Daily News Archive
From January 31, 2001

NY Attorney General Counters Pesticide Industry Group's Communication to New York School Facility Managers

New York State Education Department's January 2001 School Executives Bulletin reports that New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer requested the State Education Department to report on the Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment's (RISE) misleading mailing it sent to over 20,000 school facilities mangers across the country. The bulletin states, "The materials distributed by RISE promote pesticide use with deceptive claims and irrelevant anecdotes about the health and environmental impacts of pesticides."

The School Executives Bulletin goes on to state, "While ostensibly promoting Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at schools, the materials sent by RISE actually encourage continued excessive reliance on pesticides by schools. This central role for pesticides runs contrary to the positions of the Department, the Attorney General's office and countless other governmental and citizens' groups."

Spitzer requested the article be printed because he is "concerned that RISE's mailing will be relied upon by school facilities managers and administrators, and that its deceptive claims might be repeated to parents, students and school staff… While the public should not simply accept the risks associated with severe pest infestations at schools, it is not necessary to expose our children to highly toxic substances in the name of pest control. Properly planned and implemented IPM programs can serve to control pests without introducing toxic materials into the school environment."

Beyond Pesticides/NCAMP's fact sheet, entitled "Ten Myths Behind Pesticide-Dependent Pest Management in Schools," (Pesticides and You, Winter 2000-2001) refutes the pro-pesticide lobby's claims about school IPM and pesticide notification programs. Notification of pesticide applications and elimination of toxic pesticide use where possible can be accomplished in our schools. Moreover, alternatives to conventional hazardous pesticides are being implemented in over 100 school districts around the country. For a copy of the fact sheet, contact [email protected]