Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Kristin Schafer
Nov 03, 2015
It took a court order and a virtual avalanche of scientific evidence, but federal pesticide regulators finally did the right thing. Late last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to put a stop to agricultural uses of chlorpyrifos. Yes!! This is such a very important win. Once the rule is final, farmworkers and families in rural communities will no longer be exposed to an incredibly neurotoxic pesticide. And across the country, kids' intelligence will no longer be undermined by low-level exposures to this brain-harming chemical in their food, water and air. Plus —... Read More
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Lex Horan
Oct 29, 2015
Earlier this week, a top researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed a complaint alleging that the agency retaliated against him for his research on bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides — and for blowing the whistle on USDA interference with his research. Dr. Jonathan Lundgren has worked at USDA's Agricultural Research Service lab in Brookings, South Dakota for 11 years. His peer-reviewed research on neonicotinoids (neonics), and their impact on pollinators, has been widely published and has received accolades from his contemporaries. USDA, however, appears to be less... Read More
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Sara Knight
Oct 29, 2015
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. This is an epidemic Nearly 1.7 million people in this country will be diagnosed with cancer in 2015, according to the American Cancer Society. While treatments and survival rates continue to... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Oct 29, 2015
How will we feed over 9 billion people by 2050, and who exactly will feed whom? One thing we do know: business as usual is not the answer. As the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General, José Graziano da Silva said in a speech earlier this year, “The model of agricultural production that predominates today is not suitable for the new food security challenges of the 21st century.” When the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) convened hundreds of scientists from around the world... Read More
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Kamyar Enshayan
Oct 26, 2015
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to present a workshop on pesticides at the National Environmental Health Association’s Region 4 gathering in Waterloo, Iowa. I focused in on the public health problems caused by heavy pesticide use in Iowa — and the need to shift to safer alternatives. I also highlighted the urgency of supporting solutions, and specifically the importance of PAN’s work with farmer groups in the state to put policies in place that protect farmers and rural families from pesticide exposures. “When you see something, say something” The mission of the National... Read More
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Lex Horan
Oct 15, 2015
Last Tuesday at lunchtime, I stood on the sidewalk outside a McDonald’s in St. Paul, facing the busy traffic on University Avenue with a colorful sign that said “Stop the Drift.” I was with a group of other supporters of the Toxic Taters Coalition: students, parents and community members who made time in their day to stand in solidarity with rural communities combatting pesticide drift. “Hi there, do you have a second to hear about pesticides used to grow potatoes for McDonald’s?” I turned toward a woman walking by on her way to work. She stopped, interested, and took the flyer that I... Read More
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Medha Chandra
Oct 15, 2015
A new study in Environmental Health Perspectives confirms that when children eat organic, the levels of pesticides in their bodies — including the brain-harming variety — go down. This seems a common-sense conclusion for many of us, but the more science we have to document the case, the better. As we've discussed earlier in GroundTruth blogs, residues found on food are an important source of pesticide exposure for children. Earlier, smaller scale studies have also shown that switching to an organic diet reduces pesticide breakdown products in children’s bodies. This new study, conducted by... Read More
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Paul Towers
Oct 05, 2015
Sixteen years ago, a group of California parents sued state regulators for failing to protect their children from hazardous pesticides. The parents showed that their children – who were Latino – were more likely than their white counterparts to be exposed to pesticides at school. More than a decade later, without involving the impacted children and their families, the lawsuit was settled by state and federal officials. The only result was one new air monitor near one school, without anything more comprehensive or meaningful for schoolchildren across the state. If the outcome of that lawsuit... Read More
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