DANIELS

Re: StandingMed.

People

Message body

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

STEVENSON EMAIL (SAFE TO EAT)

  1. What wild berries and medicinal herbs did you have tested in this latest phase (2015)?
The Standing Medicine People research project harvested, Samples of tissue that were collected from six different species of plants and soil samples were collected close to the plants. The species collected were: Weekay,or Acorus americanus (Rafinesque) Rafinesque; Saskatoon, or Amelanchier alnifolia (Nuttall) Nuttall ex M. Roemer; wild raspberry, or Rubus idaeus Linnaeus; riverbank grape, or Vitis riparia Michaux; nannyberry, or Viburnum lentago Linnaeus; pin cherry, or Prunus pensylvanica Linnaeus f.
 
  1. What parts of these plants did you submit for testing? 
 
We submitted the common use parts of the plants,  fruits from the berry plants, roots from the wiike and the soil located nearby where the plants were collected. 
  1. How many samples (plants) were tested?
Type
LPFN Samples
RRFN Samples
SLFN Samples
Metal Analysis
Pesticide Analysis
Herbicide Analysis
Wiike
0
2
6
8
8
0
Grapes
0
0
1
1
1
0
Nannyberry
0
0
1
1
1
0
Pin Cherry
0
1
0
1
1
0
Raspberry
0
1
0
1
1
0
Saskatoon
0
4
0
4
4
0
Soil
2
2
2
6
6
6
Total
2
8
8
18
18
6
 
  1. What contaminants were tested for?
Tissue and soil have been tested for and analyzed for metals, organochlorinated pesticides and herbicides (See Appendix C). The laboratory results were compared and assessed using a hazard quotient (HQ). The HQ is determined by dividing the estimated daily dose by the tolerable daily intake (TDI). An HQ of 1 means that the individual is receiving the maximum amount of contaminant on a daily basis. An HQ of less than 0.2 is considered to be an acceptable risk (Health Canada, 2004).  An HQ higher than 0.2 means that further action or research may be required. nannyberry and grapes had an HQ of 0.18 and 0.11 TDIs were based on Health Canada (2007) standards. The daily dose was determined by taking the product of concentration found in tissue, rate of exposure, absorption factor, and number of days consumed divided by product of the number of days in a year and body weight.
 
See appendix C (attached)
 
  1. What were the results? (How many samples were positive?) 
With the limited sample size, results cannot be generalized.  However the results did show the presence of heavy metals and some pesticides of concern. Amounts were typically with some exceptions below levels of concern.
Wiike root samples tended to have a higher levels of heavy metals. Only levels of Arsenic found in Wiike occurred at levels of concern. Saskatoon, raspberry and pin cherry samples were either undetectable or well-below levels of concern, while nannyberry and grapes had an HQ of 0.18 and 0.11 respectively. Six of eight samples of wiike roots had arsenic concentrations that exceeded HQ thresholds (0.2). The maximum HQ was 3.78. The average HQ was 1.57 (8n), meaning that on average harvesters should consume no more than 20 grams per week.
 
Analysis of organic compounds included a range of herbicides and pesticides. Eight compounds were detected during the lab analysis of both plants and soils: Mirex, Hexachlorobenzene, Endosulfan, Dieldrin, 2,4-D, Dicamba, Triclopyr and Glyphosate. With the exception of Dieldrin, all concentrations were too low to be significant and well below the HQ threshold ranging from 0.07 to undetectable. The Dieldrin levels were estimated by the laboratory and found in significant concentrations in seven samples: nannyberry (one sample), saskatoon (one sample), grape (one sample), pin cherry (one sample) and wiike (three samples), but only one saskatoon sample exceeded the HQ threshold at 0.23 with a concentration of 0.132 mg/kg. Dieldrin is considered to be very persistent and does not break down easily in the environment. Canada restricted and then banned Dieldrin in 1984, but it continues to linger in the soil and within plants. There was no relationship between compounds found in plants and the soil. However the soil analysis was more extensive and included 2,4-D, Dicamba, Triclopyr and Glyphosate. The levels were too low to be of concern for human health, but may have implications for land management and conservation. These compounds are used to this day and usually expected to breakdown quickly. 2,4-D and Glyphosate in particular were widespread, having been detected in all soil samples regardless of distance from agricultural areas.
 
