USDA Won’t Compensate Idaho Farms Over Pesticide Poisoning


by Staff Writers, Lawyer Herald


The U.S. Department of Agriculture declined to pay the damages it had inflicted on Idaho farms regarding the pesticide treatments that contaminated different crops and herds of cattle. Two families are reported to be affected by the poisoning.

USDA won't pay the damages on the two families' farms. Instead they are advised to file lawsuit against the said government agency. This is an expensive effort that calls for possible bankruptcy for the farms and jeopardize the $70 million Idaho potato pest eradication program.

One of the farms operating near Shelley that filed the claim is the Eldredge-Kelley family refused to speak. However, in response with the state Department of Agriculture, a family member cites the experience a misery.

“We continue to deal with this emotionally, physically, and financially 100 percent on our own,” Karen Eldredge wrote. “The only thing we have ever asked is a path forward.”, as quoted by abc NEWS.

Farms in Idaho are affected by the potato cyst nematode that was discovered in 2006. USDA started treating infected fields with methyl bromide in 2007. The treatment decreased the pest but was stopped in 2014 due to a grower's concern, according to The Seattle Times report.

One of the worries was cattle with lesions that exude and unplanned aborted calves. Cows always aborted their calves or had stillbirths. Calves that were born alive have difficulty nursing, standing or even breathing. Lab tests on the bovines, crops and even the corral exposed awfully high levels of inorganic bromide.

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Source:  Lawyer Herald



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