corporate influence | Pesticide Action Network
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corporate influence

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Public outcry blocks worst of Iowa 'Ag Gag' bill

Last week, the Iowa Senate amended and passed the controversial Ag Gag Bill, which originally criminalized reporting of conditions at agricultural operations in the state.

Thanks to a great deal of public opposition to the original bill, including from PAN supporters, amendments removed all language about recordings taken of agricultural operations. The bill now focuses on tougher penalties for anyone who obtains access to agricultural operations under false pretenses.

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PAN's global tribunal got Dow's attention

Recently released emails reveal that Dow Chemical Co., one of the Big 6 pesticide corporations on trial in December's landmark Permanent People's Tribunal, was watching the tribunal very closely.

WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files earlier this week, a release including over five million emails from Stratfor, a company that "provides intelligence services to large corporations." The emails reveal at least half a dozen separate mentions of the tribunal during November and December of last year.

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Controversial "Ag Gag" bill considered in Iowa

The Iowa Senate is considering a state law that would criminalize the reporting of abusive conditions at animal or crop operations.

Several citizen and food transparency groups in Iowa have opposed the law, which they have dubbed the "Whistle Blower Suppression Bill" and the "Ag Gag Bill." Strong support for the measure is coming from multinational corporations like Monsanto and Dupont, as well as statewide organizations like the Iowa Poultry Association. 

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Genetically engineered Thanksgiving? No thanks.

As we prepare for Thanksgiving, a day to celebrate all that sustains us and brings us together, wouldn't it be nice to know whether the ingredients we're chopping, mixing and roasting have been genetically engineered?

Up to 80% of non-organic food on our shelves contains a GE ingredient. We don't know which of our foods are engineered though, because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t require labeling. Pushed onto the market by big agribusiness corporations like Monsanto, GE products are hidden in plain sight.

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Kristin Schafer's picture

Sneak attack on pesticide law foiled — for now

Last week, our national pesticide laws were the target of a sneak attack. An amendment that would have stripped EPA's power to protect our nation's waterways was attached to — of all things — the completely unrelated China Currency bill.

If the stakes weren't so high, it would be laughable. Attached as an amendment to what? Thanks in no small part to hundreds of outraged phone calls to the Senate from PAN supporters, the offending amendment was pulled — for the time being.

Kristin Schafer
Pesticide Action Network's picture

Just label it!

A staggering majority of Americans, 93% in fact, want to know when we're eating genetically engineered food. With up to 80% of the non-organic products on our shelves containing GE ingredients, and little-to-no long-term studies on their effects, we are concerned. 

Meanwhile much of the rest of the world — including Japan, Australia, the European Union and China — already requires genetically engineered foods to be clearly labeled, but in the U.S., biotech companies like Monsanto enjoy unfettered and unlabeled access to the market. The only sure way to know that a food product contains no GE components is to look for the organic seal.

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Kristin Schafer's picture

If it smells like a rat...

There's good news and bad news on the pesticide front this week. Let's take the good news first: A sting operation in New York City got 6,000+ packages of dangerous, illegal rat poison off shop shelves. Hats off to the public servants who got this done!

The bad news comes in two parts: First, the fact that products like this can slip through the cracks of our pesticide control system is downright frightening. And second, industry lawyers are busily weakening one of the few tools EPA officials have to quickly pull pesticide products from the market when they're found to be harmful. Really guys?

Kristin Schafer
Pesticide Action Network's picture

Dan Rather on pesticides & bees

Help start a national conversation on pesticides and bees by spreading the word about this hard-hitting, in-depth investigative report.

Dan Rather's investigative reporting team has produced a follow-up to their 2006 inquiry into Colony Collapse Disorder. Five years later, the situation remains substantively unaddressed by EPA.

Honey bees are still dying off at an average rate of 34% year, and the millions of dollars Congress set aside to investigate the issue has yielded no actionable findings for the federal agencies charged with stemming the tide of honey bee decline. 

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Heather Pilatic's picture

Scientific American fact-checkers on holiday

It’s the only explanation. Historically, Scientific American has been unafraid to confront right-wing attacks on science of the climate change denier and creationist sort. So when a blog appears under the SciAm masthead claiming to “bust" various myths of organics, citing industry-funded studies and commentary from fringe right-wingers like Alex Avery of the Hudson Institute, one wonders what happened.

Heather Pilatic
Kathryn Gilje's picture

Was it a bribe, Monsanto?

In some circles, it would be called a bribe, at best. Evidence revealed last week shows that Monsanto's former Chief Financial Officer admitted that the agrichemical corporation planned to spend $150 million in cash and trade incentives in Latin America, North America and Europe to spur the uptake of the pesticide glyphosate, better known as RoundUp. $150 million is no small change — and surely that's not all that's been spent.

The news came to light last week as part of an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Sadly, small farmers around the world know all too well the carrot and stick approaches that Monsanto and other pesticide giants use to lure farmers (and nations) toward industrial agriculture and onto the pesticide treadmill.

Kathryn Gilje

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