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National Pesticide Forum To Be Held June 1-3 in Chicago

(Beyond Pesticides, May 29, 2007) National, state and Chicago-based environmental groups are teaming up for Changing Course in a Changing Climate: Solutions for health and the environment, the 25th National Pesticide Forum, at Loyola University (Water Tower campus) in Chicago, IL, June 1-3, 2007. The Forum will have sessions focusing on the consequences of global warming on toxic pesticide use, and organic agriculture as part of the solution; impacts of pesticides on disadvantaged communities of color; cutting-edge science; Great Lakes water issues; and, steps for creating healthier communities. A complete agenda and list of speakers is available at www.beyondpesticides.org/forum.

The conference will begin with a green roof tour at 1:00pm on Friday, June 1, meeting in the lobby of the Loyola University classroom building at 25 E. Pearson Street in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile neighborhood. Farmworker Justice is sponsoring an evening session and reception, Friday, June 1, 7:00-11:00pm, that will address changes to the 2007 Farm Bill needed to protect farmworkers. The conference will end at 12:30pm on Sunday. The Forum is convened by Beyond Pesticides; co-convened by Safer Pest Control Project; and, co-sponsored by Nutrition for Optimal Health Association, Beyond Today, Environment Illinois, Loyola Campus Greens, and People for Community Recovery.

Call to the Conference:

We celebrate Rachel Carson’s legacy and commitment to understanding and respecting our relationship to nature in this year of her 100th birthday. We come together at this 25th National Pesticide Forum at a time when the need for action is urgent.

This conference explores the interconnectedness of the environmental and public health crises associated with chemical-intensive approaches to modern living. At the same time, we strike a hopeful note in discussing solutions that are within our reach. In addressing the urgency of the problem, we offer ourselves, our communities, and our elected officials challenges that we must and can meet. We use the opportunity of this Forum to share the cutting edge science, current policy, and community experience for the purpose of empowering meaningful change.

At a time when global climate change has attracted national attention, it is clear that warming trends increase invasive plant and insect-borne disease pressures, which in turn result in increased calls for pesticide use –a response that can only lead to elevated public health and environmental hazards identified by the scientific findings that are presented at this conference. Critical research data focuses our discussion on organic practices as a powerful tool in averting a global warming catastrophe, by reducing fossil fuel use significantly and increasing by four times the sequestering of atmospheric carbon. Simultaneously, organic systems eliminate dependency on toxic pesticides and support ecological balance.

The Forum recognizes the importance of change through local action and offers an opportunity to discuss the necessary strategies for moving from current statutory and regulatory approaches that ineffectively define acceptable chemical risks to precautionary approaches that chart a safer and sustainable path.


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