Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Sara Knight
Sep 15, 2016
There have been ups and downs in the romance between Bayer and Monsanto, but this week they publicly announced their engagement. Monsanto has accepted a $66 billion offer from Bayer, heralding another mega merger between pesticide and biotech corporations. This has already been a big year for consolidation in the agricultural sector, with Dow-DuPont and Syngenta-ChemChina deals well underway. If all mergers go through, just three corporations will control 59 percent of the global seed market and 64 percent of the pesticide market — raising serious concerns about control of food and farming... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
Sep 15, 2016
Well that took awhile. In early September, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a list of products they will no longer allow in soaps. On that list was the pesticide triclosan — which was identified as a chemical of concern in 1972. Yep, 44 years. Here's what I wrote back in 2011 when FDA set the process in motion that resulted in this month's announcement: FDA first flagged concerns about triclosan in consumer products back in 1972. In 1978, they proposed banning the pesticide from hospital scrubs and hand soaps within a couple of years, but for some reason, nothing was done... Read More
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Lex Horan
Sep 01, 2016
Last Friday, a small crowd gathered in the agriculture building at the Minnesota State Fair. Beekeepers, entomologists, reporters, farmers and pollinator advocates circled around a small podium, waiting for Commissioner of Agriculture Dave Frederickson and Governor Mark Dayton to speak. The crowd wasn't disappointed. In a short press conference, Frederickson and Gov. Dayton announced new rules to restrict the use of bee-harming pesticides — and make the state a national leader in protecting pollinators.  The science is clear The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has been... Read More
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Medha Chandra
Sep 01, 2016
Protecting children from pesticides. What could be more straightforward than that? Science clearly shows that children — from the tiniest newborn all the way through high school — are much more vulnerable to the impacts of pesticide exposure than adults. And state data shows that rural California kids are regularly exposed to pesticides drifting from agricultural fields into their schools and daycare centers. We hope that's about to change. Thanks to all the work that communities across the state have done, the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is expected to release new rules on the... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Aug 18, 2016
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PAN stands in solidarity with families that have been impacted by microcephaly and other serious health impacts of the Zika virus. Unfortunately, the primary response to the outbreaks to date has been widespread spraying with pesticides to control mosquito populations. Decades of vector management around the world show that this approach is not only often ineffective, it can also compound the risks to human health. Zika is a mosquito-borne disease, spread by the daytime biting Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, and outbreaks are occurring throughout Latin and Central America — as... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Aug 15, 2016
Monsanto’s latest genetically engineered (GE) seeds are wreaking havoc this season in soybean country. “Xtend,” the corporation’s new GE soybean, is engineered to tolerate application of the drift-prone herbicide dicamba. The seed was approved in 2015, and now soybean farmers who did not adopt it are reporting damage to their crops from dicamba drift. And the damage is extensive. An estimated 200,000 acres of soybeans have been lost so far on farms in Arkansas, Tennessee and Misssouri. Growers of other crops, such as peaches, are suffering significant losses as well. How did this happen?... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
Aug 04, 2016
As I follow the news from this very unusual (!) presidential election cycle, it's clear that food and farming issues aren't high on the political agenda — which is a shame. Fixing our very broken system could help us tackle a wide range of health, equity and environmental issues, including our resilience in the face of a changing climate. The need for food system reform also showcases the broader, deeper problem of undue corporate influence on both politics and policymaking. As the powerful "Big 6" pesticide and biotech corporations further consolidate into the (even bigger) three or four,... Read More
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Linda Wells
Aug 04, 2016
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Last night, my neighborhood gathered for a community potluck. My neighbor David planned kid-friendly activities, including a piñata. He confessed to me that there was no candy inside it, only toys — he had originally bought a big bag of Tootsie Rolls, but when he read "this product made with genetic engineering" on the packaging, he decided to fill the paper maché Minion doll with trinkets instead. David looked at me incredulously: "Tootsie Rolls?!?" As in, how could something so classic include genetically engineered ingredients? David's decision shows the power of on-package labeling of GE... Read More
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