Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Margaret Reeves
Sep 25, 2012
The Farm Bill expired on Monday (here's a roundup of what that means). So while we still have no Farm Bill, I'm here to tell you that Congress is feeling the heat. From all around the country — from farmers and mothers, environmentalists and faith communities — people are calling on Congress to pass a Farm Bill this year. While it won’t happen before the November elections it can happen during the short lame duck session that follows. To get a Farm Bill this year we’ll need all hands on deck to push for a bill that fully funds programs for beginning... Read More
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Heather Pilatic
Sep 21, 2012
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Silent Spring turns 50 next week, giving occasion for all manner of reflection on Rachel Carson's legacy as the author who catalyzed the U.S. environmental movement. The small, but vocal rightwing fringe continues in its campaign to paint Carson as the devil "responsible for more deaths than Hitler." But most mainstream reflections thus far have sought to contemporize Carson by drawing links between the issues she outlined in Silent Spring and the concerns we still face today.  Claiming no special insight other than working daily in Carson's wake, I speculate... Read More
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Kathryn Gilje
Sep 21, 2012
This week, PAN International is gathered with governments from across the globe in Nairobi, Kenya, pushing assertive and fair action on chemicals. Our goal: protect the health and well-being of our families and ecosystems the world over. The auspices for the gathering: it's time to check progress on the Strategic Approach to Integrated Chemicals Management (better known as SAICM), an agreed-upon global plan of action to reduce to a minimum the harm chemicals wreak on health and ecosystems by 2020. The SAICM agreement offers tools and concrete guidance for governments to... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Sep 20, 2012
Very big news exploding across the papers yesterday. Eating genetically engineered (GE) corn has been strongly linked to serious health effects — including mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage. A team of European scientists yesterday released the first independent long-term animal feeding study of its kind on the health effects of eating GE foods in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.  How and why we can find ourselves 15 years into the commercialization of GE crops without a comprehensive set of independent long-term animal health impact studies... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Sep 20, 2012
This fall's mix of elections and anniversaries has stirred up a hornet's nest of talking heads. September marks the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring as California is gearing up for a landmark vote on labeling genetically engineered food in November. The combination appears to be a perfect storm for pesticide-promoting pundits. Their arguments are in line with the same industry myths we've been hearing (and debunking) for years, claiming that DDT is both safe and effective, and that genetically engineered crops are good for the environment, harmless to... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Sep 17, 2012
A recent study from Sweden shows that background exposure  — or long-term, low dose exposure — to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) may play an important role in the development or progression of stroke in the elderly. Research has shown that exposure to POPs can lead to such chronic health problems as diabetes, obesity and hardening of the arteries leading to cardiovascular trouble. The recent Swedish study adds to this litany of human health harms. Due to the harm they cause to human health and the environment, POPs have been on PAN's radar for a long time now.... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Sep 13, 2012
When Congress returned from recess this week they started negotiating the terms under which the Farm Bill will be extended (beyond its September 30 ending date) and funded for at least the next six months. The proposal on the table guts conservation programs.  In the face of the most disastrous, widespread drought in a generation, Congress is proposing to cut the very conservation programs that help farmers protect themselves from the worst ravages of drought, flooding, extreme temperatures, increased pest pressures, loss of pollinator resources and more. PAN joins organizations... Read More
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Heather Pilatic
Sep 12, 2012
This month marks the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, the book that galvanized an extraordinary cross-section of the American public into what we now call the environmental movement. Fifty years later, her courage, skill and sacrifice still inspire, and her legacy remains the contested terrain of some of our country’s most disabling rituals of political partisanship. Pesticides still function as a kind of litmus test: either you’re for farmers and progress and “sound science,” or you’re in the camp of those reflexively “chemophobic... Read More
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