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

GroundTruth Blog

Jeff Schahczenski
Mar 21, 2018
Jeff Schahczenski is an Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT).   After lurking in the world of biochar for many years, I feel confident in my conclusion that biochar is an emerging movement — a set of diverse scientific, social, economic, technological and political topics and activities surrounding a common theme or issue. But what is this movement-inspiring miraculous substance called biochar? Why might it be important to sustainable agriculture? Biochar is… Biochar can technically be made from any biomass... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Mar 08, 2018
The last few weeks have seen encouraging momentum around the world in protecting bees and other pollinators from harmful pesticides. As bees are responsible for pollinating one out of every three bites of food we eat — making them key actors in our food system — this news is extremely welcome. Neonics no more For years, independent scientific research has shown that neonicotinoid pesticides (or neonics) pose a serious danger to bees and other pollinators, both through acute poisonings and effects from chronic exposure. Documented impacts of these pesticides on bees include impaired... Read More
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Jane Kuhn
Mar 07, 2018
On the small, mixed-fruit orchard I farm along California's Central Coast, confused apple trees spurt scattered blossoms in December, signaling that the weather patterns of yesteryear are being replaced by something new. With increasing drought, heat and disease pressure, any farmer will attest to the challenging impacts of climate change these days. Curious how other ecological farms are adapting, I chatted with some farmers on the Central Coast and also sat in on an EcoFarm​​ Conference session in which a panel of organic farmers and advocates discussed climate change adaptation strategies... Read More
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Linda Wells
Mar 07, 2018
National poll results released this week confirm that farmers across the country believe the merger of Bayer and Monsanto will be bad for farming and farm communities. As the Department of Justice considers its final decision regarding the merger, the poll demonstrates serious concern from farmers and some details about why many believe more consolidation will be harmful. The weed crisis and accompanying dicamba drift epidemic of last year's growing season were identified by many farmers as a major concern, and a problem that Monsanto cannot solve and a merger could further amplify.... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Feb 22, 2018
PAN board member Kyle Powys Whyte holds the Timnick Chair in the Humanities at Michigan State University. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability and a member of the Potawatomi Nation. PAN’s Executive Director Kristin Schafer recently chatted with Kyle about Indigenous food sovereignty and how PAN’s work intersects with his own. What brings you to PAN’s board? I’m primarily a scholar and activist working on climate justice and environmental justice. But, since I work mostly with Indigenous peoples, these issues are almost always related to food. Indigenous... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
Feb 19, 2018
What were they thinking over at The Atlantic? Last week, the normally fact-focused magazine and media company hosted an event entitled "Harvest: Transforming the Food We Eat" in New York City — and the evening was wholly underwritten by the Agricultural Division of DowDuPont. Event promotional materials touted innovators who are “making the global food system more sustainable and productive.” So why was Harvest sponsored by one of the world's largest pesticide manufacturers? And why weren't there any farmers on the panel? Last gasp of a failing system Just in case it's not obvious why... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Feb 19, 2018
In October 2015, we celebrated with farmworker unions and advocates when a much-improved Worker Protection Standard (WPS) was approved. The WPS is the only federal rule that protects farmworkers from exposure to hazardous pesticides on the job, and hadn't been updated in more than 20 years. Not surprisingly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it is planning to put the new rules on hold. Rolling back commonsense safeguards The WPS covers all workers and pesticide handlers who are exposed to pesticides in agriculture. In a December 2017 Federal Register... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Feb 07, 2018
This post is part three in our “Science for Solutions” blog series that amplifies scientist voices and underscores the importance of independent science as the foundation for evidence-based policymaking and narrative shifts. On a brilliant day in July, twenty-some years ago, I stood ankle-deep in the cool mud of a fragrant rice field in central Thailand, listening to the farmers around me discuss the bugs on the plants (were these “satru puut” or “satru thammachat”? pests or natural enemies?), and whether or not the Nitrogen-fixing aquatic Azolla they had introduced into one of their... Read More
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