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Daily News Blog

07
Nov

Minneapolis Park Board Investigates Pesticide Contamination; On Nov. 11, Attend Film and Join with Advocates to Advance Organic

(Beyond Pesticides, November 7, 2018) A former employee of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board claims that other staff members misused and disposed of pesticides in protected areas next to Lake Harriet. The controversy comes at a pivotal moment for Minneapolis, as Minneapolis Public School District and the Park and Recreation Board are beginning a demonstration organic land management project on a number of properties. Advocates are pushing for organic land management as an alternative to chemical-intensive practices.

Minneapolis gardener Angee Ohmah Siegal says she was at the Lyndale Park Peace Garden when she saw parks staff spraying herbicides on a windy day. According to Russ Henry, a local advocate who she told her story to, Siegal had to head to the hospital due to “uncontrollable vomiting.” What more, Siegal claims that the same employees would dump unused or leftover pesticides into a pond beside the Roberts Bird Sanctuary.

Mr. Henry and Ms. Siegal issued their complaint with Park Board commissioners on October 2, carrying a large poster of a mutated frog with six legs that Ms. Siegal says she had photographed near the area. Commissioners are investigating further into the allegations but say they need more specific evidence.

Volunteers from Roberts Bird Sanctuary, Stephen Greenfield and Constance Pepin, told the Minneapolis StarTribune that Ms. Seigel’s claims are “plausible.” They support a third-party investigation. Ms. Pepin said, “Even if this wasn’t done intentionally, accidents happen and they harm the wildlife in the sanctuary. We need to be building up the soil and having … healthy populations of insects and birds as part of a healthy ecosystem. Pesticides don’t have a place in that.”

Last year, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board ended the use of glyphosate (RoundUp) and created a pesticide advisory committee to inform reductions in the use of toxic pesticides. As the organic land management demonstrations begin, local groups are hosting an event next Wednesday to inform the public more on this issue. BeeSafe Minneapolis, Beyond Pesticides, Stonyfield Organic, and other groups are hosting a screening of the documentary Ground War.

Ground War is a filmmaker’s investigation into the death of his father that takes him deep into the world of golf, chemical lobbying, and citizen activism, where he learns that the rampant use of pesticides around the world may be far more damaging than he thought. The film is particularly timely with public controversy about the use of glyphosate and three lawsuits with multimillion-dollar jury verdicts since last year for compensation and punitive damages against its manufacturer, Monsanto (Bayer)—while thousands of lawsuits are pending. All of this widespread pesticide exposure is taking place in the face of inaction by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and headlines pointing to officials sidestepping the law.

The film screening and panel discussion provides an opportunity to educate the community on the critical importance of organic land management to public health and the reversal of dramatic environmental declines associated with climate change and rapid biodiversity decline. Since the film includes interviews with local people that have been successful and concludes on an organic golf course, it frames the opportunities for success.

Those in Minneapolis-Saint Paul and surrounding communities can join Beyond Pesticides, BeeSafe Minneapolis, Filmmaker Andrew Nisker, Organic Consumers Association, Minnehaha Falls Landscaping, Birchwood Café, and Humming for Bees on Monday, November 11 at 6:30pm at the Riverview Theater (3800 42nd Ave S). See the flyer here and RSVP on Eventbrite.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: Minneapolis StarTribune

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  • Archives

  • Categories

    • ALS (2)
    • Announcements (586)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (11)
    • Aquaculture (23)
    • Aquatic Organisms (9)
    • Beneficials (30)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (15)
    • Biomonitoring (28)
    • Birds (8)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (1)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (24)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (5)
    • Children (31)
    • Children/Schools (222)
    • Climate Change (41)
    • Clover (1)
    • contamination (81)
    • Environmental Justice (118)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (155)
    • Events (82)
    • Farm Bill (10)
    • Farmworkers (129)
    • Fertilizer (5)
    • Forestry (2)
    • Fracking (3)
    • Fungicides (7)
    • Goats (1)
    • Golf (11)
    • Health care (32)
    • Holidays (24)
    • Household Use (1)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (59)
    • International (307)
    • Invasive Species (29)
    • Label Claims (47)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (198)
    • Litigation (294)
    • Microbiata (6)
    • Microbiome (6)
    • Nanosilver (1)
    • Nanotechnology (53)
    • National Politics (386)
    • Pesticide Drift (135)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (1)
    • Pesticide Regulation (693)
    • Pesticide Residues (151)
    • Pets (18)
    • Preemption (21)
    • Resistance (83)
    • Rodenticide (22)
    • synergistic effects (2)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (2)
    • Take Action (459)
    • Toxic Waste (1)
    • Uncategorized (605)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (345)
    • Wood Preservatives (22)
  • Most Viewed Posts