PAN board member Kyle Powys Whyte holds the Timnick Chair in the Humanities at Michigan State University. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability and a member of the Potawatomi Nation. PAN’s Executive Director Kristin Schafer recently chatted with Kyle about Indigenous food sovereignty and how PAN’s work intersects with his own.
What were they thinking over at The Atlantic? Last week, the normally fact-focused magazine and media company hosted an event entitled "Harvest: Transforming the Food We Eat" in New York City — and the evening was wholely underwritten by the Agricultural Division of DowDuPont.
In October 2015, we celebrated with farmworker unions and advocates when a much-improved Worker Protection Standard (WPS) was approved. The WPS is the only federal rule that protects farmworkers from exposure to hazardous pesticides on the job, and hadn't been updated in more than 20 years.
Not surprisingly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it is planning to put the new rules on hold.
On a brilliant day in July, twenty-some years ago, I stood ankle-deep in the cool mud of a fragrant rice field in central Thailand, listening to the farmers around me discuss the bugs on the plants (were these “satru puut” or “satru thammachat”? pests or natural enemies?), and whether or not the Nitrogen-fixing aquatic Azolla they had introduced into one of their experimental plots would do more to increase their yields than the chemical fertilizer in the comparison plots.
I try to be optimistic, but the past year hasn't been a great one for science.
The "war on science" you hear people talking about? It's real, and we're already seeing its results. Without input from researchers on the leading edge of science, policymakers are less equipped to make informed decisions — and it's easier for industry lobbyists to get their way.
As the new legislative year kicked off in January, PAN joined food and farm groups across California in distributing a report card for California legislators, scoring them on their support of food & farming legislation from the previous year. And while nearly half of legislators earned a 100% ranking, the results belie efforts by legislators to advance more transformative policies.
With the 2018 growing season approaching, agricultural states across the country are stepping up to ensure farmers don’t experience the same pesticide drift epidemic that wreaked havoc on farmland last summer.
Application of the drift-prone herbicide in question, dicamba, led to an estimated 3.6 million acres of crop damage last year after a rushed approval of Monsanto’s new dicamba-resistant seed line.
On Tuesday, California lawmakers took steps to add stricter penalties for pesticide drift violations in the state. With a 5-0 vote, members of the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee moved AB 1419 forward, signaling support for the health and safety of California farmworkers and farming communities.
In early January, the City Council of Portland, Maine unanimously passed a tough ban on synthetic pesticide use in the city, leading many Portland residents to applaud their city’s new “organic” status. The ordinance comes in as one of the strongest pesticide use reduction policies in the country.