Remember the apple moth?
The crazy days of apple moth eradication in 2007 may seem far away. Was it just a nightmare? Or did the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) really try to spray pesticides out of airplanes onto ten million people in an attempt to kill a nondescript brown moth? A moth that had probably been in California for decades and never done any significant damage?
Ever since CDFA pulled the plug on the aerial spray program in 2008 there has been legal action to try to prevent this nightmare from recurring. Earlier this month, a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled in the case in which CEH was a plaintiff. The good news is that the judge ruled that aerial spray can no longer be part of CDFA’s plans for the apple moth. The judge also ruled that CDFA will have to review the program again in five years.
The bad news is that CDFA (until 2017) is allowed to spray pesticides for the apple moth anywhere, anytime, with no notice to the people who will get sprayed. This kind of secret spraying is something that CDFA has routinely done. Just this past summer CDFA sprayed backyards in Sacramento before CDFA’s public meeting about the spraying occurred and before the agency website had any information.
Many many thanks to Earthjustice who provided legal support for this effort, and to the coalition of organizations that spearheaded the work.
For more information about the apple moth cas here.