GroundTruth Blog | Pesticide Action Network
Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Jane Kuhn
Mar 07, 2018
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On the small, mixed-fruit orchard I farm along California's Central Coast, confused apple trees spurt scattered blossoms in December, signaling that the weather patterns of yesteryear are being replaced by something new. With increasing drought, heat and disease pressure, any farmer will attest to the challenging impacts of climate change these days. Curious how other ecological farms are adapting, I chatted with some farmers on the Central Coast and also sat in on an EcoFarm​​ Conference session in which a panel of organic farmers and advocates discussed climate change adaptation strategies... Read More
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Linda Wells
Mar 07, 2018
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National poll results released this week confirm that farmers across the country believe the merger of Bayer and Monsanto will be bad for farming and farm communities. As the Department of Justice considers its final decision regarding the merger, the poll demonstrates serious concern from farmers and some details about why many believe more consolidation will be harmful. The weed crisis and accompanying dicamba drift epidemic of last year's growing season were identified by many farmers as a major concern, and a problem that Monsanto cannot solve and a merger could further amplify.... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Feb 22, 2018
PAN board member Kyle Powys Whyte holds the Timnick Chair in the Humanities at Michigan State University. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability and a member of the Potawatomi Nation. PAN’s Executive Director Kristin Schafer recently chatted with Kyle about Indigenous food sovereignty and how PAN’s work intersects with his own. What brings you to PAN’s board? I’m primarily a scholar and activist working on climate justice and environmental justice. But, since I work mostly with Indigenous peoples, these issues are almost always related to food. Indigenous... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
Feb 19, 2018
What were they thinking over at The Atlantic? Last week, the normally fact-focused magazine and media company hosted an event entitled "Harvest: Transforming the Food We Eat" in New York City — and the evening was wholly underwritten by the Agricultural Division of DowDuPont. Event promotional materials touted innovators who are “making the global food system more sustainable and productive.” So why was Harvest sponsored by one of the world's largest pesticide manufacturers? And why weren't there any farmers on the panel? Last gasp of a failing system Just in case it's not obvious why... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Feb 19, 2018
In October 2015, we celebrated with farmworker unions and advocates when a much-improved Worker Protection Standard (WPS) was approved. The WPS is the only federal rule that protects farmworkers from exposure to hazardous pesticides on the job, and hadn't been updated in more than 20 years. Not surprisingly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it is planning to put the new rules on hold. Rolling back commonsense safeguards The WPS covers all workers and pesticide handlers who are exposed to pesticides in agriculture. In a December 2017 Federal Register... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Feb 07, 2018
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This post is part three in our “Science for Solutions” blog series that amplifies scientist voices and underscores the importance of independent science as the foundation for evidence-based policymaking and narrative shifts. On a brilliant day in July, twenty-some years ago, I stood ankle-deep in the cool mud of a fragrant rice field in central Thailand, listening to the farmers around me discuss the bugs on the plants (were these “satru puut” or “satru thammachat”? pests or natural enemies?), and whether or not the Nitrogen-fixing aquatic Azolla they had introduced into one of their... Read More
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Emily Marquez
Feb 02, 2018
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I try to be optimistic, but the past year hasn't been a great one for science. The "war on science" you hear people talking about? It's real, and we're already seeing its results. Without input from researchers on the leading edge of science, policymakers are less equipped to make informed decisions — and it's easier for industry lobbyists to get their way. Vacant posts, less advice The numbers tell the story well. The Trump administration has filled only 20 of 83 top scientific posts as of the end of 2017, far fewer than the Obama or G.W. Bush administrations at the same point (63 and... Read More
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Paul Towers
Jan 30, 2018
As the new legislative year kicked off in January, PAN joined food and farm groups across California in distributing a report card for California legislators, scoring them on their support of food & farming legislation from the previous year. And while nearly half of legislators earned a 100% ranking, the results belie efforts by legislators to advance more transformative policies. A collaborative effort I had the great opportunity over the past year to facilitate phone calls with dozens of state and local organizations identifying food and farming bills, collectively ranking them,... Read More
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