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Mon Oct 1, 2018, 02:02 AM

Sid Miller's Ag Dep't. Knew About Dangerous Pesticide Violations in 2015, Did Nothing for Two Years

On August 17, 2015, Harlingen rancher Danny Davis called in a complaint to the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). Like many others who raise cattle and horses near the U.S.-Mexico border, Davis was caught in the state-federal fever tick dragnet — a mandatory program in which South Texas ranchers must allow their animals to be treated with insecticide to kill a deadly tick before they can be sold. Davis told the state regulatory agency that after U.S. Department of Agriculture employees doused seven of his calves in Bayer’s Co-Ral, two of the animals died. He suspected the USDA had used the chemicals incorrectly and wanted the state ag agency to investigate.

It turned out Davis was on to something. In December 2015, a TDA inspector found that USDA pesticide applicators had violated state and federal pesticide laws hundreds of times while applying chemicals to kill the tick, which can carry a disease that causes anemia and death in cattle. The inspector couldn’t prove that Co-Ral was killing cattle, but he did unearth a trove of broken rules. Among his findings: Federal employees failed to keep complete records of pesticide treatments; didn’t always wear protective gear when handling and mixing toxic chemicals; didn’t adequately warn workers about the stout pesticides they’d be handling; indiscriminately sprayed a poison that a federal judge has since instructed the EPA to ban; and regularly dumped Co-Ral onto South Texas ranchlands in violation of the chemical’s label instructions.

All told, Inspector Arturo De La Garza’s investigation implicated 17 USDA employees and revealed an agency culture defined by the regular misuse of highly toxic pesticides in the name of killing ticks.

De La Garza signed and dated his damning 81-page report on December 15, 2015. But Sid Miller’s agriculture department did nothing for two and a half years before finally issuing violations and warnings to wrongdoers in April 2018. What took so long? “The delay in finalizing the agency actions on this issue is solely due to understaffing” of attorneys in the agency’s enforcement division, said Mark Loeffler, a department spokesperson.

Read more: https://www.texasobserver.org/sid-millers-ag-department-knew-about-dangerous-pesticide-violations-in-2015-did-nothing-for-two-years/

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Reply Sid Miller's Ag Dep't. Knew About Dangerous Pesticide Violations in 2015, Did Nothing for Two Years (Original post)
TexasTowelie Oct 2018 OP
dem in texas Oct 2018 #1

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2018, 02:48 AM

1. Sid's too Busy Going to the Rodeo

He has to go to Oklahoma to get "Jesus" treatments for injuries he got riding in the Rodeo in Mississippi. Wonder who paid for all of that? Texas needs to do a little swamp draining, too.

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