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Daily News Blog

21
May

A Toxic-Free Future. Scientific Understanding. Systemic Change. Organic Transition. Collective Action.

(Beyond Pesticides, May 21, 2021) Do those ideas scratch your curiosity, science, policy, agriculture, and/or activist itch? Great — because the 2021 Annual National Pesticide Forum, Cultivating Healthy Communities: Confronting Health Threats, Climate Disasters, and Biodiversity Collapse with a Toxic-Free Future — begins very soon, so it is time to register!

Cultivating Healthy Communities is a singular opportunity to learn from top experts and connect with kindred people from all over the U.S. (as well as with some international participants). During plenary sessions, presenters will share their understandings and ideas about the problems we face, and about urgently needed strategies and solutions to solve them. The workshop sessions will be interactive, providing attendees the chance to interact with one another and presenting experts.

This annual National Pesticide Forum conference is convened, in 2021, by Beyond Pesticides and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai’s Institute for Exposomic Research. (“Exposomic” references the multitude of environmental factors to which an individual is exposed, and which can have effects on health.)

If you are groaning or rolling your eyes at the thought of yet another conference, know that Cultivating Healthy Communities is not one of those events (think old school, boring, and expensive, with airless event rooms, annoying name tags, bad food, and droning presenters). Nope. Cultivating Healthy Communities is the real deal for real people who care about the state of our world because it is:

  • DIVERSE: covering very broad content, with diverse speakers from many backgrounds, areas of expertise, and lived experiences
  • DIGITAL: nearly anyone can attend
  • DOABLE: more convenient and accessible than ever before, it is configured for just one short evening session plus one afternoon a week for four consecutive weeks

The task of this gathering of minds and hearts and experience is defining meaningful solutions and a collective strategy for achieving them. (Note that this task cannot be achieved without you!)

How it all works. The Forum starts Monday, May 24 with a pre-conference session, Pesticide Literacy 101, that will usher participants into the framework of the conference through an overview on pesticides’ health and environment impacts, regulation, individual protections, communication about pesticide-related issues, and advocacy for more-protective policies. The conference proper begins the following afternoon (Tuesday, May 25) and continues for four consecutive Tuesday afternoons (May 25–June 15).

As for conference cost: note that donations are requested, but not required. To ensure that everyone who wants to participate is able to do so, we are offering low-cost and complimentary registration options to those who are experiencing financial hardship. Registration information for Cultivating Healthy Communities is found here.

Plenary and panel sessions launch each afternoon’s program, followed by several hour-long workshop options; each day’s program concludes with an integrative, half-hour session, including Biodiversity as the Context of Life, Modern Life and the Threat to the Future, Understanding the Urgency for Nontoxic Practices, and Moving Policy Change to Sustain Life.

The Content. Cultivating Healthy Communities offers a broad, holistic look at pesticide issues, with topics geared toward nearly every cohort: advocates, scientists and researchers, farmers and food system people, policymakers, communicators, and others. A quick sampling of just some session topics includes:

May 25:

  • Protecting Children from Pesticides
  • Transforming Agriculture for an Organic Future
  • Climate Action for a Livable Future

June 1:

  • Gardening in Partnership with Nature, Ecosystems, and Soil Biology
  • Farmworker Communities on the Front Line
  • Protecting Waterways and Agents of Global Change

June 8:

  • Biodiversity and Local Farming
  • Managing Our Communities Without Toxic Chemicals
  • Practical and Holistic Approaches to Land Management

June 15:

  • Cutting-edge Science: Environmental Contaminants
  • Local Food System/Hubs/Food Sovereignty
  • Challenging the Status Quo with Science and the Law

The people. Presenters — more than 80 of them — come from the worlds of public health and medicine, research and academia, agriculture and food systems, environmental justice and equity, journalism, nonprofit advocacy, and government. Passionate without exception, these presenters will provide information and perspective that will explain the many threats we face — grave ecosystem decline, the climate crisis, compromised health status and rising disease incidence across the globe, and shocking biodiversity loss. Beyond that, presenters — and attendees — will discuss tools for holistic thinking about these issues, and for robust solutions that are effective and focused on eliminating disproportionate harm to various societal cohorts, whether identified by race, gender, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic means, or other attributes.

Jay Feldman, Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides, and Sarah Evans, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, kick off the event on May 25. Representative Joe Neguse of Colorado (of the U.S. House of Representatives) closes the conference with his address, Moving Policy Change to Sustain Life. In between, presenting experts include (partial list):

  • Lil Milagro Enriquez (Mycelium Youth Network)
  • Carey Gillam (U.S. Right to Know; The Monsanto Papers)
  • Tyrone Hayes, PhD (Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley)
  • Bertha Lewis (The Black Institute)
  • Tom Lovejoy, PhD (Amazon Biodiversity Center; UN Foundation; Environmental Science & Policy Department, George Mason University)
  • Jeff Moyer (Rodale Institute)
  • Chip Osborne (Osborne Organics)
  • Heather Spalding (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association)
  • Shanna Swan, PhD (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race)
  • Ling Tan (Safe Grow Montgomery)
  • Leonardo Trasande, MD (NYU Grossman School of Medicine)
  • Frederick vom Saal, PhD (University of Missouri-Columbia)

Why Cultivating Healthy Communities: Confronting Health Threats, Climate Disasters, and Biodiversity Collapse with a Toxic-Free Future right now? Because the acute and existential environmental and health challenges we are confronting demand urgent solutions. Fundamental to those is the elimination of petroleum-based pesticides and fertilizers, and the transition to regenerative organic land management and use of nontoxic materials that stop the harms from toxic chemical production, use, and disposal. This is the only long-term way to protect children and families, workers of all stripes, ecosystems, pollinators, and the rich diversity of organisms essential to life. The pandemic has demonstrated dramatically that ensuring a healthy and functional future for all, and for our planet, will require protecting those most vulnerable to health and environmental hazards, and remedying the disparities that underlie such vulnerabilities.

Defining meaningful solutions and a collective strategy is the charge of the Forum. We come together to empower effective action. You are part of the solutions! Whatever your interest — public health, food systems and sovereignty, pollinators and biodiversity, the climate emergency, water and soil quality, environmental justice, organic agriculture, scientific integrity and environmental regulation, or local, regional, or national advocacy — scratch that itch! Join us for this unique event and in this critical work: register now for Cultivating Healthy Communities!

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

 

 

 

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  • Archives

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    • air pollution (2)
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    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
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    • Preemption (25)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (1)
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    • Rights-of-Way (1)
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    • synergistic effects (7)
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