By Oregonians for Food and Shelter
OFS testified in opposition to the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) proposed pesticide registration fee increase. OFS also partnered with Oregon Farm Bureau to deliver testimony to the Board of Agriculture regarding ODA’s fee-funded programs including the proposed fee increase and objections to the misrepresentation of pesticide monitoring data gathered through the Pesticide Stewardship Partnership.
To be clear, OFS is not opposed to PSP pesticide monitoring data being presented to the public. In fact, this data has been publicly available for decades through the program’s biennial report. However, by divorcing the pesticide monitoring data from its educational purposes and presenting it to the public as if it represents watershed-scale monitoring data, the new Data Viewer Tool undermines the entire PSP program.
If Oregon state agencies want to design and implement watershed-scale pesticide monitoring, OFS would welcome that discussion. If state agencies want to continue monitoring in specific locations and times to help target education, we also welcome that. But we object to agencies presenting discrete or piecemeal monitoring data to the public as if it’s generalizable, watershed-scale data. That is a misuse of both the data and the PSP program as a whole.
We will continue to advocate for fee-funded programs that produce strong outcomes and improve pesticide use without creating risk for farmers, ranchers and foresters due to misleading data driving misplaced concerns over pesticides and water quality.
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