The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is the state agency responsible for investigating complaints of illegal pesticide use. Pesticides include herbicides (weed control), insecticides (insect/mite control), fungicides (fungus control) and rodenticides (mice/rat control).
For use in Minnesota, a pesticide must be registered with both the state of Minnesota and the US EPA. All label requirements and restrictions must be strictly followed by pesticide applicators.
The MDA is limited to conducting investigations in order to determine if a violation of state or federal pesticide law has occurred. All complaints alleging a violation of state or federal pesticide law and requesting an inspection must be put in writing. Please note that the MDA has no authority to seek compensation on the behalf of any complainant.
In the event that MDA's investigation finds a violation, the MDA is authorized to take enforcement action against the responsible person. Enforcement actions include written warnings, orders to cease and desist, and the issuance of financial penalty actions.
Investigations involving injury/damage to humans, animals, food/feed products and the environment are given the highest priority for investigation.
If you believe that you, a family member, your pet or other animal has been harmed from a pesticide exposure, immediately seek advice and/or medical attention from a medical/veterinary professional first before calling the MDA to file a complaint. A medical/veterinary professional is the best person to assist you in dealing with your immediate health concerns.
After seeking medical attention, promptly place all clothes/footwear or other items that were worn the day/time of the alleged injury in a clean plastic garbage bag and put the bag in a freezer. Call the MDA to discuss your complaint.
There is no time limit for filing a complaint of injury or damage; however, if complaints are received several days or more after the exposure, the MDA may be substantially hindered in collecting evidence necessary to document a violation of state/federal law.
As soon as you are aware that the use of a pesticide may have damaged the environment, contaminated food/feed products, or damaged a crop or ornamental, call the MDA to discuss your complaint.
Please be aware that there is a 45 day time limit for filing a complaint with the MDA for damage to crops and ornamentals from the date of the pesticide application.
Do not delay calling while trying to work out compensation or other issues with the responsible person as this may compromise MDA's ability to investigate your complaint.
The MDA receives complaints at 651-201-6333 Monday thru Friday from 8 AM to 4:00 PM. After hours, complaints can be reported to the Minnesota Duty Officer at 800-422-0798 out state and 651-649-5451 in the Minneapolis/St. Paul seven county metro area.
Upon receipt of a complaint, MDA staff will promptly obtain pertinent information from the complainant. Such information includes:
MDA staff will evaluate the information provided and if a pesticide misuse is suspected, an MDA inspector will be assigned. An investigation number will be provided to you so that you can reference your complaint during any follow ups.
In the event that immediate information is needed by an attending medical or veterinary professional, the MDA will exercise its authority to obtain such information as quickly as possible from any identified responsible person(s) and provide it thereafter directly to the complainant and doctor/other medical professional or veterinarian.
In order to ensure the integrity of its investigations, no other information will be made available to the complainant or responsible person until the MDA concludes its investigation. Investigations and subsequent enforcement actions may require up to several months to a year to complete. Complainants and responsible persons are notified of all MDA enforcement actions or other case file dispositions the MDA takes in regard to specific complaints.
Coming Soon: Information about bee keeper compensation for dead bees or colony losses due to an acute pesticide poisoning.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), 625 Robert Street N, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538, firstname.lastname@example.org