Actions speak louder than words. California Department of Agriculture states in its response in the January 29th Citizen to criticisms of its PEIR that commenters have been “misled about plans for pest prevention and management”. However, CDFA’s past actions show that there is very good reason for concern.
One glaring example is in 2007 CDFA’s aerial sprayed the city of Santa Cruz with untested chemicals for the light brown apple moth. The harmful result to people’s health was well documented at the time by a local citizen, as CDFA was completely uninterested and unresponsive to the outcry from people whose health had been affected by the spraying.
Then in 2008 CDFA planned to aerial spray toxic chemicals for the light brown apple moth over the whole Bay Area and other cities in California monthly for seven years. This was called an emergency so that no EIR would be necessary. There was a huge outcry and massive protests in many forms by the public who were aware of what had happened in Santa Cruz.
I joined the Stop the Spray movement at the time and was witness to what happened. Finally, because of public protests, demanding an EIR and lawsuits, we were able to stop them.
After all that, no spraying took place and the apple moth turned out to be no problem. This says a lot about what it’s all about. The pesticide industries are major players in this agency.
These are blatant examples of their actions in the past and warnings about what could happen again. We need laws in place that make them accountable.
The deepest concern about this plan is that it allows an arsenal of 79 toxic chemicals, some of them highly dangerous, to be used anywhere in the state, any time into the indefinite future. The state can also approve new pesticide treatments and treatment sites behind closed doors without public scrutiny or notice.
CDFA have given themselves a mandate to do what they want when they want and, without notice or input, and we wouldn’t have a way to stop the potential threat to organic farmers, to us and our environment.
Careful scrutiny of the plan has lead to the formation of a lawsuit by a 12 organizations to protect the public. Please support these lawsuits that are about giving the public a choice in the matter.
Link to press release for the lawsuit: http://bit.ly/cbd-suit-pr
Link to filing (53-page PDF): http://bit.ly/cal-peir-lawsuit
Donate to PANNA: http://bit.ly/donate-to-panna
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Memo: CDFA PEIR litigation
Mail to: Pesticide Action Network
1611 Telegraph Ave., Suite 1200
Oakland CA 94612
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Eleanor Lyman, Bolinas