Reclaiming the future of food and farming
Kristin Schafer's picture

Power on our plates

When my daughter was in kindergarten, she would inspect her friends' strawberries at lunchtime. “No no, you don’t want to eat that,” she would solemnly inform them. “It’s not organic. It might have yucky chemicals on it.”

Yucky chemicals indeed. Studies continue to pile up showing how pesticides on food can be harmful, especially to children's health. As we head into the home stretch of the holiday feast season, I've been thinking hard about the powerful ripple effects of our food choices. Turns out, what we eat matters. A lot.

Kristin Schafer
Kathryn Gilje's picture

Keeping the Big 6 on the hook

Even as we celebrated a historic Guilty as Charged verdict at the close of the tribunal last week, we move forward with what's next. We know that it's up to us to expose the harms that corporations like Monsanto and Syngenta have done, including their undue influence on science and government.

It's up to us to use this verdict to hold them accountable. Several recent pieces of news fuel me with hope. 

Kathryn Gilje
Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture

Climate cowards & heroes

I spent the weekend glued to coverage of the high drama unfolding at the climate talks in Durban, South Africa. I watched closely because there is so much on the line affecting our and our children's future. In the final turbulent days, there were critical moments when a binding treaty with relatively ambitious and fair emissions cuts seemed almost possible. And then, well — the U.S. and our cronies played power politics behind closed doors, just as they have before.

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Medha Chandra's picture

Unwelcome travelers: Pesticides in the Arctic

Endosulfan. Chlorpyrifos. Chlorothalonil. Not words one would associate with the crisp, cold air and water of the Arctic region. But new research shows that these pesticides, among others, are traveling to the Arctic from as far as South East Asia, India and the United States. 

Medha Chandra
Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture

Durban climate talks (aka "The Great Escape 3")

Not coming to movie theaters near you, but taking place right now in Durban, South Africa is “The Great Escape 3.” This is how Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s former lead climate negotiator, describes the scene at the UN climate talks.

“It’s the same movie — it happened in Copenhagen, in Cancun, and it will happen in Durban. The richest nations are trying to escape their responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions now... It’s really a genocide and an ecocide.”

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Kathryn Gilje's picture

Guilty as charged

Truth be told, there were tears in my eyes as I sat there, translating and tweeting amongst the bustling crowd of media and hundreds of people, most of them farmers. After an intensive public trial covering a range of human rights violations, on December 6, the jurors issued a scathing verdict to the six largest pesticide and biotechnology corporations, urging governments to take action to prevent further harm. The crowd erupted in a roar of applause, and later, congratulations were shared in at least seven languages.

Kathryn Gilje
Heather Pilatic's picture

Toxic Trespassers on Trial: The long wake of Bhopal

On December 3, 1984, more than 8,000 people died in Bhopal, India when a pesticide manufacturing plant owned and operated by Union Carbide Corporation (now Dow Chemical) exploded in the middle of the night. It was one of the worst industrial disasters in history. In the 27 years since, at least 20,000 more have died as a result of this one event and the area surrounding the plant remains a toxic waste site.

People know about Bhopal like they know about Chernobyl. What many don’t know is that the night after the explosion, the company’s CEO hopped on a private jet and fled the country and Dow Chemical has yet to be held accountable.

Heather Pilatic
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Kathryn Gilje's picture

What did an Indiana farmer, Malaysian plantation worker & British beekeeper do this weekend?

Dec 3, 2011 – Today, we launched the landmark human rights tribunal against six pesticide corporations: Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, Bayer, DuPont and BASF. These corporations control the global trade in pesticides worldwide, and regularly violate our rights to health, life and livelihood. The launch, timed to coincide with the 27th anniversary of the disaster in Bhopal, India, marked a vital moment in PAN’s continued work to roll back corporate control of food and agriculture, and to protect our health — worldwide.

Kathryn Gilje
Medha Chandra's picture

Obesity & pesticides: The untold story

Get your kids to exercise, eat right, and control their portions — these steps can help combat childhood obesity, we're told. But new research on persistent chemicals points to the fact that as parents, we're not getting the whole story.

Researchers in Spain found that whether a child, especially a girl, will be obese is not just dependent on lifestyle choices, but also on the child’s exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) before birth. As a mother of a 4-year-old daughter, this worries me tremendously.

Medha Chandra
Margaret Reeves's picture

Food & Farm Bill: What now?

With last month’s death of the congressional Super Committee, so too died the 2011 Food and Farm Bill proposal that was folded into those fast-track talks. So what happens next?

A mixed bag of disappointments and glimmers of hope, the 2011 proposal now enters into the more normal process of policy development. Because of the tireless efforts of National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition members and many organizations around the country, this starting point for the 2012/13 Food and Farm Bill does contain some elements of our priorities — namely, support for conservation, local food, beginning farmers and organics.

Margaret Reeves

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