Pesticide Action Network North America Regional Center

Reclaiming the future of food and farming

aka PAN North America, PAN, PANNA   |   Berkeley, CA   |


Pesticide Action Network North America works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As one of five PAN Regional Centers worldwide, we link local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens’ action network. This network challenges the global proliferation of pesticides, defends basic rights to health and environmental quality, and works to ensure the transition to a just and viable society.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Allison Davis

Main address

2029 University Ave Ste 200

Berkeley, CA 94704 USA

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Formerly known as

Pesticide Education and Action Project



NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

International Agricultural Development (Q31)

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Reducing exposure to airborne pesticides

Building on our work of monitoring airborne pesticide
contamination with communities affected by pesticide drift, we work to reduce
exposures to pesticides in the air among workers, children and communities. Our
major activities and objectives include:

- Using PAN’s Pesticide Drift Catcher results in California, Iowa and Minnesota to win legislative and regulatory reforms, particularly to protect children.
- Build campaigns as funding allows in strategic communities where monitoring substantiates the need for reforms and communities are committed to work for change.
- Use the evidence to support our campaign to replace use of fumigant pesticides in California and the U.S. with sustainable alternatives, and to ban the highly hazardous pesticide chlorpyrifos in the U.S. and internationally.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Migrant workers

Win measurable progress toward domestic and
international bans of organophosphate and organochlorine pesticides,
particularly chlorpyrifos, lindane and endosulfan; and hasten the phaseout of
DDT globally.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Promote sustainable and equitable agricultural alternatives and responses to the world food
crisis––especially in the global south.


We will build on the successful and revolutionary U.N.
International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development
released in April 2008 and on the growing movement in the U.S. to redirect the
Farm Bill toward long-term food security and sustainability.

Population(s) Served

A multi–year campaign to address Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and strengthen pollinator health by providing incentives to farmers to shift from conventional chemically-reliant and genetically engineered
agriculture to ecological farming and eliminating pesticides linked to CCD.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Tech Award Laureate 2008

Tech Museum of Innovation

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is working to accelerate the transition to a just, healthy and ecologically vibrant food system. We seek to protect children in agricultural communities and other front line community members from toxic pesticide exposure. Our vision: a food system which produces nourishing, safe, fair, locally controlled and sustainable food, without undue influence from agrochemical corporations that outweighs independent science and the public interest.

PAN advances alternatives to pesticides that damage human health and the environment. We promote agroecology, safe and fair agricultural working conditions and environmental health and justice by working with diverse partners to help communities defend themselves from hazardous pesticides. We create alliances of organizations that together mobilize public will to accomplish what no single organization or sector can alone.

We lay the groundwork for change by using strategic communications to reframe public debate. We organize with partners to ensure that local and regional victories build momentum for large-scale transformation. We contribute scientific capacity and credibility to the environmental justice and food democracy movements.

PAN’s strengths include:

Grassroots science: Our scientists work in the field with communities to document how pesticides contaminate the air and water, and to learn about agroecological approaches used successfully around the world. After we pioneered community-led air monitoring in California, we were able to adapt it to settings as diverse as Senegal and Florida.

Communications: PAN brings a sophisticated and successful approach towards strategic communications as an important tool for building public will for change.

Coalition-based organizing: Pesticides are a public health problem that requires public engagement to solve; corporate globalization requires that we organize worldwide. We link local groups with each other, so that solving problems in one place doesn’t mean pushing them to other countries, communities or neighborhoods with marginal political and economic power.

Policy and practice change: With our coalition partners, we support the creation and implementation of better policies as a response to corporate control of food and the proliferation of industrial agriculture. We aim to change food rules—from international codes of conduct to the U.S. Farm Bill—in favor of community-scale farmer stewardship, fairness and safety for farmworkers, and clean water and healthy food for everyone. While individual actions such as using water filters to protect a family’s health or adopting organic farming are important, PAN focuses on systems-level change. Systemic policy change, along with an activated public bent on ensuring the implementation and improvements of such policies, are key to making short-term fixes and gains permanent well into the future and reproducible in other regions. Since PAN International was founded in Malaysia over 35 years ago, our organization has helped produce treaties banning some of the most hazardous pesticides worldwide. We advocate precautionary action on all toxic chemicals, the elimination of the most hazardous pesticides, and investment in safer, more viable alternatives.

PAN’s primary strength is in our networks: regional networks in North America (our primary focus), Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Latin America facilitated by five regional centers. In North America we have formal partnerships with more than 100 groups across the country. We have an online network of more than 100,000 activists. And we have a staff of 22 (primarily scientists, organizers and communications specialists), operating from our main office in Oakland, CA and our Midwest office in Minneapolis.

