Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

Pesticide Action Network North America Regional Center

Reclaiming the future of food and farming

aka PAN North America, PAN, PANNA

Berkeley, CA

Mission

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

1985

Executive Director

Kristin Schafer

Main Address

2029 University Ave Ste 200

Berkeley, CA 94704 USA

Formerly Known As

Pesticide Education and Action Project

Keywords

Pesticides, Environment, Agriculture, Advocacy, International Development

EIN

94-2949686

 Number

4826916435

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

International Agricultural Development (Q31)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Reducing exposure to airborne pesticides

Eliminating Persistent pesticides campaign

Safe and sustainable agriculture

Honey Bee Campaign

Where we work

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

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What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is working to accelerate the transition to a safe, fair and green food system, to loosen corporate control of agriculture and food, and to protect environmental health. PAN is building momentum toward transforming the food system into one that produces nourishing, safe, fair and more locally and sustainably produced food; rolling back undue influence of agrichemical corporations over science and policy; and protecting the health of children and frontline communities from toxic pesticide exposure.

PAN advances alternatives to pesticides that damage human health and the environment. We promote sustainable food systems, safe 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.

Organized Communities: 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 our problems in one place doesn’t have to mean pushing them somewhere else—to other countries, communities or neighborhoods with marginal political and economic power. Since PAN International was founded in Malaysia 30 years ago, PAN has helped achieve treaties banning some of the most hazardous pesticides worldwide.

Policy and practice change: With our partners, we support policy change and implementation as a systemic response to corporate control of food and the proliferation of industrial agriculture. We aim to change our food rules—from international codes of conduct to the U.S. Farm Bill—in favor of farmer stewardship, fairness and safety for workers, 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.

We advocate precautionary action on all toxic chemicals, the elimination of the most hazardous pesticides, and investment in safer, more viable alternatives.

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

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 (pesticideinfo.org) and pesticides on food (whatsonmyfood.org).

PAN has a strategic plan that we update through an annual cycle of board and staff evaluation, assessment of opportunities for impact, and sharpening to focus resources, add capacities and adjust tactics. Each year we update one-year indicators of progress and three- to five-year outcome benchmarks that are meaningful, ambitious and realistic. Current outcomes we’re working toward include:

1. Pesticides that are bad for children are removed from use in places where children live, learn and grow.

2. Policies are enacted that support sustainable farming and food systems at the state and federal levels.

3. Major retailers and produce suppliers adopt standards that guarantee safe farm working conditions, fair wages, food safety and pesticide use reduction.

4. Key groups and networks engage with PAN to advance food democracy.

5. The public and policy makers understand that the agricultural biotech industry is a poor source of solutions to climate change and food shortages and that genetically engineered crops actually increase pesticide use.

6. International policymakers and funders take guidance from solid scientific information about safer alternatives to highly hazardous pesticides.

Examples of recent victories:

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.

Putting Minnesota pesticide drift on the agenda: In May 2012, residents conducting air monitoring with PAN presented their data directly to state officials. In response, the Minnesota Department of Health promised to open its own investigation of pesticide drift hazards, and committed to conduct a cancer study in the potato-growing region.


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

1) turning our food system from one controlled by the Big 6 agrichemical and GE 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) overturning 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 agrichemical manufacturers. It takes decades to remove even the most hazardous pesticide from the market, despite compelling evidence of harm. Changing this system is one of our goals, but we’ve only begun to crack it at the fringes.

External Reviews

Awards

Tech Award Laureate 2008

Tech Museum of Innovation

Financials

Pesticide Action Network North America Regional Center

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Operations

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

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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 & 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