GroundTruth Blog

Linda Wells's blog

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Whew! I just got off the road from a wintry, whirlwind tour of farms, churches and schools in Minnesota and Iowa. My colleague Emily Marquez and I completed our last of four Drift Catcher trainings, certifying 26 new citizen Drift Catchers.

The participants are passionate farmers and parents who are affected by pesticide drift each year and want to use PAN's monitoring technology to document that exposure. Together, we'll be working to highlight the very real problem of pesticide drift in the Midwest, and to work towards concrete ways to reduce the health and economic harms of pesticides.

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The near-exponential spread of herbicide-resistant "superweeds" across U.S. farmland is reminding us all that no matter how much the Big 6 pesticide corporations invest in research and development, they can't outsmart Mother Nature.

In just the past two years, the number of fields with glyphosate-resistant weeds has doubled. Farmers reported these particular superweeds on 61.2 million acres in 2012, up from 32.6 million acres in 2010. This, according to a new report by the agrichemical industry consultancy firm, Stratus.  

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Seed and chemical giant DuPont just hired a fleet of ex-police officers to patrol the farmlands of North America.

The second-largest seed company used to rely on their partner/competitor Monsanto to play the industry ‘bad cop’ when it came to seed policing. But now DuPont executives have made it clear that they are not afraid to make some enemies as they protect the company's intellectual property interests in genetically engineered seeds. And they've hired an "agro-protection" company staffed by former police officers to do it.

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The Supreme Court announced last week that an Indiana farmer who was sued by Monsanto will get another day in court.

Vernon Hugh Bowman was forced to pay Monsanto $84,000 for planting seeds containing patented RoundUp Ready genes without paying technology fees to the chemical and seed giant. If the Supreme Court overturns this decision when it hears Bowman's appeal, its ruling could drastically change the biotech seed industry. 

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Last week PAN released a new report, A Generation in Jeopardy: How pesticides are undermining our children's health & intelligence with events in 10 cities. The report has landed well, with media outlets across the country spotlighting the growing body of evidence that pesticides are one of the reasons that children are less healthy today.

We're excited this national conversation is underway — and we could not have made it happen without the support of our PAN Partners. Here in Minnesota we worked with doctors, moms and advocacy organizations who are also working in the state to keep kids safe from toxic chemicals.