If you seen the ad where the little girl runs through the orchard and fruit falls on the ground and shrivels up behind her and then seen her dissipate i a swarm of bugs, you've seen the ad from the state of California. I find it disgusting.At the end of WWII the United States had 20 million hives. We Now have 2 million hives. Pesticides do not know one insect from another, they just kill insects. Serge has been a friend of mine for years and is a former meteorologist and scientist. Bugs of all kinds feed our baby fish until they are big enough to eat other food. Insects are at the heart of the bass food chain in every respect.
Serge Labesque, Beekeeper
The Light Brown Apple Moth, LBAM for short, arrived in California a few years ago. Last fall, without much warning and in spite of the opposition of many residents of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, CDFA sprayed their towns and countryside with “CheckMates OLR-F and LBAM-F”, untested products that were labeled as hazardous to human health. This resulted in over six hundred people suffering ill effects, and had no measurable impact on the elusive LBAM population.
Now, two years of expensive studies have resulted in a 1,500 page report, and despite the absence of noticeable crop damage due to LBAM, CDFA wants to pursue its plan to “eradicate the insect from the state of California by the year 2015”. This would be done by relying on a variety of methods that include widespread aerial and ground applications of diverse chemical and non-chemical treatments, none of which will work, according to many respected scientists.
For sure, no one will be spared by this diligent eradication plan that is expected to go on for five or more years. People, fish, wildlife, insects, beneficial or not, will all pay with their health or life. Indeed, pesticides do not know a beneficial organism from a “bad” one, if such a creature even exists.
The financial cost of the program to all of us, taxpayers, is huge and expected to run into several hundred million dollars. But this pales in comparison to the immeasurable environmental price that will also be paid.
Of course a few will benefit. These are the manufacturers and commercial applicators of the materials that will be sprayed initially over thirteen counties, including Sonoma County, and ultimately over most of California. CDFA will also benefit, because this program “justifies” its very existence and the full staffing of the Department in times of dire economic restrictions. And let’s not forget that the conventional farmers are asking CDFA to implement the program as quickly as possible, as these treatments will be done at essentially no cost to them. Everyone’s health is put at risk for the economic profits of a few.
So a question comes to mind: Who is going to do the greater harm, LBAM or CDFA? In spite of the deceptive and alarmist TV ad campaign launched by the USDA, please show your opposition to the eradication program by writing to:
s, Staff Environmental Scientist
California Department of Food and Agriculture
1220 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814