Rebuilding a fair and resilient farming system means giving voice to those who have often been left out. Historically underserved farmers are just that – historically and systematically shut out of financial resources, markets, and technical assistance, among other opportunities. A group of farmers and farm allies across California seeking to change that lent their voices to some events at the State Capitol last week.
As the new legislative year kicked off in January, PAN joined food and farm groups across California in distributing a report card for California legislators, scoring them on their support of food & farming legislation from the previous year. And while nearly half of legislators earned a 100% ranking, the results belie efforts by legislators to advance more transformative policies.
Farmers and farmer allies recently celebrated the signing of two new bills by Governor Jerry Brown. Both will provide much-needed support for farmers, and one specifically seeks to address the historic barriers that farmers of color have faced — a particularly noteworthy policy amidst the national dialogue on race and racism.
Pesticide drift regularly occurs in California agricultural communities, and too often it flies under the radar. But in the past several months there have been four major drift incidents that bring the problem into sharper focus.
Last week, legislation to address historic racial inequities in agriculture cleared a major hurdle in California. The Farmer Equity Act passed with just a few dissenting votes, 72-4. PAN has been supporting the farmers leading the charge on this bill, following their lead on how to begin addressing the long history of systemic racism in agriculture.
California officials are close to finalizing new policies that could result in some of the strongest rules on pesticide use near schools. But will they fall short? Until April 4, California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is accepting public comment on a proposal to limit the use of the most hazardous pesticides near schools — but thanks to loopholes, this proposal doesn't offer nearly enough protection for schoolkids.
First steps are meaningful, depending on context. When my now 15-month-old took her first steps earlier this year, we celebrated her progress. It was a major milestone in her early life. But Hawai’i regulators don’t deserve the same kudos for their recent announcement intended to quell concerns about pesticide use on the islands.
Ignoring the science, California regulators just approved even more use of Dow's fumigant pesticide, Telone.
Air blaster. Aerial spraying. Fumigation. Unless things change, another school year will go by with pesticides being applied by these methods right outside classroom windows.
Earlier this month, dozens of pesticide and industrial agriculture lobbyists filled the halls of California’s Capitol as they worked to defeat the Pollinator Protection Act (SB 1282) on the Senate floor. If passed, this bill that would have created new protections for bees from harmful pesticides, along with ensuring that seeds and plants pre-treated with neonicotinoid pesticides be labeled as such. But unfortunately, pesticide industry interests prevailed — a deeply disappointing turn of event for those of us working to protect bees.