About Us
Write for Us
Media Info
Advertising Info

Oregon ignored complaints for six years while timber company sprays residents with deadly herbicides

Deadly herbicides

Most Viewed Articles

(NaturalNews) Drift events are one of the most dangerous incidences regarding chemical exposure for people, occurring when the wind carries harmful toxicants long distances through the air, putting those caught in its path at risk.

For decades, residents living alongside the Rogue River in southwestern Oregon have been victims of drift events, causing both immediate and long-term health effects, with some even losing beloved pets to chemicals sprayed recklessly near their homes without warning.

Despite the dozens of complaints made over the years, the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon Department of Agriculture, which are tasked with protecting the public, regularly ignored, dismissed or did not take seriously the resident's concerns regarding drift events, even mishandling warranted investigations, reports Oregon Live.

In October 2013, 20 Curry County citizens reported being sprayed by a helicopter applying weedkiller to a clearcut next to their homes. The chemical exposure caused an infant to vomit afterwards for 24 hours straight, while others complained of stomach pain, rashes and bad headaches, all of which could've been avoided if state agencies had done their job.

Timber industry protected while Oregonians suffer from herbicide exposure

A state investigation resulted in a pilot (who had been implicated in two previous cases involving the same landowner, Crook Timberlands), losing his spraying license for a year and being fined $10,000.

Despite there being multiple complaints over a six-year period, none of them were "thoroughly investigated" by the Forestry or Agriculture Departments, according to an investigative report by Oregon Live.

By failing to act, both state agencies dropped the ball in terms of protecting other Oregonians from herbicide exposure, said Susan Brown, a Curry County commissioner, who said residents were treated "like they were rogue citizens."

Brown agrees that complaints weren't taken seriously when they should have been, and that the situation "was handled badly."

According to Oregon Live, the Forestry and Agriculture Departments have conflicting positions; on one hand, they're required to protect the public and environment from "unintended exposures to weed killers" but, on the other hand, are promoting the same industries that they regulate. If caught violating regulations, companies can be issued fines or citations, or have their licenses revoked by state agencies.

Aggressive investigations by state officials are not encouraged, while "backing off" is much more favored, says Greg Pettit, a recently retired administrator with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

"The investigations could be more robust, better funded and better coordinated"

One day last October, John Burns, a local volunteer assistant fire chief was working in his yard when he spotted a helicopter and began to smell chemicals. Soon after, his nose starting running "so bad that he slept with his head hanging over the side of his bed, draining into a bucket."

Burns still experiences tightness in his chest a year later.

Despite there being 20 complaints over this incident, the state's response was "bungled," with a week passing before investigators arrived. State officials knew for six months what Curry County residents were sprayed with but refused to disclose that information, leaving the victims unable to communicate to their doctors what they were exposed to.

"You feel like: Am I living in the United States? Is this even Oregon?" said Burns. "They know what's happening, and they allow it to continue."

A woman's young dog who often ran through the frequently sprayed clearcut near her home suddenly passed away, and her husband, a 28-year logger, was throwing up every day, losing weight and fighting severe joint pain.

After calling the state's Agriculture Department, they assured her that the incidences could not be linked to the spraying.

Oregon has weak regulation on chemical spraying compared with neighboring states like Washington, California and Idaho. While all pilots are required to document when they spray and what the weather conditions are at the time, violators are seldom reprimanded.






Receive Our Free Email Newsletter

Get independent news alerts on natural cures, food lab tests, cannabis medicine, science, robotics, drones, privacy and more.

More news on deadly herbicides

comments powered by Disqus

Natural News Wire (Sponsored Content)

Science News & Studies
Medicine News and Information
Food News & Studies
Health News & Studies
Herbs News & Information
Pollution News & Studies
Cancer News & Studies
Climate News & Studies
Survival News & Information
Gear News & Information
News covering technology, stocks, hackers, and more