Californians and all concerned
Beginning this August 17th, The California
Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and
the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) plan to
start aerial pesticide spraying over several
counties (San Francisco, Marin, Contra Costa,
and Alameda) and large urban
areas of Northern California. More that 3.5
million residents (humans) will be sprayed
with toxic chemicals in urban areas including
including the cities of San Francisco, Daly
Oakland, Piedmont, Emeryville, Albany, El
Cerrito, El Sobrante, Tiburon, and Belvedere.
Initial spraying was conducted last Fall in
Santa Cruz and Monterey counties - any many
people became ill. The CDFA and USDA plan to
spray pesticides several
times each month during the 9 dry months of
the year, for 2-5 years, or indefinitely.
This pesticide spraying is part of our
government's objective to "eradicate"
the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM). The
program will include aerial spraying with a
pheromone based pesticide, ground application
with a toxic (non-pheromone based) pesticide,
and several other undisclosed ground programs.
It's important to realize that this is
strictly is a political and economically
driven decision - benefiting big
agribusiness and friends/politicians in the
USDA - at the direct cost of the health of
Everyone must know that this spraying of
The "pheromone" used in the aerial
spraying is a pesticide, it is not
There were at least 649 complaints from
the LBAM spraying in Santa Cruz and Monterey
Counties, the first counties to get sprayed -
though this is commonly believed to be
The effects of the pheromones on humans,
particularly pregnant women, children, and the
elderly, are UNKNOWN. and have NOT
The inert ingredients proposed are
known carcinogens and endocrine
The EPA's website states, "Many consumers are
mislead by the term "inert ingredient",
believing it to mean "harmless." Since
neither federal law nor the regulations
define the term "inert" on the basis of
toxicity, hazard or risk to humans,
non-target species, or the environment, it
should not be assumed that all inert
ingredients are non-toxic."
A few of the "inert" ingredients and
their toxic side effects are as follows.
1,2-Benzisothiazolin-3-one is a preservative
associated with occupational asthma. Studies
have shown BHT to be carcinogenic,
hepatotoxic, tumorigenic, mutagenic, and
teratogenic in animals as well as in human
cells. Symptoms of exposure to the various
kinds of sodium phosphate would range from
mild to severe gastrointestinal effects
(varying degrees of gastrointestinal
irritation, abdominal pain/cramping,
vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal
discomfort, burning sensation), mild to
severe respiratory symptoms. Trisodium
Phosphate (TSP): Classified as "hazardous
waste" under the European Waste Catalogue
Ordinance (AVV) and as a hazardous substance
on California Director's List of Hazardous
The plastic encapsulations (to carry and
time-release the toxins) are small
enough to remain suspended in the air for one
year - and will be inhaled directly into
They are so small that it is impossible to expel
them! One infant and one
nine-year old girl with preexisting asthma
almost died in Santa Cruz/Monterey county
area in the first LBAM spraying that was done
in October and November of 2007 from
respiratory problems. The infant now has
In addition to the aerial assault spray
program, they will be using permethrin on the
ground (in your backyard). Permethrin is
listed as "Likely to
be Carcinogenic to Humans" by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency. It is also
a reproductive toxin as well as a neurotoxin.
It is known to kill monarch butterflies,
aquatic animals, and believed to be seriously
dangerous to bees.
From my research on autism
and childhood health, there is
great concern among parents that these
neurotoxins, micro-plastics and other
chemicals could highly damaging to children
with autism, asthma, allergies, seizures, and
Organic farms would be destroyed. All
organic farm would be sprayed and poison
their land for years if not decades.
Dr. James Carey, PhD and Professor of
Entomology and specialist in invasion
biology, strongly warns that eradication is
impossible. In order to eradicate a bug you
literally need to kill every last pair of
moths. The moths span an extensive area
covering 12 counties and 8,000-10,000 square
miles. These moths travel only 400 feet over
their lifespan and Carey believes an
infestation of this size indicates that the
moth has been around for possibly 30-50
years-certainly not the short period that
Pheromones, used to "disrupt mating" are
ineffective in eradicating pests, according
to Dr. Carey.
At the San Francisco Town Hall meeting,
Carey stated that out of all of his
Entomology colleagues, NONE believe
eradication is possible!
Aerial application of pheromones will
make less toxic ground traps (known to be
In fact, in New Zealand, when they
sprayed pesticides in one of their
pest-management programs, they actually made
the LBAM problem significantly worse-as the
spray killed all of the natural predators.
LBAM does little to no crop or plant
damage! According to Dr. Carey, the LBAM is
a minor pest.
LBAM is a leaf roller. It does not infect
the fruit and does not damage the plants.
Indeed, if it covers 10,000 square miles and
no one ever saw the bug it clearly is not
causing much (if any) damage. It was found
accidentally in a trap by a retired
Andrew Gutierrez, PhD, Professor,
Division of Ecosystem Science at UC Berkeley
states that the moth
cannot survive in hot climates like
the central valley's growing region and
therefore is not a threat to farmers.
Australia, New Zealand, and other
countries manage this pest with simple
farming techniques such as biodiversity of
crops and natural predators.
LBAM needs to be reclassified
appropriately as a minor pest.
LBAM needs to be reclassified as a
minor pest.· It will cost $30-80 millions
dollars of taxpayers money. Because it has
been snuck in as an "emergency," the
government will use Homeland Security funds,
saving big business millions-at the expense
of the people.
