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The 33rd National Pesticide Forum

Agricultural Justice, Age of Organics and Alligators
Protecting health, biodiversity, and ecosystems

Orlando, Florida
April 17-18, 2015

Featured Keynote Speakers

Speakers in alphabetical order. List is preliminary only -please check back as we continue to update this list.

Nelson CarrasquilloNelson Carrasquillo- Since 1992, Nelson Carrasquillo has been the executive director of El Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores (CATA-The Farmworkers’SupportCommittee), working with migrant farmworkers located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Delmarva Peninsula, and Puerto Rico as they struggle for better living and working conditions, adequate housing, environmental justice, dignity, and respect. In 2009, he was named an Executive Board Member of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey and became chair of the Immigration Committee. In 2010, Mr. Carrasquillo was named a Heninburg Civic Fellow through Rutgers-Newark in order to address the most important legal issues faced by immigrants in New Jersey. He also serves on the Board of Directors at Beyond Pesticides.

Sonia Faruqi, An unconventional author with an original approach, Sonia Faruqi stands primed to become one of the most important voices in food today. Her first book, Project Animal Farm, promises to entertain and enlighten readers, and to improve the lives of people and animals around the world. Her work focuses on improving farm animal lives, helping consumers live more conscientiously, helping farmers farm better, and making land more sustainable. Her goal is to make the world a better place for all its inhabitants.


Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, is a co-founder of the organization and has served as its director since 1981. Jay dedicated himself to finding solutions to pesticide problems after working with farmworkers and small farmers through an EPA grant in 1978 to the organization Rural America (1977-1981). Since that time, Jay has helped to build Beyond Pesticides' capacity to assist local groups and impact national pesticide policy. He has tracked specific chemical effects, regulatory actions, and pesticide law. In September 2009, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed Jay to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) where he is Chair of the Crops Committee

Louis Guillette, Ph.D. is a pioneer research scientist on endocrine disruption and reproductive health effects, who has studied the decline of Lake Apopka’s alligator population, where farmworkers were also exposed to agricultural pesticides. He is currently the Director of the Marine Biomedicine & Environmental Sciences Center and a Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). He is also Professor of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the SmartState Endowed Chair in Marine Genomics, at the SC Center of Economic Excellence. His current work examines the effect of environmental pollutants on the genetic-endocrine signaling associated with the development and functioning of the genitalia and gonads of various vertebrate species.

Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D. is a Professor of Integrated Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, whose research finds that the herbicide atrazine feminizes male frogs, is one of the leading scientists critical of the pesticide industry and regulatory process. Dr. Hayes has an undergraduate degree in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in integrative biology from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Hayes has published more than 40 papers, over 150 abstracts and has given more than 300 talks on the growth and development in amphibians. Dr. Hayes’ work has shown that current regulatory reviews allow widespread use of pesticides that cause serious adverse effects well below legal standards.  Through his research, he states, “I have come to realize that the most important environmental factors affecting amphibian development are synthetic chemicals (such as pesticides) that interact with hormones in a variety of ways to alter developmental responses.”

Chensheng “Alex” Lu, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Environmental Exposure Biology in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). His research focuses on understanding how pesticides affect ecological and human health, and has recently extended his work to saving pollinators, specifically honeybees, from the hazards of a group of insecticides, neonicotinoids. As of December 2014, Dr. Lu has published 64 peer-review articles including the study, Sub-lethal exposure to neonicotinoids impaired honey bees winterization before proceeding to colony collapse disorder, which replicates a previous study and demonstrates again that neonicotinoids are “highly likely to triggering be responsible for triggering CCD in honeybee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival to winter."

Marty Mesh, is an expert in sustainable agriculture. He has dedicated more than 40 years to a more environmentally responsible and socially just form of agriculture. Marty helped form Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers (FOG), a nonprofit organization in 1987 with thegoal of educating farmers and the public about organic production through their programs and initiatives. He has served as FOG’s executive director since 1995. In addition, he has beenlisted by NaturalFood Merchandiser as one of the “Top 25 People Who Have Most Influenced the Organic Industry” and was the recipient of the Organic Trade Association’s Growing the Organic Industry award. Mesh was also featured in and co-produced the film What’s Organic About Organic?

Tirso Moreno is the co-founder and general coordinator of the Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF), and is widely recognized as a strong, proud farmworker leader who has “never left his farmworker roots.” Mr. Moreno was born in Mexico and came to this country in 1971 with his family, migrating from Florida to Michigan harvesting apples and citrus until 1982. After working as an organizer for the United Farm Workers in 1983, he and several other farmworkers in Central Florida initiated the Farmworker Association. Under Tirso’s leadership, FWAF has a 31-year history of contributing to the health and well-being of farmworker communities in 15 counties across Central and South Florida.

Hari Pulapaka, PhD, is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of the restaurant, Cress, located in DeLand, Florida. He was also chosen as one of 15 chefs from around the nation for the James Beard Foundation’s first official Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change in 2013, and joined more than 700 chefs last December to urge Congress to support legislation mandating GMO labeling. Born and raised in the bustling metropolis of Mumbai (formerly, Bombay), he came to the United States in 1987 to pursue graduate studies in Mathematics. Today, Hari is a classically trained James Beard nominated Chef as well as an active tenured Associate Professor of Mathematics at Stetson University.

Routt Reigart, MD is Professor of Pediatrics at Medical University of South Carolina and has conducted university affiliated clinical trials since 1971. Routt is one of the nation’s top pediatric expert on pesticides. His research interests include children's environmental health issues, general pediatrics, and toxicology. Routt has been Chair of the EPA’s Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee, a member of EPA/USDA/Tolerance Reassessment Advisory Committee and the FIFRA Science Advisory Panel, and CDC Chair for the Childhood Lead Poisoning Advisory Committee. He is also co-editor of EPA's Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisonings. Routt is Beyond Pesticides board president.




Watch videos from the 31st National Pesticide Forum. For more information, including the speaker line up and schedule of events from last year's conference, download the brochure.

THANK YOU! The generosity of our sponsors helps make conferences a great event year after year. The sponsors listed below contributed to the 31st National Pesticide Forum scholarship fund, making it possible for people from around the country to participate in one of the most important grassroots pesticide meetings of the year. Learn more about becoming a sponsor. Click on the logos for more information.