Science capacity: PAN staff have a long track record providing scientific expertise in pesticide hazards and alternatives, agroecology, and environmental monitoring. We’re best known for helping communities document pesticide drift in air and for providing solid technical analyses to policy makers, regulators and treaty negotiators. We invented an air monitoring instrument called the Drift Catcher to put the tools necessary to document pesticide drift into the hands of people who are exposed and who can be the most effective advocates for their communities. PAN’s Drift Catchers have been used in 27 projects in eleven states by scores of trained volunteers and community leaders.

Since 2011 PAN has added monitoring for pesticide contamination of water, particularly focused on working with communities in the Midwest to detect pesticides that are developmentally harmful. We developed a water monitoring protocol that allows non-scientists to test for the presence of atrazine, a widely-used weed killer, along with other developmentally harmful pesticides.

Organizing capacity: PAN staff includes skilled community organizers, campaign coordinators and policy experts to support our network of partner groups and allies. We consult with local activists to help plan and coordinate drives around critical issues, link local efforts to state and national campaigns as well as to international advocacy. Our local impact has been strongest in California, with joint projects in other states too, including Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, New York and Washington. In 2012 we opened an office in Minneapolis to organize more effectively with farm and rural communities in Minnesota and Iowa.

Strategic communications and digital outreach capacity: PAN creates communication strategies based on empirical data and disciplined analysis. Our materials are also distinguished by their commitment to scientific rigor. PAN mobilizes more than 100,000 online activists on a regular basis to sign petitions, contact policymakers, write letters to the editor and spread the word about urgent issues. PAN also a has a growing social media presence. This base allows us to marshall substantial public will for change. We also work with journalists around the world to help frame public discussion based on independent science, and we maintain websites that aggregate the latest official information on pesticide toxicology ( and pesticides on food (

Examples of significant advances:

Banning all food uses of the neurotoxic insecticide chlorpyrifos, which has been proven harmful to children's cognitive development. Almost 20 years after chlorpyrifos was banned for home use in the US, PAN and our campaign partners succeeded in getting EPA to ban its use in agriculture. Several states in which we co-led active campaigns, including California and Hawai'i, banned the pesticide before the federal ban was achieved.

Establishing pesticide protection zones: Low-income residents, especially children, in agricultural communities suffer most when pesticides are sprayed near their neighborhoods and schools. PAN worked with agricultural community groups such as El Quinto Sol in Tulare County, California, to document exposure to pesticides applied in orange groves surrounding the town through monitoring the air for drift and testing urine for pesticide metabolates. Together, we won precedent-setting county buffer zones around sensitive sites, a model that is being replicated in neighboring counties.

Phaseout of endosulfan and nine other persistent organic pollutants through the international treaty processes: in a coordinated campaign to end use of endosulfan (an extremely toxic DDT-era insecticide), we worked with local groups in Florida to document pesticides in the air at an elementary school. We raised the public profile of endosulfan’s health threat and support calls to eliminate it through two international treaties, achieving bans in the U.S. in 2010 and internationally in 2011.

Rejecting methyl iodide: On March 20, 2012, Arysta LifeScience pulled the highly hazardous fumigant pesticide methyl iodide, “one of the most toxic chemicals on earth,” from the entire U.S. market. In a campaign coordinated with Californians for Pesticide Reform and other partners across the nation, we brought Nobel laureate scientists together with those most at risk—farmworkers and members of communities living near strawberry fields—to win the historic first deregistration of a new pesticide.

What we have not yet accomplished: two fundamental systemic transformations —

1) turning our food system from one controlled by the Big 3 agrochemical and genetically modified seed corporations into a democratic, safe and sustainable system that fosters health, vibrant communities and food security in North America and around the world; and

2) overhauling the pesticide regulatory system: in the U.S. and many other countries, pesticides are treated as “innocent until proven guilty.” Rather than take a precautionary approach to prohibit exposing people and the environment to poisonous chemicals until they’re proven to be safe, our policy framework uses “risk assessment” to balance harms versus economic gain, and registers pesticides for use based almost entirely on research submitted by agrochemical manufacturers. It takes decades to remove even the most hazardous pesticide from the market, despite compelling evidence of harm.


Pesticide Action Network North America Regional Center

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Pesticide Action Network North America Regional Center

Board of directors
as of 02/26/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Kyle Powys Whyte

Nsedu Obot Witherspoon

Children's Environmental Health Network

Cheryl Danley

Independent Consultant

Jodi Angelo

Trillium Asset Management

Patti Naylor

Iowa Organic Farmer

Kyle Powys Whyte

University of Michigan

Iris Figueroa

Farmworker Justice

Audrey Tran Lam

Center for Energy and Environmental Education

Kyra Busch

CS Fund

Christine Hall

Morehouse School of Medicine

Gail P. Myers

Farms to Grow, Inc.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/26/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

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