The phrase “food is political” pops up all the time in the food and farm movement world, and has particular weight right now as we head toward the finish line of this incredibly fraught and consequential election season. So what, exactly, does it mean?
For years now, pesticide industry giants have been peddling their genetically engineered (GE) technology kits: modified seeds and the herbicides that go with them. Clear evidence shows this system is dangerous, brittle and failing, yet these corporations are now doubling down.
Right now, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is considering a request from Monsanto (recently acquired by Bayer) to approve a new GE corn seed engineered for use with five — yes, five — different herbicides. This is a truly terrible idea.
One week ago, George Floyd was killed by a police officer on the streets of Minneapolis. Here at PAN, we are outraged by the senseless murder of this unarmed Black man, and also by the brutal killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery — and so many others.
For years, we’ve seen how the pesticide industry works the system to keep their products on the market. But under this administration? It’s beyond the pale.
It’s not news to anyone that giant corporations like Monsanto and Dow (now Bayer and Corteva) invest billions to influence politicians and buddy up with regulators. Or that they send teams of slick experts to international arenas to get a seat at these high-level policy tables.
Last night at midnight, a “shelter in place” order went into effect here in Northern California, directing people to stay home except to get groceries or medical care.
As is now crystal clear, a healthy democracy demands much more than simply showing up at the polls. But as we move into this fraught election year, let’s not forget just how important voting can be. It matters.
Last month, PAN Executive Director Kristin Schafer attended the opening day of the state legislature in Hawai’i. She joined our Protect Our Keiki coalition partners and hundreds of people from across the islands — including busloads of students — who came to meet up with their legislators, take part in workshops, and participate in traditional cultural practices, including pounding poi.
Reflecting back on 2019, I’m feeling inspired, appreciative — and energized.
I’m inspired by the momentum that’s building to make the changes our food system needs. California and New York took the brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos off the market, building on last year’s successful legislative ban in Hawai’i.
Each year on December 3, we join our PAN International colleagues across the globe to mark the anniversary of the deadly pesticide plant leak in Bhopal, India. Today is the 35th anniversary of that tragic event.
Yet another scientific study shows just how deadly our chemical-intensive farming system has become to pollinators and other insects.