Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Apr 16, 2015
If you’ve been following the recent big news about Monsanto’s infamous weedkiller RoundUp and cancer, you’ll have heard that industry’s “dirty little secret” just got dirtier. In case you missed it: the international scientific community sent us two very loud wake-up calls last month. First, the UN World Health Organization’s prestigious International Agency for Research on Cancer released a consensus report that glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp, is a “probable carcinogen.” A few days later, a team of international scientists based in New Zealand reported that widely available... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Apr 16, 2015
I’ve been an earthworm fan for decades. At my Oakland, California home I dump vegetable scraps into a big plastic bin with worms. Once or twice a year I collect incredibly rich worm compost, teaming with roly-poly bugs (isopods), worms — and billions of critters I can’t see. My garden plants love it, and it’s free. In agricultural soils, worms (different kinds, but worms nevertheless) can contribute significantly to soil respiration with a direct and sharp increase in the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released, as the number and length of worm canals increases. It turns out this soil... Read More
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Paul Towers
Apr 16, 2015
Should parents, families and teachers be warned when hazardous and volatile pesticides are used next door? That was the question before a panel of experts in California last week. Their answer may provide the basis for critical new rules for use of pesticide fumigants, and any neighbor’s right to know. Fumigant pesticides are a problem for the Golden State. They are highly volatile, likely to drift and linked to a wide range of health impacts, including cancer. Yet every year, over 40 million pounds of these soil-sterilizing chemicals are used on California fields. Between 2003 and 2012,... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Apr 02, 2015
In the first study of its kind, researchers have linked pesticide residues on food with poor semen quality. The new study adds to a growing body of evidence tying very low-level chemical exposures with reproductive and other health harms. Scientists from Harvard University's School of Public Health found that men who ate fruits and vegetables with higher levels of pesticide residues had fewer normal sperm and a lower sperm count than men who ate produce with lower residue levels. The findings, released this week in the journal Human Reproduction, in no way discourage overall consumption... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Apr 01, 2015
Today, Bayer AG apologized for the damage to pollinators caused by years of aggressive marketing and sales of bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides; now the most widely used class of insecticides in the world. To help restore and revitalize the bee populations harmed by their products — and in a good faith gesture to beekeepers whose livelihoods have been threatened by declining honey bee populations — the German-based corporation formally announced the unveiling of the world’s first bee spa. Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers issued the following statement today: “As CEO... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Mar 31, 2015
Each year at the end of March we join partners across the country celebrating National Farmworker Awareness Week, a nationwide event honoring farmworkers and their families. The celebration culminates today, on Cesar Chavez Day. A week set aside to raise awareness about the more than two million workers who plant, tend and harvest our food is a wonderful opportunity. This year, we invite you to explore — and share — the great resources below as National Farmworker Awareness Week (#NFAW) wraps up. Farmworkers and their families are clearly on the frontlines of chemical-dependent agriculture... Read More
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Emily Marquez
Mar 24, 2015
Last fall PAN partnered with Justin Matlow, a concerned parent and teacher in the heart of California's strawberry-growing country, to monitor for pesticide drift. Today — to mark Cesar Chavez day — we joined Justin, farmworker advocates and other community partners to release our findings. What do the data tell us? In short, our Drift Catcher project found that when the cancer-causing pesticide chloropicrin was being applied in a nearby field, concentrations in the air near Justin's Watsonville home were at or above levels considered "of concern" by both state... Read More
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Lex Horan
Mar 19, 2015
A few months into the Minnesota legislative session, things are starting to get exciting. In the midst of the flurry of hearings, amendments and hallway conversations that make Minnesota politics happen, there’s cause for celebration for bees at the Capitol. This week, three members of the Minnesota House of Representatives introduced a bill that would suspend the use of neonicotinoids and fipronil — systemic insecticides that are among the driving factors behind bee declines. As I’ve written before, Minnesota has been stepping up to protect bees. Our state’s Department of Agriculture is... Read More
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