GroundTruth Blog

GroundTruth: PAN's blog on pesticides, food & health

Judy Hatcher's blog
By Judy Hatcher,

This week people all across the country will pause — over family feasts, football games, and special commemorations like this one sponsored by the International Indian Treaty Council — to count their blessings, and to appreciate their friends, families and community.

So before we head off to be with our loved ones, I want to thank the thousands of people — including you, Dear Reader — who make Pesticide Action Network a force to be reckoned with. Without the advocates, online activists, community partners, donors and allied organizations who all contribute to our movement, we wouldn’t have had nearly as much good news to celebrate.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Last year, thanks to incredible public outcry, cancer-causing methyl iodide was taken off the market. But other fumigant pesticides are still in wide use on strawberry fields and beyond, and they are among the most toxic and difficult-to-control agricultural chemicals.

Recognizing their hazardous nature, EPA is currently reviewing the federal rules for drift-prone fumigants — years earlier than the normal review cycle.

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

A bountiful table surrounded by friends and family — that's how many of us celebrate Thanksgiving. So it makes sense that this week we pause and give thanks to the many people who make the celebration possible.

From the farmers who grow the food, to the workers who package and process it, to the millions of farmworkers who work extraordinarily hard to cultivate and harvest the crops that sustain us all, those all along the food chain deserve our thanks — and our support.

Paul Towers's blog
By Paul Towers,

On Saturday, the small island of Kaua’i prevailed over the world’s largest pesticide and genetically engineered (GE) seed corporations.

In the face of fierce industry opposition and political drama — including a mayoral veto, secret text messages, intimidation from the State and switched votes — the people demanding better protection from pesticides prevailed. The County Council voted once to pass Bill 2491, and then — to overide the mayor's veto — they did it again. Kudos to all who made this victory possible!

Linda Wells's blog
By Linda Wells,

If you're like me, you've known for awhile that the U.S. is negotiating a new trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but you haven't taken the time to figure out exactly why it matters. Hey, I don't blame us — there's a reason it's hard to understand: the corporations and governments negotiating the deal don't want our opinions slowing down their shiny new free-trade agreement.

In fact, if everything goes as planned, very few of us — not reporters, only a handful of legislators, and certainly not you and me — will get to read the deal before it is signed into law. But this past week there have been some big hiccups in that plan, making me think it is actually possible to stop this thing if we all start paying attention right now.

Medha Chandra's blog
By Medha Chandra,

Indigenous communities of Inuit Yup’ik living on the St. Lawrence Island of Alaska face a tough winter ahead. For over 20 years, the communities have suffered from unusually high burdens of cancers, miscarriages and other health complications due to their high exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

Now the people of the island report a startlingly meager harvest of the walruses they rely on for food, as climate change shifts weather patterns and disrupts their traditional hunting practices. Our partners at Alaska Community Action on Toxics are raising emergency funds for these communities so we can all help them through the tough winter ahead.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

New food safety rules now being considered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are causing concern among farmers and consumers across the country.

As currently written, the rules would unfairly burden family farmers, undermine sustainable and organic farming — and reduce the overall availability of fresh, local food. FDA is currently at the "rulemaking stage," turning the food safety bill passed by Congress in 2009 into actual regulations. They are accepting public comments on the draft rules until November 22.

Linda Wells's blog
By Linda Wells,

This week I had the immense pleasure of attending the 4th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture in Des Moines, Iowa. The conference was hosted by the Women, Food, and Agriculture Network (WFAN), one of PAN's partners in our Midwest Drift Catching work.

With approximately 400 participants, the conference brings together women farmers, advocates and landowners from across the country to share resources and dialogue about solutions for transitioning to a more sustainable food system. It was an incredible event — three days of women sharing their deepest hopes and smartest strategies about how to improve agriculture.

Kristin Schafer's blog
By Kristin Schafer,

In the spring of 2012, we profiled a courageous mother from Argentina who took on Monsanto to protect her children and her community from pesticide harms. Sofia Gatica received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for her inspiring organizing efforts.

Now the story continues. The Associated Press recently published an in-depth story on the spiraling use of pesticides in Argentina, and the resulting health harms. With careful and compelling reporting, the piece highlights how GE crops dramatically drive up pesticide use, and puts a human face — including Sofia's family and many others — on the reality of pesticide-dependent agriculture. Please read this hugely important story.

Paul Towers's blog
By Paul Towers,

This is NOT what democracy looks like. In a replay of California’s narrowly defeated labeling initiative last fall, a handful of corporations effectively bought Washington state’s election to label genetically engineered (GE) foods.

In the face of impressive grassroots support and fundraising, pesticide and Big Food corporations spent $22 million to defeat I-522 — more than any campaign in the state’s history and the equivalent of $30 per voter. As the largest single contributor, Monsanto led the charge. Yet despite being heavily outspent, the initiative was defeated by a small margin.