Reclaiming the future of food and farming

Pesticide Action Network's blog

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Thimbles of water on forest fires?

Maybe. But internationally recognized jazz guitarist John Scofield believes that small actions for change can make a difference. “I actually consider it a gift to musicians that we are given the opportunity to make contributions, however nominal, through our everyday efforts,” John tells us.

John has joined with Patagonia to benefit Pesticide Action Network, one song at a time. When a fan, activist or customer purchases John’s song “How Deep” for 99¢ via the Patagonia Music Collective, net proceeds go to PAN.  

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EPA responds to 'Wik-Bee Leak'

Last Friday EPA finally responded to our request that they immediately pull an unpronounceable neonicotinoid pesticide (clothianidin) from the market. Our December 8 letter pointed to a leaked Agency memo proving that the chemical was and is on the market on the basis of an invalid study. EPA's responding letter came after over 10 weeks of silence, in the face of hundreds of thousands of citizens voicing concern.

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PAN Asia Pacific launches Rice Action campaign

Rice, the staple food of three billion people around the world, is at risk. Chemical-intensive farming practices have wreaked havoc on rice cultivation, particularly in Asia.

Pesticide Action Network Asia/Pacific, with partners in 15 Asian countries, has launched Collective Rice Action, a campaign that will mobilize farmers, consumers and the media across Asia between January and March this year. Thousands of people will participate to celebrate and protect the strong tradition of rice cultivation around Asia. 

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Hearing to probe rushed approval of methyl iodide

On Tuesday, February 22, the California Assembly's Health and Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials committees will hold a joint oversight hearing examining the rushed circumstances under which methyl iodide was registered for use as a fumigant in California's strawberry fields.

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Coalition tells new Congress to stop playing politics with health

The public interest community came together this week to demand that lawmakers in Washington, DC, stop playing politics with public health and welfare. PAN joined a coalition of labor, environmental, consumer advocacy, health care, and other public interest organizations - 72 groups in all - in calling on the new Congress to oppose a fast-moving bill that aims to halt new protections designed to safeguard the American people.

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USDA approves GE sugar beets

On Feb. 4, USDA announced a “partial deregulation” of Monsanto’s genetically engineered sugar beets to allow planting in 2011. The move came despite a December federal court decision in which the judge ordered that GE beets already planted to produce seed “shall be removed from the ground”. USDA has defied the court on behalf of Monsanto before.

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Bed bugs outsmart pesticides

As EPA hosted its second annual National Bed Bug Summit in Washington, D.C. this week, evidence continues to mount that bed bugs are increasingly immune to the pesticides being used to control them.

Bed bugs are providing a textbook example of how pests become resistant to pesticides. According to researchers at Ohio State University, when pesticides are applied to bed bug colonies, inevitably a small population survives and develops resistance to the chemical used. As these survivors reproduce, they pass on that resistance to their offspring, creating new generations of pesticide-resistant bed bugs.

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Endosulfan harms children & bees in India

Endosulfan is in the news in India again, with new evidence of the insecticide's impact on children and bees.

On January 23, a report covered in The Hindu found that endosulfan is linked to declining honeybee populations in Idukki and Kasaragod districts in India. Scientists observed that the day following an endosulfan spray, local honeybees showed symptoms of poisoning and died. Corresponding declines in fruit yields were also reported where endosulfan had been sprayed, possibly reflecting the loss of the pollinators.

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USDA's Organic Initiative supports real change

Taxpayers care how federal money is spent on agriculture. We want the government to spend more to help farmers conserve natural resources, produce safe food and develop their communities and less on direct commodity payments and price supports. This according to a study  out of Oklahoma State University just released by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). 

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Monsanto's GE alfalfa gets USDA green light

On January 27, Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack announced the USDA's decision to de-regulate Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa, allowing it to be grown anywhere and placing both organic and conventional farmers at risk. “We in the farm sector are dissatisfied but not surprised at the lack of courage from USDA to stop Roundup Ready alfalfa and defend family farmers,” said Pat Trask, a conventional alfalfa grower and plaintiff in litigation to prevent planting of GE alfalfa.

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