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B&W Growers responds to Shady Valley pesticide spray concerns

It has been over a week since a pervasive and unpleasant odor was reported in parts of Shady Valley. The Tomahawk has continued to receive dozens of calls from local residents who requested to remain anonymous at this time.

According to The Tomahawk sources from Shady Valley, fields in which arugula, a field green, is grown was sprayed with pesticides approximately ten days ago. The fields in which the arugula grows is leased by B&W Growers out of Florida. Previous reports to The Tomahawk indicated the fields were sprayed by workers in Hazmat suits and continued for three days. “It smells all over the valley,” one source previously stated. Another source reported that wildlife had perished and concerns have arisen for the residents themselves and their pets. Several residents have experienced and have been treated for respiratory problems, nausea, dizziness and weakness.

In response to a telephone call to Richard Burgoon of B&W Growers regarding the situation and concerns in Shady Valley, the following email was received:

Dear Ms. Walter,
With regard to your voice mail of November 15, 2010, I have been in contact with the Department of Agriculture Regulatory Services. B&W is fully cooperating with their investigation. At their request, we have submitted the names of the two independent contractors who applied the materials in question.

I sent our farm manager to the area and he has met with the Tennessee Department of Ag. Our manager had telephone conversations with the only individual who directly expressed a concern about the applications to us. I have followed up that conversation with a written letter to this individual informing them of our actions to date.
B&W is a 140 year old family operation that prides itself on being a good neighbor. When the Department of Agriculture issues their final report, B&W will have more facts and be in a better position to respond.

Sincerely,
Richard R. Burgoon