Imagine that crews of exterminators have the right under the law to spray poisons on your property without your consent and without even notifying you that your children and family will be at risk.
You might believe that couldn’t happen here. But a recent California court ruling ok’d a California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) program that gives the agency the authority for just this kind of secret pesticide spraying.
CDFA is planning to use harmful pesticides to target the light brown apple moth, an insect that’s never been proven to damage California crops. Under a recent court ruling, CDFA can spray pesticides for the apple moth anywhere, anytime, with no notice to the people who will get sprayed. CDFA is also preparing to seek approval to spray pesticides for a long list of other insects anywhere in California, without notice and without any proof that these sprays are necessary or even work.
Residents of Sacramento got a glimpse of how the secret spray plan works last July when CDFA called a “community meeting” to discuss its plans to spray pesticides linked to cancer and birth defects in order to “eradicate” the Japanese beetle, a suspected pest of ornamental plants. Too late, residents learned that CDFA actually had already begun the spraying before the public meeting took place!
Health and environmental groups are considering an appeal of the recent court decision on the light brown apple moth spraying plan. But it shouldn’t take a court order to get state regulators to respect our basic right to know when our children and families may be exposed to pesticides. All Californians should call on CDFA and the California Environmental Protection Agency to pledge that those agencies will not conduct any secret spraying!
Tell CDFA’s Karen Ross and CAL- EPA’s Matt Rodriquez to make a public commitment that no pesticide spraying will occur in state eradication programs without prior public notice to and consultation with the communities that will be affected, and that the requests of residents who want non-toxic alternatives to spraying of their property will be honored.