GroundTruth Blog

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

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Two years ago, on January 21, 2010, a Supreme Court panel that included ex-Monsanto lawyer Clarence Thomas made a decision that has since changed the face of election campaigning. The landmark ruling in Citizens United v. FEC declared corporations to be people and, under the guise of the First Amendment, permitted the pumping of unlimited amounts of corporate money into politics, opening the floodgates for a corporate buyout of democracy. The decision, which undid over a century of campaign finance reform, passed 5-4. Monsanto’s Clarence Thomas provided the critical vote.

Kristin Schafer's blog
By Kristin Schafer,

When I worked in Kenya many years ago, I visited a small farm where they processed chrysanthemums for use as a natural pest killer. I vividly remember the powerful, not unpleasant smell rising from the mesh shelves where the flowers were drying in the sun.

You'd think a pesticide based on flowers would be harmless, right? The promoters of synthetic pyrethroids — which mimic the natural pyrethrum extracted from chrysanthemums — certainly want us to think so. But once again, the latest batch of "safer" pesticides are not as harmless as we thought, and pose particular risks to children. Unfortunately, EPA seems to be turning a blind eye to emerging evidence, and is poised to open the floodgates to more pyrethroid products and uses.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

The online journal PLoS One released two bee studies last week: one on an old parasite newly found in honey bees, the other confirming that bees are being poisoned by the controversial pesticide clothianidin in and around the 88 million acres of U.S. countryside planted with treated corn seeds. 

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Opposition to cancer-causing methyl iodide is at a fever pitch in California, a year after the Schwarzenegger Administration approved the chemical for use in the state.

As Gov. Jerry Brown considers action on methyl iodide in 2012, as well as the appointment of a new chief pesticide regulator, it’s worth reflecting on PAN's efforts to ensure safe strawberries over the past year.

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's blog
By Marcia Ishii-Eiteman,

You’ve all heard the news: farmers across the country are losing their fields to superweeds so formidable and fast-spreading that they break farm machinery and render millions of acres of farmland useless. These superweeds have evolved as a direct consequence of Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready pesticide-seed package. Now superbugs are emerging, resistant to Monsanto’s transgenic insecticidal crops. Ecologists predicted this ecological disaster 15 years ago.

Chela Vazquez's blog
By Chela Vazquez,

Acabamos de vivir momentos muy emocionantes el 3-6 de diciembre, 2011, en Bangalore, India.  Frente a cientos de campesinos, trabajadores agrícolas, comunidades indígenas y rurales, y testigos de cinco continentes, un jurado del Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos (Permanent People’s Tribunal o PPT por su siglas en Inglés), pronunció su veredicto en contra de las compañías agroquímicas transnacionales que fabrican y venden plaguicidas altamente tóxicos, producen semillas transgénicas, y controlan la agricultura a nivel mundial.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Researchers in Sweden have confirmed that exposure to pesticides classified as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) increases the incidence of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

Known to be a “major risk factor” for heart attacks and strokes, atherosclerosis is one of many health threats posed by POPs pesticides, which can persist in the environment for years or decades after use. In fact, this study comes on the heels of several others in recent years that show a correlation between POPs and health harms associated with poor heart health, such as hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

Farmers across the country are seeing the impacts of climate change first hand. Crop losses to drought, floods, heat waves, insects and diseases made headlines throughout the year.

We hear Congress plans to improve crop insurance programs in recognition of these hardships, as negotiations for the 2012 Food and Farm Bill move ahead. But to really reduce risks, they should go one step further: tie crop insurance payments with an obligation to create healthy soil. 

Kathryn Gilje's blog
By Kathryn Gilje,

As I look back on 2011, I am truly struck that this year, we worked together to indeed leave a better world for our children, our nieces, nephews and grandchildren — even in the face of intractable resistance on concerns of utmost importance for the future of our world. All of us at PAN are deeply grateful, if aching for greater transformation, too.

The stark contrast of government caught in the claws of corporate influence makes it that much clearer: your engagement, and the networked actions of people around the world, are the only way to make this world right. Thank you for staying connected, and taking action. Your voice and support is critical for the work ahead. And if you are not yet a PAN member, I invite you to join this community in staying the course.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

"There will definitely not be any Dow Chemical branding on the [stadium] wrap before, during or after the Olympic Games," announced a spokeswomen for the London 2012 organizing committee.

The October 18 development marks progress in a global campaign to shame Dow into admitting accountability to victims of the Union Carbide pesticide plant explosion in Bhopal in 1984. Dow merged with UC in 1999, yet has denied liability for the ongoing suffering of tens of thousands.