Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
May 11, 2012
I’ve been hearing through the grapevine that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was startled by the public uproar over Dow AgroScience’s application for approval of its controversial new GE corn, designed to be used with the infamous and highly hazardous weedkiller, 2,4-D. By quietly opening the public comment period on December 21, 2011, the agency had apparently hoped to slide this one by without attracting public attention. Instead, a vocal and growing movement of people from all walks of life has emerged to challenge the Big 6 pesticide/biotech companies’ introduction... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
May 03, 2012
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Today, PAN released water sampling results from communities across four Midwestern states — Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota — that indicate atrazine is present in drinking water at levels well above those linked to birth defects and low birth weight. Exposure to this common herbicide and potent endocrine disruptor can also increase risk of several types of cancer, including ovarian and thyroid. Atrazine is found more often than any other pesticide in groundwater — 94% of drinking water tested by USDA contains the chemical. The weedkiller is the second... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
May 03, 2012
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Media are all atwitter about a new Nature study by researchers at McGill University and the University of Minnesota that compares organic and conventional yields from 66 studies and over 300 trials. In extrapolating the study's findings to the charged question of how to feed the world, more than a few got it all wrong. The core finding of the study is that “yield differences [between organic and conventional] are highly contextual, depending on system and site characteristics.” In other words, sometimes organic does better, sometimes conventional does. In fact, the... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
May 02, 2012
Last week, the Chinese government officially announced that the country will phase out use of Syngenta's paraquat, an herbicide linked to Parkinson's, cancer and reduced fertility. The official announcement stated that the ban had been imposed "in order to protect the health and safety of the people" and gave a phaseout timeline of four years. Paraquat is listed as a highly hazardous pesticide, and, according to Keith Tyrell, Director of PAN UK, paraquat ...is one of the deadliest pesticides available in the world today. It is responsible for a huge... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
May 02, 2012
On Tuesday, 971,126 signatures were delivered to county registrars throughout California in support of a ballot initiative to require labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. Ninety-three percent of Americans say they want to know when they are eating GE food. With up to 80% of the non-organic products on our shelves containing GE ingredients, and little-to-no studies on their long term health effects, people across the country are concerned. And people in California are demanding the right to know. With a spot on the ballot now virtually secured, Californians will have the... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
May 01, 2012
When a pregnant woman is exposed to low levels of a commonly used pesticide, the architecture of her developing infant's brain may be irreversibly damaged. This according to researchers who for the first time used MRI testing to see structural evidence of harm from exposure to the insecticide chlorpyrifos during fetal development. Researchers report that the changes in brain structure they observed were consistent with the learning and developmental effects (including reduced IQs) that have been linked to chlorpyrifos. The effects were observed at exposure levels well below those... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Apr 30, 2012
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For more than 50 years, Dow Chemical Company and Shell Oil knowingly included a highly toxic waste chemical in their fumigant pesticide products, rather than paying to dispose of it properly. The chemical, 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP), is a known carcinogen. TCP is considered a "garbage" chemical because it is a by-product of the plastics manufacturing process — it is not intentionally produced. By including TCP in their fumigants, which are widely used in California to kill nematodes, Dow and Shell Oil contaminated drinking water in communities throughout the San... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
Apr 26, 2012
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If we set our minds to it, we can turn back the rising tide of autism. But it will take the courage to embrace the following common-sense goal, in both policy and practice: Expecting parents and young children should not take in chemical contaminants that are known to harm developing minds. This week, scientists released a list of exactly which contaminants we're talking about. The top 10 chemicals contributing to autism and learning disabilities include commonly used pesticides, as well as chemicals found in many consumer products. The scientists tell us the list is likely to grow. But... Read More
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