Milestones | Pesticide Action Network
Reclaiming the future of food and farming


PAN Milestones

Our commitment is impossible without yours. In each milestone and victory we see a reflection of your energy, support and belief that together, we can build a toxic-free future.

The Road to a POPS Treaty

Villager with pesticides

1985 - PAN Targets the Dirty Dozen. The global Dirty Dozen campaign is PAN International’s first joint effort, spurring global attention to pesticide poisonings.

1997 - Global Network Demands Action on POPs. PAN and environmental health movement leaders create a global network (IPEN) to press for creation of a strong POPs treaty.

2001 - POPs Treaty Signed in Stockholm. After several years of negotiation and deep citizen engagement, a strong POPs treaty is signed in Sweden.

2004 - POPs Treaty Becomes Global Law. Pressure from citizen groups spurs rapid ratification around the world, moving the POPs treaty to implementation in just three years - more quickly than any previous environmental treaty.

2009 - List of POPs Chemicals Expands. The initial list of 12 persistent chemicals targeted for global action expands to 21, including the widely use insecticide lindane.

2011 - Endosulfan Listed for Global Phaseout. 173 countries agree to add endosulfan to the POPs treaty list for elimination.

2015 - PCP Listed for Global Phaseout. Pentachlorophenol, still widely used around the world for wood treatment, is targeted for global action — despite strident objections from India.


Breaking the 'Circle of Poison': Prior Informed Consent

Pesticide container1982 - PAN Tackles Global Pesticide Trade. At PAN's founding meeting in Malaysia, groups vow to stop the export of hazardous, banned pesticides to the Global South.

1989 - FAO Promotes “Prior Informed Consent.” PAN convinces the UN Food and Agriculture Organization that all countries have a right to be informed when they import banned chemicals.

1998 - PIC Treaty Born. After a decade of work by PAN activists, one of the network’s founding principles is enshrined in a global treaty: the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent (PIC Treaty).

2004 - PIC Treaty Becomes Law. By 2010 the Rotterdam Convention is adopted by 134 countries, and 40 chemicals (including 29 pesticides) are included on the PIC list, requiring notification to importing countries.


Shifting Global Aid Away from Pesticides

World bank logo1996 - PAN Spotlights World Bank Pesticide Spending. PAN leads community monitoring in China, Indonesia and Mexico that documents Bank projects increasing pesticide dependence.

1998 - World Bank Strengthens IPM Policy. PAN's intensive campaign with partners around the world wins improved policies at the Bank.

2003 - PAN's Watchdogging Reveals Bank Failures. PAN confronts the Bank on its failure to implement its stronger integrated pest management policy, with only 9% of projects showing progress.

2003 - UN Asks PAN to Co-author Global Agriculture Report. PAN’s work monitoring World Bank agricultural projects results in an invitation to help design and co-author a UN report on agriculture. This report evolved into the most comprehensive assessment of agriculture to have ever taken place: the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD).

2008 - 400+ Global Experts Call for Ecological Farming. The UN-sponsored IAASTD report, Agriculture at a Crossroads, finds that small-scale, agro-ecological farming is most likely to feed the world, while protecting crucial ecological resources without which food production systems around the world are likely to collapse.

2014 - FAO Hosts Forum on Agroecology. Hundreds of scientists, agri-food system researchers, farmers and social movement leaders attend FAO's first-ever International Symposium on Agroecology.


Communities Demand Pesticide-Free Air


Drift catcher introduced2003 - PAN's Drift Catcher Deployed. Dr. Susan Kegley invents a simple device called a Drift Catcher, designed to document pesticides drifting into communities near agricultural fields. Activists across the country are trained to use the Drift Catcher.

2007 - PAN Measures Pesticides in People & Air. PAN scientists work with  partners to combine Drift Catching with measuring pesticides in the bodies of community members. More than 90% of project participants carry above-average levels of pesticides in their bodies.

2008 - California Communities Celebrate Buffer zone.  Residents of Tulare County celebrate a new law that bans aerial spraying of the most dangerous pesticides near homes, schools or occupied labor camps.

2008 - Drift Catcher Wins Tech Award. PAN's Dr. Susan Kegley named a Tech Awards Laureate for her work inventing and promoting the Drift Catcher. 

2009 - EPA Admits Drift May be Hazardous. PAN’s Drift Catcher data convinces EPA to examine the dangers of pesticides that can drift off farms for days after chemicals are applied.

