The latest out of Iowa: Legislative priorities; Farmer vs. Bayer; Pesticides & deer
As Iowa is one of the states in which PAN does on-the-ground campaign work, we send out regular updates on PAN’s and partners’ work in Iowa and beyond — from pesticide-related science to opportunities to take action. If you’d like to receive these updates via email, sign up here.
Legislative priorities: The 2020 legislative session is in full swing! We’re still tracking several priorities with partners, including a bill that would mandate the development of an Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) online reporting system for pesticide spray drift for the 2020 growing season.
Thanks to the advocacy of supporters like you, the online reporting bill (Senate File 2211 and its companion House File 2177) passed out of full Senate committee. We are expecting strong support in the Senate when it comes to the floor for a vote, where it may get combined with another bill. We’ll keep you posted as priorities develop, and continue to keep an eye on your inbox for opportunities to take action!
In Farmer vs. Bayer, farmer prevails: Bill Bader is a peach farmer in Campbell, Missouri. He took Bayer and BASF to court after over 30,000 of his trees were damaged due to drifting of the herbicide dicamba, a product developed by Bayer (which purchased Monsanto in 2018) and BASF. A jury recently ruled that the agrichemical corporations should pay $250 million in punitive damages and $15 million in compensatory damages to Bader.
PAN’s Organizing Director Linda Wells responded to the jury’s ruling: “The internal documents uncovered in this case show that the company released a highly destructive and intentionally untested product onto the market, and used its influence to cheat the regulatory system. While farmers who don’t use the Xtend [dicamba-resistant seed] system are hit with crop damage and yield loss from dicamba drift, Bayer and BASF are reaping the financial gains of an increase in acreage planted to dicamba-resistant soybeans, and an increase in use of dicamba formulations.” Read more here.
Pesticides and deer: The owner of a wildlife rehabilitation center in Montana, Judy Hoy, has observed morphological anomalies, particularly in deer, over the past several years. One hypothesis is that these abnormalities are caused by exposure to endocrine-disrupting pesticides.
In a 2019 publication, researchers did an experiment on deer’s exposure to imidacloprid, a pesticide used intensively in the U.S. Researchers chose a low, moderate, and high dose of pesticide to use in the study — the low and moderate doses were comparable to a range of field concentrations of imidacloprid found in Wisconsin wetlands groundwater, but higher than other environmentally relevant levels found elsewhere in North America. The researchers found that in the treatment groups, as imidacloprid increased in the spleen, fawn survival, thyroid hormone levels, and jawbone lengths decreased, among other effects. An unexpected result was that imidacloprid was found in the tissues of the control group as well, possibly due to imidacloprid being present in seed-treated feed and vegetation. Read more here.
PAN at MOSES Organic Conference
PAN organizer Willa Childress and Membership Associate Corrie Holliday will be attending the MOSES Organic Conference this weekend, February 27 through February 29 in La Crosse, WI. If you’re around, come find the PAN table in the exhibitor hall and say hello to Corrie and Willa!
Can you help us spread the word? We’re hiring in Iowa! We’re seeking an Iowa-based Communications Associate. This position combines the production of compelling issue messaging and writing for various audiences with campaign strategy and partnership development. Click here to view the full job posting.