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Reclaiming Our Healthy Future: National Pesticide Forum Update

(Beyond Pesticides, December 11, 2007) Arturo Rodriguez (UFW President), Devra Davis, Ph.D. (author and University of Pittsburgh professor of epidemiology) and Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D. (UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology) will be speaking at the 2008 National Pesticide Forum. The conference, Reclaiming Our Healthy Future: Political change to protect the next generation, will be held March 14-16, 2008 at the University of California, Berkeley.

A native of Texas, Arturo S. Rodriguez has worked tirelessly to continue the legacy of Cesar Chavez since taking over the helm of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) upon the death of its legendary founder in 1993. Beyond winning fair contracts for its workers, the UFW continues to work to protect farmworkers from pesticides and other workplace hazards. Recent union victories are agreements with Gallo Vineyards Inc. and Coastal Berry Co., the largest winery and the largest strawberry employer in the U.S., as well as pacts protecting winery workers in Washington and mushroom workers in Florida.

Devra Davis, Ph.D., a renowned environmental health expert, is professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Davis was designated a National Book Award Finalist for her book, When Smoke Ran Like Water. Her newest book, The Secret History of the War on Cancer, details how we began fighting the wrong war, with the wrong weapons, against the wrong enemies—a legacy that persists to this day. Dr. Davis has also held multiple advisory roles in national and international agencies, including the World Health Organization.

Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D., a professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, is a specialist in the developmental endocrinology of amphibians. He was thrust into the limelight when Syngenta challenged him over his work showing the herbicide atrazine causes hermaphrodism (displaying both male and female characteristics) in frogs. His recent work highlights the hazards of pesticide mixtures, even when the levels of the individual pesticides are thought not to cause harm and were 10 to 100 times below EPA standards.

Forum topics include: Children’s health, Farmworker justice, Building just and healthy food systems, Power of local activism to influence political change, and much more. Also, Actress Kaiulani Lee will perform A Sense of Wonder, her one-woman play based on the life and works of Rachel Carson. Speaker bios, basic information and registration details are available online.


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