 
  1. What levels were detected? Did they vary a lot?
  2. Given the results you have received, how concerned are you? Are the berries/herbs safe to eat?
We focused on collecting plants that were or are used by community members and available in the late summer harvest.  The results from our study indicate low risk of getting sick from environmental contamination from the plants and berries sampled. Only wiike should be consumed with some caution at about 20 grams per week throughout the year to be safe, this translates to about a half thumb length or 1.5 inches by 1 inch round. Additional precautions such as brushing off wiike or washing berries will help remove foreign materials and contaminants.  The medicines and berries harvested from the land have nutritional and health benefits.  Consequently, this study indicates that traditional harvesting should continue to be encouraged and enabled. 
  1. What are your recommendations to First Nations members about how to act/where to pick now?
Current harvest practices include accessing areas away from the community, particularly areas that appear to be clean and away from development.   Harvesters should continue to avoid harvesting from areas where there may be higher levels of contaminants such as near bridges, busy roadways, under hydro lines, at crop edges, potential fuel spills (including boat launches), and old foundations.   The sick appearance of berry bushes near farmed fields can indicate pesticide use and should be avoided near aerial sprayed fields.  
Community members have observed the changes in the waterways the run through the community.  This includes the changes in appearance, more turbidity exists than before and harvesters have avoided harvesting from the area.  Tissues samples collected near the waterways in the study have indicated higher levels of metals in samples.  Wiike in particular, as a precaution should be harvested in areas away from agricultural runoff and development.   As well, harvesters can diversify their harvesting areas, continue to harvest from a few different places, to limit exposure from one area
 
  1. Your past research has shown people on the 3 reserves suspect conventional agriculture i.e. spraying food crops, etc. nearby, as well as impacts from urban development and industrialization are having an impact on the quality/quantity of the plants in question and on the level of health problems they are experiencing. How much concern remains in that regard, now that the latest test results are known?
There is still a high concern of encroachment on traditional harvesting areas, as harvesters continue to seek places to harvest.  The results provided a way to promote the harvests now and we have been able to share recommendations on safe harvesting practices. 
Beyond contamination, community members also express concern of loss of traditional knowledge.  Communities are moving from a traditional sharing economy to a more market based individualistic economy and that has an impact with our relationship to the land and community wellbeing.   Research participants emphasized the importance of passing on cultural traditions of harvesting practices and knowledge of the benefits of medicine from the land.  Participants noted that this knowledge is often staying with the Elders and that not enough young people attain this knowledge and that traditional knowledge of these plants and medicines is disappearing in the community. The impacts of colonization have made it difficult to share this knowledge and pass it onto younger generations for a number of reasons, primarily shifting economic practices within communities.
 
  1. Can you give me a rough estimate of how many of the First Nations people covered by this study actually still do traditional harvesting/gathering?
37% of research participants still practice traditional harvesting, food and medicine. 
 
  1. Have you made any formal request to the band councils to take any action re: field spraying which may be occurring on the reserves themselves? (What about having the councils declare “safe zones” which might be designated through land use bylaws?
We have made recommendations through our report back to the communities, no formal request was undertaken.   
  1. There seems to be a particular concern with “wiike.” Could you tell me why?
Wiike is a common medicine used for a variety of ailments and is used widely.  
Six of eight samples of wiike roots had arsenic concentrations that exceeded HQ thresholds (0.2). The maximum HQ was 3.78. The average HQ was 1.57 (8n), meaning that on average harvesters should consume no more than 20 grams per week. 
Analysis of the berries and wiike found that community members should not be concerned about contamination in their plants and medicines, and should continue to harvest and eat them. Wiike and other root medicines should be consumed moderately and from clean areas.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Larry”s CV

2Larry’sCV

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Many of Manitoba’s Declining Wild Berries and Medicinal Plants Found to be in Sickly Condition  – Farm chemicals remain the prime suspect – First Nations Researchers.

By Larry Powell

For centuries, the aboriginal people of North America’s great plains have gathered wild berries and plants for food and medicine.

Now, members of two First Nations in Central Manitoba have not only observed declines in the abundance of such crops, they have documented unhealthy foliage and severe deformities in many of them. These include chokecherries, raspberries, Indian breadroot, saskatoons, cranberries and hawthorns.

After obtaining federal funding for a detailed study, several band members gathered hundreds of samples in and around Swan Lake, southwest of Portage La Prairie, and Rolling River, southeast of Riding Mountain National Park. The study was done almost three years ago but not made public until now.

