Pesticide Action Network: Anti-chemical group rejects most modern farm technology

July 17, 2018 |

Pesticide Action Network North America
Location (primary)
Oakland, CA

Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN North America), founded in 1984 in Oakland, California, is part of an international coalition of around 600 NGOs, citizens’ groups, and individuals in about 90 countries. Like most anti-chemical organizations, PAN opposes the use of many modern technological innovations in farming, including the Green Revolution which combined the use of insecticides and herbicides with advances in the genetic understanding of crops to dramatically increase global food production, reduce hunger and save hundreds of millions of lives.

PAN North America says it is dedicated to creating a just, thriving food system that would “replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives.”PAN claims the potential long-term harm caused will eventually outweigh any short-term benefits. It claims it is addressing growing public health concerns, and has expanded its message into a global aim to advance “alternatives to pesticides worldwide”.

PAN North America is opposed to the field testing and commercial cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It broadly states that GMOs “increase pesticide use” — a claim not supported by the evidence over the past 20 years, as independent meta-studies have shown a sharp decrease in overall chemical use — and has targeted Monsanto, which is not a pesticide company, as the bogey for the industry.


PAN was founded in 1982 and has five independent, collaborating regional centers that implement its projects and campaigns. PAN North America is the original founding entity and continues to be a primary funding source and coordinator of PAN global activities, along with PAN Asia Pacific and PAN Germany offices.

See also:

PAN North America is among the most active and frequent amplifiers of anti-biotechnology content, mainly through its GroundTruth Blog, often written by its executive directory Judy Hatcher. It also does advocacy work through its website. PAN North America can be counted on to syndicate any and all anti-biotechnology blogs. It also occasionally initiates anti-biotech content.


Pesticide Action Network North America
49 Powell St., Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94102
PANNA Regional Center (Official IRS address)
1611 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 1200
Oakland, CA 94612
EIN: 94-2949686
Ruling Year: 1985


Fair Harvest

PAN North America is working in coalition with farmworker advocates and to press for new, stronger national rules protecting workers from pesticides on the job.

Equitable Food Initiative

Equitable Food Initiative brings together workers, growers and retailers in the effort to produce better fruits and vegetables.

Pollinator Health

In November 2010, PAN publicized a leaked Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) memo that showed that the EPA suspected the crop spray clothianidin, manufactured by German agrochemical company Bayer, as a possible cause of bee colony collapse disorder.This pesticide has a conditional approval in the U.S., where it is widely used on sugar beets, canola, soy, sunflowers, wheat, and corn, but is banned in Germany, France, Italy, and some other countries.

What’s on my food

PANNA maintains the “What’s on my food” website and campaign alleging pesticide residues on food are causing various human health problems. They support this campaign with the PAN Pesticide Database.


Litigation has been a key tactic used by PANNA. They are frequent partners with other organizations like the Center for Food Safety in lawsuits, having been a named party to at least 14 suits and seven appeals. In December 2010, PAN North America joined with other organizations in suing California, to challenge “the state’s approval of the cancer-causing strawberry pesticide methyl iodide.”[1]

Civil suits

  • Pesticide Action Network (pla) candce 3:1999-cv-03701 890 8/3/1999 12/12/2001
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (intv) candce 3:2005-cv-04093 893 10/11/2005 10/23/2006
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pla) candce 4:2005-cv-02312 893 6/7/2005 10/4/2005
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pla) candce 3:2006-cv-01366 893 2/23/2006 11/8/2010
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pla) candce 5:2007-cv-03950 893 8/1/2007 5/11/2010
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pla) candce 3:2008-cv-01814 893 4/4/2008 5/4/2010
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pla) candce 3:2008-cv-03542 893 7/24/2008 5/12/2010
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pla) candce 3:2008-cv-03595 893 7/28/2008 5/4/2010
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pla) candce 3:2011-cv-00293 893 1/20/2011
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pla) candce 3:2013-cv-01266 899 3/21/2013
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pla) dcdce 1:1999-cv-00389 893 2/18/1999 7/21/2000
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pla) hidce 1:2003-cv-00621 893 11/12/2003 9/7/2006
  • Pesticide Action NEtwork North America (pla) nysdce 1:2003-cv-07176 893 9/15/2003 8/5/2004
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pla) nysdce 1:2010-cv-05590 892 7/22/2010 6/14/2013


