The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but especially for essential workers. Farmworkers have been some of the hardest hit of these workers, having to cope with the pandemic on top of the systemic injustices that are embedded in our food and farming system.
This week, PAN joined a coalition of groups to sue the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — again — for refusing to ban the potent brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos. This second lawsuit, filed by attorneys from Earthjustice representing PAN and other allied organizations, demands that the pesticide be banned nationwide due to its harms to vulnerable populations like children and farmworkers.
In 2016, California used almost a million pounds of the highly toxic, brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos. In November 2018, under pressure from communities around the state who have suffered health consequences of exposure to this pesticide, the state’s Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR) announced guidelines to protect communities from it.
In January, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced rules to protect children from exposure to some of the worst agricultural pesticides used in the state. The resulting quarter-mile buffer zones put into place around schools are a solid step forward; however, a huge loophole exists in the execution of the buffers.
After years of pressure from communities across California, the state's Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) finally took action last week to protect schoolchildren from agricultural pesticide exposure. While not all that we'd hoped for, state officials announced new rules that establish a buffer zone for agricultural pesticides around public schools and daycare centers.
In the midst of uncertain times, I’m finding comfort in an array of good news regarding pesticide bans and restrictions from around the world. Last week, PAN Staff Scientist Emily Marquez returned from the scientific committee meeting of the Stockholm Convention in Rome where several key pesticides were being discussed for potential global bans.
Concern about "vector-borne" diseases like Zika, West Nile virus and malaria are top of mind right now in the U.S., thanks to the deluge and devastation brought by recent hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Mosquitoes can carry these diseases, and those troublesome insects thrive in wet, warm conditions.
Ah, back to school. It's a transitional time for parents and kids alike. But for those living in California's agricultural communities, this season also brings renewed worry and frustration that the state still hasn't taken steps to curtail use of brain-harming and cancer-causing pesticides near schools.
August 9 is the U.N. International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. Today, PAN stands with the estimated 370 million Indigenous peoples around the world in their struggles to gain justice and obtain full cultural, economic, social and political rights.
Are pesticides needed to feed the world? Not so much, according to a recent report by Dr. Hilal Elver, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.