For years, Elders have watched as harvest areas shrink and overall quality declines. Where sage and sweet grass once flourished, there is now very little. In addition to an overall decline in the food and medicinal plants, grasses and tree leaves have become discoloured and wilted.

ImageDeformed chokecherries in the study area.

As one Elder on Long Plain First Nation and one of the study co-ordinators, Dave Daniels puts it, “Wild plums that grew along fields have disappeared. There are islands of plants isolated by agricultural fields. Diversity is being lost.”

The people of the region are convinced their food and medicine are being contaminated by pesticides which farmers are applying to their oilseed and cereal crops, both on and around the reserves. This, in turn, they believe, is contributing to increasing incidents of cancer and diabetes among the Anishanabe people.

So the researchers gathered fruit, flowers, bark, leaves and even soil from the six plant species in and around their reserves. They had them tested in the Winnipeg laboratory, ALS to see if they contained residues of any of some 18 different kinds of pesticides. Most were herbicides used to kill broad-leafed weeds.

Of all the samples tested, however, only a single chokecherry flower collected at Swan Lake contained a detectable level (0.124 parts per million) of 2,4-D, one of the most widely used herbicides in the world.  No chemicals were detected in any of the other samples.

This, however, has done little to allay the suspicions of the people involved.

The study team notes that 2,4-D was one of the components in “Agent Orange,” a deadly substance used by the military to defoliate the jungles during the Viet Nam war. One Elder even claims, when 2,4-D was used to kill mustard seed near Ninette, Manitoba several years ago, it had disastrous effects, also killing hawks, rodents and rabbits in the area.

Besides, the team further reports, there are reasons the tests turned up so little pesticide residues. “In speaking to farmers, the chemicals like herbicides have a short field life. The damage is done within a short window of time. The residuals soon break down in the soil or water like dew/rain. Some of the chemicals do the damage to the targeted plants within hours.”

In other words, once the damage is done, the residue is difficult, if not impossible to detect. Nor do the lab results mean there were no chemicals in the samples. Rather, they mean that the levels, if any, were below what the lab equipment was capable of detecting.

Much of the literature on pesticides has long stated that they are well regulated, so there is little danger to human health.  However, it is also suspected that, when used together, a “cocktail” of chemicals can act “synergistically,” in ways that are more dangerous than if applied separately.

Here is what was observed during the course of the study which causes band members to still believe that they are being poisoned and that pesticides are behind the decline in plant quantity and quality.

·      An increase in the frequency of both ground and aerial spraying over the years around areas where the edible fruit and herbs are picked.

·      In addition to the degradation of several plant species, the number of people of all ages diagnosed and dying of diseases; such as diabetes and cancers is greater than before.

·      The closer to field (conventional crop) edge, the greater the damage to leaves, bark, flowers and fruit of the samples.

·      The further from the agricultural area, the better the quality of sample.

·      Only half a cup of saskatoons was found in both communities.

·      Only a few small chokecherries and hawthorns were found.

·      Wild strawberry flowers were found, but no fruit.

As the research team ominously concludes, “It is very clear that within the community and surrounding areas, something is very wrong.”

Meanwhile, the team has obtained  more funding for a follow-up study – one it hopes will shed further light on the problem.

-30-

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dangerous Ditches

 

Image

Cattails. In Manitoba, Canada, a noxious weed to be destroyed.

Manitoba’s “war on weeds” comes complete with powerful herbicides, questionable spraying practices and collateral damage.

by Larry Powell

Many governments in North America believe, a good way to ensure successful food production, is to help farmers keep plants out of their fields which can cut into their yields and their profits. To achieve this, potent weedkillers, some with unsettling safety records, are often pressed into service to destroy these “weeds” in ditches before they can spread to adjacent fields and food crops. For most lawmakers, this must seem a natural extension of a chemical system of agriculture which has come to dominate the developed – and, increasingly – the developing world, as well. As a result, those who might have liked to chose a different path, are being increasingly marginalized.

Manitoba is no exception.

