It’s mid-July and temperatures are soaring. So are the numbers of dicamba drift-related crop injuries sweeping across rural America. Also rising: the outrage of farmers, gardeners and rural residents, as they watch this unnecessary chemical debacle unfold, once again. Watching unperturbed from the sidelines: Monsanto (recently acquired by Bayer) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Earlier this week, a new appointment for chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was announced, and it’s a 30-year veteran of Dow Agrosciences. Really?
It was clear from the minute he was appointed that Scott Pruitt was a wildly inappropriate choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) Last Thursday, after months of public pressure and outrage, he finally submitted his resignation.
We know that ending reliance on hazardous pesticides can only happen by creating healthy, just food and farming systems — and this means for all of us. One way we can do this? A safer, more transparent food chain.
Last week, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the 2018 Farm Bill by a vote of 86-11. While still flawed, the Senate bill is much better than the widely criticized House version of the bill, which narrowly passed a week prior.
Now the Farm Bill will go on to conference where the two versions will be reconciled into one final bill — and along with partners we’re pressing for the preservation of the Senate version of the bill, rather than retreating to the House version.
It's been clear for years that the pesticide industry has too much influence on public officials and the policies they set. Veteran journalist Carey Gillam’s new book Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science digs into one egregious example of this: Monsanto’s (now Bayer) aggressive efforts to protect their RoundUp Ready seed and pesticide empire.
Last week, after an early morning call with international colleagues, I had a moment to chat with my friend Susan from PAN Germany. She asked what in the world is going on in the U.S. these days.
It was hard to know where to begin. The constant firehose of chaos and crisis that is now our national politics is so exhausting — and the root causes so complex and deep — that describing “what’s going on” is no simple thing.
But one thing is very clear: we have work to do.
The widely criticized House version of the 2018 Farm Bill, HR2, narrowly passed in the House late last week. This version of the bill fails to invest in sustainable farming or rural and urban communities across the country. A better (but still flawed) version of the Farm Bill is expected to be taken up in the Senate this week.
Last month, the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) published results from their annual survey of managed honey bee colony losses in the United States. With the combination of increased overall pathogen load, poor nutrition, habitat loss and pesticide exposure all contributing to bee declines, the results were — unsurprisingly — not comforting.
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp, has been labeled by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer as a “probable human carcinogen.” Given the probable impacts of glyphosate on humans it isn’t a stretch to think that it would also be toxic to soil biology, right?