lot of folks misuse pesticides another reason organic growing is safer.
if in doubt leave it out.
They have not been able to keep their Pesticides on the farm another reason
organic growing is safer.
what does the USDA . doing about it. they are going to charge organic
fees and let the poluters have a free ride. regulate organic growers and let
pesticide users skate. The USDA has it backwords. da they are going to
pesticide grown food come in on the fast track more and more and yet the USDA
feel that they have to check out all the organic food coming in.
backwords. they have it backwords. another reason organic food is safer. how
many of the trucks coming in get check for pesticide residue.maybe 3%
> Got this a bit ago and this what I have.....
> PEACOCKS & PESTICIDES HELP! HELP!....I NEED HELP WITH THE BELOW
> PROBLEM.....THIS IS AN OPEN LETTER TO ANYONE WHO HAS A CONCERN WITH THE
> OF PESTICIDES ON AND IN OUR FOOD. WE SUPPORT THE EFFORTS OF THE ORGANIC
> GROWERS OF THE USA WITH THEIR WORK TO SEE THAT ALL OF OUR STATES HAVE THE
> SAME REGULATIONS REGARDING ORGANIC FOOD......WE HAVE A PROBLEM IN THAT NO
> ONE, EXCEPT US, ARE CONCERN WITH THE ISSUE OF THE DRIFTING OF UNWANTED
> PESTICIDES ON TO NON-TARGERATED LAND.....WE HAD TO LITIGATE AND LOST
> OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS OF VEGETATION AND PEACOCKS DUE TO THIS PROBLEM....WE
> HAVE TAKEN OUR PROBLEM TO THE STATE OF IOWA IN HOPES OF A LAW TO PROTECT US
> FROM DRIFTING PESTICIDES....WE GAVE A PRESENTATION AND OUR PRESENTATION WAS
> HEARD, BUT LEFT IN THE STATE OF LIMBO, NO ACTION OR HOPES OF ACTION....NO
> ONE CARES EXCEPT US.....IF YOU CANNOT HELP, PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO ANYONE
> CAN HELP US WITH IT...THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH. DENNIS FETT, PEACOCK
> INFORMATION CENTER..<http://www.peafowl.com/>www.peafowl.com 712-483-2473
> Below is the text of my presentation to the law makers of Iowa.
> IOWA STATE LEGISLATION FOR 1998
> JANUARY 28, 1998 9:30AM ROOM 118
> PRESENTATION GIVEN BY
> DENNIS M. FETT, MINDEN, IOWA.
> ON BEING CHEMICAL FREE!!! (ORGANIC)
> My name is Dennis M. Fett of Minden, Iowa. Along with my wife, Debra Joan
> Buck we have a major concern with the quality of live we have had the
> years on our acreage. In 1987, we purchased 4 acres of land in York
> Township, Pott. County in Southwestern Iowa.
> When we purchased our acreage, our intentions were to expand our
> peacock/peafowl farm along with starting an organic farm raising: herbs,
> vegetables and a fruit orchard. We planned to use as much as possible for
> our own consumption and sell the rest as certified organic.
> Our location seems to be in what we call a hot spot for pesticides and
> herbicides. We both know that living in the country has its challenges not
> found in the city. My wife, a life long resident of the rural Minden
> no stranger to farm life. Her late father, a farmer for many years has used
> farm chemicals on his farm during his years as a farmer. After he retired
> from farming, he spent the next 25 years as an worker in a farm chemical
> manufacturing plant.
> We have learned first hand the hazards farm chemicals pose to those who use
> them without following label directions. We have a healthy respect for
> and decided never to use them when we got married in 1980. In 1980, we
> rented a farm house that let us start our first organic garden. Our
> and surrounding farmer neighbors all used farm chemicals. During these 7
> years, we never experienced any damage to our organic garden. The only
> difference then is that the farmers did their own spraying and were very
> careful not to cause any harm.
> As farmers got bigger & bigger, the farmers of the 80 s & 90 s found that
> they could not do all the work themselves. The birth of commercial farm
> chemicals sprayers were born. These companies got busier and busier and
> along came the misuse of chemicals finding farm chemicals drifting onto
> non-target plants. These big farms and the lack of time for the farmer to
> pay attention to the weather conditions are the leading cause for the
> we have had the past ten years. Farming used to be a friendly business,
> in 1997 in York township, most farmers are concerned with is making money
> and applying chemicals, disregarding the weather conditions.
