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Conference on Fair, Organic Food and Public Health, April 3-4 in North Carolina

Beyond Pesticides will hold its 27th National Pesticide Forum, Bridge to an Organic Future: Opportunities for health and the environment, April 3-4, 2009 in Carrboro, NC (next to Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina). This national environmental conference will include sessions on Pesticides and public health; Organic agriculture; Domestic fair trade; Organic lawns and landscapes; Healthy schools and daycare; Water contamination; and much more. Register online or call 202-543-5450 to register by phone.

This national environmental conference, co-convened by Toxic Free North Carolina, is an important opportunity for community people nationwide to get together, share the latest information, meet with scientists and policy makers, and discuss local, statewide and national strategies on pest issues, pesticides, public health and the environment. As the home of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and recently named “America’s Foodiest Small Town,” the location is just the right place for participants to discuss fair, organic food and the impact of pesticides on public health.

Keynote speakers for the conference include:

Just added! Baldemar Velásquez, president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), was raised as a migrant farmworker. Since his childhood, he has worked in the fields and orchards of many states from Texas to the Midwest. He suffered the oppression and discrimination of migrant workers, and watched his parents humiliated many times from the injustices they experienced trying to support their family. Finally, after one incident when his father was cheated out of promised wages in front of the family, Baldemar began organizing migrant workers to stand up for their rights. Following the model of César Chávez, this protest led to the founding of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC).

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator and author of many books, including his latest, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow. Mr. Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Jim has become a leading voice for those who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of Washington and Wall Street. He’s a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, spreading the message of progressive populism all across the American grassroots.

Philip Shabecoff, co-author of the new book Poisoned Profits: The toxic assault on our children, served as chief environmental correspondent for The New York Times for fourteen years. Mr. Shabecoff also founded Greenwire, an online digest of environmental news and was selected as one of the “Global 500” by the United Nations’ Environmental Program. His previous books include A Fierce Green Fire: A History of the American Environmental Movement.

Alice Shabecoff, co-author of Poisoned Profits: The toxic assault on our children, is a freelance journalist focusing on family and consumer topics. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, and the International Herald Tribune, among other publications. She was executive director of the National Consumers League and Community Information Exchange. Her previous books include A Guide to Careers in Community Development.

For an updated list, visit the speakers page on the Forum website.


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