Our View: On pesticides, federal government should get off our lawn

The House version of the farm bill would take away the right of local communities to limit exposure to hazardous chemicals. 

The version of the farm bill passed by the House of Representatives is bad in a number of obvious ways, such as the effort to replicate Maine’s misguided food-assistance reforms nationwide.

But also in the huge bill is a provision that would prevent Maine cities and towns from taking steps to keep their residents safe.

If passed, the House farm bill would give the federal government sole purview over regulating pesticides. It would roll back the restrictions and outright bans on pesticides put in place by 30 Maine communities that want to limit exposure to hazardous chemicals.

Use of synthetic pesticides has been linked to a number of health problems. Chronic exposure to low doses of pesticides — such as that experienced by farm workers — has been linked to cancer, birth defects, and neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, among other ailments.

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