San Leandro joining fight against moth spraying? Mayor says not so fast

light-brown-apple-moth.jpgA number of Bay Area cities have recently announced their opposition to state plans to conduct aerial spraying to eradicate the light brown apple moth, even though a study reported there is no link between the pesticide spraying and numerous illness complaints reported last fall.

Alameda, Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville, Albany, San Francisco and a slew of other agencies have passed resolutions.

But not San Leandro.

The spraying is not scheduled to occur in San Leandro. But Mayor Tony Santos at the City Council meeting on Monday said he didn’t agree with his counterparts in other jurisdictions throughout the region who have voiced their concerns about the spraying. He said many others, including San Leandro residents, have made assumptions about the spraying without scientific evidence that backs up people’s claims.

He added that the state health officials responsible for determining whether the spraying is harmful are the only ones who can be trusted at this point because they are the experts.

When Vice Mayor Surlene Grant and Councilman Jim Prola suggested the council look into joining their counterparts in signing a petition to stop the spraying, Santos disagreed, saying he would rather put his faith in the state health officials.

“I can’t believe a state agency would use a substance which would harm people,” he said.

Prola interjected: “Well, they have before,” followed by a few chuckles in the audience.