Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Margaret Reeves
Sep 29, 2015
Monday was a great day for the nation’s two million farmworkers and their families. On September 28, EPA released its long-awaited improved rules for the protection of farmworkers from on-the-job exposure to hazardous pesticides. While we didn't get everything we hoped for, the rules are now much, much stronger than they've been for the past 20 years. And that’s a real victory! For years we’ve been working with farmworker advocates to improve the only rule in this country designed to protect farmworkers from exposure to hazardous pesticides. The federal Worker Protection Standard (WPS) was... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Sep 28, 2015
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Extended drought in California, freeze warnings in Oregon, flooding in the Southeast…. Today’s mounting environmental stresses of extreme and unpredictably shifting patterns in the weather, along with exhausted soil, resistant “superweeds” and pollinator losses, are taking a toll on farms across the country. These stressors, many brought on or exacerbated by the destructive practices of industrialized farming, are also giving us a pretty clear warning that our approach to farming is going to have to change — significantly and fast.  Biodiversified farming offers one of our best hopes... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Sep 17, 2015
Earlier this month I had the great pleasure of participating in a two-day Soil Not Oil conference in Richmond, California. Dozens of workshops and presentations addressed both crises and opportunities at the nexus of food, farming and climate change — from the science and culture of agroecology to renewable energy, land trusts and worker cooperatives. The bottomline: climate change is upon us. And everyone from consumers to farmers to policymakers can — and must — work together to mitigate and reverse our current trajectory. Agroecology, resilience & community A host of inspiring... Read More
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Paul Towers
Sep 17, 2015
Last week, the federal courts took a stand for bees and beekeepers. In their written decision, the judges said EPA had approved a new neonicotinoid pesticide — sulfoxaflor — without adequate review. The court ordered the Dow product be pulled from the market. The judges also took EPA to task for saying yes to the pesticide despite strong evidence showing that the pesticide was “highly toxic” to bees. This is a real and important, much-needed win for pollinators. Greg Loarie, the lead attorney for the national beekeeper groups that brought the suit — Pollinator Stewardship Council, American... Read More
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Medha Chandra
Sep 16, 2015
We’ve often talked about how low-dose exposure to pesticides are a serious cause for concern, and at the root of many health problems for children. Last fall, Dr. Bruce Lanphear — a physician and professor of pediatrics from Simon Fraser University in Canada — released a video entitled Little Things Matter, clearly illustrating the impact of chemicals on children's developing brains. I’m very happy to report that Dr. Lanphear recently toured India to spread the word about the harms of low-dose exposures to pesticides and other common environmental toxins. Over the course of the five-city... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
Sep 09, 2015
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It's that time of year! Freshly scrubbed, nervous-looking kids don backpacks, pack lunches and head off to school. This back-to-school season there's both excellent and not-so-great news when it comes to schoolkids and pesticides. On balance, it's fair to say there's exciting progress afoot for children's health — from pesticide-free school lunches to a nasty brain-harming chemical finally getting the boot. No more "egregious" delays First, the excellent news. That neurotoxic pesticide you've heard us talk about so often? It's called chlorpyrifos, and while it's not yet a done deal, it... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Sep 09, 2015
As we celebrate Labor Day this year, too many of this country's 80 million workers still don't receive fair wages or adequate workplace protections — including workers on farms across the country. But there's a change coming for farmworkers, with stronger workplace protections on the horizon. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been promising to strengthen existing rules for the past 15 years. Thanks to thousands of people — farmworkers, farmers, healthcare professionals and more — keeping clear, public pressure on the agency, the agency is finally poised to make it happen. Farm... Read More
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Judy Hatcher
Aug 20, 2015
The news that a prestigious panel of 17 independent experts has deemed glyphosate — the world's most popular herbicide — to be "a probable human carcinogen" prompted the usual scoffing and stalling from Monsanto and others invested in agribusiness. But this time, there might just be enough concern and momentum to stop inundating our fields and rural communities with this problematic chemical. In March, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reported that, after assessing the relevant peer-reviewed studies, it was adding glyphosate — the primary... Read More
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