GroundTruth Blog

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

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Pesticide use on the massive palm oil plantations throughout Asia and the Pacific is putting the health of communities and agricultural workers at risk. This week, PAN's office in the region will press palm oil companies to stop use of the most dangerous pesticides, including the infamous herbicide paraquat.

PAN's resolution and petition will be presented on March 8 to the meeting of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an organization made up of companies that produce, market, invest and trade in palm oil, as well as environmental and other nonprofit organizations. The list of companies involved includes U.S. giants such as Cargill, Nestle, and Unilever.

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

The 2012 Food and Farm Bill discussions on Capitol Hill are underway. The first Senate hearing, held this week, focused on conservation. Among other important topics addressed: the idea of tying crop insurance payments with soil conservation. We say yes, definitely!

This month and next the Senate Agriculture Committee, chaired by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), will hold three more hearings. Hearings in the House begin next month. PAN and our allies in the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) will be closely following the debates.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Recently released emails reveal that Dow Chemical Co., one of the Big 6 pesticide corporations on trial in December's landmark Permanent People's Tribunal, was watching the tribunal very closely.

WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files earlier this week, a release including over five million emails from Stratfor, a company that "provides intelligence services to large corporations." The emails reveal at least half a dozen separate mentions of the tribunal during November and December of last year.

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.