(Beyond Pesticides, January 19, 2012) Although organic farming and land management continue to grow, policies to protect people from pesticides are threatened in the Northeast and around the country. At the same time, cutting-edge science links pesticide exposure to health problems, honey bee colony collapse, and other environmental issues. Join researchers, authors, beekeepers, organic business leaders, elected officials, activists, and others at Beyond Pesticides’ 30th National Pesticide Forum to discuss the latest science, policy solutions, and grassroots action. This national conference, Healthy Communities: Green solutions for safe environments, will be held March 30-31 at Yale University in New Haven, CT.
Register online. Fees start at $35 ($15 for students) and include all sessions, conference materials, and organic food and drink.
Confirmed speaker highlights include:
Gary Hirshberg is chairman and co-founder of Stonyfield Farm, the worldâ€™s leading organic yogurt producer, and the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World. Previously, he directed the Rural Education Center, the small organic farming school from which Stonyfield was spawned. Before that, Gary had served as executive director of The New Alchemy Institute, a research and education center dedicated to organic farming, aquaculture and renewable energy. He has also authored books on wind power and organic gardening. Gary is a speaker on sustainability, climate change, the profitability of green and socially responsible business, organic agriculture and sustainable economic development.
David Hackenberg is the beekeeper who first discovered the disappearance of honeybees known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Mr. Hackenberg believes that pesticides contribute to CCD and that honeybees are a barometer of the environment. He is featured in the film Vanishing of the Bees and various media reports, including this 60 Minutes segment. Mr. Hackenberg founded Hackenberg Apiaries in 1962 as a high school vo-ag project. Today, he and his son operate approximately 3,000 hives of bees in 5 states for pollination and honey. David is a past president of the American Beekeeping Federation, and currently serves as co-chair of the National Honey Bee Advisory Board.
John Wargo, PhD. is a professor of risk analysis, environmental policy, and political science at Yale University. He has lectured extensively on the limits and potential of environmental law, with a focus on human health.He has recently written Green Intelligence: Creating Environments that Protect Human Health. The book won the Independent Publishers Award of Gold Medal in the field of â€śenvironment, ecology, and natureâ€ť for 2010. He compares the history of five serious and global environmental threats to childrenâ€™s health in the twentieth century: nuclear weapons testing, pesticides, hazardous sites, vehicle particulate emissions, and hormonally active ingredients in plastics.
Christian Krupke, PhD is a professor of entomology at Purdue University. His recent research examines the impacts of neonictinoid pesticides applied on corn to honey bees. The results demonstrate that bees are exposed to neonicotinoids and several other agricultural pesticides in several ways throughout the foraging period, including exposure through dust, soil corn pollen, and through dandelions growing in contaminated soil. Dr. Krupke is also the chairman of a group of university researchers that sent a letter to EPA stating that biotechnology companies are keeping university scientists from fully researching the effectiveness and environmental impact of genetically engineered crops.
Curt Spalding is head of EPA’s New England Region (Region 1 Adminstrator) and has extensive experience in the environmental protection field as an advocate, policy analyst and administrator. For almost 20 years, he served as Executive Director of Save the Bay in Rhode Island. He established the Narragansett BayKeeper and Habitat Restoration programs, which reconnected Save the Bay to ecologically important bay issues. Since joining the EPA leadership team in February 2010, Mr. Spalding has been leading a holistic approach to finding environmental solutions in New England. Heâ€™s emphasized efforts in environmental justice and green economy.
Chip Osborne, founder and President of Osborne Organics (Marblehead, MA), has over 10 years experience in creating safe, sustainable and healthy athletic fields and landscapes, and 35 years experience as a professional horticulturist. As a wholesale and retail nurseryman he has first hand experience with the pesticides routinely used in landscape and horticultural industry. Personal experience led him to believe there must be a safer way to grow plants. His personal investigation, study of conventional and organic soil science practices, and hands-on experimentation led him to become one of the country’s leading experts on growing sustainable, natural turf.
See updated speaker list.
Sessions will be held in the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies’ Kroon Hall. It is a truly sustainable building: a showcase of the latest developments in green building technology. Directions and hotel information are available on the Forum website.
The conference is convened by Beyond Pesticides, Environment and Human Health, Inc., and the Watershed Partnership, Inc., and co-sponsored by Audubon Connecticut, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Grassroots Environmental Education, Green Decade/ Newton, GreenCape, Hartford Food System, NOFA Massachusetts Chapter, Northern New Jersey Safe Yards Alliance, Rivers Alliance of Connecticut, SafeLawns Foundation, Sierra Club-Connecticut Chapter, and Toxics Action Center. Contact Beyond Pesticides if your organization is interested in co-sponsoring this event.