GroundTruth Blog

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

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

"Puzzled by some of the numbers...not scientifically credible...apparent 'mix and match' approach." These are some of the phrases found in a pair of memos authored by California officials looking into the state's controversial decision to approve methyl iodide.

The documents were unearthed by attorneys at Earthjustice earlier this week, working on behalf of PAN and the United Farm Workers, among others. They substantiate what independent scientists had been saying all along: state officials caved to pressure from pesticide manufacturer Arysta LifeScience and approved the use of cancer-causing methyl iodide in California.

Kristin Schafer's blog
By Kristin Schafer,

At long last, the writing is on the wall for triclosan. FDA is still finalizing their review of the “anti-microbial” pesticide, but according to the New York Times, companies are already starting to pull it out of their hand soaps, face washes and baby toys.

It's so very nice to see common sense prevail! Of course it has taken, um, nearly 40 years.

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

Warning! Nina Federoff — former “Science and Technology Advisor” to the U.S. State Department and well-known genetic engineering apologist — is back on her soapbox. In an Op Ed published in the New York Times last week, Federoff strings together one blazing falsehood after another, extolling the virtues of a technology that much of the rest of the world has rightly rejected. What is behind her evangelical commitment to this particular technology? Let’s take a look.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

With peak fumigation season in California just weeks away, efforts to prohibit the use of cancer-causing methyl iodide in the state’s strawberry fields have taken on a new level of urgency.

PAN joins partners today in Sacramento in staging a mock “fumigation” on the Capitol’s west steps at 12:30pm to underscore the dangers posed by methyl iodide, and to keep the heat on Governor Jerry Brown. Dressed in “moon suits” and wearing gas masks, participants will simulate the process for fumigating strawberry fields: injecting the liquid pesticide into the ground – where it volatizes and becomes a gas – and sealing it into the soil with black tarps.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Dupont's new systemic herbicides, designed to keep turf grass free of troublesome weeds, seem to pose little direct danger to human health. But it turns out they do kill trees.

After receiving more than 7,000 reports of damaged or killed trees in states throughout the midwest, last week EPA ordered Dupont to immediately "halt the sale, use or distribution" of the company's herbicide Imprelis.

Chloe Schwabe's blog
By Chloe Schwabe,

In early June, I had the incredible opportunity to represent PAN at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Colectivo Ecologista Jalisco (CEJ) in Guadalajara, Mexico. 

Over the course of my three days at the celebration, I learned how the 20-year partnership between PAN and CEJ has transformed local, national and international pesticide policies, as well as the health of farmlands and the environment in this region of Mexico. But most importantly, I learned how the collaborative work has transformed people’s lives.

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

Soils are the Earth’s largest carbon storage depot after oceans and fossil fuels. Yet scientists estimate that since the industrial revolution, agricultural practices have caused massive carbon losses from the soil, contributing up to a third of all the increased CO2 in the global atmosphere.

But there's hope for restoring this great carbon sink. The science and practice of ecological farming now show that farmers can effectively put carbon back into the soil – and that this, in turn, can be a huge help in the battle against climate change.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Red. Ripe. Delicious. That’s how you might describe the baskets of strawberries you see at your local farmer’s market or neighborhood store. What you don’t see are the green opportunities behind the berry – both environmental and economic – long before the fruit lands on your shortcake. And farmers say this deserves some attention.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Whether they are sprayed from planes or injected into the soil, pesticides don’t recognize fences or property lines. But pesticide users are, again, being forced to pay property owners for damage caused by airborne drift when they cross those lines.

According to a decision handed down July 26 by a Minnesota court, organic farmers who are victims of this “trespass” are entitled to compensation for pesticide contamination.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

In a new report released just in time for National Farmers Market Week, economists at the Union of Concerned Scientists serve up some encouraging news: a relatively small investment in direct-to-consumer sales (such as farmers markets and CSAs) could yield a multitude of benefits, including tens of thousands more jobs, improved nutrition, and a boost to local economies – not to mention a fresher, more flavorful dinner.