GroundTruth Blog | Pesticide Action Network
Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Kristin Schafer
Sep 22, 2010
The glacial pace of government decision-making on pesticides is costly. Not just the cost of years of paperwork, collecting and reviewing the endless stream of industry studies. And not just the cost of medical care for those who are damaged by toxins before they are taken off the market. Sometimes, slow decisions result in pesticide exposures that cause such harm they fundamentally change the course of a child’s life. A cost that’s so high, it really can’t even be measured. In Indiana last week, a jury tried to put a price tag on such harm. They awarded $23.5... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Sep 22, 2010
On Wednesday, Sept. 22, a panel convened by the FDA deferred recommending approval of the first genetically engineered animal for sale as food in the U.S. The agency agreed to publish an environmental assessment and open a 30-day comment period before approving "AquAdvantage" salmon, a fish engineered to grow faster on less feed. FDA had already accepted industry-supplied studies that the fish will not be "materially" different from other salmon, and thus is safe to eat. The research was submitted by AquaBounty Technologies, the Massachusetts company that's... Read More
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Karl Tupper
Sep 21, 2010
Most people immediately think of mosquitoes when they hear the word "malaria." They transmit the parasite, so keeping them at bay—with window screens and bednets, by denying them places to breed, or by killing them outright—is a critical element in preventing the disease. Another crucial front in the struggle is pharmaceutical: prompt, effective treatment of malaria infections means fewer human reservoirs of the parasite, which in turn means fewer opportunities for mosquitoes to pick up the disease and pass it on.  But just as insecticide resistance has... Read More
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Karl Tupper
Sep 16, 2010
As EPA’s scientific advisory panel continues its investigation of atrazine this week, supporters of the pesticide have mounted a coordinated media blitz. It’s made for some fascinating reading. Some background:  EPA is holding a series of meetings this year to reexamine Syngenta’s controversial herbicide atrazine — the one that contaminates 93.9% of drinking water samples tested by the USDA, turns male frogs into females, and was banned across Europe back in 2004. NRDC’s Jen Sass has been attending the meeting in person and reports that it... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Sep 15, 2010
I'm just back from a week in Rio de Janeiro strategizing on the future of food with an amazing group of activists from Brazil, South Africa, India, the Philippines and Germany. The event was organized by PAN partner AS-PTA, Brazil’s lead NGO campaigning against agricultural GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and promoting agroecology as the better way forward. As an agroecologist myself, I was thrilled to be invited. While in Rio, I was inspired by stories of courage, persistence and deep commitment. I talked with mothers and fathers, farmers, ecologists, agronomists,... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Sep 15, 2010
Governor Schwarzenegger has before him a bill — the Farmworker Health Act (AB 1963) — that provides the state with a simple, cost-effective solution to prevent pesticide poisonings among California’s farmworkers by strengthening the current medical supervision program. In 1974 California established Medical Supervision Program for monitoring farmworkers who handle organophosphate (OP) and carbamate pesticides in order to identify overexposure so that workers and their employers can act to eliminate the exposures BEFORE poisoning occurs. Laboratories use a readily... Read More
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Karl Tupper
Sep 15, 2010
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It was only a matter of time. Lately newspapers have been filled with stories about the return of bed bugs, those nocturnal bloodsuckers that most of us had previously encountered only in our parents' nightly admonition to not let them bite. I grew up thinking that they weren't even real, just something adults made up along the lines of the bogeyman, monsters, and the tooth fairy. But they are indeed real, and they were once common in the U.S., until — as nearly every contemporary article about their resurgence points out — they were eliminated by the use of DDT just... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Sep 14, 2010
Bees may not qualify as charismatic megafauna, but they do, or should, attract the attention of anyone who eats fruits, vegetables or nuts, or whose livelihood depends on growing these crops.   The sudden collapse of honeybee colonies — Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) — has been reported throughout the U.S. and elsewhere since the mid-1980s. Explanations include a combination of lack of adequate nectar and pollen, disease, the stress of transporting hives over thousands of miles, and pesticides. While the destruction of natural habitat and use of pesticides can have... Read More
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