After 20 years of focused work with many partners across the US and around the world, chlorpyrifos is on its way out. As we celebrate and build on each victory, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the decades of multi-faceted, collaborative efforts to win policies that protect workers, children and rural communities from the well-known hazards of this commonly used insecticide.
We know that ending reliance on hazardous pesticides can only happen by creating healthy, just food and farming systems — and this means for all of us. One way we can do this? A safer, more transparent food chain. The EFI program is designed to signify that workers harvesting your produce are treated well and compensated fairly, while also including standards for food safety and pest management. That’s why we’re encouraging people to learn more about and take action for Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) certified produce as we celebrate EFI’s #GrowTheGood campaign through July 5.
We know that ending reliance on hazardous pesticides can only happen by creating healthy, just food and farming systems — and this means for all of us. One way we can do this? A safer, more transparent food chain.
Last week, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the 2018 Farm Bill by a vote of 86-11. While still flawed, the Senate bill is much better than the widely criticized House version of the bill, which narrowly passed a week prior.
Now the Farm Bill will go on to conference where the two versions will be reconciled into one final bill — and along with partners we’re pressing for the preservation of the Senate version of the bill, rather than retreating to the House version.
This week, we join farmworkers and farmworker advocates around the country in celebrating progress towards eliminating a long legacy of injustice. It’s National Farmworker Awareness week, and though a huge amount work remains, these are a few programs, organizations and policy wins to lift up and recognize as making strides towards creating a fair, just food system for all.
In October 2015, we celebrated with farmworker unions and advocates when a much-improved Worker Protection Standard (WPS) was approved. The WPS is the only federal rule that protects farmworkers from exposure to hazardous pesticides on the job, and hadn't been updated in more than 20 years.
Not surprisingly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it is planning to put the new rules on hold.
Approximately every five years the U.S. Congress passes a multi-billion dollar set of policies collectively known as the Farm Bill — although it really should be called the “Food and Farm Bill” since about 80% of funds support food access and nutrition programs. Other policies include crop insurance and subsidies to large commodity crop growers (like corn and soybean), as well as a variety of small but vital supports to help new farmers get started. There are also programs to support family farmers implementing practices to better protect soil, water and pollinator resources.
In these troubled times I’m eager to find rays of hope. In the world of food and farming, one such glimmer is the growing recognition by gardeners and farmers, consumers and politicians that healthy soil is essential to our community and planetary well-being.
Scott Pruitt's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — in yet another subversion of justice — is bowing to industry interests to delay implementation of two 2015 rules designed to better protect farmworkers and their families from harmful pesticide exposure. How is that "protection?"
This Farmworker Awareness Week, please join me in celebrating the two million men and women who toil throughout the year, coast to coast in U.S. agricultural fields bringing a cornucopia to tables in this country and around the world.