GroundTruth Blog

Kathryn Gilje's blog

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When it comes to ovaries, I get protective. Infertility, endometriosis, and fibroids aren't words I should have to use as frequently as I do. And I'm not the only one noticing this disturbing trend. Women around me agree that something is definitely wrong.

Science is increasingly pointing to chemicals in our lives that act as endocrine disruptors, causing problems associated with reproductive health. According to an article in Environmental Health News last week, "Several new studies are adding to the evidence that some estrogen-mimicking pesticides and industrial chemicals may increase women's risk of uterine and ovarian diseases — helping to solidify a theory that emerged two decades ago."

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Anniston, Alabama: another case where a chemical corporation ran above the law, and left tragic consequences for generations to come. The families of West Anniston live with the legacy of a Monsanto plant, and the toxic soil Monsanto left behind. Now the science shows that residents have diabetes from exposure to chemicals (PCBs, in particular) in that soil. Those with diabetes are mostly African American, and mostly women. Truly, their health has been taken away, even as safer alternatives to compounds such as these exist. 

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I’m writing with significant news. Please allow me to introduce you to a fabulous new member of the PAN community, our incoming Executive Director, Judy Hatcher. The entire team here at PAN is so thrilled to have Judy at the helm, and we hope you'll join us in welcoming her.

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On May 25, Syngenta settled the lawsuit brought against them by water systems across the country, agreeing to pay more than $100 million to clean up contamination with their endocrine-disrupting pesticide atrazine. Former Chief Justice Michael Wolff of the Missouri Supreme Court called the settlement a remarkable achievement that will have far-reaching impact on the safety and quality of public drinking water.

This lawsuit is a hard-fought, symbolic victory. To make it mean more, we need policy protections and we need Syngenta lobbyists to let scientists and government officials do their jobs.

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The controversial pesticide atrazine, found in U.S. drinking water and linked to cancers, birth defects and low fertility, is on the big screen this weekend. And Syngenta, largest pesticide corporation in the world and maker of atrazine, is fighting with fire.

The chemical giant's PR machine is in high gear, downplaying the risks of atrazine exposure and even claiming that its gender-bending chemical can save the day. Greenwashing at its best.