(Beyond Pesticides, June 1, 2012) Beyond Pesticides is pleased to announce the release of videos from Healthy Communities, the 30th National Pesticide Forum. The forum was held March 30-31, 2012 at Yale University School of Froestry and Environmental Studies in New Haven, CT and included leaders in the fields of pesticide reform, public health, organic agriculture, and alternative pest control as well as many community leaders, local activists, and students. The videos span the range of topics that were discussed at the Forum and include keynote speeches, panel discussions, and workshops. You can access the playlist, which includes all of the available videos of the 2012 forum, on Beyond Pesticides’ YouTube page.
The videos include such notable presentations as:
“Inventing the Future of Food“ by Gary Hirshberg — Mr. Hirshberg discusses organics, his experience with Stonyfield Farm and future of food. Mr. Hirshberg is chairman and co-founder of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World. Previously, he directed the Rural Education Center, the small organic farming school from which Stonyfield was spawned. Before that, he had served as executive director of The New Alchemy Institute, a research and education center dedicated to organic farming, aquaculture and renewable energy. He has also authored books on wind power and organic gardening. He is a speaker on sustainability, climate change, the profitability of green and socially responsible business, organic agriculture, and sustainable economic development.
“Poisoning of the Bees” by Dave Hackenberg. Mr. Hackenberg is the beekeeper who first discovered the disappearance of honey bees known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and he tells his story here of his fight to save the bees. Mr. Hackenberg believes that pesticides contribute to CCD and that honey bees are a barometer of the environment. He is featured in the film Vanishing of the Bees and various media reports, including this 60 Minutes segment. Mr. Hackenberg founded Hackenberg Apiaries in 1962 as a high school vo-ag project. Today, he and his son operate approximately 3,000 hives of bees in 5 states for pollination and honey. David is a past president of the American Beekeeping Federation, and currently serves as co-chair of the National Honey Bee Advisory Board.
“Essential Lessons from Pesticide History” by John Wargo, PhD. Dr. Wargo is the Tweedy-Ordway professor in environmental health and politics at Yale University. He has lectured extensively on the limits and potential of environmental law, with a focus on human health. He has recently written Green Intelligence: Creating Environments that Protect Human Health. The book won the Independent Publishers Award of Gold Medal in the field of “environment, ecology, and nature” for 2010. He compares the history of five serious and global environmental threats to children’s health in the twentieth century: nuclear weapons testing, pesticides, hazardous sites, vehicle particulate emissions, and hormonally active ingredients in plastics.
“Pesticides and Federal Policy” by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). Senator Blumenthal has long advocated for stricter control of pesticides to protect children and as Connecticut’s Attorney General joined with five other Attorneys General (AG) to sue the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to adopt pest management practices that only use pesticides as a last resort. At the time, he said, “HUD is solving one problem with another problem -controlling pests, but poisoning public property and the children and citizens who live in public housing, There are safer and sounder affordable alternatives to these pesticides.” He also joined other AGs in pushing EPA to disclose secret or “inert” ingredients in pesticide products, saying, “The public has a basic right to know what they’re being exposed to so they can make educated decisions on the products allowed into their own homes. That’s especially true when products may be harmful to their health.” In that spirit, earlier this year Senator Blumenthal joined 54 Members of Congress in calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to require the labeling of genetically engineered food.
Also included are several workshops such as Local Action to Protect the Environment, Protecting Pollinators, and Genetically Engineered Food. Be sure to visit the full playlist to see the rest of the videos.
While Beyond Pesticides encourages activists, community leaders, scientists, and policy makers to attend its annual National Pesticide Forum in person to get together, share information, and elevate the pesticide reform movement, the new online videos of many of the Forum’s sessions make a similar contribution for those unable to attend. Beyond Pesticides believes that sharing this information beyond the Forum as an educational and organizing tool will prove extremely valuable, and encourages readers of the Daily News blog to share the presentations with friends, community organizations, networks and state and local decision makers.