MoCo Pesticide Ban May Be Vulnerable To Court Challenge, Says Attorney General’s Office | BethesdaNow

A controversial proposal to ban the use of “non-essential” pesticides on private lawns in Montgomery County may be prevented by state law, according to the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.

Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Rowe wrote that a court could rule the part of the bill banning pesticide use for private property owners is preempted by state law already addressing pesticide use.

“While the matter is not completely clear, it is my view that the general ban on application of non-essential pesticides may well be preempted, but that other parts might not be,” Rowe wrote earlier this month in a response to an inquiry about state preemption from Montgomery Village Del. Kirill Reznik. “It is my view that a court could conclude that this provision would interfere with the purposes of these State provisions, as well as the goal of achieving uniformity.”

Rowe wrote that other parts of the bill, introduced by Council President George Leventhal to much support and opposition earlier this year, wouldn’t run into preemption issues.

Leventhal’s bill also would exempt golf courses and farms from the pesticide ban, but not county property and playing fields. Montgomery Parks, which runs the county’s nearly 300 recreational playing fields, has urged Leventhal and other Council members to exempt its fields too.
Rowe said that requirement, as well as requirements that would require signage if pesticides were being applied, shouldn’t pose any legal issues.
The private property provision has been one of the most controversial parts of the bill.

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Fears over Roundup herbicide residues prompt private testing | Reuters

(Reuters) – U.S. consumer groups, scientists and food companies are testing substances ranging from breakfast cereal to breast milk for residues of the world’s most widely used herbicide on rising concerns over its possible links to disease.

The focus is on glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup. Testing has increased in the last two years, but scientists say requests spiked after a World Health Organization research unit said last month it was classifying glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

“The requests keep coming in,” said Ben Winkler, laboratory manager at Microbe Inotech Laboratories in St. Louis. The commercial lab has received three to four requests a week to test foods and other substances for glyphosate residues. In prior years, it received only three to four requests annually, according to its records.

“Some people want to stay out in front of this. Nobody knows what it means yet, but a lot of people are testing,” said Winkler.

Microbe has handled recent requests for glyphosate residue testing from small food companies, an advocacy group testing baby formula and a group of doctors who want to test patients’ urine for glyphosate residues, said Winkler. The firms and doctors do not want their identities published.

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Fixing a Broken System: Why an Environmentalist Started a Lawn Care Company – Glenview Announcements

From the community: Fixing a Broken System: Why an Environmentalist Started a Lawn Care Company

Fixing a Broken System: Why an Environmentalist Started a Lawn Care Company

Greenwise founder and owner Marc Wise and his best friend Ozzie enjoy a sunny day outside. (Posted by michael946, Community Contributor)

By Community Contributor michael946 Environmental Science Evanston Environmental Politics

Evanston, IL – [March 23, 2015] – At a meeting of the Citizens Greener Evanston and Evanston TreeKeepers, Marc Wise stood before the podium, about to address a roomful of environmental activists. The founder and owner of Evanston-based Greenwise Organic Lawn Care, Wise was the only representative of his industry in the room.

“How many of you are frustrated with landscape companies?” Wise asked, much to the crowd’s surprise.

Almost in unison, everyone in the audience raised their hand.

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Dreams of Organic Farming without the hassle |Failed Organic Certification System | How About | Certified Naturally Grown | CNG – Home Page

Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) is a non-profit organization offering certification tailored for small-scale, direct-market farmers and beekeepers using natural methods.

CNG was born of a commitment to healthy food and healthy soils, and grew out of the belief that we could create something uniquely valuable to family farms and the communities they feed. CNG was founded when the National Organic Program (NOP) took effect in 2002.

Our certification model encourages collaboration, transparency, and community involvement. Our programs are based on the highest ideals of organic farming, and the requirements are reasonable. Many farmers find the peer-review inspection process a valuable learning experience.

CNG producers don’t use any synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or GMO seeds, just like organic farmers. Certified Naturally Grown is an independent program not affiliated with the NOP.

CNG thrives because of enormous volunteer efforts and the commitment of the people who participate. Please join the farmers and beekeepers at the heart of the movement! Apply for certification, or become a Friend of CNG.. Continue reading