Daily News Archive

NY Politician Urges Precautions Against Pesticides Sprayed for West Nile
(from September 5, 2002)

New York Assemblyman Scott Stringer (D-Manhattan) demanded the city's fruits and vegetables of vendors be covered up or brought indoors when trucks pass by to spray the city with pesticides to combat West Nile virus, according to The New York Post. The city is spraying Anvil 10+10, containing the active ingredient sumithrin. This chemical is not approved for use on food crops. Both the Food and Drug Administration and the state's Department of Agriculture and Markets do not allow for traces of sumithrin to be on produce. Either of these agencies could seize produce on which the city inadvertently sprayed in managing mosquitoes.

Stringer also argued that city parks should be covered up with tarps to avoid being doused with chemicals. Studies have shown a high incidence of hand-to-mouth behavior by children. If playground equipment were covered with a chemical, there is certainly a chance a child could ingest it while playing on it.

"The city must not continue to ignore common-sense precautionary measures," said Stringer. He is proposing legislation that would protect consumers of the market vendor's produce. It would force vendors to bring fruits and vegetables inside on days scheduled for pesticide spraying. Additionally, guidelines for fines and confiscation of contaminated produce would be implemented.