WHEREAS, modern cultivation of the strawberry favors applications of a number of hazardous fumigant pesticides including, but not limited to, 1,3-dichloropropene (brand name Telone), methyl bromide, chloropicrin (originally a World War I chemical weapon) and metam-sodium in massive quantities of 25 times or more the amount of pesticides used on other crops; and pesticides used on strawberries pose serious health risks for workers and people adjacent to strawberry fields, including but not limited to cancer (Telone and chloropicrin), breathing problems, deterioration of the ozone layer (methyl bromide); reproductive and developmental problems (methyl bromide and metam-sodium);
WHEREAS hazardous pesticides affect both workers in the strawberry fields, and students and teachers in Ventura County schools surrounded by strawberry fields, and hazardous fumigant pesticides linger in Ventura County schools even if they are sprayed when schools are not in session; and
WHEREAS, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation routinely grants exemptions from pesticide limits to strawberry growers and approves loopholes in regulations meant to protect the public,
THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Ventura County Democratic Party calls upon the Ventura County Board of Supervisors to adopt an ordinance phasing out, over five years, hazardous fumigant pesticides from use on strawberry fields located within Ventura County, with due consideration for workers, employers, schoolchildren, and teachers; and that this resolution be communicated to the Board of Supervisors;
THEREFORE, be it also resolved that the Ventura County Democratic Party calls upon the Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner to promote alternatives to hazardous pesticides that ensure the welfare of the public and the environment so as to achieve a phaseout, within five years, of hazardous fumigant pesticides.
Reference: Dark Side of the Strawberry
Sponsor: RL Miller
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Resolutions passed by the Central Committee carry the full weight of the Ventura County Democratic Party.