Reclaiming the future of food and farming

Pesticide Action Network's blog

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Dow's cancer-causing 'garbage' chemical in drinking water

For more than 50 years, Dow Chemical Company and Shell Oil knowingly included a highly toxic waste chemical in their fumigant pesticide products, rather than paying to dispose of it properly. The chemical, 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP), is a known carcinogen.

TCP is considered a "garbage" chemical because it is a by-product of the plastics manufacturing process — it is not intentionally produced. By including TCP in their fumigants, which are widely used in California to kill nematodes, Dow and Shell Oil contaminated drinking water in communities throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Several cities are now suing both companies for cleanup costs.

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A better Food & Farm Bill - now!

Congress is hard at work writing the 2012 Farm Bill, and people across the country are calling for food and farming policy that creates jobs, invests in farmers and ensures healthy food is widely available.

Farm Bills happen twice a decade, and they are a confusing mess every time. But you don’t need to be an expert to understand that we deserve a Food and Farm Bill that uses tax-payer moneys wisely — not to prop up a bloated and broken model of industrial agriculture, but to support food and farming systems that feed the future.

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Bitter Seeds

The tragic true story of the failure of GE technology in India has been told in a powerful new documentary by Micha Peled. Bitter Seeds — now showing at the San Francisco International Film Festival — details the predicament of central Indian cotton farmers, trapped in Monsanto's genetically modified seed scheme.

Farmers, refused loans by legitimate banks, borrow from illegal moneylenders at exorbitant interest rates in order to purchase Monsanto's expensive GE cotton seeds.

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Yet MORE evidence that pesticides are key culprit in bee die-offs

Scientific evidence continues to mount strengthening the case that neonicotinoid pesticides are indeed key drivers behind colony collapse disorder (CCD). Three new studies out in the past two weeks, including one today, add to the growing body of evidence that implicate pesticides as a critical catalyst behind drastic declines in bee population. 

With beekeepers continuing to lose more than one-third of their hives each year, on average, the research is timely. Yet pesticide manufacturers like Bayer are attacking the science and attempting to delay regulatory action.

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Pesticidemakers in paradise

To many, Hawai’i is a veritable paradise on earth. But trouble has been brewing as the Big 6 pesticide and biotech companies have begun staking their claim on the islands.

“Pesticide corporations and their seed companies are consuming Kauai’s resources — especially land and water — at dramatic rates,” reports PAN staff member Paul Towers. Last week, Towers toured the island of Kauai with members of Hawai’i SEED to learn first-hand about the community group's efforts to challenge Monsanto & Co. head on, and to advance their alternative vision of healthy farming systems. 

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What's next on methyl iodide? Update from the courtroom

Timing is everything. On March 20, Arysta LifeScience pulled its cancer-causing pesticide, methyl iodide, from the U.S. market. The decision came after years of public outcry against the undue influence that Arysta, the largest privately held pesticide corporation in the world, had on science and governance during the rulemaking.

Interestingly enough, Arysta's decision was announced on the eve of a critical hearing in the methyl iodide lawsuit that Earthjustice and California Rural Legal Assistance filed on behalf of Pesticide Action Network, farmworkers, Californians for Pesticide Reform and many others.

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Bees still sick, EPA still stuck...time to get serious!

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Today, PAN joined beekeepers and partners Beyond Pesticides and Center for Food Safety in filing a legal petition that calls on EPA to suspend registration of Bayer’s controversial bee-toxic pesticide, clothianidin.

We also delivered over a million signatures from individuals around the world — including over 20,000 PAN supporters — calling on EPA to take decisive action to protect honey bees from neonicotinoid pesticides before it is too late.

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7,000 thank-you notes for farmer Oluf

Last month, we introduced PAN supporters to Oluf and Debra Johnson, the organic farmers in Minnesota who have been fighting to protect their crops from pesticide drift for over a decade. We asked the PAN community to help us thank the Johnsons for their courageous perseverance in the face of adversity.

This week our Midwest organizer, Linda Wells, visited the Johnson farm and delivered a book for Oluf and Debra made up of the more than 7,000 signatures and individual thank-you notes from PAN supporters. The couple was beyond grateful. 

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Rural families take on fumigant pesticides

A group of rural Californians made the trek to Sacramento Tuesday morning to tell lawmakers just how concerned they are about their families being exposed to cancer-causing soil fumigant pesticides.

Many people in Tehama county live just feet from where fumigant pesticides are routinely applied. At the state capitol, community members presented officials with data showing high levels of a carginogenic fumigant pesticide detected in yards neighboring one of these fields.

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PAN staff march for Fair Food with farmworkers in FL

Last Saturday, PAN staff marched alongside 700+ people who came out in support of Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to participate in a 3-mile march to the headquarters of Florida grocery chain Publix. CIW and allies called on the retailer to sign the Fair Food Agreement. This agreement would guarantee farmworkers better, safer working conditions and an additional penny per pound of tomatoes harvested. It has already been signed by Whole Foods, Subway and Trader Joe’s, among a host of others.

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