When Congress returned from recess this week they started negotiating the terms under which the Farm Bill will be extended (beyond its September 30 ending date) and funded for at least the next six months. The proposal on the table guts conservation programs.
This month marks the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, the book that galvanized an extraordinary cross-section of the American public into what we now call the environmental movement. Fifty years later, her courage, skill and sacrifice still inspire, and her legacy remains the contested terrain of some of our country’s most disabling rituals of political partisanship. Pesticides still function as a kind of litmus test: either you’re for farmers and progress and “sound science,” or you’re in the camp of those reflexively “chemophobic” tree-hugging “environmentalists.” And your loyalties to one or the other of these tribes can be indexed to how you feel about pesticides.
What’s in our food and how is it grown? That’s what many Californians are asking as they consider voting for Proposition 37, the ballot initiative to label genetically engineered food.
This week’s controversy surrounding a Stanford study claiming to have established that organic food is no more nutritious than non-organic illustrates the pitfalls of talking about food issues in a consumer frame. And people all around the country are saying so.
Food issues are never solely or even mainly about individual consumer choice — our food and farming system connects us with each other and is by most measures our most impactful daily interaction with the environment.
For those who relegate the issue of corporate control to the sidelines of public debate, a new article published in the international, peer-reviewed British Medical Journal last month issued a surprising invitation to think again.
Professor Gerard Hastings at the University of Stirling points out the devastating impact on public health of the deceptive and virtually unregulated marketing campaigns of multinational corporations, connecting the dots between corporate takeover of the public mic and public health crises such as cancer, obesity and heart disease.
EPA made an important and long-awaited announcement Thursday when it banned future sales of the highly neurotoxic apple pesticide azinphos-methyl (AZM), also known as Guthion.
This is particularly good news for rural families, farmworkers and children headed back to school. Guthion residues are found on over 30% of U.S. apples.
This week an article has been making the rounds in the press under the auspices of an objective policy assessment. "California's Proposition 37: Effects of Mandatory Labeling of GM food" comes out strongly against Prop 37 — the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act — by deploying a series of specious arguments and unfounded facts.
I keep reading about how boys have a harder time at all levels of school than girls. It turns out there may be more going on than the commonly held argument that teaching styles are more conducive to girls' success. Boys may also be at a biological disadvantage — new research shows that their brains may be more vulnerable to harm from pesticides.
As a mom of an infant boy, this has me seriously worried.
The Supreme Court of Minnesota recently issued a disappointing ruling on the legal rights of organic farmers faced with pesticide drift from neighboring farms.
As we reported some months ago, Oluf and Debra Johnson went to the courts when they lost their organic certification (and their crops) due to pesticide drift. They were looking for compensation for these losses, as well as future protection from pesticides drifting onto their farm. An appeals court had ruled favorably on their case — so the Johnsons were hoping for good news from the Supreme Court. Instead, the ruling severely limits potential compensation, and threatens organic enforcement standards across the state.
Recent media coverage of Prop 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, which would permit companies to label foods made with genetically engineered (GE) crops, highlights the gulf between citizens demanding the right to know what's in our food and corporations desperate to keep the public in the dark.