There have been ups and downs in the romance between Bayer and Monsanto, but this week they publicly announced their engagement. Monsanto has accepted a $66 billion offer from Bayer, heralding another mega merger between pesticide and biotech corporations.
Well that took awhile. In early September, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a list of products they will no longer allow in soaps. On that list was the pesticide triclosan — which was identified as a chemical of concern in 1972.
Last Friday, a small crowd gathered in the agriculture building at the Minnesota State Fair. Beekeepers, entomologists, reporters, farmers and pollinator advocates circled around a small podium, waiting for Commissioner of Agriculture Dave Frederickson and Governor Mark Dayton to speak. The crowd wasn't disappointed. In a short press conference, Frederickson and Gov. Dayton announced new rules to restrict the use of bee-harming pesticides — and make the state a national leader in protecting pollinators.
Protecting children from pesticides. What could be more straightforward than that? Science clearly shows that children — from the tiniest newborn all the way through high school — are much more vulnerable to the impacts of pesticide exposure than adults. And state data shows that rural California kids are regularly exposed to pesticides drifting from agricultural fields into their schools and daycare centers.
Agroecology provides a robust set of solutions to the environmental and economic pressures facing agriculture today.
Farmers around the globe have been cultivating and implementing agroecological practices for generations.
Agroecological farming works. It's productive, strengthens rural communities and sustains regional food economies.
PAN stands in solidarity with families that have been impacted by microcephaly and other serious health impacts of the Zika virus.
Monsanto’s latest genetically engineered (GE) seeds are wreaking havoc this season in soybean country. “Xtend,” the corporation’s new GE soybean, is engineered to tolerate application of the drift-prone herbicide dicamba. The seed was approved in 2015, and now soybean farmers who did not adopt it are reporting damage to their crops from dicamba drift.
As I follow the news from this very unusual (!) presidential election cycle, it's clear that food and farming issues aren't high on the political agenda — which is a shame. Fixing our very broken system could help us tackle a wide range of health, equity and environmental issues, including our resilience in the face of a changing climate.