The TARF (Termite Action Report Form) database and fees should be eliminated for the following reasons:
1) The database is missing too much information to provide consumer protection or to allow a consumer to accurately determine what pest control products have been used on a home. Many, if not most termite treatments are not reported because they are not required to be reported. Further, no general pest control treatments are ever reported and they often use the same pesticides used in termite treatments. This provides the consumer with a false sense of security - thinking that the database knows what pesticides have been applied - because the average consumer does not realize how few pesticide treatments are reported and tracked.
2) Financing 75% of pest management regulation on the backs of the termite industry in inappropriate. The cost of regulation should be evenly spread over the entire pest control industry.
3) The database can be accessed sequentially to extract information about termite treatments by street or neighborhood. This allows companies to market termite control and warranties by the street or neighborhood and is a direct invasion of the home owner's privacy.
4) A company can use the database to perform a "drive-by" termite inspection for real estate transactions, which is a fraudulent type of inspection. This has become so prevalent that insurance companies now offer coverage to protect against this type of fraud.
5) A company can also use the database to spy on its competitors. This information has historically been used by larger companies to target enforcement actions against smaller competitors.
6) The TARF system increases the cost of termite treatments to consumers through increased overhead, paperwork and fees. TARF paperwork is disproportionally more expensive for small businesses, providing a significant advantage to larger companies.
7) Fear of the legislature is not a valid reason to keep TARFs. The legislators can be educated to understand the limitations of the TARF database and that the new science of termite control has made the TARF database obsolete.
8) There has not been any documented harm from termiticide use in the last three years - which is as far back as OPM is willing to look. Most of the termiticide products that caused public concern when the TARF system was established have been banned and are no longer in use.
See http://its-our-turn.com/ for a detailed white papers on the Arizona pest control industry.
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