Your french fries were probably soaked in chemicals, warns the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, since potatoes are some of the most treated crops in the Northwest. But there are ways to reduce chemical use, such as rotating crops, and that's just one of the messages the coalition hopes to convey Oct. 11 in Portland, Ore. NCAP's anniversary conference, Pesticides, Community and Change: Celebrating 20 Years of Activism, features workshops that will cover right-to-know campaigns about how and where pesticides are used; keynote speaker Theo Colborn, author of Our Stolen Future, will talk about research that shows the effects of chemicals on the reproductive and hormonal systems of animals. "We're interested in making some dramatic reductions in pesticide use," says Norma Grier, a staffer with NCAP, which was started by rural activists in 1977 in reaction to herbicide spraying in local forests. However, Grier adds, NCAP doesn't urge Northwest farmers to instantly go organic and risk losing their businesses.
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