ShiftCon Panel: Pesticides–What You Need to Know

ShiftCon Panel -  Pesticides: What You Need To Know About Them

The science is clear: Kids today are sicker than they were a generation ago, and pesticides are part of the reason why.

Throughout childhood, kids are exposed to pesticides on the food they eat and where they live, learn and play. Scientists have known for many years that children’s developing bodies are especially vulnerable to health harms from such chemicals.

Evidence is especially strong that pesticides can harm the brain and nervous system, increasing risk of developmental delays, ADHD and autism — and lowering IQ. Links to certain childhood cancers are also increasingly clear.

Kids in rural agricultural areas are especially at risk, along with farmers, farmworkers and rural families across the country. From field to fork, the pesticides used in food production are undermining the health of our families.

The good news is, this is a problem we can all do something about. Right now.

In this panel we’ll take a look at the latest science linking pesticides with health harms (especially for children). We’ll discuss how we got here — despite ever-stronger science on the risks pesticides pose, we still apply nearly a billion pounds of these harmful chemicals to our food and fields every year.

We’ll then explore the links between genetically engineered (GE) crops and pesticides (hint: more of one means more of the other), and hear hopeful, on-the-ground evidence that producing safe, healthy food without pesticides is entirely possible — and makes good business sense.

Pesticide and biotech corporations (one and the same!) are ramping up their efforts to manufacture doubt about the value of organic and the health harms of pesticides. In this panel discussion, we’ll give you the information you need to help set the record straight — while you keep your family healthy and support farmers across the country who are doing the right thing.


Kristin Schafer (Moderator): Kristin has held many positions over her 18+ years at Pesticide Action Network (PAN), a global grassroots network bringing people together to promote fair, healthy food and farming. Now Program and Policy Director for PAN, Kristin blogs regularly on children’s health and pesticide policy issues. She recently co-authored A Generation In Jeopardy with PAN scientists. She lives in San Jose, CA and is proud mom to two teenagers. @KristinAtPAN

 Gary Hirshberg: Gary is Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and Managing Director of Stonyfield Europe, with organic brands in Ireland and France. Gary serves on several corporate and nonprofit boards including Applegate, Honest Tea, Peak Organic Brewing, Late July and Quantum Design. He is Chairman and a founding Partner of “Just Label It, We Have the Right to Know,” the national campaign to label genetically engineered foods, and is co-author of Label It Now – What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Foods.

Mark McAfee: Mark is the founder and CEO of McAfee Farms and Organic Pastures Dairy Company. He is pre-med trained, a retired Paramedic and a Health Department medical educator. Mark has lectured on Raw Milk production, food safety, and nutrition at Stanford Medical School, Rutgers University, 30 different states and internationally. He is certified in HACCP management from Chapman University.

Will Allen: Will Allen has many years of involvement in the field of sustainable agriculture. He was one of the pioneers of organic farming in California and helped start the certification program through the California Certified Organic Farmers Organization. In 1990, Will founded the Sustainable Cotton Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping cotton growers transition to organic production, and working with cotton companies to encourage them to purchase and use organic cotton in their manufacturing processes. Currently, he serves on the policy and advisory board of the Organic Consumers AssociationWill is a founding board member of Farms Not Arms, an organization dedicated to bringing together people from the farming community to oppose the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2008, Will’s book, The War on Bugs, was published by Chelsea Green Publishing Company in White River Junction, Vermont.



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Announcing ShiftCon Sponsors: Earthbound Farm, Horizon Organic, and Silk

We are happy to announce a trio of snack sponsors, Earthbound Farm, Horizon Organic, and Silk for ShiftCon 2014.

Earthbound Farm

Earthbound Farm has been offering up organic goodness for over 25 years. They are the largest grower of organic produce in the world. Their product line includes vegetables, salad mixes, fruit, snacks, and more. Like ShiftCon, Earthbound Farm wants to bring the benefits of organic to as many people as possible and create a positive change in our world.


Horizon Organic

Horizon Organic offers a variety of nutritious dairy products including milk, cheese, butter, mac -n- cheese, and more. They are committed to products that are produced responsibly, wholesome, and made without GMOs, artificial colors or flavors, or high fructose corn syrup. Horizon Organic wants to provide families with organic food they can rely on and continue to make the world a healthier place.



Silk is the company bringing you delicious soymilk, almondmilk, and coconutmilk. All of their non-dairy milks are free of lactose, cholesterol, gluten, eggs, casein, MSG, and worries. Whether natural or organic, their milks are made with NON-GMO ingredients.

These three will be Snack Sponsors on Friday. You can go relax in a snack room full of their tasty offerings and refuel for the rest of the day.

For more information on these great brands connect with them:

Earthbound Farm on Facebook and Twitter,

Horizon Organic on Facebook and Twitter

Silk on Facebook and Twitter.

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ShiftCon Panel: The Future of Labeling GMOs

  The circumstances around GMO labeling are a frustrating place and will be so for a while. Colorado and Oregon have ballot propositions going to voters this fall, 3 states back East have passed labeling in legislative processes, but even with state’s recognizing this issue the implementation of labeling will not happen overnight. This panel […]

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Official Omega 3s ShiftCon Sponsor: Nordic Naturals

AN INDUSTRY LEADER Joar Opheim, Nordic Naturals CEO and founder, came to the United States in the mid-1980s to complete his MBA. When he couldn’t find the high-quality fish oil he relied on to manage inflammation from old athletic injuries, he resorted to bringing his own bottles from Norway, filling his suitcase on trips back […]

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Announcing ShiftCon 2014 Sponsor: Healthy Hoo Hoo

Your kitchen is full of healthy organic foods, your cleaning products are chemical-free, and your lotions are paraben-free and plant-based. But what about “down there?” Are you taking care of your lady parts with the same kind of quality products you are using on the rest of your body? Yeah, we thought so. That’s why […]

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Announcing ShiftCon Sponsor Traditional Medicinals

We are thrilled to announce the official tea of ShiftCon 2014, Traditional Medicinals.   About Traditional Medicinals: Since 1974, we’ve been passionate about connecting people with plants and passing along the centuries-old wisdom of how to use them.  We’re committed to using high quality pharmacopoeial grade herbs and embracing ingredient purity, sustainability, and social and […]

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Announcing ShiftCon2014 Sponsor: Only Organic

  We are so excited to announce Only Organic as one of our main sponsors for ShiftCon 2014. Only Organic is a group of people who are devoted to telling the story of organic agriculture and food production with the hope of instilling the peace of mind that going organic gives. They aim to create a better […]

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Announcing ShiftCon Sponsor: Manitoba Harvest

We are excited to announce a swag bag sponsor for ShiftCon 2014, Manitoba Harvest.   Manitoba Harvest is a company that focuses on promoting health and wellness, fostering positive chance for the community and environment, and love for Hemp foods. They offer Hemp based products including Hemp Hearts, Hemp Protein Powder, and Hemp Oil. All their […]

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