GroundTruth Blog

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

Pesticide Action Network's picture

On Wednesday, PAN joined the ever-growing Occupy movement in Oakland and the supermajority of Americans frustrated with corporate control of finances, homes and yes — food.

PAN and partners — including Californians for Pesticide Reform and Food & Water Watch — carved out a space among the thousands of concerned people gathered in Downtown Oakland to discuss the challenges posed by our corporate-controlled food and farming system.

Kristin Schafer's picture

As of this week, it looks like our rivers, streams and lakes — and the critters who live in them — will be a little more protected from pesticides.

Unless, that is, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and others representing agribusiness interests manage to undo EPA’s court-ordered efforts to better protect the nation’s waterways from pesticide pollution. Roberts and company are pursuing every legislative hat trick in the book. But so far, cleaner water and healthier fish are coming out ahead.

Pesticide Action Network's picture

For over a year, PAN has been watching EPA’s long-overdue review of atrazine, a common herbicide and potent endocrine disruptor. From the outset we've called for reliance on science not funded by industry – and we've been disappointed. Of the roughly 25 health-related studies submitted for the review's final session, 10 were not available to the public and exempt from the rigors of peer review. These 10 ‘secret’ studies were also industry-funded.

Now the agency is accepting comments on a new petition to pull the use of atrazine, a petition that points to misleading industry-funded science as the basis for keeping this widely used herbicide on the market.

Margaret Reeves's picture

Things are moving fast, furiously and secretively in Washington, DC with the entirely undemocratic development of the 2012 Food and Farm Bill — an approximately $300 billion, tax dollar-funded set of programs covering everything from farm support programs and renewable energy research to food stamps and conservation initiatives.

It is expected that the 12-member congressional Super Committee will receive a Food and Farm Bill proposal this week from the chair and ranking member of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, and then decide to accept or reject it within a week's time. That's four individuals — referred to as the Big 4 — making huge decisions that affect us all, and with virtually no public input!

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture

What do an American businessman, Iowa State University and 162,000 refugees in Tanzania have in common?

Answer: they are all either directly involved in or soon-to-be impacted by a small group of U.S. investors’ plans to acquire 800,000 acres (1,250 square miles) of land in Tanzania and transform it into large-scale industrial crop, beef and agrofuel production. They plan to use genetically engineered (GE) seed and other inputs supplied by Monsanto, Syngenta and other global agribusinesses.

Kristin Schafer's picture

We've come through yet another pink-ribboned October. It's hard to miss the symbol of breast cancer awareness, it's on everything from perfume packaging to baby bottles to fast food takeout cups.

The thing is, I'm pretty sure we don't need reminding that breast cancer's a problem. If you haven't gone through the battle yourself, odds are you've supported someone — friend, sister, mother, daughter, partner — who has. We're plenty aware. Now it's time to make October's pink ribbons all about what we can do to prevent this devastating disease.

Pesticide Action Network's picture

Join us at the Food Security 15th Annual Conference in Oakland from November 4-8. The conference will be held at the Oakland Marriott, 1001 Broadway, Oakland, CA.

This year’s conference theme is Food Justice: Honoring our Roots, Growing the Movement. Register now for 5 exciting and inspiring days of field trips, plenary presentations, hands-on workshops, “food movies,” prize ceremonies and more. 

Kathryn Gilje's picture

Once more, science shows that pesticide exposure is linked to serious health harms, and children bear the brunt of the cost.

A recent study revealed that persistent pesticides and pollutants are related to a 450% increase in two specific birth defects across rural China: spina bifida and anencephaly.

Medha Chandra's picture

Women grow more than half of the world’s food. It's the unknown fact of global agriculture.

I have vivid memories of women working the fields across my travels in Asia, and find it amazing that when people talk about farmers, it's almost always about men. In the U.S., for instance, 30.2% of the 3.3 million farm operators counted in the 2007 census were women. In the Global South, women remain guardians of sophisticated and extensive knowledge about traditional agricultural practices that have sustained communities over centuries. The fact is that women are the ‘hidden resource’ supporting much of agriculture across the globe.

Pesticide Action Network's picture

Victims of the 1984 Bhopal pesticide plant explosion are working with British Members of Parliament, Amnesty International and others to expose and oppose sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics by Dow Chemical Company. Dow has been denying liability for cleanup of the Bhopal site and reparations for victims and their survivors ever since it bought the plant’s former owner, Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), in 2001.

 “The company's name will be emblazoned on the £7m artwork 'wrap' around the main stadium, guaranteeing months of exposure,” according to the UK Independent. Dow and UCC are defendants in a litigation case in India for clean-up of the Bhopal pesticide factory site.