Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
BPC Report - Summer 2008

Maine BPC Reports \ BPC - Summer 2008

Did You Know?

If you own, lease or manage a property within 500 feet of another piece of property that may be managed with pesticides, INCLUDING Bt corn, you have the right to ask your neighbor what pesticides he or she is using.

Tell the Maine BPC You Want a Buffer from Aerial Spray!

The Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) continues to discuss ways to address public concerns about aerial spraying. It held a Public Information Gathering Meeting on aerial spraying and spray drift at its Dec. 2007 meeting and discussed issues and ideas at its Jan., Feb. and March 2008 meetings. To date it has covered improving the notification process for nearby residents, strengthening requirements designed to ensure that applicators spray the correct area, detailed site plans and identification of sensitive areas.

To date, the BPC has not discussed implementing a buffer from aerial spray for schools, parks, playgrounds or any area likely to be occupied by humans. As an example of the kind of leadership that policymakers can demonstrate in protecting citizens from exposure to pesticide drift, three counties in California ban aerial spraying within a quarter-mile of homes, schools and occupied farm labor camps. If you would like the BPC to take stronger measures to protect you and your children from being exposed to chemical drift, call or write to Director Henry Jennings, 207-287-2731, [email protected] today.

Two More Monsanto Bt Corn Varieties Registered

The BPC staff automatically renewed 2008 registration requests for the same Bt corn products or products containing the same genetic events (gene transformations) that it registered in 2007, but agreed to review any Bt field corn registration requests that involve a different genetic event before granting registration. Monsanto Ag Products submitted registration requests for two such products: Yieldgard VT Rootworm/RR2 and Yieldgard VT Triple. According to Monsanto’s Web site, “YieldGard VT™ hybrids are created using a process called VecTran technology, which stands for Vector-Stack Transformation,” a way to incorporate two traits with a single DNA insertion process. In this case, the traits are insect resistance (through genes that produce the Bt toxin) and resistance to Roundup herbicide. Staff toxicologist Lebelle Hicks reviewed the two new products and concluded that the risks are comparable to the previously registered products, so 14 Bt corn products are now registered in Maine.

The BPC staff anticipates an application for Bt sweet corn soon.

Rule Violations

Sterling Insect-Lawn Control, Inc., of Gorham failed to notify an individual listed on the 2007 Pesticide Notification Registry who was within 250 feet of an application. The company paid a $425 fine.

Mainely Grass, Inc., of York applied pesticide to the wrong property without the owner’s knowledge or permission. The company paid a $750 fine.

TruGreen Chemlawn, Inc., of Westbrook failed to notify an individual listed on the 2007 Pesticide Notification Registry who was within 250 feet of an application. The company paid a $2,000 fine.

Purely Organics of York Harbor had an unlicensed applicator applying pesticides, and made pesticidal claims for the sale and application of an unregistered vinegar product. The company paid a $500 fine.

Service Master of Saco, which is not a licensed pesiticide applicator, performed a custom application of mold remediation products. The company paid a $500 fine.

David Register of Lisbon, an unlicensed applicator, made a custom application of bleach to control mold in a rented residential unit. He paid a $200 fine.

– Melissa White Pillsbury