FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Toxic Pesticides Assault in Utah

In 2015, I met Blaine Malquist. This was in Florida at the Pesticides Forum of Beyond Pesticides, a national organization fighting for environmental and public health protection from the use and misuse of pesticides.

Mosquito fogging

Malquist lives in Nephi City, Juab County, Utah. He briefly said to me that the careless use of pesticides in Utah has made his life and the life of his daughter unbearable.

Apparently, the Juab County has been sponsoring a regular mosquito fogging program that is out of control, spraying homes, people and the natural world indiscriminately. At least, that’s my understanding from talking to the distressed Malquist. He said to me he complained to the local authorities. Nothing worked, however. The mosquito foggers and their local and state supervisors saw no trouble in killing mosquitoes.

In 2018, Malquist and his daughter spoke to me on the phone and sent me brief statements about their struggle with pesticides and those spraying them.

C. Eileen, daughter of Malquist, described her predicament in apocalyptic terms:

Toxic assault and chemical rape and trespass

“Exposure to pesticides destroyed our lives. I was trapped for approximately ten years as a prisoner in my own home.  I didn’t know what was happening to me, but I knew that I was sick in horrendous ways and I felt even worse outside [my home]. I was / am having severe reactions to something that destroys my life, but I didn’t know what it was. I even collapsed at the county fair when they began spraying it [pesticide]. The suffering is so horrible and vast there aren’t words to describe it. I was literally starving to death – allergic even to my food, including food grown on my own property… I didn’t know if I would survive.  I still don’t…

“It helped when it was discovered there was a connection between my severe reactions and the County Mosquito Pesticide truck that sprayed 2-3 times per week. They spray us, our homes, food, air, land, and water…

“They [the sprayers of pesticides] have toxically assaulted, chemically raped, and chemically trespassed us and our environment….

“In Utah we don’t want minors to use cigarettes, yet we allow them, us, the Earth, and our surroundings to be doused with harmful chemicals and carcinogenic materials.

“This is a big money job for many people in our state and many people are suffering because of it.

“The job of our government has always been to uphold the Declaration [of Independence] and The Constitution with our right to “Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness”, which includes clean air, land, and water.

“Our government has failed and is failing us. They have allowed the chemical industry to infiltrate and destroy our protections. Money has been / is the goal, leaving people and animals everywhere to suffer. They [agrochemical companies, industrialized farmers and mosquito foggers] are causing mass destruction with these chemicals…

“In my case, the UDAF [Utah Department of Agriculture and Food] and EPA did a big cover-up which is obvious in black and white.  We have the proof.  Pesticides are destroying us and our surroundings,” she wrote.

Eileen’s father, Blaine Malquist, agrees with his daughter. Pesticides are threatening their lives. He also accuses the local, state, and federal authorities for covering up the harm mosquito sprays like pyrethroids are inflicting on them and the natural world.

Forcing pesticides on humans

Malquist and his daughter speak with knowledge and passion. They are angry they cannot stop the chemical onslaught against them. They are equally angry the local mosquito foggers act like an incestuous gang, exposing people and nature to danger, while breaking the law.

Malquist’s speech may sound outrageous, but it is not. He and his daughter feel abandoned by environmentalists and, of course, by the government:

“These people [Utah pesticide sprayers and regulatory officials] will lie to you. They do anything they can to cover up their illegal activities… They will tell you they spray the street; they don’t tell you the machine is turned directly to spray the homes, and that they drive down both sides of the street. They will tell you they are staying away, but they don’t. They have two trucks. The other truck sprays so they can say they (one truck) stayed away. They don’t follow federal, state, county, or city laws.

“They completely, and purposely, ignore laws and [pesticide] label requirements. They increase the amounts of pesticides used every year… The law breaking in all these areas is vast. EPA did declare broken laws, but the UDAF covered it up…

“All involved [in mosquito fogging] (past and present) have endorsed, aided and abetted… [and] financially backed the spraying [of pesticides] and [the] illegal acts [accompanying the spraying], [which they] covered it up. [They] have forced pesticides on us…

“Utah Department of agriculture and foods… has been involved with illegal spraying from helicopters, and other criminal activities in violations of the laws… The EPA and UDAF just lied about the [pesticide] labels and evidence [of harm] without even looking at it. Furthermore, the EPA investigator prevented us from entering even more vast evidence we have. She denied us our legal rights. All because she wanted to cover it up,” he wrote.

