GroundTruth Blog | Pesticide Action Network
Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Kathryn Gilje
Jun 14, 2012
I’m writing with significant news. Please allow me to introduce you to a fabulous new member of the PAN community, our incoming Executive Director, Judy Hatcher. The entire team here at PAN is so thrilled to have Judy at the helm, and we hope you'll join us in welcoming her. Judy’s commitment to environmental justice and transformational social change runs deep, and she has spent her life honing her ability to actualize this passion and undertaking. She brings to PAN decades of experience, along with wise,  gentle and profoundly strong leadership. And a brilliant sense... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Jun 14, 2012
Governments are gathering in Brazil, twenty years after the historic 1992 Earth Summit where nations around the world pledged to devote themselves to ending hunger and conserving the planet’s resources for future generations. This week, governments gather once again, and food and agriculture are high on the agenda of “Rio+20.” Global leaders will be discussing which way forward to feed the world amidst growing food, climate and water crises. Monsanto & Co. have geared up with slick websites and sound bytes — to the point where some have dubbed the official meeting... Read More
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Linda Wells
Jun 13, 2012
On a rainy day in Iowa last month, I found myself crowded into a small building perched on the Mustard Seed Community Farm near Ames. I was joined by PAN's new staff scientist, Emily Marquez, and we were honored to teach a group of local farmers how to use the PAN Drift Catcher. The training took place at a field day hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI), and despite the downpour, we had a productive and fascinating afternoon. PFI is an organization of Iowa farmers promoting "profitable, ecologically sound, and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture." Their... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Jun 12, 2012
What does the federal Farm Bill have to do with a healthy diet? More than you'd think, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). To get more fresh produce into our diets we need to reverse the policies that put up barriers — rather than provide incentives — for farmers to produce the fresh fruits and vegetables so urgently needed in the diets of most of us in the U.S. With the Senate deep in Food & Farm Bill debates this week, the impact of our current policies on our economy, environment and health is on the table for discussion. UCS makes the case that a... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Jun 07, 2012
Lice shampoos containing lindane continue to be allowed in the U.S., despite being slated for a global ban due to the organochlorine pesticide's persistence and toxicity. Last week, Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) urged the Obama Administration to pull these products from the U.S. market once and for all. In 2009, more than 160 nations agreed to ban the agricultural uses of lindane, and to phase out pharmaceutical uses around the world by 2014. Lindane shampoos and lotions have been banned in California since 2002, and several other states have moved to severely restrict the use... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Jun 05, 2012
Farmers who protect their soil using organic or other sustainable methods often encounter hurdles that other farmers do not. Current policies provide disproportionately little support for such farming practices depite the clear benefits — for the soil, the environment, human health and economic growth. This week the U.S. Senate will have a chance to partially correct this by supporting Food and Farm Bill amendments that link crop insurance to sound farming practices. We know that good stewardship builds diverse agroecosystems that are inherently less risky than conventional sytems.... Read More
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Heather Pilatic
May 31, 2012
Twenty years ago this week Dan Quayle went against scientific consensus to publicly proclaim that genetically engineered foods were “substantially equivalent” to non-GE food, and that he would therefore work to ensure that GE food would not be “hampered by unnecessary regulation.” In the pivotal 1992 FDA ruling that Quayle then proudly claimed as part of his “regulatory relief” agenda, the flood gates for GE were opened. We’ve been living in that wake ever since because a small clutch of biotech “true believers,” ideologically anti-... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
May 31, 2012
There's an interesting debate emerging in the public health world. It has to do with whether we need to rejigger our thinking about the risks pesticides and other chemicals pose to children's health. Traditionally, we've had a "disease-oriented" approach, assessing risk based on the severity of a health outcome (think birth defects or cancer). But earlier this month a provocative Environmental Health Perspectives article argued that a "population approach" might be wiser — meaning that even when a health effect is not severe, if it's affecting a... Read More
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