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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'LBAM' Category


California Court OKs Pesticide Plan for Light Brown Apple Moth

(Beyond Pesticides, September 5, 2012) A California court has removed aerial spraying from a controversial statewide plan to control the light brown apple moth. However, the court let stand the rest of the large-scale plan implemented by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), limiting its duration and requiring a review of the environmental effects if the state proposes to continue the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) Program beyond 2017. While the state cannot use aerial spraying methods, the plan approved by the court permits the use of pesticides to control the moth. In a ruling released last week, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly referred to “the experimental nature of the LBAM Program,” observing, “There is no evidence that the Department has been able to identify with any certainty the effectiveness of particular strategies in containing, controlling, suppressing or eradicating LBAM.” The Judge also ruled that, without additional evaluation under California environmental laws, CDFA’s approval of the environmental document would “foreclose the Department from reinstating the aerial releases to the LBAM Plan.” The court rejected a broader claim by a coalition of health and environmental organizations, which challenged CDFA’s failure to disclose or accurately describe all the harms […]



New Analysis of Apple Moth Pesticides Misses Significant Hazards

(Beyond Pesticides, November 12, 2008) Despite significant data gaps in the testing of apple moth pesticides, the California Department of Food and Agriculture recently reported that a new analysis conducted by three other state agencies “confirms the products tested are extremely low in toxicity.” An analysis of the state report by researchers at the Center for Environmental Health and Pesticide Action Network find that the report failed to address potential long-term health impacts from the pesticides and even omitted analysis of many of the acute symptoms suffered by people during last year’s spraying. “There is no evidence that the apple moth has damaged crops or native plants in California,” said Caroline Cox, research director at the Center for Environmental Health and Beyond Pesticides board member, “or that eradication of the moth can actually be achieved. It is never appropriate to expose large numbers of people to incompletely tested chemicals, especially in an eradication program based on faulty assumptions.” The toxicology studies on which the new analysis is based are designed to measure acute (short-term) toxicity. The studies ignore questions about significant health hazards, including the potential that the pesticide could cause cancer or birth defects, reduce fertility or harm our […]



California Officials Cancel Aerial Spraying

(Beyond Pesticides, June 23, 2008) California state officials abruptly cancelled the program to spray pesticides to combat the light brown apple moth (LBAM). This move came after months of protests by residents over concerns that the chemicals in the pheromone-based pesticide may adversely impact their health and the environment.California’s Agriculture Secretary, A.G. Kawamura, announced on Thursday that the state has abandoned its plan for aerial spraying of the light brown apple moth in urban areas of several counties, including the San Francisco Bay area. However, sprayings may still proceed on farmland in rural areas. Officials also stated that they would not spray over communities near farms. “I know there’s concern out there, and we want to be able to address that,” Secretary Kawamura told reporters. “Our focus is to use the technology that has moved progressively forward.” Instead of spraying, the state said that it would keep moth populations under control by releasing sterile moths to halt reproduction by rendering eggs useless. Apparently the use of sterile moth as a means of population control has been a part of the state’s plans for more than a year. It is not clear therefore why aerial spraying was so heavily advocated by […]



Court Halts Spraying in California, Ordering Environmental Review

(Beyond Pesticides, May 14, 2008) On May 12, Judge Robert O’Farrell ruled on a lawsuit brought by Helping Our Peninsula’s Environment (HOPE), finding that California’s Agriculture Secretary, A.G. Kawamura, violated the law when the state aerially sprayed untested, ”˜secret’ pesticides on cities, children and wildlife. Judge O’Farrell then ordered the spraying stopped until the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) completes an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). HOPE attorney Alexander Henson said, “I’m glad that this case will set a precedent requiring government to do the required studies before they spray an unsuspecting populace with untested chemicals.” HOPE Trustee Terrence Zito said,  “Since last August HOPE has been saying that spraying people with secret, untested, unwanted pesticides is immoral and illegal. The courts have now twice confirmed that CDFA acted illegally.” Last month a Santa Cruz County Court ruled that the light brown apple moth (LBAM) was not an immediate threat and delayed aerial spraying of the pesticide, CheckMate (a pheromone-based pesticide with inert ingredients), in order for an EIR to be completed. In his ruling, presiding Judge Paul Burdick said the state did not prove that the invasive light brown apple moth poses an immediate threat to life or […]



