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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'TruGreen' Category


“Regenerative” Agriculture Still Misses the Mark in Defining a Path to a Livable Future

(Beyond Pesticides, March 7, 2024) As the threats to health, biodiversity, and climate converge in agricultural policy and practices, the question of defining the fundamental changes necessary to reverse these existential crises takes on life-sustaining importance. Despite the existence of an organic community with governing stakeholders (farmers, consumers, conservationists, retailers, processors, inspectors, and scientists) that has evolved over at least seven decades and is codified in the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990, the term “regenerative” is now increasingly being advanced as a loosely defined alternative to the organic standard and label, which is transparent, defined, certified, enforced, and subject to public input. The publication AgFunderNews (AFN) last month published its updated “2024 list of agrifood corporates making regenerative agriculture commitments,” a who’s who of the largest food and agribusiness corporations worldwide. The list includes companies such as ADM, Cargill, Danone, General Mills, Tyson, Unilever, Walmart, and more with commitments to millions of acres in their supply chain practicing “regenerative” agriculture with target dates ranging from 2024 to 2050. The AFN author reporting on the “regenerative” trend states, “[O]ne big challenge is that ‘regenerative agriculture’ still has no set definition. While that still holds true, the bigger observation in […]



Court Upholds Right of Local Maryland County to Restrict Pesticides, Rejects Pesticide and Lawn Care Industry Stomping on Local Rights

(Beyond Pesticides, July 15, 2019)  On Friday, Maryland’s highest court upheld the right of local governments to restrict the use of toxic lawn care pesticides more stringently than the state. By denying an appeal from the pesticide industry’s challenge to a lower court ruling, the Maryland Court of Appeals has made official Montgomery County’s 2015 Healthy Lawns Act, which prohibits toxic pesticides from being used on public and private property for cosmetic purposes. “This long-awaited decision affirms local democratic decision making to protect health and the environment, upholding the first U.S. county law to ban toxic pesticides on private and public property,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of the organization Beyond Pesticides. “The law, now in force, will bring critical health protections for pregnant mothers, children and other vulnerable residents in Montgomery County, and safeguard sensitive wildlife species like pollinators.” The decision by the Maryland Court of Appeals upholds local democratic decision making in the face of a challenge by industry groups representing lawn care companies and chemical manufacturers. The chemical industry has fought for nearly three decades to suppress the right of local governments in the U.S. to protect public health and safety with pesticide law, having successfully lobbied […]



Denver Parents Present Signatures to School Board to Stop Pesticide Use

(Beyond Pesticides, June 29, 2011) The Edison Elementary Green Team, a group of concerned parents in Denver, Colorado asked the Denver Public School Board Monday to stop the use of harmful chemicals. The group has been petitioning for almost a month now, collecting over 1,000 signatures of concerned parents and community members urging the school board to reconsider its contract with TruGreen ChemLawn which ends on July 1- tomorrow. The issue began for Nicole Baumann, one of the concerned parents who started the petition, when she heard other parents describe an incident when TruGreen sprayed the herbicide 2,4-D on school grounds while kids were playing soccer and parents were standing outside waiting to pick up their children. School officials say they do not know what happened that day; however Trena Deane, executive director of facilities management for Denver Public Schools (DPS) told Education News Colorado that they have no reason to believe TruGreen was misapplying them, and that the chemicals are typically not toxic unless they are used inappropriately. “These kids are rolling around in the grass,” Ms. Baumann told Change.org. “Our kids’ immune systems are not really developed yet. They’re susceptible. Why would we knowingly apply this where our […]



