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Week in New Hampshire Takes Shape

Here is the text of a press release being circulated this week throughout New Hampshire:

Film Supports Bill HB 1456 to Ban Pesticides

New Hampshire Launches A Chemical Reaction

CONCORD, N.H. — A brewing Canadian firestorm that is sweeping into the United States will take square aim at New Hampshire this week as the state legislature considers a controversial bill.

At issue are chemicals used to kill dandelions and other weeds. On one side, environmental and health advocates are aligning behind Rep. Suzanne Smith — whose recent bill HB 1456 seeks to “study the effects of a moratorium on the use of pesticides and herbicides in residential neighborhoods, school properties, playgrounds, and other places children congregate.” On the other side is the chemical pesticide industry, which fears the loss of its livelihood.

“To be direct, it is absolutely our goal to see New Hampshire become the first state in the U.S. to ultimately adopt the first Canadian style pesticide ban to protect children, pets and the planet,” said Paul Tukey, who sits at the center of the debate as the founder of SafeLawns.org and the producer of an award-winning documentary film, A Chemical Reaction, that will play this week in Plymouth and Concord, N.H. “It’s not our goal to put anyone out of business, however. It’s our goal to show people a better, safer way of doing business by employing proven, effective organic techniques.”

A Chemical Reaction tells the story of Maine resident Tukey, a nationally recognized author and environmental advocate, whose international campaign for SafeLawns.org included a trip to remote Hudson, Quebec, in 2008. Inspired by a local doctor, June Irwin, Hudson had become the first town in North America to ban lawn chemicals used to kill weeds and insects. The town was subsequently sued by the world’s largest lawn care company then known as ChemLawn — yet to many people’s surprise, the town of 5,088 won all court challenges including a decision in the Canadian Supreme Court in 2001.

As a result of the Hudson case, lawn chemicals are now banned in more than half of Canada and not sold in Home Depot and other major retail chains in that country. The same lawn chemicals are still sold in the U.S., however.

The New Hampshire legislature plans to hear testimony on HB 1456 beginning at 9 a.m. in Concord on Thursday, with activists from across North America expected to attend. A local group known as The LEAH Collective and Plymouth State University’s Common Ground will be hosting a special screening of the movie at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 in room 144 of the Boyd Science Center at Plymouth State University.

The following night, the film will begin a four-day run at the Red River Theater in Concord, including the official New Hampshire state premiere at 7, preceded by a VIP reception including Tukey, the film’s director, Brett Plymale, and numerous individuals who were instrumental in the Canadian bans.

For More Information, contact The LEAH Collective at (603) 236-8269 or through email at ellen_bfine@yahoo.com, or contact the SafeLawns Foundation at paul@safelawns.org. To learn more about the film or view a trailer, visit www.chemicalreactionmovie.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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