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California Appellate Court Confirms Organic Farm's Right To Sue Farm Services Company For Pesticide Drift

December 23, 2010: 03:39 AM EST

The 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose, California, sustained Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo’s right to sue pesticide services firm Western Farm Service. Based on Jacobs Farm president Larry Jacobs’ investigation, pesticides sprayed by Western Farm Service on a nearby farm evaporated and were transported by wind or fog to Jacobs Farm’s dill crops. The Court’s ruling on the case, which began four years ago when retailer Whole Foods rejected Jacobs Farm’s organic dill for testing positive for pesticides, means pesticide applicators can be legally liable even though no law or regulations were violated. Aside from reinforcing the case for organic farmers harmed by pesticides to seek legal redress, the Court’s decision also addresses the state law’s lack of specific provisions dealing with pesticides that move in vapor form after application.

Kurtis Alexander, "Appellate court: Santa Cruz organic dill grower has right to sue neighboring farm for 'pesticide drift'", Mercury News, December 23, 2010, © San Jose Mercury News
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