pesticides


Bob Nichols/USDA

Pesticides, Heat, and the People Who Feed Us: Climate Change Is Making Farmworkers’ Dangerous Job Even Worse

, Scientist, Food and Environment

In a new report released this week, we show that climate change poses dire threats to farmworkers. While conversations around agriculture and climate change have increasingly focused on the devastating impacts of extreme weather, or ways in which farmers might help fight climate change, the farmworkers that are the backbone of our agricultural system have often been left out. This is a problem. Read more >

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Photo courtesy Jenn Vargas/Flickr

Reasons to Be Thankful—8 Food and Farm “Good News” Stories

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Sometimes gratitude feels like a stretch, and this fall has been one of those times. We’re in the home stretch of a difficult year. Bad news abounds, and even the holiday that many of us will celebrate this week is complicated—a day of thanks that also evokes loss and grief for many Native people, along with expressions of resilience. With Thanksgiving approaching, I went looking for hopeful stories, scanning the news of food and agriculture for signs of progress and promise. And though I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface, I actually found quite a lot. Here’s a roundup of good news food and farming stories. Got more? Share ‘em in the comments.

And happy Thanksgiving. Read more >

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USDA/Flickr

At the Trump USDA, the “D” Stands for “Dow”

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Everywhere you look in the Trump administration, there’s the Dow Chemical Company. Or rather, DowDuPont, as the company has been known since a 2017 corporate merger. The influence of this multinational chemical and agribusiness conglomerate is being felt in regulatory decisions involving Dow’s products, and the administration has pulled multiple Dow executives and lobbyists through the revolving door into high-level government positions.

The latest example of the latter? Meet Scott Hutchins, the career Dow exec and pesticide booster nominated last month to oversee science at the USDA.

Read more >

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Disregarding Science, Trump Administration Trades Kids’ Brains for Dow Profit

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

UPDATE (April 20, 2017): Apparently the Dow Chemical Company is not content with a win. As I wrote below last month, the EPA under Scott Pruitt made an about-face, opting to override his own agency’s science on the damaging effects of chlorpyrifos on children’s developing brains and continuing to allow Dow to market the pesticide to farmers.

Now, according to news reports, lawyers representing Dow and two manufacturers of related insecticides have sent letters to Pruitt, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke urging them to “to set aside” the results of an extensive EPA assessment of these chemicals’ effects on endangered wildlife. Read more >

Richard Leeming/Flickr
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Mr. Pruitt has denied a long-standing petition by public interest groups to restrict the use of pesticides containing chlorpyrifos, a chemical whose health impacts include long-term, irreversible effects on children’s brain development. Photo: Wikimedia

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Ignores the Science on Pesticides, Puts Children at Risk

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

Yesterday, Mr. Pruitt denied a long-standing petition by public interest groups to restrict the use of pesticides containing chlorpyrifos, a chemical whose health impacts include long-term, irreversible effects on children’s brain development Read more >

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