USDA declines to pay for pesticide contamination

Posted at 2:41 PM, Apr 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-24 16:41:15-04

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has denied tort claims filed by two Idaho families who say a pesticide applied by the department poisoned their crops and cattle.

The department used methyl bromide to treat Potato Cyst Nematode between 2007 and 2014.

The Eldredge-Kelley family claims the pesticide contaminated the hay growing in their fields. After being fed the hay, their cattle herd became sick.

According to documents provided by the family to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, cows aborted calves, while others developed lesions.

Another Bingham County farmer also claims to have lost about 20 percent of his income after his fields were treated.

USDA officials declined to comment on the tort claim, citing pending litigation and privacy concerns.