[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Fwd: pesticide drift]

-- BEGIN included message

 I am Rich Molini and I operate a small organic farm in Atlanta,
Indiana. Atlanta is about 35 miles north of Indianapolis. My primary
product is natural beef. Recently, I have experienced what I consider a
significant problem with pesticide drifting onto my farm either from the
direct application or volatilization after application. The
agribusinessman ( I reserve the title farmer for those who actually
operate their farms using family labor and manage their farms using
their brains rather than relying on a chemical company) who like most of
them show a complete lack of responsibility when it comes to dispersing
poisons all over our mother earth told me over the telephone that the
yellowing, whitening, and redening that was occuring all over my farm
was likely due to the cool spring. When I informed him that I had not
just recently gotten off a boat, and that I was an organic farmer and
was the current President of the Indiana Chapter of the Organic Crop
Improvement Association, he said " Well why don't I come over and take a
look". The state regulatory ageny who oversees such matters initially
said that they prefer that I work with my neighbor to try to come to an
agreement. I told them that was part of the problem. He wasn't my
neighbor or he wouldn't have had his hired applicator spread his death
up to my door step where now a burdock is in the process of dying. His
chemical, Command , has penetrated as much as 600 feet from my fence
line. I can say my fence line because most agribusiness people around
here knock down fence rows because they don't deal with livestock. They
might have to "agribiz" all year.  I have two 900 pound steers who have
coincidentally shown significant weight loss and respiratory distress
and which I have had to isolated from the rest since the application.
Steers this size generally would not be expected to take suddenly sick
for no reason.
	When the agribusinessman came over he walked around and looked at the
damage, he was very quite. He himmed and hawed around and finally asked
" What would you like me to do?"  I told him that I would hope that the
first thing I desired should be fairly obvious. He said he didn't
understand. I gave him some time to think but since he probably doesn't
have to think that much anymore because of the green revolution
technology he was a little out of practice. Still no response, so I said
I would appreciate an apology. He looked surprised and himmed and hawed
around some more. I told him that I still did'nt hear an apology. He
then finally said he was sorry, and I was then able to talk to him like
a neighbor. I told him that I had never been in the struggle to
accumulate any more dollars than what made me comfortable. His demeanor
lightened. I told him that I would likely be seeking counsel to seek
compensation, however. His demeanor dimmed. By the way the owner, who is
not the same as the agribusinessman because more than half of all
agricultural land in Indiana is rented from some farmlord, said he was
not liable ( his exact words) I had never mentioned liability in my
conversation with him.
	I am soliciting the help of anyone who may have had some experience in
these matters. I plan to seek reimbursement for the damages that I have
realized, but more importantly I would like to seek some punitive
damages that may be able to fund programs for consumer awareness of our
food production, processing, and distribution systems and the viable
locally based  alternatives. I would like to possibly get some damages
that may be able to get a division of the Purdue University  School of
Agriculture, our land grant institution which has been somewhat
understandably uninspired ( because they like the term agribusiness) to
spend sufficent resources on an organic, sustainable, and other sensible
ecosystem compatible agricultural methods curriculum or to dispense more
than a dropper full through the Extension.

	If any one is aware of the pitfalls or obstacles that one may encounter
in attempting such a legal endeavour or if there is any history of
agribusiness cooperation in these matters , I would certainly entertain
any suggestions or comments. I would also appreciate
any info on Command ME. I have done a search and there is little data on
mammalian effects from exposure except for some early warning data in
1986 when it was still an experimental compound.             
                         Rich Molini
			2419 East 281st Street
			Atlanta, Indiana 46031

-- END included message