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Pesticide Actio...
May 17, 2011
Organic farmers Larry Jacobs and Sandra Belin have made a life-long commitment to sustainability and social justice. And as reported in PAN's spring newsletter, they recently won confirmation of their right to farm free of pesticides in a $1 million court case. Larry and Sandra started farming in San Mateo County, California, in 1980, producing fresh organic culinary herbs. Then in 1985 they began working with the Del Cabo community in Baja California, Mexico, to develop a source of organic fruit and vegetables during the off-season. Today, Del Cabo Cooperative is a thriving... Read More
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Kristin Schafer
May 12, 2011
Autism affects many, many more children than we thought, according to a study released this week that stunned experts around the world. Meanwhile, evidence keeps rolling in that exposure to pesticides and other chemicals is at least partly responsible for the epidemic. We may have finally reached the tipping point, where policymakers can no longer wring their hands and call for more studies — and where wearing a blue ribbon in April to raise awareness is clearly just not enough. I wholeheartedly agree with the mom featured in the recent — very powerful — PBS... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
May 12, 2011
India's Hindustan Insecticide Limited (HIL) is the world's only company still producing DDT. This week, one of HIL's three factories was ordered closed by the Indian state of Kerala for that plant's failure to safely handle waste from the manufacture of endosulfan. After issuing several warning letters like this one, Kerala's State Pollution Control Board finally issued a closure notice to the HIL plant based in the city of Eloor. Kerala banned endosulfan in 2002, and has been pressuring the Central (Federal) Indian government to enact a national ban. The... Read More
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Karl Tupper
May 12, 2011
In 2004, a group of public utilities in Illinois took pesticide-giant Syngenta to court to answer for the pollution caused by its flagship herbicide atrazine. Syngenta’s response? Wage a PR campaign against the court itself. While transforming a lawsuit into a media spectacle is a common, if unfortunate, tactic these days, targeting the court itself is a new low. Each year, drinking water providers spend millions of dollars cleaning up the huge mess created by use of Syngenta's flagship herbicide — the rivers and reservoirs contaminated with atrazine that runs off the... Read More
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Marcia Ishii
May 11, 2011
A big thanks to all who came out Monday night and joined us in what was a lively conversation on Growing Food Democracy: Connecting Global Lessons to Local Action. I was thrilled to see such interest and to meet so many people in the Bay Area so deeply engaged in the work of building a just and sustainable food system. For those who couldn’t make it, a few highlights: To start us off, I proposed the concept of food democracy as an organizing principle and method to advance food movement goals. Food democracy emphasizes the right and responsibility of people to engage in... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
May 11, 2011
In California and throughout the country hard-working farmworker men and women face abuses on and off the field in part because they enjoy few legal protections. On May 16, California legislators will be voting on a proposed law that tackles this issue: The Fair Treatment for Farm Workers Act (SB 104). This legislation would strengthen farmworker voices and give them tools to protect the basic rights that most workers already enjoy — and should be wholeheartedly supported. SB 104 simply and importantly gives farmworkers’ the right to choose — through election or... Read More
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Kathryn Gilje
May 05, 2011
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Last week, the nations of the world agreed that the pesticide endosulfan is too toxic for people and the planet to bear. As our staff scientist Karl Tupper reported from Geneva, 173 countries agreed to ban the chemical through the Stockholm Convention, recognizing that innovative farmers across the globe are already growing coffee, cashew, chocolate and cotton without a drop of the deadly pesticide. Most uses will be gone — around the world — by this time next year. The impact will be profound: children living in India's cashew plantation communities will have fewer... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
May 05, 2011
Looks like the Obama Administration has a second chance to get it right on food and agricultural research. Last week, the director of the relatively new National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Roger Beachy, announced his resignation. Previously, Beachy had served as president of Monsanto’s de facto nonprofit research arm, the Danforth Plant Science Center. The abrupt resignation leaves open an influential public research post — one that could this time be filled by a scientist without deep ties to corporate agribusiness, but who might instead prioritize... Read More
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