By: Joe LoTemplio

PLATTSBURGH — City of Plattsburgh councilors have taken steps to make the city free of GMOs and pesticides.

"This is important because we all need to be conscientious of our responsibility to keep our planet healthy," Councilor Rachelle Armstrong (D-Ward 1) said at a recent council meeting.

The council unanimously approved a lengthy resolution that encourages city departments and residents to refrain from the use of Genetically Modified Organism seeds and pesticides on their lawns and other areas outside their properties.

The main concerns are that GMOs and pesticides can affect the bee population and other pollinating insects, causing harm to food supplies, and that humans can suffer serious health issues because of their use.

The council noted there is a growing list of nations all over the world and municipalities across the United States and Canada that have taken steps to reduce and eliminate the use of GMOs and pesticides.

"What we can do is let people know there is a danger here, and we can encourage our department heads and citizens to refrain from use of this as much as possible," Councilor Michael Kelly (D-Ward 2) said.


Councilor Becky Kasper (D-Ward 5) said she has noticed more monarch butterflies in her yard since she stopped using potentially harmful lawn-care items.

"I think this is a sign of progressivism in our city and that we are looking toward the future," she said.

"It can be done in small steps, and this is a good start."

Department of Public Works Superintendent Mike Brodi said the city rarely sprays pesticides.

Cracks near the Macdonough Monument and the accompanying walkway are sprayed occasionally to prevent weeds from creeping up through the cracks, he said, and the area under the static aircraft display at the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base is the only other place that usually gets sprayed.

"We will look for different stuff to use now because it is important," Brodi said.

Originally Published: Press Republican