Judge Halts Spraying Planned for California

(Beyond Pesticides, April 28, 2008) On April 24, a Santa Cruz County, California Court ruled that the light brown apple moth (LBAM) is not an immediate threat and delayed aerial spraying of a pheromone pesticide, CheckMate, in order to complete an environmental impact report. Then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to delay the aerial spraying, vowing to prove that the chemical is safe. According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, “Judge Paul Burdick said the state did not prove that the invasive light brown apple moth poses an immediate threat to life or property. As a result, he said, an emergency exception to finish the review while the spraying continues was not justified.” Governor Schwarzenegger announced on the same day that the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will postpone aerial spraying with the pheromone pesticide until acute toxicology testing of eye, inhalation, respiratory and other potential irritants is completed. “I am confident that the additional tests will reassure Californians that we are taking the safest, most progressive approach to ridding our state of this very real threat to our agriculture, environment and economy,” said Governor Schwarzenegger in a press statement. CDFA estimates that once the testing is complete the […]



CA Defends Spray Plan for Moth, Critics Charge Scare Tactics

(Beyond Pesticides, April 16, 2008) The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is warning that if pheromone spraying in the San Francisco Bay area is postponed this summer, more conventional insecticides could be used in the future to manage a larger-scale light brown apple moth (LBAM) infestation. The related legal brief was released Monday in response to a lawsuit that demands an environmental review before the pheromone, CheckMate, is sprayed this summer. A number of cities and counties have taken a stand against the spray, including Santa Cruz county’s lawsuit, the hearing for which is coming up on April 24. CDFA is resisting the counties’ attempts to delay their LBAM action plan. “The risk of greater conventional pesticide is out there,” said CDFA spokesman Steve Lyle. According to the brief, the pesticide to be used would be bacillus thuringiensus (Bt), which is commonly used in other areas of the country to fight insects like the gypsy moth. One concern of local researchers is the area’s populations of endangered and threatened moths and butterflies, which would be further threatened by a non-selective insecticide. Santa Cruz Councilman Tony Madrigal dismissed the brief as employing scare tactics. “They’re proposing a choice to […]



CA Counties Oppose LBAM Spraying

(Beyond Pesticides, March 7, 2008) A number of counties in California’s Bay Area have voiced strong opposition to state plans to aerially spray a pheromone mixture over areas where the light brown apple moth (LBAM) has been found. While the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) plans to begin spraying this summer, state legislators and county officials alike are taking steps to postpone or halt it completely. By late February, Senator Carole Midgen had introduced a resolution to set a moratorium on aerial spraying in San Francisco and Marin counties. Assemblyman John Laird and others introduced a four-bill legislative package designed to ensure CDFA is “adequately prepared” for pest problems and public health is protected. Since then, a number of city councils have approved a variety of resolutions to oppose aerial spraying. Santa Cruz County has filed a lawsuit to stop the spraying, the court hearing for which has been postponed until April 24 in order to complete paperwork. “The county just received the administrative record from the state,” said county spokeswoman Dinah Phillips. “We’ll be going through that with a fine-tooth comb. We’re trying to get everything ready before the spraying begins.” The San Francisco Board of Supervisors […]



LBAM Spray Schedule Released, California Senate Responds

(Beyond Pesticides, February 22, 2008) The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has released its latest schedule for assault on the light brown apple moth (LBAM), adding specifics to its previous outline of the 2008 plan. As has been previously reported, public outcry against the aerial spraying of a pheromone mixture has been widespread, in spite of the state’s insistence on the necessity of such measures. As a result, two state senators are introducing measures to stop, or at least postpone, spraying until safety and efficacy can be assured. The latest schedule from CDFA identifies anticipated components to the eradication effort. For instance, twist-ties (carrying the moths’ pheromone) will be applied to trees beginning February 25, which will be used alone in areas of low infestation, and “to complement mating disruption treatments against heaviest populations.” They will remain in place until an area is free from moths for two life-cycles. “Pheromone male moth attractant treatment,” applied to utility poles and trees, both on public and private property, will occur in areas of mid-level infestation, measuring at least 3,000 male moths per square mile. These applications will begin in April, and in areas of heaviest infestation, will precede aerial spraying. […]



