Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Heather Pilatic
Feb 09, 2012
Influential philanthropists like Bill Gates hold a responsibility to be well informed about the impacts of their spending — and their words. Late last month in his annual letter on his foundation's priorities, Gates asserted that lack of support for genetically engineered (GE) crops allows world hunger to endure. He is wrong.  We engaged the editorial team at, which covered Gates' letter, in a dialogue to correct a few of the key points that Gates gets wrong about world hunger, the Green Revolution and the broken promises of GE.... Read More
Heather Pilatic's picture
Pesticide Actio...
Feb 08, 2012
Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signaled a new direction for California agriculture with the appointment of Brian Leahy as the state’s chief pesticide regulator. Leahy, a former conventional-turned-organic rice farmer, takes the helm of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) at a key moment: the agency is embroiled in controversy over its decision to approve the cancer-causing pesticide methyl iodide despite strong scientific opposition to the chemical. Leahy assumes leadership of the embattled agency after former director Mary-Ann Warmerdam resigned in... Read More
Pesticide Action Network's picture
Pesticide Actio...
Feb 08, 2012
From attacks on independent scientists to smear campaigns against the courts, we thought we’d seen it all from Syngenta. But the world’s largest agrichemical producer continues to lower the bar in its efforts to protect its flagship product, atrazine. New documents obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy reveal the details of Syngenta’s multimillion dollar “message management” campaign for atrazine. Their tactics? Muddy the science, manipulate public perception, and prevent a clear, independent scientific review. Unfortunately, so far their... Read More
Pesticide Action Network's picture
Pamela Miller
Feb 07, 2012
In Alaska, our railroad lines traverse hundreds of salmon streams and wetlands, drinking water sources, berry-picking areas, farms and neighborhoods. After more than 30 years of controlling vegetation without chemicals, the Alaska Railroad Corporation is now looking to apply a toxic herbicide mixture along 122 miles of railroad between Anchorage and Fairbanks. We at Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) are doing all we can to stop this shift. As a biologist and long-time Alaska resident, I am deeply disturbed that our state regulators might allow the railroad corporation... Read More
Pamela Miller's picture
Kathryn Gilje
Feb 06, 2012
I don't use the phrase love affair much, but there's no other way to describe my devotion to Swanton Berry Farm and their just-plain-yummy jam. Swanton grows strawberries organically — no methyl iodide or other cancer-causing pesticides. They were the first organic farm to sign a union contract with the United Farm Workers (UFW) — proof in the pudding that they value fairness and transparency. PAN has a long history of working alongside Swanton Berry for food democracy, and fairness — and I'm honored by very few things more than Jim Cochran's... Read More
Kathryn Gilje's picture
Kristin Schafer
Feb 05, 2012
Two recent studies report new evidence of the harms of a very old pesticide. It's that pesky, persistent and infamous chemical, DDT. Nearly 40 years after its use in agriculture was banned in many countries around the world, it's still present in our environment, food and bodies at levels that harm human health. And children, once again, are especially vulnerable. According to researchers in Spain, when mothers are exposed to higher levels of DDT breakdown products during pregnancy, their babies are more likely to develop lung infections in their first year. And... Read More
Kristin Schafer's picture
Chela Vazquez
Feb 05, 2012
Testimonios de todo el mundo resaltaron la falta de un mecanismo legal para imputar a las corporaciones. Escuchamos a 19 testigos de cinco continentes presentar evidencia contundente tanto científica como sobre los abusos conectados a las agroquímicas gigantes.  Tyrone Hayes, profesor de la Universidad de California en Berkeley, presentó resultados de su investigación del herbicida atrazina en anfibios y dijo que este químico feminiza a las ranas que empiezan a producir óvulos en los testículos de los machos y algunos desarrollan... Read More
Chela Vazquez's picture
Margaret Reeves
Feb 01, 2012
Direct marketing arrangements such as the popular community supported agriculture (CSA) systems across the country eliminate intermediaries. A greater portion of every food dollar remains on the farm – and families in urban areas are able to know and support their local farmer. Now online innovators are stepping up to expand on the idea by helping farmers market their produce directly to consumers on the web. The San Francisco startup Farmigo allows consumers to find and buy produce and meat from local farms online. The food is then delivered directly from farms to pick-up... Read More
Margaret Reeves's picture