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GroundTruth Blog

Kristin Schafer
Dec 20, 2010
Doctors are rolling up their sleeves to search for the causes of autism. Dr. Philip Landrigan announced last week that he's rounding up a scientific posse to identify a "Most Wanted Chemicals" list based on the latest information linking environmental contaminants to Autism Spectrum Disorder. It's high time. For awhile, experts said autism rates were increasing because it was diagnosed more often. As parents were more aware of symptoms, the definition of the disorder expanded, and the stigma linked to the disease began to fade. But researchers now say that the... Read More
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Gilbert Sape
Dec 16, 2010
One of the differences between last year’s heavily policed climate meetings in Copenhagen and this year’s meetings in Cancun was that you could actually sneak in and out of the official UNFCCC venue. And so I did. Curious to see how it is that government ministers from all over the world manage to so consistently fail to represent the best interests of their peoples, I snuck in and out of several of the side events that were taking place in this expensive island resort. One side event I fancied was the Agriculture Day organized by CGIAR (Consultative Group on... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Dec 15, 2010
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I’m back from Washington D.C., where I participated in the final workshop of the Department of Justice (DOJ) addressing corporate concentration in agriculture. First, many thanks to all of you who shared your concerns with me before I left. I was proud to be able to stand before the panel of DOJ officials and deliver your messages. As at all the other workshops this year, the heartfelt testimony of family farmers, ranchers and poultry growers took center stage. These courageous individuals put the corporate suits who dared to show up and repeat their glib talking points to shame... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Dec 15, 2010
Monsanto is making news again, and this time the chemical and seed giant has a partner in crime: our own USDA. And PAN partner, Center for Food Safety, chalked up a win when GM sugar beets were ordered torn out of the ground. On November 30, Federal District Judge Jeffrey S. White ruled against Monsanto and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), citing the illegal planting of genetically modified (GM) sugar beets. He ordered current seedlings to be torn out of the ground, pending the completion of a full environmental impact report, which USDA and Monsanto have ignored until now... Read More
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Karl Tupper
Dec 15, 2010
My colleague Susan Kegley alerted me to a new study in Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T) that illustrates the absurdity of chemically-dependent agriculture — particularly the lengths we'll apparently go to keep the needle in. Scientists are actually studying injecting up to 32,000 lbs/acre of concentrated ammonia into the soil to counteract a fumigant pesticide's ozone-depleting effects. At issue is methyl bromide — a neurotoxic pesticide used in strawberry production in California. Methyl bromide destroys the ozone layer, so it's being phased... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
Dec 09, 2010
A good friend who lives near Seattle recently shared with me what it's like to visit her mother, who suffers increasingly from dementia. Some days she knows my friend — her daughter of 48 years — but most days she doesn't. Often she can't recall what was said moments ago, and she rarely recognizes her beautiful granddaughters at all. How utterly wrenching to watch a parent — or friend or partner — lose their connections to the world. Healthy minds and bodies are something we all wish for our aging loved ones (not to mention ourselves). Advice on... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Dec 09, 2010
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On December 8, Pesticide Action Network and Beyond Pesticides joined beekeepers from around the country in calling on EPA to pull a neonicotinoid pesticide linked with Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) off the market immediately. Our call is based on a leaked EPA memo that discloses a critically flawed scientific study, thus suggesting there may be imminent hazards to honeybees posed by continued use of clothianidin, the pesticide in question. CCD is the name given to the mysterious decline of honeybee populations across the world beginning around 2006. Each winter since, one-third of... Read More
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Kathryn Gilje
Dec 08, 2010
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Today, California approved a cancer-causing pesticide that scientists call "difficult, if not impossible to control," and "one of the most toxic chemicals on earth." Why? Here's my bet: the intense lobbying effort waged by Arysta LifeScience, largest private pesticide company in the world, who hired a Kentucky-based PR firm to create a "CA grassroots campaign" in favor of the pesticide, and who engaged the likes of a former assistant to Karl Rove in their efforts. Bluntly put: chemical company interests trumped the science and the concerns of... Read More
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