Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Paul Towers
Feb 06, 2013
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Last week, the European Commission announced its position against the use of bee-harming neonicotinoid insecticides, urging nations within the European Union (EU) to impose a two-year suspension on their use. Great news for bees across the pond. But here in the U.S., policymakers aren't stepping up. EPA officials are continuing to ignore the emerging body of science that point to pesticides, and especially neonicotinoid insecticides, as a critical factor in bee declines. What's worse, the agency is poised to approve yet another bee-harming pesticide. Beekeepers are especially... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Jan 30, 2013
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Frogs exposed to commonly used pesticides in the lab had mortality rates between 40-100%, according to a new study in Germany. One fungicide, when applied at doses approved for use, caused frogs to die within an hour. The new study provides strong support for earlier research pointing to pesticide exposure as a contributor to the global decline of amphibians, a disturbing trend that has puzzled researchers for years. Like canaries in a coal mine, frogs are often considered a "sentinel" species — and declines may be an early warning of broader harms. As study author Carsten... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Jan 23, 2013
New research shows that men exposed to certain agricultural pesticides are more likely to develop "aggressive" forms of prostate cancer. This latest news confirms earlier findings linking pesticide exposure with this type of cancer, which is the third most common cause of cancer death among males. The recent study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, looked at exposure data from the Agricultural Health Study (AHS) and cancer incidence information from state registries. The numbers showed that workers in Iowa and North Carolina exposed to certain organophosphate and... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Jan 22, 2013
In good news for farmers and communities across the country, Dow announced last week that it is no longer planning to market its 2,4-D corn for the 2013 planting season. The new genetically engineered (GE) seed has spurred strong opposition from farmers, consumers and public health officials, and the widespread concern seems to have slowed approval of the product. Organic and conventional farmers alike are worried about damage to their crops from 2,4-D drift; they also cite health risks to their families, especially their children who are particularly vulnerable to the chemical. A... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Jan 18, 2013
As we honor Martin Luther King's legacy this month, we also mark the third anniversary of Citizens United v FEC. This landmark Supreme Court decision essentially declared corporations to be people, opening the floodgates for unlimited political corporate contributions, and changing the face of election campaigns. Citizen's United v. FEC undid over a century of campaign finance reforms, and the effects of the decision were clearly evident in the November elections. One clear example was the opposition to California's Proposition 37 — an initiative to label... Read More
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Heather Pilatic
Jan 18, 2013
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Earlier this week the European Food Safety Association issued a report concluding that neonicotinoids ("neonics") pose an unacceptably high risk to bees, and that the industry-sponsored science upon which regulatory agencies' claims of safety have relied are fatally flawed.   ...which is exactly what we've been saying since 2010, when we publicized the "leaked memo" showing that EPA has allowed clothianidin (a neonicotinoid) to remain on the market despite the absence of any solid science demonstrating the chemical's safety for bees.... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
Jan 17, 2013
President Obama faces a profound decision as he considers who will step into Lisa Jackson's shoes. Over the past decade, EPA has become a lightening rod for the heated partisan debate about the size and role of government. The agency has also come to serve as a rhetorical punching bag for those determined to pit environmental protection against economic growth. The next EPA leader's stance on these big picture issues will inform decisions with very "small picture" impacts, decisions that will directly affect the health and well being of families across the country. From... Read More
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Paul Towers
Jan 16, 2013
“We’re facing the extinction of a species.” That’s what one Midwest-based large-scale commercial beekeeper told me last week at the annual gathering of the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA). And he meant it. Bee losses have been dramatic, especially in recent years. And beekeepers are feeling the sting. According to many who manage hives, commercial beekeeping won’t pencil out in the future unless things change, and soon. Beekeepers from across the country gathered in San Diego to swap stories and share best practices in the trade, as well as to... Read More
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