Gov. Schwarzenegger calls for ‘halt’ to aerial spraying

[Ed. note: The New York Times is finally covering 4/25/08) the light brown apple moth and the government’s response.]

On the heels of this morning’s ruling by a Santa Cruz county judge to stop aerial spraying for the light brown apple moth in that county until the completion of an environmental impact report, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced a suspension—until August 17—of the spraying for the moth state-wide…until, he says, there’s more investigation into the health affects of the as-yet-untested product being used. Oddly enough for us up here in the Bay Area, aerial spraying wasn’t scheduled to start until August, anyway. In the state’s press release the governor ‘says’ this:

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.

I don’t know how he is so sure just what the ‘additional tests’ will reveal about the product—especially since state agriculture secretary A.G. Kawamura acknowledged in a visit to Alameda City Council chambers early this month that the exact formula they plan to use has not actually been finalized.

One can hope that this ‘halt’ is more than PR manipulation, but, rather, is a genuine effort by our state’s highest leader to make sure there’s a complete investigation into the long- and short-term impact of spraying millions of people, old and young, with synthetic moth pheromones delivered in time-release plastic microcapsules.


  • Donna Kuhn

    that is a good point, what exactly is it that they’re testing? unfortunately there only seems to be testing for short term exposure, a 30 minute exposure. this doesn’t seem right, especially for a product designed for 30-90 day time release which they plan to make sure is in the air year round for however many years they think thye need to do it.

    as someone who’s been exposed to checkmate it took me about two seconds to start having symptoms but the longer i stayed in santa cruz the more intense and alarming those symptoms became. not something i’d want to try for the next five years.