City Lawmakers to Strengthen Pesticide Ban, Oversight and Enforcement

(Beyond Pesticides, June 3, 2010) City lawmakers in Albany, New York want to strengthen an 11-year-old ban on the use of some pesticides on city land after the revelation last week that one such banned chemical was sprayed near a local playground earlier this month. Albany’s Parks and Recreation Commissioner John D’Antonio said last Friday he was unaware of the ban, passed by the council in 1998, until he began researching a recent citizen complaint. The city is now rethinking its use of pesticides and exploring why the ban on city use of pesticides dubbed most toxic by the federal government was not more widely known. The law also required departments using less toxic pesticides to annually report plans to phase them out to the Common Council. TruGreen, a city contractor, used Trupower 3 Selective Herbicide, which is a mixture of 2,4-D, mecoprop-p and dicamba, and is listed in Toxicity Category 1 (most toxic) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — causing potentially irreversible eye damage, but is also toxic if ingested and can be irritating to the skin. The herbicide has been banned from city land, except in rare circumstances, since 1999. Under the same ordinance, all city agencies […]



TruGreen Fined in New York; Dropped as Earth Day Sponsor

(Beyond Pesticides, March 22, 2010) New York State has fined TruGreen, the world’s largest professional lawn and landscape company, half a million dollars for numerous violations for misapplying pesticides and inaccurate recordkeeping, according to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) consent order filed last week. In related news, the unlikely sponsorship agreement between TruGreen and Earth Day Network has finally been dropped. The potential sell-out of Earth Day to TruGreen created such a backlash in the environmental community that due to a tremendous amount of pressure, Earth Day Network has retracted its sponsorship agreement with the company. Beyond Pesticides received the following statement today from Earth Day Network: “Earth Day Network had previously announced an educational sponsorship with TruGreen in respect to organic and sustainable lawn and landscape care. Due to unanticipated events, Earth Day Network and TruGreen regrettably announce their relationship for the 40th anniversary event has been suspended. TruGreen continues to respect the commitment Earth Day Network is making to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and Earth Day Network recognizes TruGreen’s efforts on behalf of organic and sustainable lawn and land care.” New York State is demanding a civil penalty of $400,000 be paid by […]



Earth Day Decides on Sponsorship Agreement with TruGreen

(Beyond Pesticides, March 18, 2010) The potential sell-out of Earth Day to the world’s largest professional lawn and landscape company – TruGreen – has created such a backlash in the environmental community that Earth Day Network, organizers of national Earth Day events are being pressed to reconsider their sponsorship agreement with the company. According to a March 10th press release, TruGreen announced its partnership with Earth Day Network, claiming to be the exclusive U.S. “organic and sustainable lawn and landscape care sponsor” of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. In response, activists created a Facebook page dedicated to stopping the sponsorship, which garnered over 250 fans in less than two days, with comments continually pouring in. The sponsorship has been taken down from Earth Day Networks website, and some internet activists have posted that Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network, has retracted the sponsorship. However, an email to Beyond Pesticides that had initially confirmed that TruGreen has no affiliation with Earth Day Network has been retracted. Communications Director Jennifer Resick said that the statement was premature and that the group at this time has no official comment regarding the sponsorship or affiliation to Earth Day Network. Important Update, March […]



TruGreen Takes a Step Toward Pesticide Reduction, Falls Short of Organic

(Beyond Pesticides, August 5, 2008) Under pressure from activists and shareholders to change its chemical dependent lawn care practices, TruGreen””the world’s largest lawn and landscape care company, has joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP). Although the voluntary move comes with a pledge to reduce pesticide use, the company’s reformed practices will still fall short of organic land care, which does not utilize toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Organic land care is effective, affordable and better for human health and the environment, but TruGreen has failed to commit to organic methods. The PESP is a voluntary program started in 1994. According to the EPA, “By joining PESP, organizations pledge that environmental stewardship is an integral part of pest management, and they commit to working toward innovative practices that reduce risk to human health and the environment.” One of the benefits of joining the PESP for companies, according to the EPA website, is that “Membership may enhance public perception of your organization, constituent support, and employee morale.” Underneath this enticement to join is the clear potential for “greenwashing,” or the promotion of a product or service as environmentally friendly when the veracity of such claims is dubious. […]