New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Beyond Pesticides Filmmaker & Former Groundskeeper Who Sued Monsanto & Won To Premiere Film “Ground War” by Beyond Pesticide Blog Staff

Filmmaker & Former Groundskeeper Who Sued Monsanto & Won To Premiere Film “Ground War”

(Beyond Pesticides, April 2, 2019) The new documentary film “Ground War” will have its New York City premiere screening on Saturday, April 6, 2019, 7:30pm at Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, New York, NY. The film is a moving depiction of a son’s quest for answers about the cause of his father’s cancer—which takes him into the world of doctors, scientists, pesticide regulators, victims of pesticide poisoning, activists, and land managers. The issue is exposure to pesticides used to manage lawns and playing fields and the father’s exposure as an avid golfer. The son, who is the filmmaker, finds others on the same search for answers because of harm or death of a loved one, then finds a solution in the work of activists and organic land managers.

The film is particularly timely with public controversy about the use of the weed killer glyphosate (Roundup) and two lawsuits with multimillion dollar jury verdicts for compensation and punitive damages against its manufacturer, Monsanto (Bayer)—while thousands of lawsuits are pending. All of this widespread pesticide exposure is taking place in the face of inaction by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and headlines pointing to officials sidestepping the law. The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmaker, Andrew Nisker, and the former applicator of Roundup, groundskeeper Dewayne “Lee” Johnson—terminally ill from non Hodgkin lymphoma, but committed to speaking out.

Pesticide use is being hotly debated in New York City and across the country as the New York City Council considers legislation to stop all toxic pesticide use in city parks and public spaces. For those registered for the conference (see below), the film is free of charge. Tickets for only the film can be purchased for $10.00 from Ticketmaster.

The National Forum at New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 5th Ave, New York, NY 

The film and panel discussion conclude a two-day conference at the New York Academy of Medicine beginning on Friday, April 5. The conference, Organic Strategies for Community Environmental Health, the 37th National Pesticide Forum, is convened by the Washington, DC-based Beyond Pesticides in collaboration with the Children’s Environmental Health Center of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and cosponsored by 24 local organizations. The conference begins at 4:30pm April 5, followed by a reception and evening session.

Among the many illustrious speakers at the conference are Joan Dye Gussow, EdD, author and educator, former head of Columbia University’s Nutrition Education Program; nationally renowned scientists from Mount Sinai and Columbia University, including cancer and health researchers tracking disease outcomes linked to pesticides; bee scientist and former head of USDA’s bee lab, Jeff Pettis, PhD, whose studies have found pesticides’ adverse impacts on pollinators; land managers who eschew pesticides in favor of organic practices, including Peter Del Tredici, PhD, senior scientist emeritus at Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University; other researchers, legal experts, land management practitioners, and urban farmers who are growing food organically. The conference will provide participants with the cutting edge science on pesticide issues related to health and the environment as well as the solutions for managing land without toxic materials. New York City Council Member Ben Kallos will discuss his legislation to stop pesticide use on public spaces. For the complete program, go to

Inquire about a press pass with Garret White at 202-543-5450, after Tuesday, April 4 at 202-255-4296.

Conference website:


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