News Release For more information, contact:
For Immediate Release Holly Givens (413-774-7511, Ext.18)
Organic Trade Association applauds lawsuits seeking to protect children from pesticides
Sept. 16, 2003 (GREENFIELD, Mass.)-The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today applauded four states and a coalition led by the Natural Resources Defense Council for filing lawsuits that draw attention to how the use of pesticides can adversely affect children.
"Protecting children from the risks of ingesting harmful pesticides should be a priority for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and all of our society," said Katherine DiMatteo, OTA's executive director. The lawsuits, filed Sept. 15, ask the court to force EPA to comply with provisions in the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act requiring a tenfold safety factor concerning pesticide levels for infant and children.
"The states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, and the coalition of conservation, public health and farm worker organizations led by the Natural Resources Defense Council are to be commended for bringing this issue to national attention," DiMatteo added.
Minimizing children's exposure to toxic and persistent pesticides is a priority for the organic industry, which refrains from their use. Buying organic products is a way for parents to minimize the risks associated with pesticide exposure. OTA has posted resources from its Organic for Kids information campaign concerning this topic on its consumer web site, The O'Mama Report
(http://www.theorganicreport.org/), and has scheduled a Sept. 23 roundtable teleconference for journalists on "What is the True Cost of Organic?" that will discuss this further.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is a membership-based business association whose mission is to encourage global sustainability through promoting and protecting the growth of diverse organic trade. OTA's more than 1,250 members include growers, shippers, retailers, processors, certifiers, farmer associations, brokers, consultants and others. For further info, visit OTA's website at www.ota.com.
Note to Editors: The roundtable discussion, slated from 1-2 p.m. EST Sept. 23, will feature environmental defender Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and ecologist-author Sandra Steingraber, the "modern day Rachel Carson," with DiMatteo serving as moderator. Journalists are invited to attend the one-hour audio session, which will conclude with a question and answer period, by calling 1-800-342-6516.
September 16, 2003
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