> We have never been free of vegetation damage caused by herbicide drifting
> each of the 10 years on our acreage. We never expected that when we bought
> this farm we would not be able to make a viable business with our peacocks
> and organic farm. In addition to the minor damage (visible to our eyes but
> not detectable to chemicals testing) we had severe damage in 1991, 1995 and
> in 1997. In 1991 & 1995 the State of Iowa pesticide department cited two
> appliers for misuse of following directions and allowing the chemical being
> sprayed to get on desirable plants on a non-targeted area, our farm!!!!! In
> 1997 we currently have a complaint pending and we await the chemical
> analysis to see if, for the third time, chemicals were found on desirable
> plants on a non- targeted area. Even if the State does not find
> our farm in 1997, we have once again lost our entire garden and fruit on
> selected trees. A big financial loss to our budding business. In addition,
> our peafowl egg production is down 50% which caused a major loss to our
> peafowl operation. Because of all the losses the past 10 years, we may
> be able to recouperate from this devastating situation. We have put all
> our monies into our business and each year the chemical abuse becomes more
> pronounced that we are afraid that in another 10 years we will not have any
> trees left on our farm!!!!!!!
> In 1991, we were able to settle out of court for a very small amount not
> close to the actual damages. It was our hopes that this problem would never
> happen again. Such was not the case. In 1995 the Ag company (a different
> company) who was cited by the State of Iowa would not pay for the damage
> saying they were not responsible. It was interesting to note that they
> warning letter from the state saying they allowed desirable plants to be
> sprayed on a non-targeted area. This is all they got and went on with
> business as usual. We were left with hundreds of thousands of dollars of
> This company forced us to go to court. The company cited by the State of
> Iowa tried to place the blame on the 1991 spraying. They never even
> acknowledged that they killed our garden, trees and plants and damaged our
> peafowl. It is clear that the law enforcement agency in the state clearly
> found that they caused the damage.
> Our court case is pending and waiting for the Judges decision. If the Judge
> does not find in our favor, it is saying that the law enforcement agency
> enforcing the state ag s laws are null and void!!! If this is the case, we
> should shut down the pesticide bureau and spend our tax dollars in a more
> useful way. This is a sad condition of our state. Our legislators need to
> make it mandatory that when the state finds damages, the person damage is
> compensated for said damages without having to go to court.
> Several years ago, we asked for a similar law and it died because if passed,
> it would take away business from lawyers. What a joke, some six years
> we are at the same place and spending thousands of dollars with our attorney
> to get what we are rightly due. And yes, the lawyers are making money, in
> fact they are the only ones getting paid!!!! Our lawyers have enough other
> business to support themselves as they will not lose income from such a law.
> At this time, we have another complaint filed with the state against the
> ag company and for the killing of our entire garden and damage on various
> trees on the farm again. Even if the state finds chemicals in our garden,
> they will again denied that they caused it. This leaves us with no choice
> again but to litigate. It looks like we will lose again whether the
> chemicals are found or not. The big companies have more money and the
> lawyers and will always win and we lose again!!!!!
> This on going problem will never allow us to be certified organic as we need
> to be free of chemicals for three years in a row. It is hard to believe in
> America, I can not be chemical free on our Minden, Iowa, farm. I plead to
> the law makers of Iowa to help us have the freedom to live and farm as we
> like. This has not been the case the last ten years and may never be in the
> future without laws to protect people like us.
> PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS AS I SEE IT
> 1. In 1997, the Iowa Dept. of Ag. & Land Stewardship can not test for all
> chemicals cleared for use in our state. Example, in our 1997 case, the
> chemical Pursuit could not be tested with current equipment. Back in 1995,
> our other case, the state could not test for Roundup. I am sure they are
> many others we are not aware of.
> The necessary equipment and monies should be allocated for the testing of
> chemicals cleared for use in the state of Iowa. If not, those chemicals
> should not be allowed to be used in our state. My feelings are if the state
> is given the tools to do the job right or the agency should closed down
> and the money should be used elsewhere. As the agency stands today, we
> to give them a fresh coat of paint and while we do this we need laws to help
> the citizens, as well as the state.
> At this time, the laws in the Pesticide Act of Iowa are written for the
> benefit of the state and the not the party damaged. WARNING LETTERS DO NOT
> WORK. Far too many warning letters are given. This method of
> enforcement does not seem to deter misuse as I have seen on my farm the last
> 10 years. I feel that a civil penalty of $500 for each violation when
> given is not high enough to discourage repeat violations or even compliance
> of the law. So why would an applicator be more careful when the penalties
> have no teeth in them.
> The matrix used for deciding if a violation gets a warning or a civil
> is out dated as well . If it did work, the average number of complaints
> each year would show a big decline. In the last five years, an average of
> 77.8 complaints were filed This shows me the laws need more teeth to
> these numbers down each year and not just stay the same around 73-79
> complaints each year.
