Saturday, May 10, 2008

Northern California Moms Protest Unnecessary LBAM Spraying

Excerpted from the "Stop the Spray" website:

A Hazard to Public Health & The Environment

* Urban populations in Santa Cruz & Monterey counties were aerially sprayed with a synthetic pheromone-pesticide without their consent in the Fall of 2007.
* 643 reports of illness followed the spraying.
* Millions of Californians are slated to be sprayed REPEATEDLY beginning in Summer 2008 and continuing up to 9 months per year, for at least 5 years, according to agency officials.
* Other methods of applying toxic pesticides are already being used in our neighborhoods and on private property without our consent.
* $74 million is the minimum cost of the 2008 spraying program in California
* No substantiated damage has occurred to any crops in California.

The California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the State of California claim that synthetic pheromone-pesticide sprays will eradicate the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM), an insect that entomologists say has lived in California for more than three decades.

Not Necessary: In New Zealand, where the LBAM has been present for over 100 years, control is achieved almost exclusively by non-toxic means, including naturally existing predators. Expert scientists say that eradication of the LBAM in California is not even possible.

Not Effective: Aerial spray of this synthetic pheromone-pesticide has not been used before over populated areas and has never been used to eradicate a pest. Entomologists and agriculture experts say it will not be effective. The CDFA admits that it can't be sure that any moths have been affected (inhibited from mating) by the spraying done thus far.

Not Safe: CheckMate LBAM-F, the chemical compound used in the first spray has not been tested for long-term health effects, and contains ingredients with known toxicities. Furthermore, it is contained in plastic micro-capsules, some of which are small enough to lodge in the deepest recesses of human lungs.

Not Over: Although a Superior Court judge in Santa Cruz County recently ruled that spraying in Santa Cruz could not continue there until after an Environmental Impact Report has been completed, the CDFA plans to seek an appeal. In addition, the court’s decision only applies to Santa Cruz County. And though Governor Schwarzenegger has temporarily issued a delay of the continuation of the spraying, he also insists that spraying is safe and necessary to avoid "…a devastating impact on our state's environment and economy." [Bakersfield Californian, 4/24/08]

The CDFA plans to start spraying in Monterey, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties on August 17, 2008. California communities are raising our voices and calling on Governor Schwarzenegger to stop the spray today.

To sign the petition or get more information go to Stop the Spray.

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