CDFA Announces Plans, Tests for Apple Moth Control

(Beyond Pesticides, January 25, 2008) Officials with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) recently released their 2008 plan for eradicating the light brown apple moth from the Central Valley area of the state. In 2007, a state of emergency was declared to facilitate quicker action to control the moths, as CDFA reports that the infestation is spread throughout nine counties. The agency tried to disrupt the moths breeding patterns by spraying a pheremone, Checkmate LBAM-F, in several different rounds, but the problem remains. As a result, CDFA has a variety of strategies planned to wipe out the moths this year. “The primary way to eradicate this pest remains aerial spraying,” according to CDFA spokesman Steve Lyle. “The expectation is that the program will move forward with that in mind in 2008.” However, on January 22, officials said that spraying will be postponed until late spring or early summer, when a better product has been found. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently conducting trials in New Zealand to determine which formulation is most effective against the moths. One of these forumulations would last longer than 30 days in the environment, allowing less frequent aerial applications in […]



Reclaiming Our Healthy Future – National Pesticide Forum Update

(Beyond Pesticides, January 8, 2008) Reclaiming Our Healthy Future: Political change to protect the next generation, the 26th National Pesticide Forum, will be held March 14-16 at the University of California, Berkeley. Register now to pay the pre-registration rate. James Roberts, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina and co-author of Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisonings, and Jim Riddle, outreach coordinator for the University of Minnesota Organic Ecology program, have recently been added to the program. Previously announced speakers include Arturo Rodriguez (UFW President), Devra Davis, Ph.D. (author and University of Pittsburgh professor of epidemiology) and Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D. (UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology). Also, actress Kaiulani Lee will perform A Sense of Wonder, her one-woman play based on the life and works of Rachel Carson. Session topics include: Children’s health and public policy; Farmworker justice, organizing and consumer action; Building just and healthy food systems; Power of local activism to influence political change; Pesticides and the secret history of the war on cancer; Skills training sessions; DDT and malaria; Global warming and biofuels; Biomonitoring and pesticide drift; Lawns and landscapes; Managing indoor environments; Water quality and much more. Jim Riddle is outreach […]



Aerial Spraying for the Brown Apple Moth to Resume

(Beyond Pesticides, October 24, 2007) The aerial spraying for eradication of the brown apple moth, which has been disputed by environmentalist and concerned residents, is set to resume this week. This is a result of the lifting of the temporary restraining order against the use of the pesticide, in light of the order given by Governor Schwarzenegger that called on the California Department of Food and Agriculture to release the names of the chemical components of the pesticide and then restart spraying. On Friday a Monterey judge determined that the pesticide, CheckMate LBAM-F, did not contain toxic chemicals and lifted the ban instituted October 10. The restraining order was first granted more than 100 residents complained of health problems after the spraying first took place last month over the Monterey peninsula. Environmental groups sued the state claiming that a health safety assessment was never conducted before spraying. That suit is still pending. The lingering concerns prompted the governor to order the state to release the ingredients on Saturday, despite efforts by the manufacturer to keep the contents secret. California Secretary of Food and Agriculture, A.G. Kawamura, said in a statement on Saturday that the governor supports the public’s right to […]



Medflies Found in California Prompt Quick Action

(Beyond Pesticides, September 17, 2007) Mediterranean fruit flies were discovered last week in Dixon, California, and federal, state, and county agencies rushed to respond with traps, biopesticide treatment, and sterile mates to prevent the insect from infesting local agriculture. A total of eight Medflies have been found so far, and the three-pronged attack started with an effort to monitor the presence of the Medfly. California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) employees have placed 1,700 fruit fly-targeted detection traps in an 81-square-mile grid. Next, residents within 200 meters of the original finding had their yards treated with the organic compound Naturalyte, the active ingredient of which is spinosad, a naturally occurring extract from bacteria. The pesticide, made by Dow, is approved for use on organic crops, yet the vast majority of its ingredients (so-called “inerts”) are not disclosed. As another biological control, more than 3 million sterile male flies were released last Friday in a 12-square-mile area around Dixon. The sterile males will be deployed on a weekly basis to mate with wild females, helping to eradicate the Medfly population. This is the first Medfly case in Solano County, according to county agriculture officials. Agriculture Commissioner Jerry Howard said that […]