We saw this coming with Scott Pruitt. Long before he became Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), his allegiances to industry were clear. And with new policies at the agency, he's paving the way for even more corporate sway over how our air, soil, water and communities are protected (or not).
There have been ups and downs in the romance between Bayer and Monsanto, but this week they publicly announced their engagement. Monsanto has accepted a $66 billion offer from Bayer, heralding another mega merger between pesticide and biotech corporations.
On Mother's Day, while eating strawberries out of the garden with my daughter Elia, I was reflecting on all the mamas — fierce, passionate, powerful — who are working to create a healthy food system.
We've been hearing rumours about possible mergers between pesticide/biotech corporations for a while now. Will Monsanto buy Syngenta? Or Bayer? Will the "Big 6" become the "Big 4" or "Big 3" — or perhaps one corporation to rule us all?
As the growth in some markets becomes less dependable and skepticism of genetically engineered (GE) crops grows, the next option to maintain market control is to merge into even bigger corporations. Now, it seems, there are real deals on the move — and our food system is about to become even more consolidated than it already is.
Late last year, a respected scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed a whistleblower compaint, claiming scientific suppression of his research on pesticides and pollinators. Today, PAN and our supporters helped deliver comments to USDA from more than 140,000 concerned individuals, calling on the agency to respect and support scientific integrity.
Last month, I lost a dear friend to lymphoma. He was a vibrant, healthy 39 year old — a father, a husband, a successful businessman and an incredible musician. And less than a year after his diagnosis, cancer won.
Too many of us have similar stories. Too many of us have watched some version of this disease lay waste to the people we hold dearest. Cancer is everywhere. And it's entirely unacceptable.
Pesticide corporation Syngenta is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow even more use of one of its bee-harming neonicotinoids, thiamethoxam. But with science clearly showing that neonics harm bees and other pollinators — contributing to dramatic die-offs in recent years — allowing increased use of this chemical would be a striking move in the wrong direction.
If EPA grants the request, more thiamethoxam will be applied to common crops — including corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa — that cover over 250 million acres of U.S. farmland, much of it in the Midwest. The proposed residue level increases vary by crop, but some would go up by as much as 400 times what is currently allowed.
It's no surprise: pesticide corporations go to great lengths to protect the public image of their products. We've been highlighting their PR hijinks for years, and their attempts to spin facts to suit their agenda have only gotten more blatant.
Bees and pesticides provide the latest example. Corporate attempts to reframe the conversation, and subvert independent science, have gone into hyperdrive. Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto in particular are positioning themselves as "bee friendly" — no matter that several top selling pesticide products are directly linked to bee deaths.