As I discussed yesterday, individuals can make a difference in shaping public policy. The Pesticide Action Network (PAN), an organization dedicated to eliminating the use of hazardous pesticides, relies on us to help get its message heard.
If you believe that e-mails and phone calls to government officials don’t add up and don’t make a difference, witness how the groundswell of almost 100,000 e-mails has held up the appointment of Islam Siddiqui as our Chief Agricultural Negotiator. (Siddiqui is currently a vice president at CropLife America, the pesticide industry’s lobbying arm.)
Another current action supported by PAN is a campaign encouraging Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to not approve the use of methyl iodide on California farms. (I phoned the other day; unfortunately my request to speak directly with the Governor was rebuffed.)
According to PAN, methyl iodide has been “linked to severe health concerns, including miscarriages and cancer.” A California rejection of methyl iodide would give the Environmental Protection Agency reason to reassess the chemical’s widespread usage.
Isn’t our collective health (and our children’s and grandchildren’s) enough to warrant an e-mail or phone call?
As I wrote yesterday, to show my commitment to the cause, I will personally match the $35 membership fee of the first 15 people who join PAN. Click here to join.