Just when many people thought the threat of being sprayed with pesticides to eradicate the Light Brown Apple Moth was over because of two court decisions, we learn that the eradication program will continue.

1. Millions of sterile moths will be released over our neighborhoods beginning in 2009.

2. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) still plans to aerially spray “forested” and “agricultural” areas with a pheromone-based pesticide, but has not said where those areas are or what specific product they will be using.

3. Quarantines remain in place that threaten the livelihood of farmers and growers.

4. All from-the-ground pesticide applications will go on as planned - which include the widespread use of a dangerous pesticide called Permethrin and the mobile fogging of neighborhoods with Btk and Spinosad, two products that are used in organic agriculture, but are not appropriate for residential/urban settings.

photo of program area
Light Brown Apple Moth
The CDFA has stated that these ground treatments will be carried out on public and private property, and thay have threatened to obtain blanket “general warrants” to enter private property if land owners object to their lands being sprayed!

A recent CDFA map identifies the eradication program will cover all California counties - most totally, and eleven (Modoc, Lassen, Alpine, Mono, Inyo, Kern, San Bernadino, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, and Imperial) in part!

All of this is to be done with MILLIONS OF OUR TAX DOLLARS (approximately $100 million so far and a projected $500 million in the next 5 years) on an eradication program that is unnecessary, ineffective, and unsafe!

All if this could be eliminated were the moth downgraded from a Class A pest (the most voracious) to a Clas C - as it should be, and is in New Zealand and elsewhere - since the moth has done ZERO DAMAGE!

You would think that our Congresspersons would have gotten the message by now, yet Sam Farr, 17th Congressional District, in a recent letter stated that this pest must be eradicated since it will strip our forests and yards, will deface our landscape so that tourists will stay away, etc., etc.

Congressman Farr has townhall meetings planned in Monterey on August 11, in Aptos at the Seacliff Inn on August 20th at 6:30 p.m., and in Santa Cruz at the Veterans Memorial Hall on September 4th at 6:30 p.m.. We encourage everyone to come out and protest these meetings and let him know that he represents all of us and not just a few.

People in other counties, find out where your representatives are on this issue and let them know where you stand - GET INVOLVED!

Get informed: www.StopTheSpray.org or www.CASSonline.org

This article was written by Mike Smith, a member of the Peace and Freedom Party - first in Santa Clara County and then in Santa Cruz County - since 1970.
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