Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Heather Pilatic
May 17, 2012
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In the last few weeks beekeepers have reported staggering losses in Minnesota, Nebraska and Ohio after their hives foraged on pesticide-treated corn fields. Indiana too, two years ago. What's going on in the Corn Belt? No farmer in their right mind wants to poison pollinators. When I spoke with one Iowa corn farmer in January and told him about the upcoming release of a Purdue study confirming corn as a major pesticide exposure route for bees, his face dropped with worn exasperation. He looked down for a moment, sighed and said, "You know, I held out for years on buying them GE... Read More
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Linda Wells
May 16, 2012
Today Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is releasing Pesticide Drift Monitoring in Minnesota, a report that documents multiple pesticides in the air near homes and farms throughout Central Minnesota. This report is the result of diligent, on-the-ground monitoring by a group of citizens who have directly experienced harm from pesticide exposure — and are refusing to let it continue. Since joining PAN earlier this year, collaborating with this group of farmers and rural residents has been my absolute favorite work. Their persistence in shining a light on pesticide exposure in their... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
May 16, 2012
Part of my job here at PAN is keeping track of the latest research about how pesticides are harming children’s health. This has kept me too busy of late, as studies seem to be coming fast and furious linking pesticides with childhood asthma, autism, birth defects, cancer and more. One recent study gave me serious pause. We already understand that some chemicals can change how our genes function; now researchers know that this damage can be passed from one generation to the next. I’m no scientist, but I understand enough to know that compromising the DNA of future generations is... Read More
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Kathryn Gilje
May 11, 2012
The controversial pesticide atrazine, found in U.S. drinking water and linked to cancers, birth defects and low fertility, is on the big screen this weekend. And Syngenta, largest pesticide corporation in the world and maker of atrazine, is fighting with fire. The chemical giant's PR machine is in high gear, downplaying the risks of atrazine exposure and even claiming that its gender-bending chemical can save the day. Greenwashing at its best. Corporate spin machine In response to last week’s release of the film Last Call at the Oasis, Syngenta’s... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
May 11, 2012
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This week PAN released Honey Bees and Pesticides: State of the Science, a 22-page report on the factors behind colony collapse disorder (CCD) with a sustained focus on the particular role of pesticides.  By collecting and presenting the findings of dozens of peer-reviewed scientific studies — including a series of damning studies published in the last year — we hope to provide concerned citizens and decisionmakers alike with a point of reference in the heated public debate over what is causing our pollinators to die off at unprecedented rates. All of the studies... Read More
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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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