. . . and justice for all. | Pesticide Action Network
Reclaiming the future of food and farming

. . . and justice for all.

Kristin Schafer's picture
Heart plant icon

This is a very different post-election blog than the one I planned to write. I was going to call the new president's attention to the political importance of food and farming, highlighting the fact that how we grow our food directly impacts the health of our families, the well-being of our communities and the future of our planet. All of that is still true, but the political winds have dramatically shifted.

I planned to urge the new president to be courageous in the face of pressure from powerful corporate interests, to block further consolidation of the pesticide/seed industry, and to take urgently needed steps to stand up for the health of children and families.

Now, in the face of an election that has legitimized bigotry, racism and misogyny, I'm calling on all of us to be courageous instead. In communities across the country, it's time to stand up for social justice and work together to protect our progress — and each other. 

One foot in front of the other

At this tumultuous moment in history, I feel incredibly grateful to be working with an organization that is so deeply rooted in social justice. PAN was founded as a global network more than three decades ago, with the explicit purpose of working with communities most harmed by agricultural chemicals to build power and make change. In partnership with those on the frontlines, we press hard for a system of food and farming that is healthy, nourishing, resilient and just. 

Since its inception, PAN has worked to block the export of pesticides to the Global South that industrialized countries deem too toxic for use. Again and again over the years, we've brought community voices into UN processes, helping to ground international policy decisions in the daily reality of those most affected by continued reliance on agrichemicals.

In the U.S., we've partnered with farmworker advocates to win critical on-the-job protections for the people who plant, tend and harvest our nation's food. And we've worked with family farmers, rural and indigenous communities to build support for safe, healthy and productive farming practices.

This work continues.

We stand for justice

In this fundamentally altered political landscape, we are more committed than ever to work for a just, resilient food system — and must be even more deeply rooted in solidarity with those on the frontlines. We continue to fight against oppression in all its forms, and stand firmly with others who are dedicated to building a just world.

I am shaken to the core by what this presidential election means for our country's moral center. As a mom, I often speak with my kids about the importance of both kindness and integrity — and our nation just chose a leader who very clearly sets these values aside. I'm also deeply aware — and trying to digest — what this moment means for the future of our children and the planet.

As we face the uncertainty of the coming weeks, months and years, I'm very grateful to be working at PAN. I've been here for more than 20 years now, and every day I am inspired by the partners in our network and the incredible passion, expertise and resilience of my colleagues. We are in this work together, for justice in our food system and beyond. Please join us.

Kristin Schafer
Share this post: 


bhami's picture
bhami /
<p>You wrote: "...racism and misogyny...". What nonsense. Did you know that Trump's campaign manager is a woman, and his communications director is&nbsp; a half-African-American (like Obama) woman? I can't take you seriously when you name-call instead of speaking to the issues.</p>
Kristin Schafer's picture
Kristin Schafer /
<p>Hello Bhami. I wrote that this election "has legitimized bigotry, racism and misogyny,"&nbsp; and sadly, news pouring in from across the country is proving this statement to be true. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than 200 incidents of hateful harassment or intimidation happened between Wednesday and Friday last week - most explicitly "in the name of" or otherwise referencing Mr. Trump. And the numbers continue to climb: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/200-reports-hateful-harassment-intimidation-post-election-splc/story?id=43491050.</p>
Greg Hough's picture
Greg Hough /
<p>Pressure from powerful corporate interests?</p> <p>First published in May 2015</p> <p>Democrats who had been programmed to blindly vote for Hillary Clinton are picking their jaws up off the floor after learning the truth about Hillary’s ties to Monsanto. The ties run so deep that she’s now being dubbed the “Bride of Frankenfood.”</p> <p>http://www.globalresearch.ca/hillary-clinton-pushes-gmo-agenda-hires-monsanto-lobbyist-takes-huge-dollars-from-monsanto/5450985</p>
Kristin Schafer's picture
Kristin Schafer /
<p>Thanks Greg. Yes we were aware of and concerned about Sec. Clinton's ties to the biotech industry, which is why we planned to press hard for more accountability to the public interest. Now pesticide/biotech industry interests are firmly in the incoming Administration's inner circle - as you probably know, one of Dow's top lobbyists was named to Mr. Trump's transition team last week.</p>
Kristin Schafer's picture

Kristin Schafer is PAN's Executive Director. With training in international policy and social change strategies, Kristin has been at PAN for over 20 years. Before taking on the Executive Director role, she was PAN's program and policy director. She has been lead author on several PAN reports, with a particular emphasis on children's health. She serves on the Policy Committee of the Children's Environmental Health Network. Follow @KristinAtPAN