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

GroundTruth Blog

Karl Tupper
Jun 02, 2011
In my last post, I asked "Where's the data?" — specifically the latest installment from the USDA's Pesticide Data Program, which tests thousands of food samples for pesticide residues every year. The PDP data is the basis for our WhatsOnMyFood.org website that allows you to see which pesticides are found on food (and in water), how often, in what amounts, and with what associated health risks. After months of delay, the data is finally out. In a nod to the produce industry (who had complained about "misuse" of the data by "activist groups")... Read More
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Marcia Ishii
Jun 02, 2011
Farmers, Indigenous people and rural communities around the world celebrated the International Day for Biological Diversity last week. But casting a long shadow was the news that big funders and new NGOs are teaming up with the pesticide-biotech giant, Syngenta, in a renewed effort to push genetically engineered rice forward in Bangladesh and the Philippines. Nicknamed “golden rice,” this untested, highly controversial GE crop threatens biodiversity across the region and risks bringing economic and ecological disaster to Asia’s farms.  The Bill and Melinda... Read More
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Kathryn Gilje
Jun 02, 2011
It was chile peppers, not strawberries, that saw the first use of cancer-causing methyl iodide to sterilize California soil. And today, community leaders from Fresno and throughout the Central Valley gathered at the Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner's office to urge officials to stop any future use of the chemical in their community. “The Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner’s decision to allow the use of cancer-causing methyl iodide is disappointing and dangerous,” said Sarah Sharpe, environmental health director of Fresno Metro Ministry. “Today... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Jun 02, 2011
A combination of commonly used pesticides can triple the risk of Parkinson's disease (PD), according to a new study released last week in the European Journal of Epidemiology. People who work and/or live near fields sprayed with paraquat, maneb and ziram are more likely to suffer from the degenerative central nervous system disorder, for which there is no cure. Researchers note that their findings provide the first strong evidence in humans that exposure to several pesticides increases risk of PD more than exposure to individual chemicals alone. The scientists measured... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Jun 01, 2011
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A collection of recent studies shows that exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) — including many longlasting pesticides — can slow growth rates of human embryos and shrink the genitals and weaken bones of polar bears. The World Health Organization (WHO), meanwhile, is asking health professionals around the world to do more to protect children from the health effects of POPs.In a comprehensive overview of exposure, WHO highlights the long term impacts of in utero and early childhood exposure to persistent chemicals: Some effects may manifest only after a... Read More
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Marcia Ishii
May 26, 2011
My mom hackles are up. GE toxins are turning up in umbilical cordblood and the blood of pregnant women, according to a study by independent Canadian doctors. And what might be the effect of these toxins on developing fetuses? No one really knows. Let me tell you why this is big news. All this time, Monsanto has based its assertion that crops engineered to contain the bacterial toxin, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), are harmless on an assumption that the toxin breaks down in the digestive system and so never enters the rest of the body. Regulators have been repeating this to us for over a... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
May 25, 2011
Healthy crops come from healthy soil. Soil fertility depends on an incredible diversity and abundance of soil critters, from the microscopic to the flying and creepy crawly. Together these critters cycle nitrogen (N) and many other essential minerals and nutrients, making them available to plants. The complexity of what goes on in healthy soil is truly awe-inspiring. A key group of organisms that provide the soil with one nutrient that's often in short supply are the N-fixing soil bacteria. And according to a recent study by UK scientists, it turns out these organisms do a better... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
May 25, 2011
There's good news for school children in New York. The Child Safe Playing Fields Act, which took effect May 17, prohibits use of pesticides on playgrounds, athletic fields and all grassy areas in K-12 schools across the state. This law represents major progress toward preventing children’s exposure to pesticides and the resulting health harms. Science clearly shows that during critical developmental windows, exposure to pesticides can cause long-term and irreversible damage for children’s health and cognitive development. Schools in New York will transition to... Read More
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