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Reclaiming the future of food and farming
Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture

Flood Advisory! GE seeds clog pipeline

Two weeks ago, while many Americans were focused on early July barbeques and fireworks, the pipeline of genetically engineered crops awaiting USDA approval suddenly swelled to bursting.

With public opposition to GE foods and crops growing by leaps and bounds (and Prop 37 — CA’s ballot initiative to label GE foods — garnering unprecedented popular support), the Big 6 pesticide corporations are rushing to quickly ram a dozen new GE crops through the pipeline. Nine of them are engineered for use with toxic herbicides.

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Linda Wells's picture

Minnesota mom rallies against pesticide drift

Bonnie Wirtz is a new mom living in Melrose, Minnesota. She and her husband moved there to start a farm and raise a family.

What they weren't planning on were the consequences of living in close proximity to frequent pesticide application. After one alarming incident of pesticide drift that put Bonnie in the hospital, this Minnesota mom took up the battle cry against pesticides and how they can harm children's health.  

Linda Wells
Pesticide Action Network's picture

EPA sidesteps chance to protect bees

Issues: 

All too often, the rules of pesticide regulation are cumbersome and make for slow change. But EPA had an opportunity to take swift, decisive action to protect bees — and they let it pass. 

Today, the agency announced it is denying the request by beekeepers to declare Bayer's pesticide, clothianidin, an "imminent hazard" to bees and will not be suspending the chemical's use.  

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Pesticide Action Network's picture

Feds ask, "Are the Big 6 too big?"

Eighteen months ago, PAN’s Dr. Marcia Ishii-Eiteman testified at the historic USDA and Dept. of Justice (DOJ) joint hearings on corporate control and competition in agriculture. The hearings were attended by thousands of farmers, ranchers and civil society organizations from across the country, with particularly strong participation in the heartland states.

Then last year many of you joined PAN in urging the DOJ to release a final report about those workshops, and make firm commitments to next steps. The agency has finally delivered — sort of.

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Tighter rules for brain toxicant

Earlier today, EPA announced new restrictions on the insecticide chlorpyrifos, a known brain toxicant linked to learning disabilities in children and commonly sprayed on corn, oranges, grapes and almonds, among other crops.

These new protections are a step in the right direction, and will significantly reduce the amount of chlorpyrifos applied to fields and orchards. But more protection is needed to safeguard the health of farm communities and children who live, learn and play near pesticide application sites.

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The 411: Community watchdogs text for change

Afraid or unsure of who to call about illegal pesticide spraying? Polluters beware: one California county may have found a solution.

The Kern Environmental Enforcement Network (KEEN) is an innovative tool that employs texting and web technology to expands the enforcement capacity of government agencies with the help of alert community members. KEEN enables residents to provide anonymous eyewitness accounts of local problems quickly and accurately, 24 hours a day in both English and Spanish. And it works.

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Margaret Reeves's picture

House Farm Bill: Bit of good, mostly not

Earlier this week the House Agriculture Committee passed its version of the Farm Bill by a vote of 35-11 after one long day and more than 100 amendments.

Here's the upshot. Conservation programs took a big hit. Genetically engineered (GE) crops were given a free ride. And unfortunate language reversing EPA’s authority to regulate pesticide pollution under the Clean Water Act is included. A vote on the House floor is up next, but it hasn't been scheduled yet. Then it's on to reconciliation with the version passed by the Senate.

Margaret Reeves
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Pesticide Action Network's picture

Poisoned fruit

Last month, 14 children between the ages of two and six lost their lives to pesticide poisoning in Bangladesh after eating contaminated litchi (or lychee) fruit.

As reported by the Bangladesh daily New Age, the specific pesticides responsible have not yet been identified. But samples of the poisonous fruit are currently being tested by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention in Atlanta.

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Buffer zones: Just common sense

Living in a lush, forested area sounds pristine and serene, right? Yes, but you may have to grapple with pesticide drift from periodic aerial spraying of herbicides like 2,4-D and atrazine.

Residents of Lane County, Oregon are fed up. They recently organized a rally protesting this long-standing practice, and calling for buffer zones to protect their communities.

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Poverty & pollution

A recent, powerful series of articles in Environmental Health News marked the 30th anniversary of what many consider the birth of the environmental justice movement. EHN reporters visited low-income communities of color across the country, and found "a legacy of lingering problems and newly emerging threats."

Pollution, Poverty, People of Color” tells the compelling stories of seven communities that are battling the “triple whammy” of race, poverty and environmental contamination. PAN sees this struggle all too often, as we work with community partners to monitor pesticides in their air and water. All of the EHN stories are worth reading; we share brief summaries of just two of them below.

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