Paul Towers's blog | Pesticide Action Network
Reclaiming the future of food and farming

Paul Towers's blog

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Pesticide drift works overtime

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.

Paul Towers
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Don't confuse baby steps in Hawai'i with meaningful action

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.

Paul Towers
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Wins for bees in the Golden State

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.

Paul Towers
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Justice delayed for Latino schoolchildren

The phrase “justice delayed is justice denied” has real meaning for children living near California farm fields. Since the first lawsuit was filed seventeen years ago, Latino schoolkids are still being disproportionately impacted by agricultural pesticides — many linked to cancer and neurodevelopmental harms. And now parents are taking on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remedy violations of the Civil Rights Act.

Paul Towers
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Guess what?! Strawberry pesticides are in the air.

What’s being applied on the strawberry field next door? For many Californians, the answer is a big question mark. And the issue has taken on added significance as state officials consider how best to answer that question — and then inform parents about the health-harming pesticides being applied near homes and schools.

Paul Towers
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A beekeeper for president?

Issues: 

Maybe it’s time for a beekeeper for president. They can manage complex hives, provide critical support for farms and ecosystems, and ensure we get to eat an amazing array of fruits, nuts and vegetables. And they are some of the first to recognize that bee declines are a symptom of larger problems in our broken agricultural system.

Paul Towers

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