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Pesticide Action Network

California Updates: June 2020

As California is one of the states in which PAN does on-the-ground campaign work, we send out regular updates on PAN’s and partners’ work in California and beyond — from pesticide-related science to opportunities to take action. If you’d like to receive these updates via email, sign up here.

Partner spotlight

Support Black farmers in California: PAN stands firmly in solidarity with the Black community and protesters in communities across the country who are demanding justice and calling for an end to systemic racism and oppression. We understand that dismantling systemic racism is central to our work of creating healthy, just food and farming systems for all. Now is a moment to amplify the voices and support the urgent demands of Black leaders in our communities. Here is an (incomplete!) list of Black-led food and farming organizations in California we urge you to support:

And please check out this list, compiled by the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), of Black-run farms to support across the state.

Further, find organizations working to advance Black Food sovereignty nationally and outside of California.

Nationwide updates

Court blocks dicamba use: Early this month, a federal appeals court ruled that the herbicide dicamba could no longer be used in “over the top” applications on soy and cotton. In a win for farmers across the country, the court found that EPA had approved new uses of this old, drift-prone herbicide without appropriately evaluating the damage the chemical would cause to neighboring farms.

Unfortunately, EPA then directly defied the court order, issuing guidance that farmers who had dicamba stocks “in their possession” on the day of the June 3 court order could continue to use the chemical through the end of July. The plaintiffs — National Family Farm Coalition, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety and PAN — immediately petitioned the court to enforce the initial ruling, and hold EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in contempt for refusing to follow a court order. Read more here.

State updates

Disaster relief for immigrants: After months of sheltering in place amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, California is beginning to “re-open.” PAN and partners are continuing to identify and promote resources to support farmworkers, other frontline food workers, and their families during the public health crisis and this time of economic uncertainty. Here are a few updates:

  • The state has committed $125 million to assist workers not covered by the CARES Act during COVID-19. Seventy-five million dollars will come from the state and the other $50 million comes from private sources.
  • California has created a COVID-19 guide for immigrants, with information on treatment, testing and disaster relief assistance.
  • Twelve organizations around the state have been designated by the government to distribute disaster relief assistance to workers, including our partners at the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF).
  • CRLAF has prepared a resource document that is regularly updated as new information on the pandemic becomes available.
  • The Sierra Health Foundation — through its San Joaquin Valley Health Fund (SJVHF) program — has raised $4 million in assistance to distribute to folks in the San Joaquin Valley. Along with a number of other ally organizations, Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR) has received some of this funding to distribute; CPR organizer Angel Garcia and a number of young community leaders have been working directly with farmworkers and families in Tulare to distribute approximately $36,500 in emergency assistance.

Upcoming events

Pollinator protection webinar
Join our friends at the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) for their upcoming webinar “Protecting migratory pollinators: Nectar-feeding bats & monarchs.” Presenters Juan Moreira-Hernández and Gail Morris will discuss these species’ relationships to plants and flowers, habitat needs, effective conservation and management efforts, impacts of pesticides, and ways you can participate in community-based science to protect pollinators in your homes and communities.

Take action

Our communities have the right to know about nearby applications of hazardous agricultural pesticides before they happen — for the sake of children, workers, and families.

Tell the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to ensure the public’s right to this information in real time.

Take Action


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Pesticide Action Network

Pesticide Action Network is dedicated to advancing alternatives to pesticides worldwide. Follow @pesticideaction

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