Reclaiming the future of food and farming
Margaret Reeves's picture

Fair & healthy flowers

Flowers on Valentine's Day? It's a lovely tradition, and I enjoy a gorgeous bouquet as much as anyone. I also do my best to remember — and support — the workers behind the enormous global flower trade.

They are mostly women, many of whom work in Colombia and Ecuador. They toil long hours for low wages, and too often brave exposure to pesticides known to be harmful to their health and the health of their children. They deserve our support.

Margaret Reeves
Kristin Schafer's picture

Clean water battle takes "perplexing" turn

Lawmakers are taking another run at weakening the national rules protecting our waterways.

This time, they're using the specter of West Nile virus to make the case for reviving a pesticide loophole that was recently closed. But their arguments simply don't (ahem) hold water, and PAN and our allies are calling on the Senate leadership to hold the line.

Kristin Schafer
Heather Pilatic's picture

What Gates gets wrong on GE, every time

Influential philanthropists like Bill Gates hold a responsibility to be well informed about the impacts of their spending — and their words. Late last month in his annual letter on his foundation's priorities, Gates asserted that lack of support for genetically engineered (GE) crops allows world hunger to endure. He is wrong. 

We engaged the editorial team at, which covered Gates' letter, in a dialogue to correct a few of the key points that Gates gets wrong about world hunger, the Green Revolution and the broken promises of GE. 

Heather Pilatic
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