  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pty) 09cae 06-17316 2893 12/15/2006 5/24/2007
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pty) 09cae 06-17319 2893 12/15/2006 2/2/2009
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pty) 09cae 06-17321 2893 12/15/2006 9/5/2008
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pty) 09cae 06-71062 1 2/28/2006 4/20/2006
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pty) 09cae 07-17356 2893 12/24/2007 4/9/2008
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pty) 09cae 12-71125 1 4/12/2012 7/10/2013
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pty) 09cae 13-72616 1 7/24/2013
  • Pesticide Action Network North America (pty) dccae 09-1284 1 11/18/2009 7/23/2010


  • Jennifer Sokolove, Board President
  • Polly Hoppin, Board Vice President
  • Luca Sayre, Board Secretary
  • Mary Brune, Director
  • Janelle Sorenson, Director
  • Ann Duncan Pardo, Director
  • Ted Schlettler, Director
  • Cloe Schwabe, Director
  • Guy Williams, Director
  • Lupe Martinex, Director
  • Denise O’Brien, Director
  • Judy Hatcher, Executive Director
  • Steve Scholl-Buckwald, CFO and co-director
  • Kathryn Gilje, Executive Director, co-director
  • Heather Pilatic, Commmunications Director

PANNA lists some 25 paid staf, including:

