October 5, 2007


Dear xxxx:

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding the state's aerial spraying campaign against the light brown apple moth. I understand the depth of your unease and you should know that I take your concerns very seriously.

As you know, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) on September 9 began spraying an organic pheromone (ITS A BIOCHEMICAL READ THE LABLE) to disrupt moth mating for long-term eradication in Monterey County. The CDFA decided that aerial spraying was the safest (Warning Label states "Hazard to Humans and Domestic Animals) and least invasive method to achieve that objective. It did so after consulting with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and an international technical working group of scientists, and the decision is supported by the Pesticide Action Network and the California Certified Organic Farmers, based in Santa Cruz.

The state's goal is to eradicate this invasive moth before it can gain a foothold in our region and spread throughout the state and the nation. This invasive species has the potential (IN HAWAII FOR 100 YEARS STILL NOT A "SIGNIFICANT PEST". ) to do enormous damage to the natural and agricultural environment throughout California and North America.

This issue boils down to two difficult choices. The state can either eliminate this threat as soon as possible using an organic pheromone (ITS A BIOCHEMICAL READ THE LABLE) or delay action until moth numbers grow (TO DATE NO DAMAGE HAS OCCURED!), at which time traditional pesticides would be necessary, pesticides that are more toxic and perhaps more harmful to the environmental (EPA WAVED ROUTINE TESTS AND ECO REVIEW). Both the state and federal Environmental Protection Agencies have tested and approved the pheromone and have confirmed its safety to humans (NO LONG TERMS TEST HAVE BEEN CONDUCTED), animals, even Monarch butterflies. ("ACUTE TOXICITY TO FISH" page 9)

I am upset that state officials have not taken a more active approach in informing the public of its plans. The California Department of Food and Agriculture failed in its mission to educate the public. A comprehensive outreach campaign should have been the first step. State officials are confident of the necessity (LBAM IN HAWAII 100 YEARS STILL NOT A "SIGNIFICANT PEST". ) and safety of the pheromone (ITS A BIOCHEMICAL READ THE LABLE), but they have failed to convince county residents (SECRET MEETINGS). I hope they address that oversight as soon as possible.

I encourage you to contact your state representatives and express your concerns to state officials by calling the California Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Hotline at 1-800-491-1899

I hope this information has been helpful to you. If I can be of further assistance in this or any matter, please feel free to contact me at my office.

Sincerely, SAM FARR Member of Congress



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