Pesticide drift happens all too frequently, especially in rural California where homes, schools and agricultural fields can be nextdoor neighbors. Children — the most vulnerable members of these communities — are often the first to experience drift exposure and its resulting health impacts.
EPA recently released its assessement of the ecological risks posed by the widely used herbicide atrazine. Agency scientists found that current exposures greatly exceed its "levels of concern" for chronic risk for birds, mammals and fish — by 22, 198, and 62 times, respectively. When it comes to wildlife harms, these new findings on atrazine are pretty damning.
The fate of Monsanto's flagship herbicide in the European Union (EU) remains unclear. Earlier this week, the standing Committee on Plants, Animals Food and Feed declined to extend authorization for glyphosate sales in the region. The sales license is set to expire at the end of this month.
Pesticide drift is not just a health issue. It can also cause significant financial problems for farmers growing sensitive crops. This spring, PAN lobbied alongside a growing coalition of farmer organizations in Iowa to promote solutions to the economic issues presented by drift. The Iowa state legislative session just wrapped up, and it looks like a small victory for these farmers might be just around the corner.
Regenerative agriculture can reverse climate change within our lifetime. That's the inspiring, well-documented message of longtime farmer and author Eric Toensmeier in his new book The Carbon Farming Solution.
Last week, the National Academies of Science (NAS) attracted much media attention with the release of its new report, "Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects." The report assessed a range of health, environmental, social and economic impacts of GE crops.
Long before legislators filed back to the Minnesota Capitol this spring, political analysts were predicting that not much progress would be made in this year’s legislative session. With split control of the legislature and a short eleven weeks to get their work done, folks across the political spectrum anticipated gridlock. So as the dust settles after the end of session this week, how did things shake out for food and pesticide policy here in Minnesota?
No surprise, the session had its share of ups and downs overall.
A batch of encouraging news emerged in the world of healthy farming this week. First off, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) reported that U.S. sales of organics continue to grow by leaps and bounds. Then there's the new study showing that organics bring significant economic benefits to rural communities. And in France, the Minister of Agriculture launched a national celebration of agroecological farming. Well then!
On Mother's Day, while eating strawberries out of the garden with my daughter Elia, I was reflecting on all the mamas — fierce, passionate, powerful — who are working to create a healthy food system.