Reclaiming the future of food and farming
Pesticide Action Network's picture

New leadership on pesticides in California

Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signaled a new direction for California agriculture with the appointment of Brian Leahy as the state’s chief pesticide regulator.

Leahy, a former conventional-turned-organic rice farmer, takes the helm of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) at a key moment: the agency is embroiled in controversy over its decision to approve the cancer-causing pesticide methyl iodide despite strong scientific opposition to the chemical.

Pesticide Actio...
Pesticide Action Network's picture

Syngenta's atrazine PR campaign unveiled

From attacks on independent scientists to smear campaigns against the courts, we thought we’d seen it all from Syngenta. But the world’s largest agrichemical producer continues to lower the bar in its efforts to protect its flagship product, atrazine.

New documents obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy reveal the details of Syngenta’s multimillion dollar “message management” campaign for atrazine. Their tactics? Muddy the science, manipulate public perception, and prevent a clear, independent scientific review.

Pesticide Actio...
Pamela Miller's picture

Guest blog: Alaska railroads don’t need herbicides

In Alaska, our railroad lines traverse hundreds of salmon streams and wetlands, drinking water sources, berry-picking areas, farms and neighborhoods.

After more than 30 years of controlling vegetation without chemicals, the Alaska Railroad Corporation is now looking to apply a toxic herbicide mixture along 122 miles of railroad between Anchorage and Fairbanks. We at Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) are doing all we can to stop this shift.

Pamela Miller
Kathryn Gilje's picture

My love affair with strawberry jam

I don't use the phrase love affair much, but there's no other way to describe my devotion to Swanton Berry Farm and their just-plain-yummy jam. Swanton grows strawberries organically — no methyl iodide or other cancer-causing pesticides. They were the first organic farm to sign a union contract with the United Farm Workers (UFW) — proof in the pudding that they value fairness and transparency.

PAN has a long history of working alongside Swanton Berry for food democracy, and fairness — and I'm honored by very few things more than Jim Cochran's support of PAN.

Kathryn Gilje
Kristin Schafer's picture

Science still catching up on DDT harms

Two recent studies report new evidence of the harms of a very old pesticide.

It's that pesky, persistent and infamous chemical, DDT. Nearly 40 years after its use in agriculture was banned in many countries around the world, it's still present in our environment, food and bodies at levels that harm human health. And children, once again, are especially vulnerable.

Kristin Schafer
Margaret Reeves's picture

Online innovations help farmers sell locally

Direct marketing arrangements such as the popular community supported agriculture (CSA) systems across the country eliminate intermediaries. A greater portion of every food dollar remains on the farm – and families in urban areas are able to know and support their local farmer.

Now online innovators are stepping up to expand on the idea by helping farmers market their produce directly to consumers on the web.

Margaret Reeves
Pesticide Action Network's picture

Controversial "Ag Gag" bill considered in Iowa

The Iowa Senate is considering a state law that would criminalize the reporting of abusive conditions at animal or crop operations.

Several citizen and food transparency groups in Iowa have opposed the law, which they have dubbed the "Whistle Blower Suppression Bill" and the "Ag Gag Bill." Strong support for the measure is coming from multinational corporations like Monsanto and Dupont, as well as statewide organizations like the Iowa Poultry Association. 

Pesticide Actio...
Margaret Reeves's picture

2,4-D corn? Bad idea, and here's why.

There are many, many reasons that Dow's new strain of corn that's genetically engineered to withstand high doses of the herbicide 2,4-D is a terrible idea.

Since 2,4-D has been around for so long, there's plenty of evidence about how it can harm human health. Children, as usual, are most at risk, and USDA needs to know that ramping up use of 2,4-D in fields across the country is simply not acceptable.

Margaret Reeves
Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture

All aboard the transgenic Titanic

On Tuesday, one of the world’s largest pesticide and biotech companies — Monsanto Corporation — held its annual general meeting in St. Louis. While protestors outside Monsanto headquarters highlighted growing public disenchantment with the industry giant and its genetically engineered products, investors in the meeting were voting on a shareholder resolution from PAN and Harrington Investments.

If passed, the resolution would require Monsanto to report on all financial risks and impacts, including contamination of neighboring crops, associated with its GE/pesticide seed package.

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman