Reclaiming the future of food and farming

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Occupy Oakland, Occupy Food

On Wednesday, PAN joined the ever-growing Occupy movement in Oakland and the supermajority of Americans frustrated with corporate control of finances, homes and yes — food.

PAN and partners — including Californians for Pesticide Reform and Food & Water Watch — carved out a space among the thousands of concerned people gathered in Downtown Oakland to discuss the challenges posed by our corporate-controlled food and farming system.

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No more secret atrazine science

For over a year, PAN has been watching EPA’s long-overdue review of atrazine, a common herbicide and potent endocrine disruptor. From the outset we've called for reliance on science not funded by industry – and we've been disappointed. Of the roughly 25 health-related studies submitted for the review's final session, 10 were not available to the public and exempt from the rigors of peer review. These 10 ‘secret’ studies were also industry-funded.

Now the agency is accepting comments on a new petition to pull the use of atrazine, a petition that points to misleading industry-funded science as the basis for keeping this widely used herbicide on the market.

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Food Justice: Honoring our Roots & Growing the Movement

Join us at the Food Security 15th Annual Conference in Oakland from November 4-8. The conference will be held at the Oakland Marriott, 1001 Broadway, Oakland, CA.

This year’s conference theme is Food Justice: Honoring our Roots, Growing the Movement. Register now for 5 exciting and inspiring days of field trips, plenary presentations, hands-on workshops, “food movies,” prize ceremonies and more. 

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Protests grow over Dow Olympics sponsorship

Victims of the 1984 Bhopal pesticide plant explosion are working with British Members of Parliament, Amnesty International and others to expose and oppose sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics by Dow Chemical Company. Dow has been denying liability for cleanup of the Bhopal site and reparations for victims and their survivors ever since it bought the plant’s former owner, Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), in 2001.

 “The company's name will be emblazoned on the £7m artwork 'wrap' around the main stadium, guaranteeing months of exposure,” according to the UK Independent. Dow and UCC are defendants in a litigation case in India for clean-up of the Bhopal pesticide factory site.

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California strawberry fields face their first dose of methyl iodide

On Monday, Oct. 24, California strawberry fields may get their first dose of methyl iodide, exposing neighboring residents to the cancer-causing pesticide. 

County officials granted the permit last week, the same day PAN and the United Farm Workers filed a lawsuit against the state and pesticide manufacturer Arysta LifeScience.

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Farm tour offers lawmakers reality check

Last Monday, Oct. 10, California lawmakers were treated to a whirlwhind tour of farms and farmworker communities along the state's central coast. The Sustainable Food & Farming Tour brought legislators to see firsthand the critical issues facing agricultural families in the state.

The tour, co-organized by PAN, Californians for Pesticide Reform and Pesticide Watch, set out from San Francisco to visit farms, schools and homes. The packed day on the road put a real-world face to many of the urgent problems raised by pesticide use, and highlighted ground-proven solutions of sustainable agriculture.

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This World Food Day, we say celebrate & berate

This Sunday is World Food Day. It is a day to renew our commitment to ending the root causes of hunger.

It is also an opportunity to highlight the true costs of pesticide-dependent agriculture, and the corporate-controlled food system that goes with it. At PAN we're doing two things: celebrating bees and berating the Big 6. Join us!

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Cookies with chemical lobbyists

Ever had lunch with a high-powered lobbyist for the chemical industry? As the Monterey County Weekly reported last week, a small-town high school teacher and a university graduate student were invited to share cookies at the offices of a well-known Sacramento lobbying firm concerned about the growing public opposition to the cancer-causing strawberry pesticide methyl iodide.

Goal of lunch: Diffuse and disorient the local movement against methyl iodide.

Target: visible community leaders.

Didn't work. The problem with the lobbyist's approach is that it's hard to dissect a movement, especially when so many people have the facts. As PAN's Kathryn Gilje previously reported, the movement is made up of high school students, chemists, farmers, farmworkers, moms and many others working in different ways to protect health and the environment. Just last May, over 200,000 people across the country called on EPA to ban methyl iodide.

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Doctors' Rx: Say 'no' to brain toxicant

Health professionals are adding their voices to the demand that EPA protect children from the brain toxicant chlorpyrifos. 

Citing a growing body of scientific evidence linking exposure to this widely used pesticide with harms to children's health, more than two dozen health care professionals from across the country submitted a letter to EPA yesterday, calling on the agency to follow their prescription and take the pesticide completely off the market.

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