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Colorado Judge Limits Bug Spraying Near Organic Farm

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DELTA, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado judge says that a farmer spraying against mosquitoes needs to prevent the pesticide from drifting into a neighboring organic farm.

Judge Charles Greenacre ruled Thursday in the case in Delta County, an organic farming center.

He said James and Georgia Hopper can’t spray within 150 feet of the farm of Gordon MacAlpine and Rosemary Bilchak and can only apply the pesticide when winds are favorable.

MacAlpine has leukemia and pesticides can suppress his immune system. He and his wife started their farm to avoid food with pesticides but the presence of pesticides would cause their farm to lose its organic status.

The Hoppers are trying to protect themselves from West Nile virus. Georgia Hopper was hospitalized for six days after becoming seriously ill with the virus in 2006.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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