  • Matt Belli, Development Associate, B.A., Urban Studies, Vassar College, After interning in PAN’s Development office in 2009, Matt returned in 2011 to work as the Development Assistant. He graduated from Vassar College in 2009 with a degree in Urban Studies. Originally from New York, Matt relocated to San Francisco shortly after college and has now found a home at PAN. He was promoted to Associate in 2013.
  • Clint Boerner, Information Technology Manager, DigitalVideo, Vista Community College, Berkeley, California, Clint had over ten years experience as a network technician, webmaster and consultant to business and home users, specializing in Mac systems, prior to joining PAN in 2006. He served as Network Coordinator for Vista College in Berkeley, consultant to the advertising industry with Mann Consulting in San Francisco, and as Webmaster and Network Administrator for macHOME magazine where he also wrote the “HotTips weekly eNews letter.” Clint maintains PAN’s computing systems, network and telecommunications services and supports media production for the Communications Department.
  • Medha Chandra, Campaign Coordinator, Ph.D., Environment and Social Justice, University College London, Medha has 16 years experience in urban design, environmental protection, international development and social justice work in India, the UK, and in the U.S. Before moving to the U.S., Medha worked on environmental conflict and justice issues in India and the UK, focusing on low income urban and peri-urban communities. At PAN North America, Medha leads a team focused on international and domestic pesticide campaigns, and is the coordinator of PAN International’s Working Group on Pesticides and Corporations. Medha has written for academic as well as NGO publications. She is trilingual in Bengali, English and Hindi.
  • Devika Ghai, Organizer & International Campaign Coordinator, B.A., Economics, Whittier College, Devika grew up on a small farm in Northern India where her parents continue to grow most of their own food using traditional ecological farming practices. Upon moving to the U.S. she was appalled and mobilized as she learned about food waste, and the health and livelihood harms inherent in our global agricultural system. As a student, Devika organized and led campus workers’ rights and ecological sustainability initiatives, helping to build strong multi-racial alliances around these and other social and environmental justice campaigns. She interned with PAN in summer 2010, joined the staff in 2011 and became an Organizer and International Campaign Coordinator in 2012; she currently leads PAN issue drives on corporate control and food democracy and coordinates PAN’s interns and Partners Program (organizational allies). Devika identifies as Desi/Indian/South Asian and is bilingual in Hindi and English.
  • Kathryn Gilje, Consulting Grassroots Scientist, B.S., Agronomy and Environmental Science, University of Minnesota, Kathryn leads Strategic Currents, a non-profit consulting firm focused on strategic planning and development for organizations and individuals working for social and environmental justice, equity and transformational healing. Kathryn served as Executive and/or Co-Director of PAN from 2005–2012, overseeing the creation and implementation of PAN’s strategic plan with Heather Pilatic and Steve Scholl-Buckwald. Prior to coming to PAN, Kathryn co-founded and co-directed Centro Campesino, a Midwest organization of migrant farmworkers and allies working for fair and healthy communities. She was senior associate with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, where she focused on policy and market support for sustainable agriculture and reforming U.S. farm policy. She spent several years on small farms in Minnesota, raising chickens, milking goats and coordinating local foods projects. Her community organizing training comes from the Organizing Apprenticeship Project, Center for Third World Organizing and Farm Labor Organizing Committee. Her non-profit management training was provided through Hispanics in Philanthropy at the Kellogg School of Management. Kathryn speaks Spanish.
  • Judy Hatcher, Executive Director, B.A., Linguistics, Northwestern University, Judy joined PAN in June 2012. Since 1981, she has worked as a grant maker, a program manager, a consultant and a trainer for social justice groups all over the country. Previous employers include National People’s Action, Amnesty International USA, the Funding Exchange, the Crossroads Fund, the Community Resource Exchange and the Center for Community Change. She was a consultant with the Grantsmanship Center and the Women of Color Fundraising Institute, among other organizations. Most recently, Judy served as Director of Programs, then Executive Director, of the Environmental Support Center, which helped build the capacity of environmental justice and advocacy organizations around the country through grants and other resources. Judy also serves on the boards of directors of the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and the national progressive foundation RESIST. She is also a member of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Advisory Panel.
  • Brian Hill, Consulting Analyst, Ph.D., Physics, Harvard University, Brian served PAN as a staff scientist and as the science department director from September 2004 to November 2009. Before joining PAN, Brian was working in the Energy Analysis Department of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Prior to that he was a software engineer, including working at NeXT and Apple on the development of Mac OS X. His doctoral and post-doctoral research in physics included Monte Carlo calculations of the properties of particles known as “heavy mesons.” At PAN, Brian has done technical analyses and software development for PAN’s PesticideInfo website and its What’s On My Food? software, and analyses of environmental modeling. He regularly engaged U.S. EPA and California Department of Pesticide Regulation processes, particularly on fumigants, in order to improve protections for health and the environment. As a consulting analyst, he continues to do technical analyses, data updates and software enhancements for PesticideInfo and What’s On My Food?.
  • Lex Horan, Organizer, B.A., African American Studies and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Wesleyan University, Lex joined PAN as Organizer in the summer of 2013. He comes to PAN with experience in multiple social justice movements—including student-labor solidarity work, organizing against mass incarceration, and building community power with transgender youth—that have deeply shaped him as an organizer. In 2013, he participated in the Anne Braden Anti-Racist Training Program, where he was trained in histories and strategies of anti-racist movement building. Lex was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, and currently lives in Minneapolis. He is proficient in Spanish.
  • Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, Senior Scientist, Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Marcia Ishii-Eiteman is a senior scientist and director of the Grassroots Science Program at PAN. Before joining PAN in 1996, Marcia worked in Asia and Africa for 14 years. She developed farmer field schools in ecological pest management, sustainable agriculture and community-based rural development projects in Southeast Asia, and women’s health, literacy and resource conservation projects on the Thai-Cambodian and Somali-Ethiopian borders. Marcia holds a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University and a B.A. in Women’s Studies from Yale University. She has written extensively on the ecological, social and political dimensions of food and agriculture and was a lead author of the UN-sponsored International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development.
  • Susan Kegley, Consulting Scientist, Ph.D., Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Postdoctoral in Organometallic Chemistry, Colorado State University and University of California, Berkeley. Susan served as a senior scientist at PAN from 1998-2009, and continues as Consulting Scientist. Before joining PAN, Susan taught at Middlebury and Williams Colleges, where she began doing environmental research on PCB-contaminated soils. She moved to UC Berkeley in 1992 and developed an Environmental Chemistry course focused on methods to evaluate environmental contamination, including pesticides and heavy metals. Susan directed PAN’s Science Department from 2002 to 2007, during which time she oversaw development of the PAN Pesticide Database,; our program of technical engagement with pesticide regulatory agencies; and our environmental monitoring program, for which she developed PAN’s Pesticide Drift Catcher air monitoring device. Her current work focuses on the science and policy related to airborne pesticides. Susan is Principal and CEO of Pesticide Research Institute.
  • Sara Knight, Associate Director of Communications, M.A., Media Studies, New College of California, Before joining PAN in 2011, Sara spent four years working with a public opinion research firm helping to craft winning campaign strategies for progressive candidates and ballot measures. During graduate school, her studies focused on environmental journalism and effective uses of media for social change, culminating in a multi-media thesis on food politics and the corporatization of our food systems. She has written about policy and environmental issues for YES! Magazine and Earth Island Journal, among others. At PAN, Sara leads digital engagement and messaging strategy.
  • Roree M. Krevolin, Development Director, B.A., Political Science, New York University, Roree came to PAN in 2011 with more than eight years combined experience in fundraising at human rights organizations Amnesty International USA (New York) and The Redress Trust (London). In college she focused on South African politics and was active in the anti-apartheid movement. Prior to working at Amnesty, she spent over ten years in talent bookings and concert and event promotion in New York at companies including Ron Delsener Enterprises (now Live Nation NYC) and MTV Networks (VH-1). Within PAN’s Development Department, Roree heads the major donor program.
  • Emily Marquez, Staff Scientist, Ph.D., Biology, Boston University, Emily began studying reptiles as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, working on effects of sex steroids on sex determination and development in snakes, turtles, and lizards. While in graduate school at Boston University, she studied live-bearing snakes and wrote her thesis on the impact of contaminated soil on expression of genes that play a role in reproduction, using turtles as a model. Before joining PAN in 2012, Emily did postdoctoral research at UC Davis and UC Berkeley. She has also volunteered at the nonprofit Bikes Not Bombs, teaching bike mechanics to youth from the Boston area. Emily manages PAN’s Grassroots Science Program, including community monitoring of air and water for pesticide exposure.
  • Johnnae Nardone, Communications Associate, B.A., Economics, University of California, Irvine; graduate studies, University of Utah, Johnnae joined PAN in 2013 with more than five years of communications and outreach experience. While working on her masters in communication, she developed a communications plan to increase student engagement with the University of Utah’s sustainability office. Prior to graduate school she worked with the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity facilitating increased funder engagement on climate change and energy issues. Johnnae works with the Communications team and PAN staff in developing digital content and managing social media outreach.
  • Heather Pilatic, Senior Communications Strategist, Ph.D., Literature, Duke University, Heather joined PAN in 2008, and served as a Co-director with Steve Scholl Buckwald and Kathryn Gilje from 2009-2012, overseeing the creation and implementation of PAN’s strategic plan. Heather has worked in marketing and communications for technology start-ups, and has volunteered or worked for environmental and social justice nonprofits for over ten years. Heather studied science studies and political theory at Duke University’s Literature Program. Her doctoral research focused on twentieth-century U.S. political culture, economics and intellectual history with a focus on conceptions of science and citizenship around the turn of the century. As Communications Director, she led PAN’s strategic communication efforts, including media advocacy, digital engagement and messaging strategy. She has served on PAN’s food democracy and corporate control campaign teams working mainly on issues of food and agriculture, and undue corporate influence. Heather is currently PAN’s Senior Communications Strategist. She is proficient in Spanish.
  • Margaret Reeves, Senior Scientist, Ph.D., Agricultural Ecology, University of Michigan; Postdoctoral in Agronomy, Ohio State, Before joining PAN in 1996, Margaret spent most of nine years in Central America, teaching and conducting research in tropical agricultural ecology. She worked with university colleagues and NGOs to improve productivity of low-input ecologically sound agricultural methods. Margaret has published her work in Spanish and English in professional and educational journals as well as popular venues. Since the early 1980s, she has worked in support of farmworker rights and has been a member of New World Agriculture and Ecology Group. At PAN, Margaret focuses on environmental health and justice, particularly farmworker health and safety. Margaret speaks Spanish.
  • Erika Rosenthal, Consulting Attorney, J.D., New College School of Law; M.A., Environmental Law and Policy, Vermont Law School, Erika has over 18 years experience in environmental law, and coordinated Nicaraguan and Mexican field investigations for the landmark DBCP products liability case litigated in Texas. She was PAN’s Latin America Program Coordinator in 1993-96, and has been an active consultant on environmental policy and sustainable agriculture in Central America, Eastern Europe and Russia, working with Earth Island Institute, EarthJustice and PAN, among others. She currently works at the Center for International Environmental Law in Washington, DC. Erika speaks Spanish.
