DPR and Sutter County Agriculture Commissioner Take Action Against Hemp Grower for Violating Pesticide Laws that Protect Public Health and the Environment
Leia Bailey, Assistant Director of Communication and Outreach
916-247-9344 | Leia.Bailey@cdpr.ca.gov
November 4, 2021
SACRAMENTO – Today, the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced enforcement action taken against an industrial hemp grower in Sutter County, ordering the destruction of 22 acres of crop after the grower, T&S Farms, applied a pesticide to the field that is not registered for use on hemp.
Pesticides are registered by DPR for use in California and can only be applied on specific commodities or crops and in specified quantities. These guidelines are determined based on scientific studies and evaluation that occurs during the registration process. Upon registration, a pesticide’s label includes clear guidance on the limitations for use so that the application method or the destination of the commodity (food supply chain, industrial, etc.) does not harm human health or environment.
"DPR’s partnership with the Sutter County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office on this enforcement effort has been critical," said DPR Acting Director Julie Henderson. "Preventing and penalizing illegal pesticide use is a key part of our collaborative work to protect the health of Californians and our environment. It is imperative that hemp and cannabis growers, like all growers, understand and follow limitations on pesticide use."
In August 2021, Sutter County Agricultural Commissioner inspectors identified empty bottles of the pesticide Asana XL (active ingredient esfenvalerate) on the property of T&S Farms, an industrial hemp farm. County inspectors gathered crop samples in August, and again in September, and submitted the samples to the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s lab to measure pesticide residue levels. All samples came back as positive for the pesticide, with detections ranging from 4.8 to 9.3 parts per million, indicating an intentional application of the pesticide, which is not approved for use on hemp. As a result of the findings from the investigation, DPR ordered the destruction of 22 acres of hemp in October that would otherwise have been processed and sold to consumers as CBD oil. T&S Farms was additionally issued a Notice of Proposed Action (NOPA) and fined by the Sutter County Agricultural Commissioner for the application of a pesticide in conflict with the label requirements, which do not allow for the pesticide to be used on hemp.
"Our inspectors are vigilant in their role to ensure the safe and legal use of registered pesticides in our county," said Lisa Herbert, Sutter County agricultural commissioner. "California has clear guidelines and regulations for how pesticides are applied to ensure the safety of the public and the protection of our environment. We will continue to serve our community by ensuring that the pesticides are applied in accordance with all laws and regulations."
DPR is responsible for oversight of the state’s pesticide use enforcement program and carrying out an effective statewide regulatory program. The department and the state’s 56 County Agricultural Commissioners work together to enforce the state’s pesticide use laws and regulations. With more than 400 field inspectors across the state, County Agricultural Commissioners are responsible for local enforcement of pesticide laws and regulations.
DPR and County Agricultural Commissioners enforce label requirements and use restrictions regarding which pesticides may be applied to all agricultural crops including hemp and cannabis products in the state. More information about cannabis can be found on DPR’s website.
ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF PESTICIDE REGULATION
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s mission is to protect human health and the environment by fostering safer and sustainable pest management practices and operating a robust regulatory system to monitor and manage the sale and use of pesticides across the state. DPR’s work includes registering all pesticides sold or used in California, conducting scientific evaluation of pesticides to assess and mitigate potential harm to human health or the environment, monitoring for pesticides in the air and water, and enforcing pesticide regulations in coordination with 56 County Agriculture Commissioners and their 400 field inspectors. DPR also conducts outreach to ensure pesticide workers, farmworkers and local communities have access to safety information. DPR invests in innovative research to encourage the development and adoption of integrated pest management tools and practices. More information about DPR can be found on DPR’s website.
ABOUT SUTTER COUNTY AGRICULTURAL COMMISSIONER
Appointed by the Sutter County Board of Supervisors to a four-year term, the Sutter County Agricultural Commissioner is responsible for the local administration of certain federal, state, and local laws and regulations which protect the public’s health, safety and welfare, the environment, agriculture, and the consumer. Its mission is to serve the public's interest by ensuring equity in the marketplace, promoting and protecting agriculture, assuring environmental quality, and protecting the health, safety and welfare of Sutter County's residents.