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Daily News Archive

Environmentalists Meet With EPA to Protect People from Pesticide Drift
(from November 25, 2002)

A diverse group of environmental and farmworker representatives met with EPA officials Friday to discuss new labeling for pesticide azinphos-methyl (AZM). The meeting follows a November 7 meeting where EPA met with industry and growers groups. The proposed label changes are largely seen as a test run for new anti-pesticide drift language to be used on a wide array of pesticides.

The drifting of pesticides from farms and application sites onto people, residences, wild lands and other non-target locations have long been a contentious issue. Pesticides safety advocates insist on a zero drift policy that can be enforced to protect people, land, and wildlife from the dangers of poisonous pesticides. Meeting participants suggested additional important measures not included in the label options such as buffer zones and limitations on aerial applications when zero pesticide drifting over a property line cannot be guaranteed.

The meeting focused on the zero drift standard, strong label wording, standards that reflect real world dangers, and ensuring the burden of proof and cost of protection does not fall on the victims of wrongful drift.

To further explore this issue EPA plans to hold a series of regional meetings on new pesticide drift regulations. Beyond Pesticides will announce when the time and place of these meetings become available. More information about the new AZM labels can be found on the EPA AZM website.