Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Kristin Schafer
May 30, 2013
Don't do it, Senators. Yet again, an attempt is in the works to roll back protections of our streams and rivers — along with the critters who live in them and communities that rely on them — from harmful pesticides. This time the push to weaken our national water law takes the form of two nearly identical amendments to the Senate's version of the Farm Bill (#1100 and #1103). The rollback effort first showed up as a proposed amendment to the China Currency Bill (no really!) in the fall of 2011. It's since been introduced several times as a stand-alone law, and showed... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
May 24, 2013
This week the Wall Street Journal took note of a trend farmers have understood for years: Monsanto's Bt corn, genetically modified to protect the plants from rootworm, is no longer working. And as a result, many farmers are now rapidly ramping up use of insecticides to protect their crops. This is not unexpected. When Bt corn was introduced back in 1995, PAN joined organic growers in raising the alarm about the long term impacts of the technology. Widespread and continuous use of Bt meant the development of resistance was inevitable, and organic farmers knew this meant one of their most... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
May 16, 2013
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In a welcome turn, USDA announced last week that it will take a closer look at new genetically engineered (GE) crops before allowing them on the market. The approval of Dow's 2,4-D-resistant corn and soy, as well as Monsanto's dicamba-resistant soy and cotton, will be put on hold until Environmental Impact Statements are completed. The decision to conduct a more thorough investigation comes after public outcry from hundreds of thousands of concerned individuals — including farmers. Because if approved, these GE crops will drive a dramatic increase in pesticide use, placing the... Read More
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Linda Wells
May 16, 2013
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This week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the much anticipated Monsanto v. Bowman case, addressing whether the corporation's patent protections extend past the initial sale and use of their RoundUp-Ready seeds. Unfortunately the justices landed on the side of Monsanto, reaffirming the stranglehold corporations have on seeds — and our food system. I had hoped the Supreme Court might finally draw a line in the sand, placing a limitation on Monsanto's long string of successful legal suits against farmers. But, following the trend, the justices sided with Monsanto and upheld the $... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
May 14, 2013
I am neither a farmer nor an octogenarian, yet images of the disastrous U.S. dust bowl of the 1930s are forever etched in my memory. What I am is a mom, who is well aware of how children's health is linked to the food our kids eat — in all kinds of ways. And these two things are are inextricably linked through our food system, and the policies that shape it. How farmers treat the soil and how they grow and market our food determines, in the big picture, the health of our children. The choices farmers have and the decisions they make are strongly influenced by government policies... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
May 09, 2013
I'm looking forward to Sunday morning. Breakfast in bed, flowers and chocolate — plus sweet, handmade cards from kids who often don't take the time to say thanks. What's not to like? But I also like the fact that Mother's Day was actually founded to celebrate moms taking action to protect their children and communities. And it's in that spirit that I'd like to honor all the moms working to keep kids safe from harmful pesticides — from my colleagues here in the PAN office to the thousands of supporters and partners taking action in the U.S. and around the... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
May 09, 2013
This week in Geneva, officials from countries around the world met to consider adding the herbicide paraquat to an international treaty on trade of toxic chemicals. Though there was widespread support for the move, two countries — Guatemala and India — managed to get the decision postponed for another two years. Guatemala is a major exporter of paraquat formulations, and blatantly broke the rules of the Rotterdam Convention by having an industry representative negotiate on their behalf in Geneva. Though Guatemalan officials apologized — and the industry representative was... Read More
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Medha Chandra
May 08, 2013
I have wonderful news to share. Delegates to the Stockholm Convention meeting in Geneva just agreed that the best alternative to the hazardous pesticide endosulfan is agroecology. This is a huge step that PAN and our allies have long pushed for. The Stockholm Convention listed endosulfan for global phase out back in 2011. The pesticides officially suggested as alternatives were mostly hazardous as well, according to a careful PAN analysis. In an effort led by PAN scientist Dr. Meriel Watts, the Convention reviewed possible non-chemical alternatives, and found that a strong case could be... Read More
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