In 1982, the luster of the “Green Revolution” was beginning to fade. The promised increases in yields from “miracle” hybrid grains that required high inputs of water, chemical fertilizers and pesticides had failed to appear. The global pesticide trade, however, was thriving — yielding dramatic profits for chemical corporations as farmers were lured onto a dangerous pesticide treadmill.
Several thousand individuals who have been exposed to Monsanto’s (now Bayer) flagship herbicide Roundup and suffered from cancer are in the process of suing the agrichemical giant. This week saw the completion of the second trial, and the second ruling in favor of the plaintiff.
In late February, the White House announced plans to put together a panel to see if climate change is really a threat. The fact that this is even a question for the administration is bad — though not surprising — but even worse is the fact that the president picked a fervent climate science denier to lead the panel.
The news over the past few weeks has been riddled with headlines like “Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’,” “Monarch butterflies are going extinct,” and “The insect apocalypse is here.” If it sounds bad, that’s because it is.
Scientists from the U.S. Geological Service have published findings that two metabolites — or what is left when a chemical is broken down — of a widely used neonicotinoid insecticide have been found in tap water. The findings are sparking public health concerns, as one of the metabolites is 319 times more toxic to mammals than the parent neonicotinoid chemical, imidacloprid.
A week after the inauguration of Governor Gavin Newsom and a few days into the legislative session, the California Food and Farming Network (CFFN) and the California Food Policy Council (CAFPC) have released the 2018 Food & Farm Scorecard — a report revealing the policy votes of California’s 120 elected state legislators on food and farming issues. Pesticide Action Network is a member of CFFN.
Mai Nguyen (they/them) is a grain farmer, the California Organizer with the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC), and a founding member of the California Farmer Justice Collaborative (CFJC). PAN’s Farmer Justice Fellow Moretta Browne recently talked with Mai about co-organizing the California Farmer Justice Collaborative.
After months of negotiations, the 2018 Farm Bill was just passed by the U.S. House and Senate. Next up? The bill is expected to be signed into law by the end of the week.
For the second year in a row, California is experiencing unprecedented devastation and loss brought about by fires, ripping through communities in both the northern and southern regions of the state.
However, in the midst of destruction and hardship, people have been stepping up for each other in inspiring ways. Numerous online donation platforms have been set up, businesses and organizations are collecting food, clothing and other material donations, and helping hands are coming from many directions.
With 435 House and 35 Senate races on the ballot last week, the 2018 midterms were closely watched across the nation – not least of all by advocates of sustainable agriculture.