Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Margaret Reeves
Dec 20, 2012
The adage "we are what we eat" supports  food and nutrition education programs across the country. The same goes for the farm — production of an abundant diversity of healthy crops depends on healthy soil and crop management techniques. Farmers aren't born knowing how to do this, they learn. They learn from each other, and through programs like USDA's new soil health initiative. This is why we're working hard to make sure the next Farm Bill is a strong one that supports innovative farmer education. There will be a Farm Bill, we’re just not sure... Read More
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Sarojeni V. Rengam
Dec 17, 2012
The challenges faced by biodiversity-based ecological agriculture are not primarily technical but political. Evidence from three countries shows farming without fossil fuels works. But such methods will only be adopted widely once we prevail over the political power of agribusiness. Food production systems that do not use or make minimal use of fossil fuels exist and are successfully feeding communities. Across the world, smallholder farmers, gardeners and other small-scale food producers have decided to minimize the use of unsustainable and harmful inputs that depend on fossil fuels, such... Read More
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Medha Chandra
Dec 14, 2012
Over a year ago we blogged about the country’s broken pesticide regulatory system that is allowing certain rodenticides to remain on store shelves despite EPA declaring that they need to go. These are products that pose known health hazards to kids, pets and wildlife. As the L.A. Times reports, rodenticide manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser has still not complied with EPA’s decision, and has joined with other companies to push back with lawyers and lobbyists. Earlier this week, a coalition of public-health and environmental groups did their own pushing in California, urging the... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Dec 13, 2012
In Iowa earlier this week, organic and conventional farmers delivered over 40,000 petition signatures and a clear message to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack: Stop the approval of "next generation" GE corn and soy crops. Now. Dow’s 2,4-D-resistant corn is the first of 10 herbicide-resistant crops in the queue pending USDA approval, with Monsanto’s dicamba soy and others not far behind. If approved, these new GE crops would dramatically drive up the use of harmful pesticides, placing the burden of increased costs and health risks on farmers and local communities.... Read More
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Paul Towers
Dec 12, 2012
Across the pond, the buzz is all about the impacts of pesticides on bees. Both the U.S. EPA, and its British counterpart, Defra, have been slow to act on the growing body of scientific evidence that would protect bees. But a series of important hearings may signal important changes afoot in that country. For the past 30 years, bee populations have been declining in the United Kingdom. And pollinators, like bees, provide more than half a billion pounds to the British agricultural economy each year. As a result, Parliament recently held a series of hearings to assess the impact of... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Dec 11, 2012
Organic and conventional farmers are feeling rooked. And for good reason. A USDA-appointed advisory group known as the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21) has just concluded over a year’s worth of deliberation on how to address the thorny problem of transgenic contamination of organic and non-genetically engineered (GE) crops— a major threat to farmers’ businesses and livelihoods. The result? A report recommending that farmers and taxpayers bear the heavy costs of dealing with genetic contamination, while leaving the Big 6 pesticide and... Read More
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Linda Wells
Dec 11, 2012
Seed and chemical giant DuPont just hired a fleet of ex-police officers to patrol the farmlands of North America. The second-largest seed company used to rely on their partner/competitor Monsanto to play the industry ‘bad cop’ when it came to seed policing. But now DuPont executives have made it clear that they are not afraid to make some enemies as they protect the company's intellectual property interests in genetically engineered seeds. And they've hired an "agro-protection" company staffed by former police officers to do it. Seed saving no more The... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Dec 10, 2012
Sixty-four years ago today, on a cold winter morning in Paris, delegates from around the world came together to adopt an historic document that was soon to become the foundation of international human rights law: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR has since become the most widely recognized and accepted human rights contract in history. Adopted in 1948, the UDHR has been the foundation for an entire body of international human rights treaties, both binding and voluntary. For decades, it has inspired local and global efforts to hold human rights violators accountable... Read More
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