Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Medha Chandra
May 13, 2015
Every year, our PAN International partners carry out amazing on-the-ground campaigns for safer food systems. As a network, we also have a long history of influencing global policies by participating in international treaties. One such gathering is taking place right now in Geneva, and PAN activists from all five regional centers are participating. The key role PAN plays in these meetings is bringing the realities of pesticide exposures — both the latest science and stories from the field — into the room where high-level decisions are being made. Our active participation has led to... Read More
Medha Chandra's picture
Emily Marquez
Apr 30, 2015
Guess what? Two more studies have confirmed that neonicotinoid insecticides (aka "neonics") are bad for bees. One study documented neonics' impacts on wild bees, which hasn't been looked at much to date. The second found that bees show a preference for neonic-laced food. A third report from the European Academies Science Advisory Council underscores the importance of the ecosystem service provided by pollinators. The scientific case for taking action to protect bees and other pollinators from neonics just keeps getting stronger. Neonics are systemic insecticides, meaning they get taken up... Read More
Emily Marquez's picture
Lex Horan
Apr 30, 2015
What does it take to recruit a group of Iowa farmers and rural residents to an all-day, indoor training on one of the first beautiful days of spring? An issue as serious as pesticide drift. A few weeks ago PAN Staff Scientist Emily Marquez and I led PAN’s fourth Drift Catcher training in Grinnell, Iowa. The Drift Catcher is a long-standing PAN program that uses community air monitoring to document the problem of pesticide drift in rural communities. The process is simple. At the height of spray season, each Drift Catching partner sets up the tool at their home, school, farm or bee yard.... Read More
Lex Horan's picture
Abou Thiam
Apr 24, 2015
A new World Malaria Day is around the corner and we at PAN applaud the strides made to combat this deadly disease over the past year. Next month we’ll be closely following discussions at the Conference of Parties of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (aka the “POPs Treaty”) in Geneva. This is the body that banned DDT globally back in 2004, except for limited and specific uses for malaria control. At the upcoming meeting, the use of DDT for malaria control will be reviewed — and its continued use will likely be recommended. Safer solutions While PAN fully... Read More
Abou Thiam's picture
Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Apr 16, 2015
If you’ve been following the recent big news about Monsanto’s infamous weedkiller RoundUp and cancer, you’ll have heard that industry’s “dirty little secret” just got dirtier. In case you missed it: the international scientific community sent us two very loud wake-up calls last month. First, the UN World Health Organization’s prestigious International Agency for Research on Cancer released a consensus report that glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp, is a “probable carcinogen.” A few days later, a team of international scientists based in New Zealand reported that widely available... Read More
Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture
Margaret Reeves
Apr 16, 2015
I’ve been an earthworm fan for decades. At my Oakland, California home I dump vegetable scraps into a big plastic bin with worms. Once or twice a year I collect incredibly rich worm compost, teaming with roly-poly bugs (isopods), worms — and billions of critters I can’t see. My garden plants love it, and it’s free. In agricultural soils, worms (different kinds, but worms nevertheless) can contribute significantly to soil respiration with a direct and sharp increase in the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released, as the number and length of worm canals increases. It turns out this soil... Read More
Margaret Reeves's picture
Paul Towers
Apr 16, 2015
Should parents, families and teachers be warned when hazardous and volatile pesticides are used next door? That was the question before a panel of experts in California last week. Their answer may provide the basis for critical new rules for use of pesticide fumigants, and any neighbor’s right to know. Fumigant pesticides are a problem for the Golden State. They are highly volatile, likely to drift and linked to a wide range of health impacts, including cancer. Yet every year, over 40 million pounds of these soil-sterilizing chemicals are used on California fields. Between 2003 and 2012,... Read More
Paul Towers's picture
Pesticide Actio...
Apr 02, 2015
In the first study of its kind, researchers have linked pesticide residues on food with poor semen quality. The new study adds to a growing body of evidence tying very low-level chemical exposures with reproductive and other health harms. Scientists from Harvard University's School of Public Health found that men who ate fruits and vegetables with higher levels of pesticide residues had fewer normal sperm and a lower sperm count than men who ate produce with lower residue levels. The findings, released this week in the journal Human Reproduction, in no way discourage overall consumption... Read More
Pesticide Action Network's picture