According to an official statement from the province, “Noxious weeds can threaten both farms and natural habitat. For example, the invasive species, leafy spurge, has spread to over 1.2 million acres. It costs the province and farmers over $40 million each year through loss of production on agricultural land.” So, ever since the province was born 142 years ago, it has set out to annihilate any wild plant standing in the way of that goal. A sweeping piece of legislation as old as the province itself, called the Noxious Weeds Act, gives Rural Municipalities (RMs), cities, towns and Weed Control Districts, the power to declare any property a noxious weeds site. Authorities can then move in and destroy any offending weeds or seeds found there by mowing, burning or killing them with chemicals. The owner or occupant could face hefty fines or see the property put up for sale or rent, with little recourse under the law. (Many other jurisdictions in North America are said to have similar legislation.)

But it’s hard to tell how often these kinds of extreme measures are used. According to the province, “Any incidents relative to weed control on private land are handled internally between the municipality and the landowner.” In other words, this information is secret. And attempts by this author to obtain more details, have had little success, so far.

Another key element in this “war” has been the spraying of railway rights-of-way and ditches along rural roads adjacent to farm fields or pastures. As early as the 1930’s, the province of Manitoba began ordering herbicides such as 2,4-D in bulk, paying up to half the cost. But an incident which came to light this fall, has cast new doubt on the wisdom of this approach.

Dave and Maggie; Symbols of a Bygone Era – or Champions of a Better Way?

It was the spring of 2010. David Neufeld and his partner, Magdalene Andres, were looking forward to another growing season, as they had done for about two decades before. The two grow organic bedding plants in their greenhouse near Boissevain, in southwestern Manitoba. But that year, tragedy struck. In Neufeld’s words, “Every single one of our plants curled up grotesquely and died!” They sent samples to a Winnipeg lab, which confirmed that the culprit was the herbicide, Tordon 101. Unknown to them at the time, their local government, the RM of Morton, had sprayed the chemical in ditches near their home. As he had done before, Neufeld had cut hay in those ditches to feed to their horses, and then used the composted manure to fertilize their greenhouse plants. (Tordon 101 kills broad-leaved plants, but not the grasses he cut for the hay.)

Their farm, “Room to Grow,” is set amid the rolling hills of the “Turtle Mountains.” The two had met where they studied at the University of Waterloo. Their backgrounds in the Mennonite church had instilled both with a keen sense of sustainable living. They married and spent eight years with the Mennonite Central Committee. Much of that time they served in Africa, where their four children were born. They moved to their “woodland farm” in Manitoba in the early ’90s. There, they became the first and only producers in the province at the time to market certified organic seedlings, such as tomatoes, peppers and medicinal herbs, to fellow growers. Their rural homestead became a gathering place for others who share their wish for a simpler way of living. Customers who want to “get away from it all” can sit around a campfire, listen to the coyotes howl, then stay in a guest house, made of straw bales, free of modern conveniences such as TV or Internet! While no longer officially certified as organic, Dave and Maggie’s passion to produce their plants without the use of chemicals, still burns brightly.

Neufeld estimates their losses that year, at at least $10,000. But now, they not only have to get their hay from somewhere else, they have to pay for it too. They’re still in business. But they had to remove the contaminated soil from their greenhouse and now just hope their groundwater hasn’t been contaminated. Despite all of this, he doesn’t blame his RM. Nor does he expect them to provide compensation for the loss. That’s because, unlike previous years, he had neglected to ask them whether they had been spraying the ditches. And, they had.

Are Authorities Breaking Their Own Spraying Regulations?

During the course of his own research, Neufeld discovered that, in 2010 Health Canada issued this directive on picloram.“DO NOT apply this product directly to freshwater habitats such as…..ditches……”; Yet, less than a year later, a Health Canada official in Manitoba, Shannon Van Walleghem, seemed to do an about face. She informed Neufeld, roadside ditches are NOT considered aquatic habitat. Rather, what the regulation really referred to, she explained, was a ditch “used to carry water for irrigation or domestic uses,” not to “a typical prairie roadside ditch.” When pressed on this apparent contradiction, Health Canada insisted that “Ms. Van Walleghem’s letter does not represent a change in interpretation….”

Tordon 101 is made by the chemical giant, Dow AgroSciences. Its active ingredients are picloram and another herbicide, widely used on its own, 2,4-D. Dow refers to its product as “The vegetation manager’s choice for controlling unwanted weeds, brush and trees in an along rights-of-way.” It also claims that it breaks down rapidly in surface water and is unlikely to reach groundwater.