Reflections

I am not a lawyer to judge the details of who harmed whom and why. But it is obvious Malquist and his daughter are hurting. It is also obvious that corruption is pervasive in the regulation of the mosquito fogging programs in Utah.

Is mosquito fogging worth the illness and psychological stress it causes among humans? Malquist and his daughter are vocal. They discovered the source of danger and they are fighting it and denouncing it. But what about those who never connect their suffering with the fogging of their homes and street?

Is it moral to inflict such pain and suffering, and, possibly, disease and likely ecocide for a failed campaign for a mosquito-free environment? What does the failure of government to protect human and environmental health say about our democracy and civilization?

More articles by:

Weekend Edition
February 22, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Timothy M. Gill
Why is the Venezuelan Government Rejecting U.S. Food Supplies?
John Pilger
The War on Venezuela is Built on Lies
Andrew Levine
Ilhan Omar Owes No Apologies, Apologies Are Owed Her
Jeffrey St. Clair
That Magic Feeling: the Strange Mystique of Bernie Sanders
David Rosen
Will Venezuela Crisis Split Democrats?
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump’s National Emergency Is The Exact Same As Barack Obama’s National Emergency
Paul Street
Buried Alive: The Story of Chicago Police State Racism
Rob Seimetz
Imagined Communities and Omitting Carbon Emissions: Shifting the Discussion On Climate Change
Ramzy Baroud
Russian Mediation: The Critical Messages of the Hamas-Fatah Talks in Moscow
Michael Welton
Dreaming Their Sweet Dreams: a Peace to End Peace
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming’s Monster Awakens
Huma Yasin
Chris Christie Spins a Story, Once Again
Ron Jacobs
Twenty-First Century Indian Wars
Robert Fantina
The U.S. and Venezuela: a Long History of Hostility
Lance Olsen
Climate and Money: a Tale of Two Accounts
Louis Proyect
El Chapo and the Path Taken
Fred Gardner
“She’s Willie Brown’s Protogé!” The Rise of Kamala Harris
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Biomass is Not “Green”: an Interview With Josh Schlossberg
John Feffer
Answering Attacks on the Green New Deal
W. T. Whitney
US Racism and Imperialism Fuel Turbulence in Haiti
Kim Ives
How Trump’s Attacks on Venezuela Sparked a Revolution in Haiti
Mike Ferner
What War Films Never Show You
Lawrence Wittner
Should the U.S. Government Abide by the International Law It Has Created and Claims to Uphold?
James Graham
A Slow Motion Striptease in France
Dave Lindorff
Could Sanders 2.0 Win It All, Getting the Democratic Nomination and Defeating Trump?
Jill Richardson
Take It From Me, Addiction Doesn’t Start at the Border
Yves Engler
Canada and the Venezuela Coup Attempt
Tracey L. Rogers
We Need a New Standard for When Politicians Should Step Down
Gary Leupp
The Sounds of Silence
Dan Bacher
Appeals Court Rejects Big Oil’s Lawsuit Against L.A. Youth Groups, City of Los Angeles
Robert Koehler
Are You White, Black or Human?
Ralph Nader
What are Torts? They’re Everywhere!
Cesar Chelala
The Blue Angel and JFK: One Night in Camelot
Sarah Schulz
Immigrants Aren’t the Emergency, Naked Capitalism Is
James Campbell
In the Arctic Refuge, a Life Force Hangs in the Balance
Matthew Stevenson
Pacific Odyssey: Corregidor’s Iconography of Empire
Jonah Raskin
The Muckraking Novelist Dashiell Hammett: A Red Literary Harvest
Kim C. Domenico
Revolutionary Art and the Redemption of the Local
Paul Buhle
Life and Crime in Blue Collar Rhode Island
Eugene Schulman
J’Accuse!
Nicky Reid
Zionists are the Most Precious Snowflakes
Jim Goodman
The Green New Deal Outlines the Change Society Needs
Thomas Knapp
Judicial Secrecy: Where Justice Goes to Die
February 21, 2019
Nick Pemberton
Israel, Venezuela and Nationalism In The Neoliberal Era
Chris Orlet
The Bill and Melinda Gates’ Fair Taxation Scaremongering Tour
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail