Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released several scientific assessments that found commonly used neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) can kill and harm birds of all sizes. This comes on the heels of new research from the University of Saskatchewan, with experimental evidence finding dramatic effects of neonics on birds inhabiting farmland or open countryside — causing migrating songbirds to lose their sense of direction and suffer drastic weight loss.
What an incredible — and challenging — year this has been.
On the national stage, we've seen several key issues we work on here at PAN move into the spotlight like never before. Thanks to ill-advised federal policy decisions, it is now common knowledge that pesticides harm children’s health, and that farmland can be devastated by pesticide drift. The corporate capture of our public agencies has been on display for all to see.
Following a clear body of science, California just listed chlorpyrifos as a "developmental toxicant." The insecticide is still widely used in agriculture across the state (and country), but now it will be officially listed with other health-harming chemicals under Proposition 65, the "Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986."
Along with PAN International colleagues, we'll be honoring International Day of No Pesticide Use on December 3. This anniversary — which marks the tragic disaster in Bhopal, India 33 years ago — serves as an annual reminder of how pesticides are harming communities around the world, every day.
After much public debate, the European Union (EU) recently determined that it will renew glyphosate for another five years —a shorter renewal than it could have been, but not ideal when what we really wanted was a rejection of the license renewal altogether.
With the holiday season upon us, food is top of mind for many. In addition to an opportunity to celebrate with our nearest and dearest, this is also a perfect time to reflect on how our food is grown — and how we support the people doing that work.
We saw this coming with Scott Pruitt. Long before he became Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), his allegiances to industry were clear. And with new policies at the agency, he's paving the way for even more corporate sway over how our air, soil, water and communities are protected (or not).
After years of pressure from communities across California, the state's Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) finally took action last week to protect schoolchildren from agricultural pesticide exposure. While not all that we'd hoped for, state officials announced new rules that establish a buffer zone for agricultural pesticides around public schools and daycare centers.
Sam Clovis — controversial nominee for the top scientist post at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) — withdrew his name from consideration.
Approximately every five years the U.S. Congress passes a multi-billion dollar set of policies collectively known as the Farm Bill — although it really should be called the “Food and Farm Bill” since about 80% of funds support food access and nutrition programs. Other policies include crop insurance and subsidies to large commodity crop growers (like corn and soybean), as well as a variety of small but vital supports to help new farmers get started. There are also programs to support family farmers implementing practices to better protect soil, water and pollinator resources.