4 Responses

  1. Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D
    Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D at |

    When did U.S. citizens (farmers and consumers alike) lose their freedom to protect their families, land and water from toxins? This short-sighted measure to spray “noxious weeds,” will surely further reduce biodiversity, and thereby threaten sustainable, resilient food systems, and public health.

    Thanks for keeping us informed, Chuck. Please keep us posted on community organizing and communication efforts. I will share this link with the nutrition community.

  2. Jerilee Newby
    Jerilee Newby at |

    Coming from decades of experience, it is heartening to read Dr. Charles Benbrook’s letter concerning Sherman County’s proposal to use herbicides to eradicate noxious weeds on Azure Farm in Oregon. Growing up on a small organic farm, and having organic gardens most of my life, I am well aware of how herbicides only increase the presence of noxious weeds, which creates a far larger problem as time goes on. It seems to me far wiser to use natural methods of controlling weeds. When using methods that have worked for thousands of years, rather than the toxic chemicals of today, that reap huge profits for manufacturers, we can instead choose to nurture the ongoing health of our food, farms, people, animals, pollinators, and planet Earth. Surely we owe it to ourselves and to this beautiful planet we call home. I encourage us to “Be the change”…to stand up, speak and act.
    Jerilee Newby,
    Healthy Grandmother Elder, Organic Gardener,
    Certified Nutritional Herbalist, Teacher

  3. Joe Agronomist
    Joe Agronomist at |

    Pesticides from conventional farms should not drift onto organic farms. By the same logic, pests from organic farms should not infest neighboring conventional farms. This is much more common than is reported.

    1. Chuck Benbrook
      Chuck Benbrook at |

      Yes indeed, pesticides, pests, and genes in pollen move around and do not respect property lines or differences in management systems. The aspect of this Sherman County episode that I found over the edge is the notion that the County, via its police powers, could eradicate a widely dispersed weed like Russian thistle, or any other type of thistle via a mandatory spray program. Any such effort would have a devastating impact on plant life in the county and hasten the evolution of resistant weeds. The “harm+cost” to benefit ratio would be hugely negative. And requiring one or a few farms to attempt eradication of a widely dispersed weed is hard to defend when it remains likely that the weed will be back from both the weed seedbank and surrounding, untreated areas.


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