VIP advocates for the reform of pesticides to turn to sustainable agricultural practices and stop the use of toxic pesticides that impact human and environmental health. VIP demands full transparency about pesticide use, adequate health protections, pesticide notification, reduction, and accountability
Visit our Take Action tab to get involved in local efforts to improve regulation and local practices for better protection of our most vulnerable communities, including the farmworkers and our children.
Local Pesticide Concerns
VIP partnered with Environmental Work Group (EWG) to study pesticide use in Stanislaus County. The findings are based on data from the pesticide use reports submitted to the county and the state for the year 2021.
As highlighted in a new analysis developed by VIP and Environmental Working Group, Telone has been linked to cancer – and regulators in California and at the federal Environmental Protection Agency have known for many years about the hazards of applying it. Telone, also known as 1,3-dichloropropene or 1,3-D, was banned in California from 1990 to 1995. Agricultural use of 1,3-D is not allowed in the European Union because of its health risks.
The new analysis, relying on data obtained from 2021 pesticide use records from the Stanislaus County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, reveals that more than 6 million pounds of agricultural pesticides were applied in the county in 2021, and over twenty percent – at least 1.3 million pounds – was Telone.
“Too many Stanislaus County residents face a possible increased risk of cancer from the spraying of Telone and other toxic pesticides,” said co-author Bianca Lopez, VIP co-founder, and project director. She said the California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (DPR) proposed Telone regulations are inadequate because they fall short of Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) standards.
Stanislaus County has some of the heaviest pesticide use in California. Almost half of county residents identify as Hispanic or Latino, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.
“The DPR must redesign their current proposal to protect to the OEHHA No Significant Risk Level (NSRL) and add farmworker protections which prohibit farmworkers from being required to work next to fields recently treated with 1,3-D,” Lopez said.
“We can’t wait for the state to mandate better protections and need local government to exercise their power to protect children and expand the buffer zones near schools, and publicize on their website all Notices of Intent (NOIs) for proposed Telone applications that include location, date, and time and implement setbacks to protect farmworkers,” she added.
“We are seeking parent participation and will be reaching out to the District Superintendents, and school Principals to help us reach parents of those schools in townships with high Telone use and high pesticide use overall,” said Lopez.
Here is what we want to see change:
We are asking the Stanislaus Agriculture Commissioner to take immediate action to better protect our children, farm workers and neighbors from exposure to high pesticide use in the following ways:
1: Expand the school buffer zones to 5 mi. radius. (Currently, the law enforces a 1/4 mi protection buffer zone)
2: Require farmers to get school principals to sign off on NOI near their schools, to ensure children are not on campus at the actual application time.
3: Reduce the use of Telone applications across the county.
4: Expand the current Pesticide Notification Pilot program to the entire county and web post all Notices of Intent for all restricted material, that includes time, date, and location.
5: Include protections for farm workers that work near fumigant applications
Advocates, farm workers, and environmental justice communities have been calling for a statewide pesticide notification system for years. Ultimately, our shared goal is to eliminate the use of dangerous pesticides in agriculture, but in the meantime, communities have the right to be notified in advance if hazardous pesticides will be applied.
As a result of our advocacy along with other environmental groups, the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is developing a statewide pesticide notification system and has launched four county-level pesticide notification pilots to inform its development. The four pilots are in Riverside, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus and Ventura counties. However, the pilots have serious shortcomings that make them unsuitable models for the statewide notification system. Our goal is to let DPR know about our concerns and ensure that the statewide pesticide notification system that DPR creates is robust, inclusive, and implemented as soon as possible.
Pilot Program in Grayson, CA
The Stanislaus County Agricultural Commissioner, in voluntary partnership with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), is participating in a pilot program to support DPR’s development of a statewide pesticide application notification system launched in April 2022.
If you live, work, or spend large periods of time in Grayson, CA register to receive notifications of upcoming applications of restricted pesticides, that are scheduled to be applied within an adjacent section, or township range around your subscribed locations. A span of at least one mile from your requested locations.
VIP is a steering committee member of Californians For Pesticide Reform (CPR)
CPR is a statewide coalition of more than 190 organizations, founded in 1996 to fundamentally shift the way pesticides are used in California. CPR has built a diverse, multi-interest coalition to challenge the powerful political and economic forces opposing change. Our member organizations include public health, children’s health, educational and environmental advocates, clean air and water organizations, health practitioners, environmental justice groups, labor organizations, farmers, and sustainable agriculture advocates.