  • Kristin Schafer, Policy & Communications Director, M.A., Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Before joining PAN in 1996, Kristin worked for the World Resources Institute’s Sustainable Agriculture program, as a communications specialist for the U.S. EPA, and as an agro-forestry extension officer with the Peace Corps in Kenya. Prior to becoming Senior Policy Strategist, Kristin was PAN’s Campaigns Department Director. She coordinated the international persistent organic pollutants (POPs) campaign under the Stockholm Convention for several years, as well as PAN’s campaign to phase out methyl bromide under the Montreal Protocol. Kristin has been lead author on several PAN North America reports, including Chemical Trespass: Pesticides in our Bodies and Corporate Accountability (2004) and Nowhere to Hide: Persistent Toxic Chemicals in the U.S. Food Supply (2005). She also authored several studies on methyl bromide, including a pamphlet in Spanish for farmworkers on methyl bromide hazards, and two reports for the U.N. Environment Programme designed to help developing nations phase out this hazardous fumigant. Kristin speaks conversational Spanish.
  • Steve Scholl-Buckwald, Chief Financial Officer, Ph.D., History and American Studies, Indiana University, From 1969 to 1985, Steve taught and served as a dean at Ohio Wesleyan University and John F. Kennedy University in California. From 1985 to 1991, he and his partner owned and operated a restaurant in Davis, California, and he worked in restaurants and organic foods retailing in the Bay Area. He served as co-director and/or managing director of PAN from 1991 to 2012. Today, Steve’s responsibilities as CFO include administration, finance and development, and he serves on the executive committee for Californians for Pesticide Reform, of which PAN North America is a founder and primary fiscal sponsor. He has also served as treasurer on the boards of the Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First) and Earth Share of California.
  • Janet Stephens, Development Manager, Grants and Membership, B.A., English Literature, Stanford; M.A., Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley. Janet came to PAN and to grantwriting in 2010 from the field of environmental education, most recently at the Marin Art and Garden Center, where she expanded her knowledge of and passion for gardening without toxic chemicals. Previously, she worked as a sixth grade teacher and as a technical writer. In 2009 she was certified as a master composter by Alameda County. In 2011 Janet took on broader responsibilities for PAN’s membership program in addition to grants management.
  • Leticia Tirrez, Office Manager, Leticia was born, raised and graduated from high school in Mexico, moving to San Francisco in 1973. Her previous work experience includes nursing and manufacturing. Before coming to PAN as receptionist in June 2002, she completed a computer and office skills training program, and she has been Office Manager since 2004. Leticia is bilingual in Spanish and English.
  • Paul Towers, Organizing and Media Director, B.S., Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning, University of California, Davis, Paul joined PAN in summer 2011 bringing more than eight years experience in community organizing, fundraising and organizational development with environmental, health and social justice organizations. Before coming to PAN, he directed Pesticide Watch and Pesticide Watch Education Fund, sister California organizations dedicated to reducing pesticide use and promoting healthy farming. Previously, Paul was a community organizer with New England-based Toxics Action Center, and he is a graduate of Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing. Paul’s media background comes from serving as Public Affairs and General Manager of KDVS-FM and as a co-founder of Common Frequency, a media justice nonprofit. At PAN, Paul provides support to partner organizations and communities, coordinates the Corporate Control Team, and acts as primary contact for print media, television and radio. Paul speaks conversational Spanish.
  • Chela Vazquez, Campaign Coordinator, Ph.D., Environmental Science, Ohio State University, Chela coordinates international campaigns, working primarily from the PAN Asia and the Pacific office in Penang, Malaysia. Before coming to PAN, Chela worked as a community organizer and development coordinator with Centro Campesino, a farmworker organization in Minnesota focused on labor justice, youth leadership, health promotion and immigration reform. She has done international campaigning as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and received campaigning and media training through the Organizing Apprenticeship Project, Center for Third World Organizing, Institute for Justice, Farm Labor Organizing Committee, and Progressive Technology Project. She serves on the boards of the Minnesota Water Alliance and the Women’s Environmental Institute, and on the environmental justice grantmaking committee of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice. Chela is from Ecuador and bilingual in English and Spanish.
  • Linda Wells, Associate Director of Organizer, B.A., Political Sciences & Global Development, Grinnell College, Linda joined PAN in winter 2011, bringing nearly a decade of organizing experience with environmental and economic justice issues. Before PAN, Linda’s environmental work focused on protecting endangered ecosystems through marketplace campaigns with ForestEthics. Linda is also a co-founder of the nationwide Hand in Hand — the domestic employers association, which seeks to create fair working conditions for domestic workers. As part of her dedication to strong multiracial movements for justice, Linda has served on the leadership team of the Catalyst Project’s Anne Braden training program for white social justice activists; and she is a graduate of Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing. Linda is a fourth-generation Iowan from Davenport. She is based in Minneapolis and provides support to PAN partner organizations and communities, particularly in Iowa and Minnesota, as well as helping to lead PAN’s organizing staff. Linda speaks conversational Spanish.
  • Brenda J. Willoughby, Bookkeeper, Database Administrator and Desktop Publisher, B.A., Biology and Spanish, Manchester College, From 1990 to 1993, Brenda volunteered full-time with Brethren Volunteer Service, working two years with the Church of the Brethren Latin American/Caribbean Office in Elgin, Illinois, then with PAN, assisting with Regional Coordination and doing research for the PAN international Dirty Dozen Pesticides campaign. She was hired as the office manager and bookkeeper in April 1993. Today, Brenda administers our contacts & donations database system, provides desktop publishing and design services for PAN and Californians for Pesticide Reform, and remains our bookkeeper.


2011 budget: $2.1 million in revenues; $2.2 million expenses reported

How This Organization Is Funded:

  • Private foundations – $738,400
  • Individual contributions – $934,285
  • Contracts – $78,834

Pesticide Action Network has received annual funding from the European Commission, of 106,000 euro in 2013.


PANNA is affiliated with other Pesticide Action Network global members including:


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