But over the years, Tordon 101 has come to be known as Agent White, one of the so-called “rainbow” chemicals applied in wartime. Along with its more infamous companion, Agent Orange, it was heavily used by the US military in the 60s to defoliate the jungles of southeast Asia during the Viet Nam war. Yet Canada may have even beaten the US military to the punch in applying these products. And it wasn’t even wartime! In the 1950s, the decade before the war, Agents White and Orange, were also sprayed as defoliants in New Brunswick, along power lines and at the Camp Gagetown military base. Many cases of serious health issues among those applying the spray there, have been documented.

While few studies were done on the toxic properties of Agent White at the time, such was not the case with Agent Orange. It was widely blamed for killing or maiming up to a million people in Vietnam as well as causing countless health problems for US war veterans.

But since then, the evidence against Agent White (Tordon 101), has been mounting, too.

In 1997, the Journal of Pesticide Reform published lab tests on animals which concluded, “Picloram is contaminated with a carcinogen (hexachlorobenzene). In addition to causing cancer of the liver, thyroid, and kidney, (it) also damages bones, blood and the endocrine and immune systems. Nursing infants and unborn children are particularly at risk…” Contrary to its manufacturer, Dow, independent research concludes, it has been “widely found as a contaminant in wells, lakes and rivers in the US and is deadly to small fish.” Some 20 years ago, almost seven thousand kilograms of fish died at a hatchery in Montana, on a waterway not far downstream from where it had been sprayed on a roadside. In tests on lab animals, it has been found to cause reproductive problems including miscarriages and birth defects. The Journal also describes as startling, the damage picloram can cause to potato, cotton and tobacco crops.

Several decades ago, mules were used to cultivate a US tobacco crop after the animals had grazed in a pasture treated with the herbicide. “Stunted crop with spotty distribution” resulted on and near mule droppings deposited in these fields.

Then, about two years ago, a team of researchers at Oregon Health and Science University tested the toxicity of picloram on neurons derived from mice. It found the weedkiller “significantly decreased total RNA,” a substance which helps all living things build protein. It also “damaged nerve cells and affected antioxidant enzymes” which help the body ward off cancers.

Citing its persistence, mobility and toxicity, Sweden and the State of California both banned picloram, decades ago.

In 2003, flowerbeds and vegetable gardens in Chauvin, Alberta, died. Government tests revealed picloram had infiltrated the village’s groundwater. It cost about $100 thousand to get a new source.

Yet, as recently as 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US was unmoved by any of this. Nor was it swayed by two of its own branches, which recommended discontinuation of the product. While it did add some restrictions, the Agency renewed the herbicide’s license. (Canada has, for years, followed the lead of the EPA in its own rulings, following a process called “harmonization.)

So What, if Anything Might Change?

Neufeld has so far been frustrated in his efforts to get Manitoba to suspend the use of picloram until the legal issues are sorted out. “The Noxious Weeds Act uses scare tactics,” he laments, “to force all land owners and applicators and councillors to fall into line. This sounds more like a military structure than a voluntary democracy of free people. Our governments seem more willing to refer to business interests than to public interest.”

Meanwhile, in 2011 alone, the Government of Manitoba issued permits to RMs, railways and even government departments, to apply more than 21 thousand litres of picloram-based herbicides. And little seems to have changed since Neufeld and his partner faced that fateful growing season almost three years ago. According to the provincial government, the number of permits it has been issuing for picloram-based herbicides has remained the same; 65 in 2011, another 65 last year. On the contrary, the provincial government may be pressing on with its”war” with more zeal than ever. It is considering changes which could actually see it begin to fine local governments if they do not put “proper weed control programs” in place.

More than 500 “noxious weeds” are listed in the Act, although some may seem like unfortunate choices. Take milkweed, for example. It provides the only source of food for Monarch butterfly larvae, and is therefore essential to the very survival of that species. The prevalence of milkweed has already been significantly reduced in the US, through the aggressive application of chemicals needed for the success of genetically- modified crops. Latest figures show populations of the Monarch dropped this year to their lowest levels in the two decades in which records have been kept! The plant has an abundant, high-quality nectar which supports a diversity of pollinators, including honey bees.

