Reclaiming the future of food and farming


Abou Thiam's picture

Guest Blog: Real solutions for malaria in Africa

April 25th is World Malaria Day, a time to look back at progress made over the past year in the quest to control this dangerous disease. We also take a look at progress made in the shift toward sustainable, least toxic and effective malaria control tools.

Last year, we marked the day by highlighting on-the-ground successes in Senegal, Kenya and Ethiopia in reducing malaria with community based approaches. This year I join my colleague Dr. Paul Saoke from Physicians for Social Responsibility, Kenya to give our on-the-ground perspective on the path we think malaria control needs to take going forward.

Abou Thiam
Pesticide Action Network's picture

New links between Alzheimer’s & DDT

A recent study links exposure to the insecticide DDT to Alzhiemer’s disease. According to the study, even exposure to DDT decades ago may lead to a person developing the disease later in life.

DDT — a World War II-era pesticide used extensively in the U.S. until it was banned in 1972 — accumulates in people’s bodies and persists for decades. Alzeimer's joins a long list of associated health harms.

Pesticide Actio...
PAN International's picture

Guest blog: African communities tackle malaria

This year, we mark World Malaria Day by highlighting communities here in Africa that are winning the battle against this deadly disease. Locally-led programs from Senegal to Kenya to Ethiopia are employing malaria control methods that are safe for human health and environmentally sustainable. And it's working.

Over the past decade, our organizations — based in West and East Africa — have watched as global malaria control efforts focused in on a small handful of tactics: indoor spraying of insecticides, insecticide treated bed nets, treatment of malaria cases and preventative treatment for pregnant women. We've also seen the resulting rise of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes and resistance to drugs in humans, along with worrisome health impacts of the insecticides being used.

PAN International
Pesticide Action Network's picture

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.

Pesticide Actio...
Heather Pilatic's picture

Pesticides & the silencing of the bees


This month marks the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, the book that galvanized an extraordinary cross-section of the American public into what we now call the environmental movement. Fifty years later, her courage, skill and sacrifice still inspire, and her legacy remains the contested terrain of some of our country’s most disabling rituals of political partisanship. Pesticides still function as a kind of litmus test: either you’re for farmers and progress and “sound science,” or you’re in the camp of those reflexively “chemophobic” tree-hugging “environmentalists.” And your loyalties to one or the other of these tribes can be indexed to how you feel about pesticides.

Heather Pilatic
Abou Thiam's picture

Guest Blog: Remembering what works on World Malaria Day

Today, on April 25th, we celebrate World Malaria Day. It’s an opportunity to reflect on a serious disease that still affects far too many of the world’s poor. For Africans like myself, it is also an opportunity to highlight an on-the-ground perspective of how best to control malaria.

We've seen that the most effective strategies don't rely on chemical solutions, but on a comprehensive set of tools like biological control of disease vectors, environmental management, individual protections and public health education.

Abou Thiam
Kristin Schafer's picture

Science still catching up on DDT harms

Two recent studies report new evidence of the harms of a very old pesticide.

It's that pesky, persistent and infamous chemical, DDT. Nearly 40 years after its use in agriculture was banned in many countries around the world, it's still present in our environment, food and bodies at levels that harm human health. And children, once again, are especially vulnerable.

Kristin Schafer
Pesticide Action Network's picture

Sole DDT producer to close 1 of 3 plants

India's Hindustan Insecticide Limited (HIL) is the world's only company still producing DDT. This week, one of HIL's three factories was ordered closed by the Indian state of Kerala for that plant's failure to safely handle waste from the manufacture of endosulfan.

After issuing several warning letters like this one, Kerala's State Pollution Control Board finally issued a closure notice to the HIL plant based in the city of Eloor. 

Pesticide Actio...
Kathryn Gilje's picture

Earth Day - thinking back & looking forward

At Pesticide Action Network, we mark Earth Day by reflecting on the work handed to us by our predecessors. We take stock of their predictions for our world, and pull lessons for moving forward.

I am reminded, in particular, of Rachel Carson's articulate science and clarion call on pesticides in Silent Spring. Of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, and how their very first contracts demanded the decreased use of pesticides. Of farmers and eaters who have grown and harvested foods for millenia while protecting biodiversity and our earth. And of my own populist, upper Midwest heritage, and how the Wisconsinite Earth Day founders mobilized broad and diverse support for stewardship, 20 million strong in 1970, that led to some of the most important policies that safeguard our collective nest.

Kathryn Gilje