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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Miscarriages. Cancers. The loss of a job or an entire way of life. It's never easy to talk publicly about personal pain. That's why the stories of Vi, David, Juana, Mildre and Jeff are so powerful. In their own words, they talk about the harms that pesticides cause. On video, to millions of people.
Their point: ensure that someday, pesticide corporations are no longer above the law when it comes to our health, our economy and our well-being. Watch these extraordinary, brave individuals tell their truths.
Bees are an economic engine. At least that’s what I’d call something experts say is worth about $15 billion to our economy every year.
Last month at our annual convention, the California State Grange took a hard look at the issue of pollinators; their value, and the fact that today they are under threat. Last week, we followed up with a clear message for policymakers: Farm communities can't survive without bees. Let's protect our pollinators from pesticides. Today.
At an all-day seminar last week, I listened to university researchers discuss this startling question: Are we poisoning our children?
Quite a provocative topic — some might even say alarmist. Yet scientist after scientist got up to the podium and presented hard data linking pesticides and other chemicals to learning disabilities, asthma, early puberty, childhood cancer and more.
As we prepare for Thanksgiving, a day to celebrate all that sustains us and brings us together, wouldn't it be nice to know whether the ingredients we're chopping, mixing and roasting have been genetically engineered?
Up to 80% of non-organic food on our shelves contains a GE ingredient. We don't know which of our foods are engineered though, because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t require labeling. Pushed onto the market by big agribusiness corporations like Monsanto, GE products are hidden in plain sight.
The out-of-season tomato. It's beautiful to behold, tastes of cardboard and holds questionable nutritional value. And according to food writer Barry Estabrook, it embodies much of what's wrong with industrial agriculture.
PAN sat down with Estabrook and spoke to him about how he got interested in the unsavory story of winter tomatoes from Florida, and what he learned. Estabrook's initial research on tomatoes for Gourmet Magazine evolved into the powerfully compelling story he tells in his recent book: Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit.