Monday, January 3, 2011

Good news for a new year

Here's a little tidbit of good news to start your new year right. Last week a California appeals court upheld a previous, landmark ruling that organic farmer Larry Jacobs has the right to sue a neighboring farm for pesticide drift that occurs through volatilization. The lawsuit was on behalf of Jacobs Farm Del Cabo, whose organic herbs are sold in Whole Foods stores all over the country. Jacobs' farm was contaminated in 2007 when pesticides from a neighboring Brussels sprouts field volatilized and made their way to his fields, making his entire dill and rosemary crops unmarketable.

We hear on a pretty regular basis from organic farmers and gardeners in North Carolina who are frustrated and concerned about the risk of pesticides drifting onto their crops. This ruling may set a positive precedent for not only those farmers and gardeners, but also for farm workers who are often on the receiving end of pesticide drift.

There is of course, still plenty of bad news to go around. Here's a story about a group of South Carolina hunters who were hospitalized after they were exposed to the pesticide Temik while hunting. Temik is used a lot in North Carolina, and many of the violations that the NC Pesticide Board settles each year involve the mishandling of this particular toxic pesticide.

Here's to progress, and a whole new year of working to make harm from pesticides a thing of the past!

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