What Do the Governmental Agencies Say?
USDA Secretary Ed Schafer spoke out on March
25, 2008 in Sacramento and said, "Left
unchecked, this moth could destroy more than
$2 billion worth of California crops each
year. Could destroy? NOTE: there
has thus far been NO damage. Where is the
destruction? This moth does not harm fruit
or crops. Expert scientists and other
developed countries that have experience with
LBAM consider it a
minor pest. Deception like this is highly
concerning to the integrity of these
governmental agencies and their programs.
The approach CDFA and USDA have adopted - using
pheromones to disrupt the moth's
reproductive cycle -i s scientifically sound
and environmentally sensitive. However,
scientists such as Dr. Carrey state that the
use of pheromones cannot eradicate a species.
The Environmental Protection Agency has
determined that insect pheromones are
non-toxic and pose no threat to the
environment or human health. The EPA does
not have the best track record, but more
importantly, without long term studies we
cannot know the truth, and we already know
that the "inert" ingredients, the 10
micron-sized plastic particles, and the
permethrin in the ground program are known to
A.G. Kawamura, Secretary of the California
Department of Food and Agriculture, states (in
response to the LBAM situation) "Let me be
clear: As a public official, I am sworn to
protect not just agriculture but also the
public, the environment and the ecosystems
that make California agriculture such a
uniquely productive and sustainable resource.
I take that responsibility seriously, and I
vow to pursue only the safest, most
environmentally friendly means available.
Only if I failed to meet that
public duty could my department be considered
negligent." This is lip service. He has
ignored the health complaints, pushed the
spraying through without the legally required
environmental impact assessment, and is
willing to spray known toxic "inert"
chemicals and untested pheromones on the
state of California.
The USDA and CDFA claim LBAM is an emergency.
However, scientists say that the moth
spreads at a very slow rate. Based on the
large area the moth is found, it has been
here for possibly decades and it is
definitely NOT an emergency.
The Real Motivation
The real motivation may be that big
agro-business ships internationally may be
slightly limited in where they can ship their
product. To reduce competition, we
quarantined New Zealand crops because of the
LBAM. Now, others may do that to us.
However, many countries such as those in
Europe do not have quarantine restrictions on
They claim the loss of review to the state to
be significant but any loss in revenue due to
exportation is minor in comparison to the
organic farmers that will have their land and
livelihood destroyed, the property values
that are diminished because of damage or
poisoning of the land, the lost revenue to
business to sick days due to ill workers and
their children, clean up efforts from the
additional problems that are created,
increased healthcare costs to thousands of
families, $30-80M in taxpayer revenue for the
spray program, and the value of human life
Ironically, economic burden that they fear
from quarantine could be relieved up by down
grading the pest's status to something more
accurate and appropriate.
Money is the real motive. By declaring it an
emergency and getting their "buddies" in
Washington D.C. and CDFA to go along with it,
big agro-business gets to keep 100% of their
profits AND get someone else to pay. All so
they can maximize profits and minimize
Watch this great video below with concerned
businessman Foster Gamble, who looked into
the money trail behind LBAM.
We must stop the spray!!! Every single
citizen should stand up against this! This
issue reflects the greatest invasion into our
lives - an absolutely unjustified stripping
of our constitutional rights, human rights,
and health freedom.
While the spray has been halted temporarily
in Santa Cruz county because the judge ruled
it was not an emergency and an environmental
impact report needs to be completed. While
this is a short term win, this is not enough.
There will not be long term studies and
without an unbiased committee the results are
likely to come back in their favor to spray.
This is not enough! We need to let
government officials know:
LBAM should be appropriately downgraded
to minor pest status-as it is in other
countries and as expert entomologists know.
This is the key argument. With a lower (more
appropriate) status, this "emergency
spraying" would not move forward.
We will not accept choosing economic gain
of large corporations and government "back
scratching" AT THE EXPENSE OF THE HEALTH OF
Spraying will not work and will only make
Write to or call Governor Arnold
Currently Governor Schwarzenegger is planning
on moving forward with the spraying, but has
the power to stop the aerial spraying. Governor
Schwarzenegger Contact Page
Contact Representative Nancy Pelosi.
are in Pelosi's district, urge her to make
the reclassification of the light brown apple
moth her top priority, as the health and
lives of MILLIONS of Californians hang in the
balance. As Speaker of the House,
she has the power to do something: Call
her at (415) 556-4862 District Office
- 450 Golden Gate Ave. - 14th Floor - San
Francisco, CA 94102; E-mail
Because of the significance of this matter
and large outcry from citizens and friends of
we decided to cover this issue on our Reality
Sandwich Radio program. Michelle Darby, a
concerned mom with the California Alliance to
Stop the Spray (CASS)
- San Francisco Chapter, worked
with us to coordinated TWO programs and
several expert guest to inform us.
Listen to our radio show from May 1st,
we interviewed Paul Schramski, State Director
Watch, and Dr. James Carey, PhD
of Entomology and specialist in
Our second program on May 8th included Nan
Wishner, Chair of the City of Albany
Integrated Pest Management Task Force, Dr.
Andrew Gutierrez, Professor, Division
of Ecosystem Science at UC Berkeley,
Former Mayor of Fairfax and author of the
first city-wide no pesticide ordinance