PESTICIDE LABELS

Beveridge & Diamond Wins Preemption Case Regarding Local Pesticides Ban

Author: Anthony L. Michaels
August 3, 2017

Litigators in Beveridge & Diamond’s Washington, DC Office on August 3 secured an important preemption ruling from the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Maryland.  Complete Lawn Care, Inc., et. al., v. Montgomery County, Civil Action No. 427200-V.  The court invalidated a County ordinance banning pesticide use on private lawns as preempted by State law.  This adds to a growing body of cases finding that localities in various states lack the authority to impose their own local pesticide requirements that effectively “veto” the comprehensive review and approval processes already in place for these products at the state and federal levels.  The decision is of particular importance due to the size of Montgomery County, which drew significant attention with its ordinance.

Among other holdings, Judge Terrence McGann found that “[t]he State of Maryland has already established comprehensive pesticide use regulations . . . [that] regulate every facet of pesticide use in the State of Maryland.”  Because “Maryland law dictates precisely where, when, and how each and every pesticide it has authorized may be used,” Judge McGann concluded that “no room is left for more regulation.”  The court also held that the ordinance conflicts with State law and would “frustrat[e] the explicit State law goal of promoting uniformity in pesticide regulatory requirements.”  In holding it unlawful, the court concluded that the ordinance “flouts decades of State primacy in ensuring safe and proper pesticide use, undermines the State’s system of comprehensive and uniform product approval and regulation, and prohibits products and conduct that have been affirmatively approved and licensed by the State.”

Principal Tony Michaels argued the case for a group of successful Plaintiffs:  seven local residents, six small businesses, and Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), the national trade association representing manufacturers, formulators, distributors and other industry leaders engaged with specialty pesticides and fertilizers used by consumers and professionals.  With Tony on the briefing at Beveridge & Diamond were Kathy Szmuszkovicz, Gus Bauman, James Slaughter, and Kaitlyn Shannon.  The same decision also addresses a companion case brought by another group of Plaintiffs, represented by Tim Maloney and Alyse Prawde of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, and Catherine Carroll and Arpit Garg of Wilmer Hale.  The Defendant Montgomery County was represented by Ed Lattner and Walter Wilson of the County Attorney’s office.

Numerous media outlets have covered the decision, including the Washington PostBethesda Magazine, WTOP, and the Daily Record (subscription required).

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Wilson – Lawn Weed Out Ultra

Health Canada Launches New Inspections Database for Pesticide Companies

September 30, 2016 – Ottawa, ON – Health Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to increased transparency. This includes making more information available on the health and safety decisions the government makes every day to help protect Canadian families from unsafe products.

To help Canadians make informed decisions about the pest control products they buy and use, Health Canada has announced that information on inspections of companies that manufacture pest control products will now be available to the public in an online database. Canadians can search the Pest Control Registrant Inspections Database for specific inspection findings, as well as summary report cards from inspections and information about companies’ history of compliance with the Pest Control Products Act and its Regulations.

The launch of the Pest Control Products Registrant Inspections Database is a milestone under Health Canada’s Regulatory Transparency and Openness Framework and Action Plan 2015-2018. The Plan has made specific commitments to provide Canadians with more information about Health Canada’s health and safety decision-making, including inspection outcomes and inspection ratings. Previously, Health Canada also launched the Drug and Health Product Inspections Database in April 2015.

Quick Facts

  • When conducting inspections of pest control product manufacturers, inspectors check facilities, take samples for testing, and examine documents, such as sales and incident reports.
  • If a risk to health or the environment is identified during an inspection, companies are required to take corrective actions.
  • The Regulatory Transparency and Openness Framework and Action Plan for 2015-18 outlines concrete steps Health Canada is taking to continually improve public access to timely, useful and relevant health and safety information, while still respecting privacy, confidentiality and security considerations.

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The APVMA has completed its assessment of the IARC report and other recent assessments of glyphosate and has concluded that glyphosate does not pose a cancer risk to humans

Glyphosate Issue Paper:   Evaluation of Carcinogenic Potential | EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs September 12, 2016

ROUNDUP is Safe!