Reclaiming the future of food and farming

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At EPA’s front door: “Protect bees from pesticides”

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Standing outside EPA headquarters in Washington DC yesterday, beekeepers — flanked by Center for Food Safety, PAN and Beyond Pesticides — called for immediate action to protect bees from hazardous pesticides.

It’s not the first time EPA has been asked to take action. Far from it. For the past two years beekeepers, PAN and allies — including more than a million people across the country — have submitted numerous public and legal petitions urging the Agency to move more quickly in its evaluation of bee-harming pesticides, and fix the flawed process for allowing them on the market in the first place.

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Talking POPs in Geneva

PAN and our partners have been on the ground in Geneva this week, participating in the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC8)

Here at this annual gathering of scientists and policymakers from around the world, chemicals are considered for addition to the Stockholm Convention. This international treaty bans or restricts use of chemicals deemed to be "persistent organic pollutants" (POPs) due to their harmful impacts on health and their long-lasting presence in the environment.

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Biggest opponents of labeling GE food? Pesticide corporations.

According to filings released by the California Secretary of State last week, the world’s six largest pesticide corporations are now the six largest funders of opposition to Proposition 37.

Collectively the "Big 6"  have contributed more than $20 million to oppose the measure that would label genetically engineered food, including an intensive advertising campaign over the past two weeks.

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State of the science on children & pesticides

The Collaborative on Health and the Environment, an international partnership of more than 4,000 health professionals and organizations engaged with environmental health issues, is sponsoring an open-access teleconference to explore the latest research on how pesticides are affecting children's health.

50 Years After Silent Spring: Pesticides, Children's Health and the State of the Science will feature PAN staff scientist Dr. Emily Marquez, co-author of PAN's new report A Generation in Jeopardy, along with Dr. Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH, senior scientist at the Child and Family Research Institute at Children's Hospital in Vancouver, BC.

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Washington state takes on GE labeling

In news out earlier this week, food and farming leaders from the Evergreen State are taking up the issue of labeling genetically engineered foods on the state’s ballot. Despite the fact that federal and state governments have largely either ignored or assiduously avoided the issue, Washington joins California in taking the matter directly to the voters.

This should be no surprise, as ballot initiatives have proven the last resort when other policy arenas fail to take up or take action on public issues.

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Atrazine & birth defects, another link

A new study this week adds more weight to the case against atrazine. A rare birth defect that requires surgical correction to avoid life-threatening airway obstruction was associated with counties in Texas known to have high rates of atrazine use. The defect, known as choanal atresia and stenosis, is characterized by complete blockage and narrowing of regions of the airway, and often requires multiple surgeries to be corrected.

Mothers living in areas with high use rates of the common herbicide had a nearly two-fold increase in risk. 

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Pesticide pundits set sights on GE battle

This fall's mix of elections and anniversaries has stirred up a hornet's nest of talking heads.

September marks the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring as California is gearing up for a landmark vote on labeling genetically engineered food in November. The combination appears to be a perfect storm for pesticide-promoting pundits.

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Research links POPs & stroke

A recent study from Sweden shows that background exposure  — or long-term, low dose exposure — to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) may play an important role in the development or progression of stroke in the elderly.

Research has shown that exposure to POPs can lead to such chronic health problems as diabetes, obesity and hardening of the arteries leading to cardiovascular trouble. The recent Swedish study adds to this litany of human health harms.

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Ramping up the fight for our "right to know"

What’s in our food and how is it grown? That’s what many Californians are asking as they consider voting for Proposition 37, the ballot initiative to label genetically engineered food.

In conjunction with our statewide coalition — Californians for Pesticide Reform — and Communities for a New California, PAN is working hard to promote our fundamental right to know.

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Docs say corporate power threatens public health

For those who relegate the issue of corporate control to the sidelines of public debate, a new article published in the international, peer-reviewed British Medical Journal last month issued a surprising invitation to think again.

Professor Gerard Hastings at the University of Stirling points out the devastating impact on public health of the deceptive and virtually unregulated marketing campaigns of multinational corporations, connecting the dots between corporate takeover of the public mic and public health crises such as cancer, obesity and heart disease.

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