GroundTruth Blog

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

Margaret Reeves's picture

Farmers across the country are seeing the impacts of climate change first hand. Crop losses to drought, floods, heat waves, insects and diseases made headlines throughout the year.

We hear Congress plans to improve crop insurance programs in recognition of these hardships, as negotiations for the 2012 Food and Farm Bill move ahead. But to really reduce risks, they should go one step further: tie crop insurance payments with an obligation to create healthy soil. 

Kathryn Gilje's picture

As I look back on 2011, I am truly struck that this year, we worked together to indeed leave a better world for our children, our nieces, nephews and grandchildren — even in the face of intractable resistance on concerns of utmost importance for the future of our world. All of us at PAN are deeply grateful, if aching for greater transformation, too.

The stark contrast of government caught in the claws of corporate influence makes it that much clearer: your engagement, and the networked actions of people around the world, are the only way to make this world right. Thank you for staying connected, and taking action. Your voice and support is critical for the work ahead. And if you are not yet a PAN member, I invite you to join this community in staying the course.

Pesticide Action Network's picture

"There will definitely not be any Dow Chemical branding on the [stadium] wrap before, during or after the Olympic Games," announced a spokeswomen for the London 2012 organizing committee.

The October 18 development marks progress in a global campaign to shame Dow into admitting accountability to victims of the Union Carbide pesticide plant explosion in Bhopal in 1984. Dow merged with UC in 1999, yet has denied liability for the ongoing suffering of tens of thousands.

Pesticide Action Network's picture

With little fanfare, pesticide manufacturer Bayer has asked California regulators to limit the use of one of their most profitable products, imidacloprid.

Rather than undergo the public scrutiny and cost involved in a state-mandated re-evaluation of the pesticide's impact on bees, emerging reports say the company has requested imidacloprid be restricted from use on almond crops, which honey bees are trucked in from around the country to pollinate each February.

Margaret Reeves's picture

Last month global experts released yet another report linking industrial agriculture with the dramatic degradation of soil, water and other natural resources currently threatening our ability to feed ourselves.

Just how much evidence do we need? I posit that like the banking crisis, the causes of the food production crisis are actually quite clear. A very few large and powerful beneficiaries of the current system (and their lackeys) continue to vociferously defend the status quo, while ample data show that it simply doesn't work. Meanwhile, growing numbers of farmers around the globe demonstrate viable, safer and necessary alternatives.

Kristin Schafer's picture

When my daughter was in kindergarten, she would inspect her friends' strawberries at lunchtime. “No no, you don’t want to eat that,” she would solemnly inform them. “It’s not organic. It might have yucky chemicals on it.”

Yucky chemicals indeed. Studies continue to pile up showing how pesticides on food can be harmful, especially to children's health. As we head into the home stretch of the holiday feast season, I've been thinking hard about the powerful ripple effects of our food choices. Turns out, what we eat matters. A lot.

Kathryn Gilje's picture

Even as we celebrated a historic Guilty as Charged verdict at the close of the tribunal last week, we move forward with what's next. We know that it's up to us to expose the harms that corporations like Monsanto and Syngenta have done, including their undue influence on science and government.

It's up to us to use this verdict to hold them accountable. Several recent pieces of news fuel me with hope. 

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture

I spent the weekend glued to coverage of the high drama unfolding at the climate talks in Durban, South Africa. I watched closely because there is so much on the line affecting our and our children's future. In the final turbulent days, there were critical moments when a binding treaty with relatively ambitious and fair emissions cuts seemed almost possible. And then, well — the U.S. and our cronies played power politics behind closed doors, just as they have before.

Medha Chandra's picture

Endosulfan. Chlorpyrifos. Chlorothalonil. Not words one would associate with the crisp, cold air and water of the Arctic region. But new research shows that these pesticides, among others, are traveling to the Arctic from as far as South East Asia, India and the United States. 

That harmful pesticides travel on wind and water currents to cold northern regions of the world has been known for a while now. But in this latest study, researchers managed to measure the compounds in air and water all the way along their path across the globe, from East Asia to the Arctic.

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture

Not coming to movie theaters near you, but taking place right now in Durban, South Africa is “The Great Escape 3.” This is how Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s former lead climate negotiator, describes the scene at the UN climate talks.

“It’s the same movie — it happened in Copenhagen, in Cancun, and it will happen in Durban. The richest nations are trying to escape their responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions now... It’s really a genocide and an ecocide.”