> More than half of all complaints in years 1993-1996 (1997 has 35 cases
> pending at this time, It should be noted that these cases should have been
> done by now, short of help? too many violations?) resulted in some sort of
> an action. In my mind this is not compliance with the law!!! This should
> ring bells and say that the laws on the books are not working and need to be
> It should also be noted that for each complaint filed with the state many
> more are never filed out of fear.
> So when there is a warning letter, the party charged with the violation
> should be required to pay for any damages they cause thus making it easier
> for the damaged party to recoup the losses without having to go to court.
> Our pending court case costs are beyond what we can afford at this time
> am not sure how we will pay if we lose our case. If we lose our case then
> this will give applicators a carte blanch to do as they like and make
> the books become void and useless!!!
> One way to help the party damaged is to create a law that says a warning
> letter for pesticides violation would be admissible in a civil case and it
> would create a presumption that damages were caused by the activities
> represented in said warning letter. This should be an deterrence to the
> applicator and perhaps they will be more careful when applying pesticides
> if accidents do happen they might consider settling outside of court.
> What seemed strange was we had to prove that the applicator caused the
> in court when the State did it in the warning letter. So if the above law
> was in effect our case may of never gone to court.
> We need laws to protect our farm from the drifting of unwanted chemicals so
> we can be certified as organic. Without any new laws, we will never be
> to be certified as organic which violates our constitutional freedom of
> We would like to also see mandatory classes for people causing damages in
> sensitivity towards other people s property.
> Respectfully submitted
> Dennis Fett
> PEACOCK INFORMATION CENTER
> MINDEN, IOWA. 51553
> June 1, 1998
> Mr. Dale Cochran
> Secretary of Agriculture
> Henry A. Wallace Building
> Des Moines, Iowa 50319
> Dear Mr. Cochran,
> Please consider this my official complaint of mismanagement of the Iowa
> of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. I also ask that you disband the Iowa
> Dept. of Agriculture and Land Stewardship since any findings of pesticide
> misuse in the form of an action warning letter, if given, are worthless.
> The reason for citing this complaint has to do with the Pottawattamie
> Court s decision, case #70937, Fett vs. Koch Agri Services ruled by Judge
> Connolly on May 26, 1998 stating that I failed to sustain his burden of
> proof and the defendant is entitled to Judgment in its favor. Therefore,
> the fact that the State of Iowa issued a warning letter to Koch Agri
> stating that 2,4-D-was found on our property has no merit. Proof of
> pesticides onto a non-targeted area was found by your department. Shouldn t
> the judge have taken into account that the law was indeed violated and found
> in our favor? Since he obviously did not take the State of Iowa s findings
> as evidence of proof the Department of Agriculture s laws are null and
> Therefore, it is a waste of the taxpayers dollars to fund your department.
> Due to this ruling, pesticide applicators now know that they can cause
> damages and violate State laws and not have to be held accountable. And,
> your mere $500.00 per count per offense has absolutely no effect on the
> applicators. The State laws need to protect the citizens of the State of
> Iowa and allow us to recoup damages.
> As was testified by Mr. Eckermann at the State Legislature at which I
> testified in January of 1998 as well, Mr. Eckermann stated that the reason
> for the extremely long wait of decisions of investigations was that there
> not enough work to keep them busy all year round, so they stretch the cases
> to last until the next growing season.
> As a substitute teacher, I am only employed for the school year. I would
> love to have the Dept. of Agriculture s policy of stretching work out for an
> entire year, just so the workers would have something to do. But, I only
> paid for nine months, not a year like your State employees. Substitute
> teachers are only paid if they work with no benefits or pay during the
> months. Full time teachers receive pay year round.
> Therefore, I feel that the State of Iowa should not stretch out complaint
> cases for an entire year and expedite investigations in a timely fashion and
> not just to extend the employment of individuals so those individuals could
> have a job. If there is not enough work for the entire year, tax dollars
> could be saved by laying off employees during the off season when they are
> not needed.
> At this point, we would prefer to disband the pesticide bureau entirely
> it serves no purpose other than to give individuals a job. The laws of the
> State Dept. Of Agriculture are of no use to anyone, not even the State,
> the applicators continue to violate those laws, since any penalties given
> We have until June 25, 1998 to appeal Judge Connolly s decision. We are
> unable to secure funding to appeal this case at this time and our attorney
> has bailed out due to reasons unknown to us. We feel that the Dept. of
> Agriculture has a lot to lose if this decision is allowed to stand in the
> courts. If appears to me that it would be in the best interest in the state
> of Iowa to align themself as a friend to Fett in this case and that the Iowa
> Attorney General s office should assist us in this matter.
> We understand that your appointment is nearly expired and we hope that you
> would work hard for us in the next several months until your replacement is
> selected at which time we hope you would address this issue to the new
> It is important for you to know that in 1991 we filed a complaint and you
> found 2,4-D on our vegetation which resulted in a warning letter from you.
> In 1995 Koch Agri Services, Hancock, Iowa was cited with a warning letter
> for allowing 2,4-D to drift onto our property. And, again in 1997, we filed
> complaints which are listed below and which have still to be decided upon
> which causes us concern.
> To further aggravate the situation, our 1997 pesticide complaint has been
> severely compromised due to mismanagement and many mistakes by everyone
> involved with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. As
> you can see below, I am still awaiting results.
> On July 7, 1997, almost one year ago, I formally requested copies of the
> affidavits of Treynor Ag. Supply, Koch Ag. Supply, and the Iowa Interstate
> Railroad, as well as any other affadavits which may have been taken
> our complaints in 1997.
> On November 7, 1997, I requested once again that you test the samples taken
> from our potato patch for Pursuit, which was supposed to be done originally.
> On May 11, 1998, I formally requested copies of the affadavits from all
> parties involved in the complaints dated, June 16, 1997, Treynor Ag. Supply,
> June 18, 1997, Interstate Railroad, June 20, 1997, Koch Ag, and June 23,
> 1997, Koch Ag.
> On May 11, 1998, I also formally requested a copy of Mr. Christiansens
> investigation report regarding all four of the above complaints. I also
> requested any photo copies of photographs which accompany that report, not
> I also requested a copy of the label of Pursuit, or at least the portion of
> the label which states the hazard risks and proper application and handling.
> I included a check in the amount of $5.00 to cover the cost of any photo
> copies you needed to make.
> I am once again asking that you send me the copies I have requested above
> which I have not received.
> On May 8, 1998, I telephoned and asked Mr. Mark Lohafer how my 1997
> complaints were coming along and he stated We found Pursuit in the potato
> patch samples and there will be a civil action which is on Mr. Eckermann s
> desk to decide what the civil action would be. I repeated what I heard as
> stated above to clarify and he varified that was the case. I asked if he
> would merely issue a warning letter and he stated Oh, no, this will be a
> civil penalty which could be $500.00 or more.
> On May 12, 1998, I again telephoned and asked once again what the civil
> action would be and he told me that there would not be any action taken and
> that the state did not test for Pursuit on the potato patch samples. After
> much discussion, he stated he would find my file and give me more
> information. It seems a bit odd that things changed so since that last
> conversation regarding this complaint.
> On May 13, 1998, I telephoned and this time he told me that the state was
> now going to test for Pursuit on samples from the potato patch only after I
> stated I would file a complaint (I also requested the samples from the
> patch to be tested on November 7, 1997 and following my telephone call with
> Mr. Lohafer, he assured me that they were sending those samples out for
> testing for Pursuit). He also stated that Mr. Eckermann was out of town and
> would write up the civil action on Monday, May 18, 1998.
> I again telephoned Mr. Lohafer on May 28, 1998 at 4:20 p.m. and he was gone
> for the day. I instructed the lady who answered to leave a message with Mr.
> Lohafer to call me. I still have not received a call from Mr. Lohafer.
> It is now June 1, 1998 and I still have not heard from Mr. Lohafer, nor
> received the affadavits of the 1997 complaints. I would like a full scale
> investigation of procedures, practices, and anything else that would assure
> the citizens of Iowa that our tax dollars are being used wisely by the Iowa
> Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. I also recommend that you
> review the pesticide codes with the Iowa Attorney General s Office and
> before the next legislator, a major revision of the codes so that warnings
> and civil penalties have more teeth and discourage further misuse.
> I understand that the applicators have rights, however, the damaged parties
> should have an easier way to recover damages and I suggest that you and your
> staff explore ways to make that possible. I would be interested in working
> with you and your staff in changing the laws prior to and during the next
> legislation session.
> I am in communication with Senator Charles Grassley and the EPA in
> Washington, D.C. and they are looking into assisting me in finding an
> equitable solution to being violated by unwanted pesticide drifting on my
> property. I am also in communication with State Representative, Russell
> Eddie, who is the chair of the Agriculture committee and he assures me that
> upon re-election in November, he will also assist in fixing the law to
> serve the residents of Iowa.
> Thank you for any consideration given this letter and I look forward to
> hearing from you immediately concerning this matter.
> Dennis M. Fett, Box 19, Minden, Iowa 51553, Ph.-712-483-2473,
> FAX-712-483-2155, E mail-dmfett @ fmctc.com
> cc:Iowa Attorney General
> Senator Charles Grassley
> Iowa Associated Press
> Des Moines Register
> Washington Post
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