In a huge win for small farmers and Native communities, Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador closed out 2020 by issuing a decree that will phase out the use of the herbicide glyphosate and genetically modified (GM) corn in the country by 2024.
A recent systematic review of unintentional acute pesticide poisonings found that an estimated 385 million farmers and farmworkers are poisoned every year around the world.
In the last days of Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s tenure, the agency is up to the same old tricks, gifting the pesticide industry with one last (we hope) favor, by approving continued use of paraquat, the most deadly herbicide used in the country today.
The season of paperwork, repairs and planning starts at our farm during the weeks immediately following Thanksgiving. It is also the point when we have a little more time to interact with other farmers. This is our opportunity to talk about successes, failures and future plans with people who have the experience to appreciate what we do.
Most farmers have a particular crop that they would identify as their favorite, and I enjoy growing sweet and bell peppers. A healthy pepper plant shows glossy green leaves on a compact plant, making it relatively easy to cultivate and harvest. I love the way they look, and it’s rewarding to fill harvest containers with mature fruit that will find homes with our customers. In the winter months I dream of the neat rows of plants loaded with fruit.
Communities have shown up for each other in amazing ways during this tough year. Now comes the hard work of building the healthy, resilient food and farming system we so urgently need.
A few weeks ago, Qu Dongyu, the Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced his intention to develop a new partnership with CropLife (the pesticide industry trade body) to transform agri-food systems.
Like you, we’re taking a big, deep breath as 2020 wraps up. Our local organizing is a critically important step toward a more just food and agriculture system. And we know ultimately, the solutions will take hard work from all of us — on farms and in communities around the world.
People showed up for democracy last week. Now, like many across the country, we’re taking a deep breath and looking toward the year ahead.