Farmers vs. environmentalists. It’s a common narrative that rears its head again and again in news, opinion and analysis, most recently in this piece by Dan Charles for National Public Radio (NPR). The title reads, "Farmers Fight Environmental Regulations." The imposed conflict is right there in the title.
Last week, we learned that an official at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) helped Monsanto block additional review of glyphosate’s link to cancer. News also broke that Monsanto employees helped ghostwrite scientific papers related to the herbicide’s impact on human health.
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.
Right now, the very existence of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is being challenged by the people who are in charge of it, and by legislators who see it as a job-killing nuisance. Instead of tearing it down, let's focus on its mission — protecting our health and the natural environment — and make sure that it's helping those who need it most.
The Department of Pesticide Regulation director and his top advisor endured a grilling last week at a packed hearing convened by the California Senate Committee on Environmental Quality to consider the new schools regs.
Let's take a moment to honor the women who run about a third of our country's farms. They're also often leading the way in developing more resilient practices, farming on smaller pieces of land, incorporating more crop diversity and growing food for their communities.
I had the privilege of speaking with four such farmers who exemplify the strength of women-led agriculture across the U.S.
Well then. If there was ever any doubt that the new administration's oft-stated commitment to "clean air and water" was insincere, there's no question now. Just as Trump was reading these hollow words in his address to Congress, his team was proposing draconian cuts to the agency whose job it is to protect our resources and health.
In early February, a mighty group of Iowa farmers congregated at the Iowa state capitol to participate in the Iowa Farmers Union (IFU) annual Food and Farm Lobby Day. A carload of my farmer friends and I were thrilled to have the chance to speak with our legislators about the obstacles that beginning farmers so often face in our current system of agriculture.
As Scott Pruitt takes over as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, it's clearer than ever that our federal decisionmakers won't be stepping up to protect communities — or our food system — from pesticides anytime soon. It's that much more important therefore for state and local leaders to do their part. Here in Minnesota, decisionmakers are beginning some important steps to protect pollinators from pesticides, and we're fighting to make those changes powerful models for the rest of the country.
Lately scientific evidence seems to matter a lot less than it used to. It's not that evidence hasn't been ignored by policymakers in the past. But there are some unique things happening under the new administration that seem to directly and fundamentally challenge the value of science. Across the country, scientists are responding by standing up and speaking out.