Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) is a California-based environmental advocacy and community organizing group. PANNA’s core objective is to oppose the production and use of many commercial pesticides and genetically engineered foods, as well as the agricultural corporations that employ these practices. PANNA is one of five worldwide regional centers of Pesticide Action Network, which was founded in 1982 in Malaysia. Although banning pesticides and GMOs are PANNA’s core concerns, they also widely support more stringent regulation of the agricultural industry and consider themselves allies of the broader “social justice movement.”
PANNA’s board president, Susan Baker, is a Vice President of Shareholder Advocacy at Trillium Access Management and also serves on the boards of The Thirty Percent Coalition and The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. PANNA’s executive director, Judy Hatcher, received a salary of $100,728 in 2016.
The Pesticide Action Network is an international coalition of around 600 non-government organizations, citizens’ groups, and individuals in about 90 countries, founded in 1982 to oppose the new agricultural practices brought about by the Green Revolution. The early 1980s saw a dramatic increase in anti-pesticide activism following the publication of books like David Weir’s Circle of Poison and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. PANNA was established as PAN’s North America hub in 1984, with headquarters in California and a Midwest office in Minnesota.
Since their foundation, PANNA has viewed American agricultural businesses such as Monsanto and Dow as its ideological nemeses. Many of PANNA’s earliest and ongoing efforts were to reduce “corporate control of agriculture” by banning these companies’ products and technologies and preventing their being exported to other countries.
Citing their principles of “equity and solidarity,” PANNA also considers itself an ally of social justice groups outside the agricultural sector, “taking action to deepen our understanding of oppression and to stand in solidarity with others who are dedicated to building a just world.”
PANNA is most directly involved with campaigns both to prohibit a wide range of current agricultural practices and to take down America’s big agricultural corporations. It has sought to raise public awareness of pesticide practice with campaigns like “What’s On My Food?”, which tracks which pesticide residues are likely to be found on common supermarket products. Other efforts, like the “Fair Harvest” campaign, have pushed for stricter worker safety regulations in the agriculture industry.
In addition to the prohibition of specific pesticides and GMOs, PANNA has also campaigned for more broadly progressive causes. PANNA has fought against free trade in the agricultural industry, supported corporate divestment from agriculture, opposed conservative efforts to prevent illegal immigration, and protested against the Dakota Access pipeline at Standing Rock. Executive Director Judy Hatcher called the protests which temporarily halted development of the pipeline “the most inspiring thing for me in 2016.”
Judy Hatcher has served as PANNA’s executive director since 2012; she previously worked with the Environmental Support Center since 2005.
PANNA’s website lists its 20 full-time staff members and board of directors. As of 2015, the following individuals served on PANNA’s board:
- Susan Baker, President
- Mary Brune
- Kara Busch
- Cheryl Danley
- Lupe Martinez
- Virginia Nesmith
- Denise O’Brien
- Chloe Schwabe
- Sapna E. Thottathil
- Kyle Powys Whyte
- Guy Williams
- Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, Treasurer