Response to the main points of the Coalition to Defeat Measure 21-177
1) That our definition of “aerial” is so broad that it even bans pesticide application methods pulled by a tractor.
FALSE. The term "aerial method" in Measure 21-177 means from/by air which could be by helicopter, plane, or drone. Even the Oregon Department of Agriculture is clear that aerial means by air:
Opponents of Measure 21-177 raise a false alarm over the definition of "aerial spraying." Their alarm is a hoax. The U.S. government, the Oregon government, the pesticide industry, the United Nations, and every other entity use and intend the term "aerial spraying" to mean spraying of pesticides by helicopter or fixed wing aircraft, and mean "aircraft" to mean vehicles that fly in the air. The definitions are so commonly accepted that no one except a PR flack would question them, any more than reasonable people would question the meaning of "the" or "stop" or "fool." - Carol Van Strum, author of “A Bitter Fog: Herbicides and Human Rights” Co- founder of citizens against toxic sprays.
2) That family farms would be the most affected by this ban.
False: It affects large out of state corporations that are poisoning our water in the Siletz gorge.
The ordinance only applies to aerial spraying of pesticides, which very few small farms do. The opposition mailer has a huge piece on Gibson Farms. The farm does not aerially spray and would not be affected by this ordinance. In fact, many if not most small farms in Lincoln County are organic, use no pesticides, and lose their organic certification when aerial spraying drifts or over-sprays them. These are the small businesses that will benefit from a ban on aerial spraying. To show the scale of the problem I have included this scale google earth view of our Siletz water shed with Gibson farms inset. It is important to remember that all of these clear cuts get 2-4 applications of a mixture of 2-4D, Atrazine, and glyphosate. Lincoln County depends on the watershed of the Siletz for its drinking water.
3) That our ordinance is a justification for Direct Action which according to the opposition could be violent.
False: Think Susan B Anthony. Think lunch counter sit-ins. Think women voting when it was legal to deny women that right.
Measure 21-177 is an ordinance to create a legal way to protect our families from aerial pesticide spray. This entire ordinance is written to provide the legal framework to defend our Constitutional right to safety which now is very hard because of a law written by industry called The Right to Farm and Forest Act, which shields corporations from lawsuits related to aerial spray. The Right to Farm and Forest act, an Oregon law, regulations expose the population to the harms of aerial spraying without providing any recourse to persons suffering harm, unless someone becomes gravely ill or dies.
Measure 21-177 creates a legal way to protect ourselves from pesticides and to be able to sue for damages when necessary. Members of our community wanted to have an extra layer of protection if the courts and the County did not uphold the will of the people.
To be clear, Direct Action would be necessary only if:
1. A company or individual broke the law by spraying from the air, and
The County failed to enforce the ordinance.
The courts failed to uphold the will of the people.
You would then be able to take the timber company to court yourself. If the county and courts do not protect you, the ordinance would allow you to take measures to protect yourself, your family, and your property from poisoning. This clause establishes citizen rights to document the law being broken by those who would aerial spray pesticides in violation of the law.
Measure 21-177 defends the right of civil disobedience, non-violent direct action and the restraint of criminal prosecution for such actions IF AND ONLY IF our own government and our own courts fail to enforce it. If the timber industry obeys the law by stopping the aerial spraying, the issue would not even arise.
However, if the system fails us so completely in upholding Measure 21-177 - the people’s law for protecting our health and our water - what can we do, other than to resist with non-violent direct action/civil disobedience?
5) The measure 21-177 is not well written.
False: This ordinance was written by lawyers that have been working on similar ordinances for over 20 years.
This line has been used many times in this campaign without any basis, and is basically Orwellian newspeak for anything industry doesn’t like. Chuck Willer from the Coast Range Association, who has worked on Oregon coast range legislation for decades, says,” Whenever there is an initiative that would challenge the corporate state, their first response is, It's just not well written.”
6) That pesticides are harmless, as assured by Dr. Mike Newton of OSU, who supposedly “has had more exposure to Agent Orange than anyone” he knows.
FALSE. Pesticides, including herbicides, are made to kill. That is their function.
Dr. Michael Newton, allegedly a scientist, considers a sample size of one (himself) adequate to proclaim Agent Orange safe. Agent Orange, heavily sprayed in the Viet Nam war and in the forests of Lincoln County, has caused terrible birth defects in the Vietnamese, still visible today in the streets of Saigon. The U.S. Veterans Administration recognizes certain cancers and other health problems as presumptive diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service, and provides benefits for these diseases: AL Amyloidosis, Chronic B-Cell leukemias, Chloracne or similar acneform disease, Diabetes Melitis (type 2 diabetes), Hodgkin’s Disease (lymphoma), Ischemic Heart Disease, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Parkinson’s Disease, Peripheral Neuropathy (early onset), Porphyria Cutanea Tarda; Prostate Cancer, Respiratory cancers (includes lung, larynx, trachea, and broncus cancers), Soft tissue Sarcomas, and veterans’ children with birth defects. https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/index.asp
Measure 21-177 is about banning the next generation of Agent Orange-like pesticides, like 2-4D, atrazine and glyphosate, from being sprayed from helicopters and airplanes on our forests, watersheds, and people of Lincoln County. California is putting the label "causes cancer" on Round-up (glyphosate) one of the most widely used pesticides in our forest.
7) That the fishing community would not be able to spray a pesticide on the bottom of their boats.
False: This ordinance does not affect fishermen, or the port.
My fishermen friends simply laugh at this. The idea that they would spray the bottom of their boats with a helicopter, please! The fishermen that have come out in opposition to measure 21-77 are all "big" boat fishermen that in the eighties used their money to buy up timber land in the area.
Still have more questions about our ordinance? Reach out to us. You can contact us through the website. Or email us direct.
There is a ton of info on the You Tube page, please listen to this radio shows with Citizens for a Healthy County to get more answers to these questions.
Boss Radio with Maria Sause, Susan Swift, Debra Fant and Rio Davidson.