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We need to make our food, our air, our water, and our soil free from toxic chemicals. The real solution to our pest and weed problems lies in non-toxic and cultural methods of agriculture, not in pulling the pesticides trigger. Organically grown foods and sustainable methods of pest control are key to our families’ health and the health of the environment. Pesticides need to be tested and proven safe to our health and our children’s health, and the environment, before they can be used. We need to employ the precautionary principle with pesticides.

Until this long-term goal is realized, we need stronger pesticide rules in Vermont that includes:

RIGHT TO KNOW:

The public should have the free and universal notification of what pesticides are being used when and where, as well as who is using the chemicals, and why. This includes improved record-keeping and shorter timelines for notifications.

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE:

Regulatory agencies should have pesticide use reduction programs to help farmers, local governments, businesses, and the public reduce their reliance on pesticides and transition to non-toxic alternatives to pesticide use. This includes alternatives to nuisance spraying for mosquitoes and controlling West Nile virus and other pest problems.

PROTECTING THE MOST VULNERABLE:

Because children are the most vulnerable population to pesticides, pesticide use should be prohibited in places where our children live and play, including schools, parks, and playgrounds. Non-toxic pest management programs should be required in such places with significant setbacks and buffer zones. Additionally, pesticide applicators and farmers should be prioritized protections to prevent acute and chronic pesticide poisoning.

PROHIBIT POISONING OUR WATER:

Ensure that aerial pesticide use does not pollute our waterways through strict rules governing spraying, setbacks, and buffer zones that prevent the harmful effects of drift. Prohibit the use of pesticides for purely cosmetic and aesthetic reasons.

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