2014 - Communities Win Drift Protections. Despite millions of corporate dollars spent in opposition to the local measures, two counties in Hawai'i win buffer zones and reporting requirements.

Winning a Global Lindane Ban


Napkins from the lindane lunch2002 - California Bans Lindane Lotions & Shampoos. California legislators ban the use of lindane for lice and scabies control in 2002, leading to cleaner water in the state and reducing risks for children.

2005 - PAN Serves “Lindane Lunch” to North American Officials. PAN partners from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. serve up foods commonly contaminated with lindane to officials from the three countries meeting to develop an action plan for lindane.

2005 - Mexico Proposes Lindane for POPs Treaty. After deciding to ban all uses of lindane at home, Mexican officials propose the addition of the pesticide to the Stockholm Convention target list for global elimination.

2006 - US Withdraws Agricultural Use of Lindane. PAN activists celebrate a long overdue victory as agricultural uses of lindane are withdrawn in the U.S.

2009 - Nations Agree to Ban Lindane Worldwide. More than 160 countries agree to add the pesticide lindane to the Stockholm Convention for global phaseout.

Endosulfan Campaign Wins U.S. Ban, Global Phaseout


Endosulfan victory2008 - U.S. Experts & Advocates Demand Endosulfan Ban. Over 100 environmental health advocacy groups and more than 50 scientists and public health officials publically call on EPA to ban the pesticide endosulfan.

2009 - Bayer Agrees to Stop Selling Endosulfan. The multinational chemical company Bayer commits to end distribution of the pesticide endosulfan in 2010, and to replace the toxic pesticide with safer alternatives.

2009 - Science Panel Recommends Global Action on Endosulfan. An international panel of science experts concludes that endosulfan requires global action to prevent harm to human health and the environment.

2010 - EPA Withdraws Endosulfan. EPA officials announce that endosulfan will be eliminated in the United States.

2011 - Endosulfan Listed for Global Phaseout. 173 countries agree to add endosulfan to the POPs treaty list for elimination.

Protecting Communities & Workers from Fumigants


Methyl iodide protest1992 - Methyl Bromide Added to Montreal Protocol. The toxic fumigant pesticide methyl bromide was added to the Montreal Protocol and targeted for global phaseout.

2007 - Fumigant Campaign Gets EPA's Attention. PAN and partners attend hearings across the country and organize farm visits for EPA officials conducting the "fumigant cluster assessement."

2008 - EPA Strengthens Rules for Fumigant Pesticides. After three years of deliberation, EPA proposes new rules for five highly toxic fumigant pesticides.

2010 - New Carcinogenic Fumigant Blocked in California for Three Years. Scientists find that a new fumigant, methyl iodide, registered by EPA in 2008 as a replacement for methyl bromide, cannot be used safely. Washington state refuses to register; a storm of protest keeps it in limbo in California, even after the Schwarzenegger Administration registered it in Dec. 2010. By early 2012 it had been used on only 15 acres.

2012 - Arysta Pulls Methyl Iodide from U.S. Market. On March 20 — faced with a lawsuit filed on behalf of PAN, UFW and a coalition of health, environment and community groups, opposition from California legislators and the public and stalled sales — the company ends use in this country of what scientists called "one of the most toxic chemicals on earth".

Keeping Global DDT Phaseout On Course


Crowd around bednet in Africa2007 - Congress Hears Concerns about DDT Use for Malaria. To mark World Malaria Day, PAN convenes congressional briefing with experts presenting on health harms of DDT use for malaria control and safer alternatives already in use.

2008 - PAN Meets with President's Malaria Initiative. PAN brings experts to meet with the coordinator of the President's Malaria Initiative to discuss how to ensure that U.S. investments go toward long-term, sustainable approaches to malaria control.

2009 - African Leaders Call for DDT alternatives. Following a meeting of experts in Tanzania, dozens of public health and environmental experts adopt the Dar Es Salaam resolution, calling on African governments to shift away from DDT use for malaria control.

2009 - Experts Update Congress on Sustainable Malaria Solutions. PAN co-sponsors a congressional briefing with the American Public Health Association highlighting on-the-ground experiences with safe malaria control solutions.

2009 - WHO Affirms Commitment to DDT Phaseout. WHO announces a rejuvenated international effort to roll back both malaria and the use of DDT. The initiative aims for a 30% reduction in DDT use by 2014, and total elimination of DDT by "early 2020s if not sooner."