Reclaiming the future of food and farming
Linda Wells's picture

What's up with the TPP?

If you're like me, you've known for awhile that the U.S. is negotiating a new trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but you haven't taken the time to figure out exactly why it matters. Hey, I don't blame us — there's a reason it's hard to understand: the corporations and governments negotiating the deal don't want our opinions slowing down their shiny new free-trade agreement.

In fact, if everything goes as planned, very few of us — not reporters, only a handful of legislators, and certainly not you and me — will get to read the deal before it is signed into law. But this past week there have been some big hiccups in that plan, making me think it is actually possible to stop this thing if we all start paying attention right now.

Medha Chandra's picture

Climate & chemicals create crisis in Alaska

Indigenous communities of Inuit Yup’ik living on the St. Lawrence Island of Alaska face a tough winter ahead. For over 20 years, the communities have suffered from unusually high burdens of cancers, miscarriages and other health complications due to their high exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

Medha Chandra
Pesticide Action Network's picture

New FDA rules undercut sustainable ag

New food safety rules now being considered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are causing concern among farmers and consumers across the country.

As currently written, the rules would unfairly burden family farmers, undermine sustainable and organic farming — and reduce the overall availability of fresh, local food. FDA is currently at the "rulemaking stage," turning the food safety bill passed by Congress in 2009 into actual regulations. They are accepting public comments on the draft rules until November 22.

Pesticide Actio...
Linda Wells's picture

Celebrating women in agriculture

This week I had the immense pleasure of attending the 4th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture in Des Moines, Iowa. The conference was hosted by the Women, Food, and Agriculture Network (WFAN), one of PAN's partners in our Midwest Drift Catching work.

With approximately 400 participants, the conference brings together women farmers, advocates and landowners from across the country to share resources and dialogue about solutions for transitioning to a more sustainable food system. It was an incredible event — three days of women sharing their deepest hopes and smartest strategies about how to improve agriculture.

Linda Wells
Paul Towers's picture

Monsanto money buys WA election

This is NOT what democracy looks like. In a replay of California’s narrowly defeated labeling initiative last fall, a handful of corporations effectively bought Washington state’s election to label genetically engineered (GE) foods.

In the face of impressive grassroots support and fundraising, pesticide and Big Food corporations spent $22 million to defeat I-522 — more than any campaign in the state’s history and the equivalent of $30 per voter. As the largest single contributor, Monsanto led the charge. Yet despite being heavily outspent, the initiative was defeated by a small margin.

Paul Towers
Pesticide Action Network's picture

The scary fight for GE labeling

This Halloween, voters in Washington state are finding their airwaves and mailboxes filled with more tricks than treats.

In the final days before next Tuesday's vote, pesticide corporations and Big Food companies are spreading scary misinformation in their bid to block GE labeling in the state. As California’s Proposition 37 did last year, Washington’s I-522 threatens to expose the GE industry’s dirty little secret: that GE crops drive up pesticide use. So as next week's vote approaches, it’s no surprise that industry is hiding behind a mask.

Pesticide Actio...
Judy Hatcher's picture

It's high time to 'rethink pink'

Another October is passing, in a rosy fog of marketing and special events meant to raise awareness about breast cancer. Everyone from the National Football League to fast-food franchises is cheerfully urging us to walk, run and shop to find a cure for a disease that now affects one in eight women in the U.S.

The attention is certainly warranted. But a growing chorus of commentators is now urging us to "rethink pink." What should we do instead? I’d say let’s put more energy into doing what we can to reduce our exposure to carcinogenic chemicals. Seems like pure common sense.

Judy Hatcher
Paul Towers's picture

Will California save the bees?


Last week I sat through a long hearing in the California legislature, all about bee declines. By the end, I was both excited and frustrated. As I noted in my closing comments at the hearing, California can and must take action to address the dramatic declines.

This is an important opportunity for the state to be a driver of good public policy nationally. And addressing the issue here in California will be good for our business — the benefits of bees to our agricultural economy are tremendous. While it was encouraging to see legislators taking the issue up at the hearing, it was frustrating to see the room filled with pesticide corporations and their allies trying to confuse the discussion and delay action.

Paul Towers
Margaret Reeves's picture

Mexico puts hold on GE corn

Mexico is known across the globe as the “birthplace of corn.” It’s home to thousands of types of traditional maize, as well as teoesinte, the grass ancestor of any and all corn varieties. Corn is also a cornerstone of food traditions in Mexico, from tortillas to tamales to pozole.

That’s why last week’s announcement from a federal judge that all field trials of genetically engineered (GE) corn are suspended in Mexico is very, very big news.

Margaret Reeves