Reclaiming the future of food and farming

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DuPont hires ex-police to patrol soybean farms

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.

Linda Wells
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Farmer v. Monsanto goes to Supreme Court

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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PAN Partners launch nationwide report

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.  

Linda Wells
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MN court backtracks on pesticide drift

The Supreme Court of Minnesota recently issued a disappointing ruling on the legal rights of organic farmers faced with pesticide drift from neighboring farms.

As we reported some months ago, Oluf and Debra Johnson went to the courts when they lost their organic certification (and their crops) due to pesticide drift. They were looking for compensation for these losses, as well as future protection from pesticides drifting onto their farm. An appeals court had ruled favorably on their case — so the Johnsons were hoping for good news from the Supreme Court. Instead, the ruling severely limits potential compensation, and threatens organic enforcement standards across the state.

Linda Wells
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Thousands sue DuPont over tree-killing pesticide

Legal claims against the Big 6 pesticide company DuPont are piling up based on Imprelis, which has been linked to the loss of hundreds of thousands of trees nationwide.

Some 30,000 claims have been filed from individual homeowners, municipalities, landscapers and golf courses. There is also a class-action lawsuit in the works.

Linda Wells
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Minnesota mom rallies against pesticide drift

Bonnie Wirtz is a new mom living in Melrose, Minnesota. She and her husband moved there to start a farm and raise a family.

What they weren't planning on were the consequences of living in close proximity to frequent pesticide application. After one alarming incident of pesticide drift that put Bonnie in the hospital, this Minnesota mom took up the battle cry against pesticides and how they can harm children's health.  

Linda Wells
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Driftcatching with Iowa farmers

On a rainy day in Iowa last month, I found myself crowded into a small building perched on the Mustard Seed Community Farm near Ames. I was joined by PAN's new staff scientist, Emily Marquez, and we were honored to teach a group of local farmers how to use the PAN Drift Catcher.

The training took place at a field day hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI), and despite the downpour, we had a productive and fascinating afternoon.

Linda Wells
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Minnesota communities find pesticides in their air

Today Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is releasing Pesticide Drift Monitoring in Minnesota, a report that documents multiple pesticides in the air near homes and farms throughout Central Minnesota. This report is the result of diligent, on-the-ground monitoring by a group of citizens who have directly experienced harm from pesticide exposure — and are refusing to let it continue.

Since joining PAN earlier this year, collaborating with this group of farmers and rural residents has been my absolute favorite work. Their persistence in shining a light on pesticide exposure in their communities has both given me hope and shown me the severity — and urgency — of the problem. 

Linda Wells
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