While passing along information related to pesticide exposure incidents to the local District Attorney’s (DA) office is not a new requirement for county ag commissioners, it has raised some questions among growers as to how pesticide cases are processed. President of the California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association, Tim Pelican explains that there are several factors which impact how exposure incidents are handled.
“DPR has reiterated to the Commissioners of our duty to at least give the DA’s the choice of whether or not they’re going to take those cases,” said Pelican. “Some cases they will, it depends on the county; it depends on how much staff they have and what other problems they have there.”
While the regulation has been in place for approximately the past ten years, Pelican notes that environmental justice groups have been calling special attention to the issue. Increased public scrutiny surrounding illness and injuries on farming operations is also prompting a heightened awareness of when pesticide exposure incidents occur. “One of the things we look at as Commissioners is how can we help industry save their tools that they have in their toolbox and if we don’t have a strong regulatory process, then that’s not going to happen,” said Pelican.
Listen to the report below.