Drift | Pesticide Action Network
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Drift

Linda Wells's picture

Driftcatching with Iowa farmers

On a rainy day in Iowa last month, I found myself crowded into a small building perched on the Mustard Seed Community Farm near Ames. I was joined by PAN's new staff scientist, Emily Marquez, and we were honored to teach a group of local farmers how to use the PAN Drift Catcher.

The training took place at a field day hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI), and despite the downpour, we had a productive and fascinating afternoon.

Linda Wells
Linda Wells's picture

Minnesota communities find pesticides in their air

Today Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is releasing Pesticide Drift Monitoring in Minnesota, a report that documents multiple pesticides in the air near homes and farms throughout Central Minnesota. This report is the result of diligent, on-the-ground monitoring by a group of citizens who have directly experienced harm from pesticide exposure — and are refusing to let it continue.

Since joining PAN earlier this year, collaborating with this group of farmers and rural residents has been my absolute favorite work. Their persistence in shining a light on pesticide exposure in their communities has both given me hope and shown me the severity — and urgency — of the problem. 

Linda Wells
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7,000 thank-you notes for farmer Oluf

Last month, we introduced PAN supporters to Oluf and Debra Johnson, the organic farmers in Minnesota who have been fighting to protect their crops from pesticide drift for over a decade. We asked the PAN community to help us thank the Johnsons for their courageous perseverance in the face of adversity.

This week our Midwest organizer, Linda Wells, visited the Johnson farm and delivered a book for Oluf and Debra made up of the more than 7,000 signatures and individual thank-you notes from PAN supporters. The couple was beyond grateful. 

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Rural families take on fumigant pesticides

A group of rural Californians made the trek to Sacramento Tuesday morning to tell lawmakers just how concerned they are about their families being exposed to cancer-causing soil fumigant pesticides.

Many people in Tehama county live just feet from where fumigant pesticides are routinely applied. At the state capitol, community members presented officials with data showing high levels of a carginogenic fumigant pesticide detected in yards neighboring one of these fields.

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Teresa DeAnda's picture

Guest Blog: Toxic treadmill testimony

PAN is collecting messages for the Big 6 pesticide/biotech corporations that keep the global food system on a toxic treadmill. Here's one from an ally in California's central valley:

I have lived in Earlimart my whole life. I guess my family and neighbors are the poster children of what can go wrong when you grow up around pesticide applications. 

Before they were table grapes, now they are almond trees. Both these crops use very many applications of bad actor pesticides that can cause cancer, reproductive and nervous system damaging illnesses.

Always we just would accept the spray.

Teresa DeAnda
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Drifting pesticides linked to prostate cancer

Men who live in neighborhoods that experience pesticide drift are 1.5 times more likely to develop prostate cancer.

This is what scientists found in a one-of-a-kind study that compares rates of the cancer among men who lived near agricultural fields where methyl bromide, captan or organochlorine insecticides were applied with those who lived farther from drifting pesticides.

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Pesticides found guilty of 'chemical trespass,' again

Whether they are sprayed from planes or injected into the soil, pesticides don’t recognize fences or property lines. But pesticide users are, again, being forced to pay property owners for damage caused by airborne drift when they cross those lines.

According to a decision handed down July 26 by a Minnesota court, organic farmers who are victims of this “trespass” are entitled to compensation for pesticide contamination.

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Karl Tupper's picture

Blowin' in the wind (aka Drift)

It seems like a no-brainer: If you happen to live or work or go to school across the street from a field or orchard where pesticides are sprayed, you might think, "Maybe I'm breathing some of these pesticides." Especially when the wind blows from the field towards you. Especially when you can smell the pesticides. And you might also think, "Maybe this isn't good for me." Especially when the guys applying the pesticides are wearing Tyvek spacesuits. Especially if you start feeling ill.

And you'd be right to think these thoughts, even though most growers and pesticide applicators will tell you that you're crazy and have nothing to worry about. For years PAN's been working with concerned communities to show that these exposures are real and need to be taken seriously. And now a new study by scientists from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and various states' Departments of Health, corroborates what we've been saying all along.

Karl Tupper

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