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Reclaiming the future of food and farming

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Pesticide Actio...
Feb 22, 2018
PAN board member Kyle Powys Whyte holds the Timnick Chair in the Humanities at Michigan State University. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability and a member of the Potawatomi Nation. PAN’s Executive Director Kristin Schafer recently chatted with Kyle about Indigenous food sovereignty and how PAN’s work intersects with his own. What brings you to PAN’s board? I’m primarily a scholar and activist working on climate justice and environmental justice. But, since I work mostly with Indigenous peoples, these issues are almost always related to food. Indigenous... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
Feb 19, 2018
What were they thinking over at The Atlantic? Last week, the normally fact-focused magazine and media company hosted an event entitled "Harvest: Transforming the Food We Eat" in New York City — and the evening was wholly underwritten by the Agricultural Division of DowDuPont. Event promotional materials touted innovators who are “making the global food system more sustainable and productive.” So why was Harvest sponsored by one of the world's largest pesticide manufacturers? And why weren't there any farmers on the panel? Last gasp of a failing system Just in case it's not obvious why... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Feb 19, 2018
In October 2015, we celebrated with farmworker unions and advocates when a much-improved Worker Protection Standard (WPS) was approved. The WPS is the only federal rule that protects farmworkers from exposure to hazardous pesticides on the job, and hadn't been updated in more than 20 years. Not surprisingly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it is planning to put the new rules on hold. Rolling back commonsense safeguards The WPS covers all workers and pesticide handlers who are exposed to pesticides in agriculture. In a December 2017 Federal Register... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Feb 07, 2018
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This post is part three in our “Science for Solutions” blog series that amplifies scientist voices and underscores the importance of independent science as the foundation for evidence-based policymaking and narrative shifts. On a brilliant day in July, twenty-some years ago, I stood ankle-deep in the cool mud of a fragrant rice field in central Thailand, listening to the farmers around me discuss the bugs on the plants (were these “satru puut” or “satru thammachat”? pests or natural enemies?), and whether or not the Nitrogen-fixing aquatic Azolla they had introduced into one of their... Read More
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Emily Marquez
Feb 02, 2018
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I try to be optimistic, but the past year hasn't been a great one for science. The "war on science" you hear people talking about? It's real, and we're already seeing its results. Without input from researchers on the leading edge of science, policymakers are less equipped to make informed decisions — and it's easier for industry lobbyists to get their way. Vacant posts, less advice The numbers tell the story well. The Trump administration has filled only 20 of 83 top scientific posts as of the end of 2017, far fewer than the Obama or G.W. Bush administrations at the same point (63 and... Read More
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Paul Towers
Jan 30, 2018
As the new legislative year kicked off in January, PAN joined food and farm groups across California in distributing a report card for California legislators, scoring them on their support of food & farming legislation from the previous year. And while nearly half of legislators earned a 100% ranking, the results belie efforts by legislators to advance more transformative policies. A collaborative effort I had the great opportunity over the past year to facilitate phone calls with dozens of state and local organizations identifying food and farming bills, collectively ranking them,... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Jan 25, 2018
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With the 2018 growing season approaching, agricultural states across the country are stepping up to ensure farmers don’t experience the same pesticide drift epidemic that wreaked havoc on farmland last summer. Application of the drift-prone herbicide in question, dicamba, led to an estimated 3.6 million acres of crop damage last year after a rushed approval of Monsanto’s new dicamba-resistant seed line. State restrictions taking hold Arkansas is leading the charge of states standing up against dicamba. Last week, state lawmakers approved a plan to ban the herbicide from April 16 through... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Jan 25, 2018
A new, national report shows that organophosphate pesticides (OPs) threaten the health of aquatic wildlife, notably orca and salmon. Researchers at the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) evaluated malathion, diazinon and the controversial pesticide chlorpyrifos. Chlorpyrifos was slated for a national ban at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last spring, due to known health harms to children and farmworkers. Administrator Scott Pruitt reversed course on the decision after a meeting with Dow Chemical, leaving the dangerous insecticide on the market. Not just bad for children'... Read More
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