Chemical Company CEO, Michael Parker, is the target of an
e-mail campaign demanding that Dow's wholly-owned
subsidiary, Dow Agro-Sciences, take Confront and other
persistent, clopyralid-containing herbicides off the market
until DOW can demonstrate their safety to both backyard and
centralized composting processes.
campaign has been launched by the Athens, GA-based GrassRoots
Recycling Network (GRRN).
"Confront is totally contradictory to all of our goals
for recycling, resource conservation and
sustainability," said GRRN president Anne Morse.
"Dow's proposal that the solution lies in educating
composters and making composters pay for expensive
laboratory testing is completely unacceptable."
"Dow must follow the Precautionary Principle and
withdraw Confront immediately until it can be proven safe
for organics recycling. And Dow must take full financial
responsibility for damage caused by its products,"
Losses in Washington State, particularly in the Spokane and
Pullman area, due to unmarketable compost, are significant,
according to state and industry officials.
Recently, a class of extremely persistent herbicide products
in turf and agricultural applications, of which clopyralid
is a member, has been detected in finished compost in
Washington State, Pennsylvania and New Zealand, according to
the trade journal, BioCycle.
According to BioCycle: "Sensitive plants like tomatoes,
beans and sunflower grown in compost containing clopyralid
can be deformed and damaged. Even compost containing manure
from animals that have eaten hay treated with picloram, a
Dow chemical in the same class, have been damaged by minute
quantities of the herbicide."
"Dow AgroSciences claims to have fulfilled its
obligations with its label warning," said Gabriella
Ulnar-Heffner, a Seattle Public Utilities program
development specialist. "The label is totally
inadequate since its message is only being delivered to the
commercial applicator who applies the chemical to lawns and
not to the homeowner or lawn maintenance company who
collects the grass clippings and makes the compost.
Moreover, clopyralid levels have been detected in compost
products produced from such agricultural residuals as
manures, straw and animal bedding."
"Persistent herbicides threaten state and local
government programs that promote both backyard and
centralized composting as the best management method of
dealing with yard trimmings," Morse said. "Compost
improves regional soil quality, reduces water consumption
demands and improves water quality. Many communities ban the
disposal of yard trimmings with garbage and many states
prohibit the disposal of yard trimmings in landfills."
Wednesday, October 31, 2001
GrassRoots Recycling Network:
Anne Morse, president (MN) Tel: 507-457-6468 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Sheehan, executive director (GA) Tel: 706-613-7121 - email@example.com