Proposed expansion of chemical-intensive potato production withdrawn | Pesticide Action Network
Reclaiming the future of food and farming

Proposed expansion of chemical-intensive potato production withdrawn

potato bin

Community groups will keep pushing RDO to fulfill promises

 

For Immediate Release: August 3, 2018

St. Paul, MN - Last week, Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that R.D. Offutt (RDO), one of the largest potato producers in the country, would have to undergo an environmental assessment worksheet for an expansion project they proposed in 2015. The potato giant subsequently withdrew their last three irrigation permit requests for the project. This outcome reflects many years of action from community members who are concerned about the impacts of yet more chemical- and irrigation-intensive potato production in central Minnesota.

While Minnesota community groups, led by the Toxic Taters coalition, are celebrating the victory, they note that there’s still more work to be done to protect the health and livelihoods of rural communities in the state.

Toxic Taters Coordinator Katie Deschene issued the following statement in response to the news:

“The DNR made the right decision to uphold public process. RDO has avoided the environmental review process for the last few years by dribbling out permit applications a few at a time. Transparency is the least RDO owes the communities they operate in. The quality of our water and health is at stake.”

Pesticide Action Network Organizer Willa Childress added:

“RDO was touting this expansion as a chance to experiment with more sustainable land use practices. The fact is, we’re still waiting to see them do that on their existing land.”

Press contact: Katie Deschene, Toxic Taters Coordinator, (719) 502-0470

###