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Reclaiming the future of food and farming
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Protests grow over Dow Olympics sponsorship

Victims of the 1984 Bhopal pesticide plant explosion are working with British Members of Parliament, Amnesty International and others to expose and oppose sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics by Dow Chemical Company. Dow has been denying liability for cleanup of the Bhopal site and reparations for victims and their survivors ever since it bought the plant’s former owner, Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), in 2001.

 “The company's name will be emblazoned on the £7m artwork 'wrap' around the main stadium, guaranteeing months of exposure,” according to the UK Independent. Dow and UCC are defendants in a litigation case in India for clean-up of the Bhopal pesticide factory site.

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Margaret Reeves's picture

Harvesting Change: Celebrating Food Day with Farmworkers

I was thrilled to participate in the recent TEDx conference, Harvesting Change, magnificently organized by Bon Appetit Management Company Foundation.

The presentations throughout the event focused on three key areas: the hidden, unconscionable treatment of farmworkers in the US system of industrial agriculture; movement building for social change; and the role of money in fomenting, or hampering, positive change.

Margaret Reeves
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Even small doses are big trouble for bees

New science confirms that honey bees are at great risk when simultaneously exposed to parasites and pesticides.

Two pesticides of concern, fipronil and thiacloprid (a neonicotinoid), operate in combination with a common pathogen to dramatically increase bee death. And they do so at very low, sub-lethal levels.

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California strawberry fields face their first dose of methyl iodide

On Monday, Oct. 24, California strawberry fields may get their first dose of methyl iodide, exposing neighboring residents to the cancer-causing pesticide. 

County officials granted the permit last week, the same day PAN and the United Farm Workers filed a lawsuit against the state and pesticide manufacturer Arysta LifeScience.

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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture

Stand up for family farmers today! Call the Senate.

Earlier this summer, my ten-year old called the White House to ask President Obama to “please support fair farm rules for family farmers and ranchers.” It was a mouthful, but he added “I’m talking about GIPSA” – to be sure there would be no mistake.

Today we are at another crucial moment in this campaign to protect American farmers from the worst sort of corporate abuses that go on every day in this country. And we need your help.

Senators are debating the Agricultural Appropriations bill right now and could vote on it as soon as Thursday.

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Teresa DeAnda's picture

Guest Blog: Toxic treadmill testimony

PAN is collecting messages for the Big 6 pesticide/biotech corporations that keep the global food system on a toxic treadmill. Here's one from an ally in California's central valley:

I have lived in Earlimart my whole life. I guess my family and neighbors are the poster children of what can go wrong when you grow up around pesticide applications. 

Before they were table grapes, now they are almond trees. Both these crops use very many applications of bad actor pesticides that can cause cancer, reproductive and nervous system damaging illnesses.

Always we just would accept the spray.

Teresa DeAnda
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Margaret Reeves's picture

Californians unite for better food policy!

Communities around the world celebrate World Food Day during the month of October, as they have for decades. This year, on October 24th, we here in the U.S. will mark U.S. food day. At the same time (and continuing into next year) the U.S. government is gearing up to write the 2012 Food and Farm Bill — an omnibus package of federal farm and food legislation that directs billions of taxpayer dollars. PAN is organizing with partners to leverage some of this energy to get California lawmakers aligned behind a better Food and Farm Bill.

If you’re in California, join us in telling our elected officialsby October 24 — how you want your tax dollars spent. If you’re elsewhere in the U.S., go to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition website to find how you can link to similar efforts in your state.

Margaret Reeves
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Farm tour offers lawmakers reality check

Last Monday, Oct. 10, California lawmakers were treated to a whirlwhind tour of farms and farmworker communities along the state's central coast. The Sustainable Food & Farming Tour brought legislators to see firsthand the critical issues facing agricultural families in the state.

The tour, co-organized by PAN, Californians for Pesticide Reform and Pesticide Watch, set out from San Francisco to visit farms, schools and homes. The packed day on the road put a real-world face to many of the urgent problems raised by pesticide use, and highlighted ground-proven solutions of sustainable agriculture.

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This World Food Day, we say celebrate & berate

This Sunday is World Food Day. It is a day to renew our commitment to ending the root causes of hunger.

It is also an opportunity to highlight the true costs of pesticide-dependent agriculture, and the corporate-controlled food system that goes with it. At PAN we're doing two things: celebrating bees and berating the Big 6. Join us!

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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture

The GE Emperor Has No Clothes!

On October 13, I joined fellow food democracy activists from around California at a press conference on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall. We were there to welcome the release of a new Global Citizens’ Report on transgenic crops, aptly entitled The GMO Emperor Has No Clothes.

As World Food Day approaches (Sunday, October 16), what better way to honor and support small-scale and family farmers around the world than by publicizing the report’s message: genetically engineered crops have utterly failed to deliver, it’s time to cut our losses, save our seeds, defend our rights and Occupy the Food System.

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
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