As the headlines of their corporate misdeeds pile up, the Monsanto name is becoming even more synonymous with shady dealings and the obfuscation of science, all at the expense of public health. Will the company’s recent mega-merger with fellow seed and pesticide giant Bayer erase Monsanto’s track record? Bayer seems to think so, as they made the decision to drop the Monsanto name completely post-merger. But we’re not too worried.
This week, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) officially announced their hiring of the new Farm Equity Advisor (FEA), a position now filled by Thea Rittenhouse. The creation of this position was one of the main pieces included in the Farmer Equity Act of 2017 (AB 1348) — legislation proposed by the farmer and farmer-advocate group, the California Farmer Justice Collaborative (CFJC).
Congress is taking up the Farm Bill again this week, and many issues key to our food and agriculture system are on the table — including how we deal with pesticides.
I am very fortunate to call California, Ventura County specifically, home. The Golden State hosts more than 25 million acres of farmland, and many Californians live in communities nestled alongside these vast expanses of agriculture. Ventura County’s unique Mediterranean microclimate allows for high production levels of several different types of row crops, most notably strawberries.
Members of the California Farmer Justice Collaborative (CFJC) have been hard at work putting issues of farmer justice in front of local policymakers in California. In fact, earlier this month, CFJC members had a powerhouse meeting with California Assemblymember Robert Bonta and members of State Senator Nancy Skinner’s staff to discuss next steps for farmer justice in California.
In a historic ruling in the San Francisco Superior Court earlier this month, a jury found the Monsanto corporation (recently merged with Bayer) fully liable for health damages caused by its herbicide, Roundup. The plaintiff, DeWayne Johnson, was awarded $289 million in damages.
As of Thursday morning, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has 60 days to finalize its ban of the neurotoxic pesticide chlorpyrifos.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used to release “Pesticide Industry Sales and Usage” reports every two years — but that was almost 20 years ago. Several months ago, after fielding a question from a colleague, I found the most recent iteration of this report, released at the end of 2017 and covering market estimates from 2008 to 2012.
The PAN Fellowship Program supports a pathway to leadership for food and farming activists from frontline communities. Leaders with a deep and personal understanding of the issue —including their social, political and cultural context—can craft meaningful and appropriate solutions for their communities and the system as a whole.