now looking to apply a toxic herbicide mixture along 122 miles of railroad between Anchorage and Fairbanks. We at Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) are doing all we can to stop this shift.

Kathryn Gilje's blog
By Kathryn Gilje,

I don't use the phrase love affair much, but there's no other way to describe my devotion to Swanton Berry Farm and their just-plain-yummy jam. Swanton grows strawberries organically — no methyl iodide or other cancer-causing pesticides. They were the first organic farm to sign a union contract with the United Farm Workers (UFW) — proof in the pudding that they value fairness and transparency.

PAN has a long history of working alongside Swanton Berry for food democracy, and fairness — and I'm honored by very few things more than Jim Cochran's support of PAN.

Kristin Schafer's blog
By Kristin Schafer,

Two recent studies report new evidence of the harms of a very old pesticide.

It's that pesky, persistent and infamous chemical, DDT. Nearly 40 years after its use in agriculture was banned in many countries around the world, it's still present in our environment, food and bodies at levels that harm human health. And children, once again, are especially vulnerable.

Chela Vazquez's blog
By Chela Vazquez,

Testimonios de todo el mundo resaltaron la falta de un mecanismo legal para imputar a las corporaciones. Escuchamos a 19 testigos de cinco continentes presentar evidencia contundente tanto científica como sobre los abusos conectados a las agroquímicas gigantes. 

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

Direct marketing arrangements such as the popular community supported agriculture (CSA) systems across the country eliminate intermediaries. A greater portion of every food dollar remains on the farm – and families in urban areas are able to know and support their local farmer.

Now online innovators are stepping up to expand on the idea by helping farmers market their produce directly to consumers on the web.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

The Iowa Senate is considering a state law that would criminalize the reporting of abusive conditions at animal or crop operations.

Several citizen and food transparency groups in Iowa have opposed the law, which they have dubbed the "Whistle Blower Suppression Bill" and the "Ag Gag Bill." Strong support for the measure is coming from multinational corporations like Monsanto and Dupont, as well as statewide organizations like the Iowa Poultry Association. 

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

There are many, many reasons that Dow's new strain of corn that's genetically engineered to withstand high doses of the herbicide 2,4-D is a terrible idea.

Since 2,4-D has been around for so long, there's plenty of evidence about how it can harm human health. Children, as usual, are most at risk, and USDA needs to know that ramping up use of 2,4-D in fields across the country is simply not acceptable.