Saturday, August 30, 2014

Defang Agriculture

At the end of book XXII of Homer's "Odyssey," we read that Odysseus fumigated his house with sulphur. This was sometimes in the 1200s BCE. More than three thousand years later, in the 1950s and 1960s, my father used sulphur to protect his grape vines from disease.

Thus "pesticides" have a long history. But despite my vague knowledge of my father's rare use of sulphur in his small farm in Greece, I never thought about pesticides. They were things one used in emergencies.
All this changed dramatically when I joined the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1979. My position was with the very organization that "regulates" pesticides in America, EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs.
My colleagues made it easy for me to learn quickly. They explained what they did and gave me samples of their written work. Talking to my colleagues and reading their papers opened the secret world of pesticides to me. Many modern pesticides are chemicals from chlorine and petroleum.
Pesticides received a tremendous boost from World War I when chlorine gas killed uncounted number of troops. World War II perfected neurotoxin agents, which became the feedstock for farmers' nerve-poison pesticides.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

2014 National Pesticide Forum: Pesticides 101

The 32nd National Pesticide Forum, was held April 11-12, 2014 at the University Place Hotel and Conference Center at Portland State University.

The conference was convened by Beyond Pesticides, Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides and Portland State University's Institute for Sustainable Solutions.

The Forum provided an opportunity for grassroots advocates, scientists, and policy makers to interact and strategize on solutions that are protective of health and the environment. Keynote presentations, workshops, and plenary panels focused on solutions to the decline of pollinators; strengthening organic agriculture; improving farmworker protection and agricultural justice; and creating healthy buildings, schools and homes.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Knowledge is power

A man is offering food to a donkey, which is unwilling to eat. In a way this symbolizes our world with considerable knowledge but unwilling to act to protect human health and the natural world. I hope "Poison Spring" acts as a catalyst to political and ethical action to save ourselves and our Mother Earth.

Video C-SPAN: Book TV

June 2014: Pomona College, Claremont, California

Book Discussion Poison Spring | Video | (1 hour, 5+ mins)

Video: WWGF News Interview

Timecode List

1:00 Kathleen Hallal shows Poison Spring with pink bookmarks

1:31 Dr. Ray Seidler intro

2:51 Kathleen Hallal - lots of note and stickies

3:58 E.G. Valliantatos - EPA not responsible, it is the political and economical forces in the country

4:53 It sounds strange but the EPA has to be redesigned

5:33 Kathleen - our political system is broken - revolving doors, lobbyists

5:16 Audio drop-out (cut 3 mins of video)

5:17 Dr. Ray Seidler - EPA GMO safety studies, neonicotinoids, where is the smoking gun...early history?

7:26 Evan - In 1974, EPA approved Penncap M

9:39  Seidler - bringing us up to date - Congress allows industry to do their own testing

10:48 Evan - It is assumed that the people are honest, fake data, angry women, re-think EPA

12:32 Kathleen - If we don't have these chemicals, we can't farm at all

13:02 Evan - Onion Study (p. 231-233) Larger farms, more chemicals used

14:07 Obama could direct Defence Department, Gov. cafeterias, schools to buy organic

14:43 Kathleen - China organic food program, Hillary Clinton

15:20 What can we do? Look at the numbers?

17:12 Evan - People know how to grow food

17:25 Kathleen - Here is the thing: EPA says it is safe! EPA front group for chem corps, can't trust gov.

20:36 The farm workers...

20:44 Evan - EPA Farm worker protection program

22:40 Kathleen - Myths: Yields, Feeding the world

22:52 Evan - writing book not without risks

23:49 Kristi - afraid of being watched?

24:05 Evan - Fear...

24:34 Kristi - 75% US believes gov. keeps food safe

25:05 60 Minutes, presentations, interviews?

26:10 Vice - HBO

27:12 Mary - Glyphosate Found in Mothers' Breast Milk?

27:48 Evan - The 1970's

29:11 Kathleen - Glyphosate would not get into tissues, EPA wants mothers group to get more studies, EPA does not care

31:19 Evan - Why do we continue on this path? Insulting, dangerous, risking life of child

32:31 Kathleen - I work for free, 24-7, I never stop thinking about this, I'm not like a lobbyist, or a crooked scientist, I'm a mother, we work with our heart, makes my blood boil

36:08 Evan - I did not put myself in the book, EPA data, memos, Pray but Act

38:50 Ray - 100% Natural Bill (GMO Label)

40:40 Kathleen - Don't know what a GMO is....

41:27 Ray - I am a speaker....

42:08 Mary - Jackson/Josephine GMO crop ban

43:38 Kathleen - Winning in OR was door-to-door

44:14 Mary - Grassroots getting to all of the people

45:30 Kristi - Been at it for 2 years

47:00 Evan -  1980 study on intelligence

48:06 Chem warfare chems....who needs them?

49: 00 Kristi - Poison Spring: confirmation, is going to take women

50:14 Ray - To stupid to know GMO issues

51:15 It has gone beyond out-of-control

53:10 Kathleen - I do pubic speaking, republican women's groups, they have kids too, apolitical issue, health/food issue.

54:55 Evan - Dems are smiling, Reps cut jobs/budget

55:40 Mary - Fed level bought out, One County-at-a-time

57:00 Howard Vlieger - What do EPA children eat?

1:00:16 Evan - Thank You

1:01:09 Kathleen - breaking trust in gov.

Live Stream Press Release

National Panel

Friday, August 22, 2014

Weekly Women's GMO Free News: Google Hangout with Dr. Ray Siedler, Retired EPA Scientist

 Basic Issues

1. GM technology for food has nothing to do with feeding the world;
2. GMOs extend the life (and profits) of pesticides;
3. The strategy of the owners of GM technologies is to control the world's food;
4. The EPA is no longer EPA: The nation's industry is funding Congress and the president and, in return, the White House and Congress have been influencing EPA to do the bidding of the industry. All this influence is sophisticated and unrecognizable by the public. Add to this science as a fig leaf, and the EPA seems to be EPA. "Poison Spring" decodes the industry-White house-Congress-EPA complex;
5. Eat organic food and be active: Moms across America must form a political party with the ideas of the "Poison Spring" as part of their agenda to ban GMOs and most pesticides.

Podcast: Food Integrity Now

 In the podcast, Mr. Vallianatos explains the depth of corruption that stems from the agency that is primarily controlled by the chemical industry and its political adversaries.

Host: Carol Grieve' is a health and wellness coach, food educator, visionary, activist and artist. In her coaching practice she assists many in emotional and wellness related issues.

Download Podcast on PC/Tablet/MP3 Player/Phone (22.1 meg)