So does sunflower, another plant on the Act’s hit list. Even cattail is there. This common marsh plant is so good at filtering out impurities, municipal governments sometimes use it to purify waste water from municipal sewage lagoons.
Although the chemical culture is deeply ingrained in the psyche of the province, Neufeld is not without his allies. Ruth Pryzner also farms in southwestern Manitoba, near Brandon. While serving as a local councillor herself from ’02 to ’06, she says she tried to protect individual property owners from spraying which “contaminates their land.” For several years now, she’s had a stormy relationship with her local government, the RM of Daly and the supervisor of the Midwest Weed District, Sid Lewis. About a year ago, in a letter to her local paper, the Rivers Banner, Pryzner referred to Neufeld’s plight, months before his story had broken in mainstream media. She said local authorities were taking her to task for simply questioning the safety of picloram. In columns of his own in the same paper, Lewis accused Pryzner of causing “undue problems for our weed management program.”

Neither was he impressed that Pryzner used to graze some 200 sheep in local ditches, as a method of controlling leafy spurge, which they love to eat. Lewis wrote that the weed growth in municipal ditches adjacent to her property “is more of a concern to neighbours every year, compared to what we have sprayed.” Pryzner disagrees. She says the sheep were controlling the weeds so nicely that the Deputy Premier of the time, paid a visit to observe. But she had to end the practise in 2008 when “someone mysteriously sprayed the ditches illegally.” She claims it was illegal because the province had granted her a valid exemption from the spraying. Then, for safety reasons, because they were raised for their meat, Pryzner says she has not let the animals graze there, since. The RM denied it had anything to do with the spraying incident. A follow-up investigation by the province was inconclusive.

Manitoba Ponders Ban on Similar Chemicals.

Ironically, Manitoba seems on the verge of joining several other provinces in placing a ban on the sale and application of “cosmetic” pesticides, those used to control nuisance weeds like dandelions on lawns. If it does, it would be acting on recommendations that such pesticides are linked to adverse health effects, notably in children and pregnant women. According to a government website inviting input into a ban, “Pesticides in agriculture or to control noxious weeds may be the same pesticides that are used for cosmetic purposes, but are not the subject of this consultation.” At least one chemical would be the same in both contexts; 2,4-D, an active ingredient in Tordon 101. It has been sold in Manitoba for years under the brand name, “Killex” to control lawn weeds. Meanwhile, the Manitoba Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI), Ron Kostyshyn (whose department administers the Noxious Weeds Act), is not available for comment on any suggestion that the province may be applying a double standard, or even breaking the law in the way Tordon 101 is applied.

Academics Join the Fray

William Paton chairs the Department of Biology at Brandon University. He has directed a horticultural extension program there for more than 30 years. “Right from the start, damage to shelter belts, crops and horticultural materials has been an ongoing tragedy,” Paton explains, “not only here in Manitoba but also in prairie US and Canada. The unfortunate thing is that much of this damage could be avoided if applicators followed the rules particularly with respect to wind speed and atmospheric conditions. I have shared this information with Health Canada with no effect.”

Eva Pip is a water quality expert and a professor of biology at the University of Winnipeg. She lives in the Rural Municipality of Brokenhead, just east of the city, so is able to observe, first-hand, what happens there. “The weed district people spray the ditches when they are full of water, which does little for the weeds but contaminates the water. While cattail are excellent nutrient absorbers and therefore clean the water entering Lake Winnipeg,” Pip observes, “the weed people are out to kill everything that might possibly improve the quality of runoff water. The Manitoba government speaketh with forked tongue. On the one hand, they bemoan the nutrient problem and how do we reduce it, on the other, they kill the plants in the ditches that are the primary nutrient removers.”

Peggy Kasuba and her husband, also live in Brokenhead. “We had a ‘fit’,” she proclaimed, after the operator of a spray rig passing by their property some time ago, warned them to keep kids and pets away until the 2,4-D had a chance to dry. Not only did our dog romp through the ditches, mallard ducks swim in them when they have water. Just north of us, Showy Lady Slippers grow in the ditches. Every year we noticed dead young trees and the lower limbs of large trees dried up and the leaves curl up and die. Friends living not too far from us no longer hear frogs in their ditches.”

Kasuba says the spraying is not even necessary, since farmers already spray their own fields. Besides, “there are no farmers’ fields near us, anyway!

Despite their requests to be put on a “no-spray” list, she says, it has continued.

NOTE: Another version of this story appears in “The Dominion – News From the Grassroots,” both in print and online, here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment