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On Eve of New York Pesticide Vote, Report Shows Organics Costs Less

Chip Osborne and Pat Beckett of Marblehead, Mass., earned environmental awards for their organic trial program.

Chip Osborne and Pat Beckett of Marblehead, Mass., earned environmental awards for their organic trial program.

On the eve of the New York state legislature considering Bill 4983-A that would ban pesticides on any school or daycare grounds, as well as athletic fields, our friend and colleague Chip Osborne has co-authored a groundbreaking report that proves what many of us knew all along: organics are less expensive than synthetic chemicals.

Osborne, who has been in charge of the organic athletic fields in Marblehead, Mass., for the past dozen years, calculated a cost savings of 25 percent. Here are the details:
http://www.grassrootsinfo.org/turfcomparisonreport.pdf.

To learn more about the bill that would make New York the second state in the union to keep pesticides away from children, click here: http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/api/1.0/html/bill/S4983A. Connecticut was the first in 2005.

Not surprisingly, the industry lobbying organization known as RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) came out publicly in opposition of the New York bill that would protect children. Fearing the loss of business, the group called upon the landscape industry to stand in opposition of the bill’s approval.

“Restrictions on these pesticides could create unintended consequences
of overgrown public areas, increased risk of health hazards and
ineffective pest management throughout the state,” said RISE in a March 22 email to members.

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.

Number of Entries : 1024
  • http://www.organiclandcare.net Sarah

    Hi Paul,

    Actually, CT was not the first state: Massachusetts passed a law restricting pesticides on school grounds in 2000. Chapter 85 of the Acts of 2000: An Act Protecting Children and Families from Harmful Pesticides.
    http://www.massnrc.org/ipm/schools-daycare/child-protection-act-2000/full-text.html

    • Paul Tukey

      Sarah,
      Great to hear from you. The Mass. bill was the first in the nation to address this issue, but it is technically an Integrated Pest Management law and not an outright ban. Several towns, unfortunately, still deem pesticides to be necessary, especially on high school sports athletic fields. The bill certainly has reduced the overall applications of pesticides in schools and, quite importantly, has a notification rule in place so parents can keep children away from school after pesticide applications if they deem necessary. The Massachusetts law is a great place to start on this issue.

  • http://www.organiclandcare.net Sarah

    For anyone interested in what their own state might be doing on the school pesticide front, check out the recent report by Beyond Pesticides on “School Pesticide Laws.” It also includes resources to get started if your state is not listed.

    http://www.beyondpesticides.org/schools/publications/Schooling2010.pdf

  • http://www.organicgringo.com James Willis – Organic Gringo

    Sarah,

    Thank you for posting the link! We are located in CA. Reading through the document they only require application to be completed 36 hours prior to start of the school day. Do they really think the lawn/turf will be safe in 36 hours…? If so the chemicals must go somewhere… OUR WATER SUPPLY! I think if there requires any kind of warning or notice to apply anything to our schools or parks, it should not be applied…

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