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New Hampshire: The Next Pesticide Battleground

With a state motto of LIve Free or Die, perhaps it’s fitting that New Hampshire appears to be the looming pesticide battleground. On one side, local lobbyists are rallying all their allies — including the national groups such as SafeLawns — while the chemical industry is warming all of its constituents to stay on alert.

The major pot stirrer here is Rep. Suzanne Smith, who sponsored a bill to study whether or not New Hampshire should enact a Canadian style ban on “cosmetic” pesticides used for weed control on lawns and gardens. Her bill isn’t asking for a ban — not yet anyway — but only that the government take a look at ways to protect children from the known harmful effects of the pesticides.

SafeLawns, by way of the movie, A Chemical Reaction, has been injected front and center in the debate. The film will screen Wednesday night, Feb. 10, at Plymouth State University, following a position paper by yours truly at the The Center for the Environment’s Environmental Science Colloquium.

The following day the New Hampshire legislature is accepting testimony on the issue and another screening of the movie will take place that evening at the Red River Theater in Concord. Incidently, the film will play at the Red River Theater through next weekend. If you live anywhere near Concord, this will be a great venue to see what all the buzz is about.

HERE IS THE TEXT OF A PRESS RELEASE BEING DISTRIBUTED BY THE LEAH COLLECTIVE

Movie Screening to Support Pesticide Bill

PLYMOUTH, N.H. — The LEAH Collective and Plymouth State University’s Common Ground will be hosting a viewing of the award-winning documentary movie, A Chemical Reaction prior to the New Hampshire legislature’s consideration of Bill 1456, an act that will study the use of pesticides, herbicides and their alternatives in residential neighborhoods, school properties and playgrounds.

Slated for 7 p.m. on February 10, 2010 in room 144 of the Boyd Science Center at Plymouth State University, the film celebrates pesticide bans that have swept across Canada since a Canadian Supreme Court decision in 2001.

The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Paul Tukey of the Safelawns Foundation and the film’s producer, along with Edith Smeesters, of Equiterre, instrumental in passing the Quebec pesticide ban, Jeremiah Duncan, Asst. Professor of Chemistry at PSU, formerly of the EPA and Rep. Suzanne Smith, co-sponsor of Bill #1456 and Ellen Fine, The LEAH Collective.

A Chemical Reaction depicts a small town, Hudson, Quebec and how its 10-year fight to ban dangerous pest/herbicides! The film is currently on a North American tour to raise awareness about the harmful effects of pest/herbicides on children’s health.

Tukey, a Maine native who serves as narrator of the film, is national spokesperson for organic lawn care and founder of Safelawns.org. He will speak at The Center for the Environment’s Environmental Science Colloquium, on “NH House Bill #1456: Applying Principles of Precaution to Keep NH Children Safe from Lawn Pesticides”. Wed. Feb. 10th, Boyd Science building, PSU, Room 001 at 3:45 p.m.

The LEAH Collective was founded by a group of educators, health care practitioners, parents and children, environmental activists and artists to address growing concern about the use of lawn pesticides and herbicides. The LEAH Collective creates awareness about lawn herb/pesticides, educates for sustainable, organic land care and advocates for earth-changing legislation in NH.

Common Ground is Plymouth State University ’s environmental and social justice student organization. Additional sponsors include d’Acres, Rumney, NH an environmental educational homestead, Rumney, NH Growing Spaces, Thornton, NH domed greenhouses for four season growing, Natural Landscapes and Lawn Care, Sandwich NH.

With additional questions, contact Ellen Fine at (603) 236-8269 or through email at ellen_bfine@yahoo.com.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

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  • momedia

    Do you know if cameras will be allowed in the chambers during the testimony? I’d love to able to get some shots of all these chemical junkies when they show up to defend their poisons.

    • Paul Tukey

      From what I understand of New Hampshire’s Right to Know law, cameras will be allowed in chambers during the testimony on Feb. 11.

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  • Go Green Landscapes

    Its good this issue is continuing to gain traction. Regardless of the end result of this bill, NH residents should insist State of NH owned land and any/all Town owned property should have a self imposed ban against lawn chemicals. Contact your local and state representatives.

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