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Indybay Feature

Suterra's Legal Moves

by Patricia Matejcek/David Dilworth
Suterra, manufacturer of the pheromone spray proposed for use in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, makes legal moves and encounters some roadblocks seeking to suppress info on the composition of the spray.
Aerial Crop Dusting of Peninsula Cities News:

1. Suterra is apparently planning to join HOPE's
suit on Monday in a hostile action to try to
get all the Court papers sealed.

I do not believe they are yet threatening
anyone for spreading the names of secret
toxic ingredients by newsgroup or by email.

So, if the ingredients names have spread
far and wide with email lists and on
newsgroups they may not be able to ever
hide them.

"Immunity for Reposting

"The courts have held that Section 230 of the
Communications Decency Act (47 USC § 230) provides that
users and providers of interactive computer services,
including the Internet, are immune from civil liability
for publishing on the Internet material written by
someone else. This was first established by the
federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Zeran v. AOL
in 1997. In Barrett v. Rosenthal (November 2006), the
California Supreme Court agreed with this. In Batzel
v. Smith (2002) the federal Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals (in California) held that an Internet reposter
is immune from liability if a reasonable person would
believe that the reposted material was given to him/her
for republication on the Internet.

2. Suterra is separately threatening to sue
Monterey County Weekly for re-publishing
the secret ingredients and doing investigative
work to reveal that another secret chemical
(tricaprylyl methyl ammonium chloride), is
"very highly toxic to zooplankton."

3. As of 5:00 pm Friday the Herald was not
similarly threatened even though they also
published the name of one secret ingredient.

That would seem to be a good defense for
Monterey County Weekly - since Suttera
can't claim they are stopping all publication
of their toxic trade-secrets.

4. Here is the webpage to report a SLAPP
threat --


patachek [at] wrote:

> The daily paper, the Sentinel, printed the full ingredient list a few
> weeks ago,
> when they got the info from the EPA. Despite the fact that the info is
> now in
> the public domain through subscribers' copies, the libraries, etc., this
> co.
> is suing any/everybody that is disseminating the info through posts
> and/or
> websites.
> PM
> --------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: ""
> To: scpel [at]
> Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2007 14:06:48 -0700
> Subject: [SCPEL] Suterra Issues Cease and Desist Order to Indybay
> regarding "Secret" Ingredient in CheckMate Pesticide
> Message-ID: <9371E6A5-B469-49BE-A7B1-B5527427B8DE [at]>
> The Santa Cruz Progressive Email List (SCPEL)
> -----------------------------------------------
> Suterra Issues Cease and Desist Order to Indybay regarding "Secret"
> Ingredient in CheckMate Pesticide
> Suterra LLC, a manufacturer of "biorational" pest control products
> based in Bend, Oregon, has issued a cease and desist order to Indybay
> demanding that information about a "secret" ingredient in the
> CheckMate OLR-F mating disruption pheromone be removed from the site.
> On September 28th, the Santa Cruz Sentinel published the key
> ingredients of CheckMate OLR-F, information inadvertently provided to
> the Sentinel by the United States Environmental Protetion Agency
> (EPA). The Sentinel was immediately contacted by a lawyer for Suterra
> and they removed the ingredients from their website.
> HOPE (Helping Our Peninsula's Environment), a Monterey County non-
> profit environmental organization started a lawsuit against the
> California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). They filed
> supplemental papers with the Court on October 9th, including mention
> of the formerly secret "inert" ingredient in the Checkmate pesticide.
> Also on October 9th, at the Santa Cruz City Council meeting, the City
> of Santa Cruz voted (4-3) to either join HOPE’s lawsuit or file a
> separate action to stop spraying planned in Santa Cruz County,
> including residential areas, to take place November 4th - 9th. On
> October 10th, Monterey County Judge Robert O'Farrell issued a
> temporary restraining order of aerial pheromone spraying in Monterey
> County for Light Brown Apple Moth. After the judge's ruling, the CDFA
> suspended the Light Brown Apple Moth pheromone application on the
> Monterey Peninsula "until further notice." The Santa Cruz County
> Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing to consider the issue
> on October 16th.
> The identity of this isocyanate compound can now be found in court
> records and local newspapers, including the Monterey County Herald
> and the Santa Cruz Sentinel, which has re-published the information
> since the Judge's ruling.
> Aerial spraying took place in Monterey County on four nights,
> September 9th - 12th. According to safety data on the Suterra
> website, inhalation of CheckMate OLR-F is "not a likely route of
> exposure", however if exposure occurs, "remove victim to fresh air...
> Get medical attention." The website for the National Institutes of
> Health state, "Isocyanates are irritating to the skin and the mucous
> membranes, the skin conditions ranging from localized itching to more
> or less widespread eczema. Eye affections are less common and,
> although lacrimation is often found, conjunctivitis is rare. The
> commonest and most serious troubles, however, are those affecting the
> respiratory systems." HOPE states that there is a remarkable overlap
> with the symptoms and illnesses reported by 110 Monterey County
> residents and the symptoms known to be caused by the isocyanate.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> Santa Cruz Indymedia is a member of the Independent Media Center
> network with a focus on local issues and the direct impact of larger
> issues on our community. Santa Cruz Indymedia is not a membership
> organization; it is a tactic, a concept, and a movement that can be
> effectively utilized in many different ways.
> Santa Cruz Independent Media Center
> --
> scpel mailing list
> scpel [at]
> Summary of criteria for posts:
> - Posts have some explicit Santa Cruz area connection
> - Commercial posts are fundraisers, donation requested, activist
> discount, no one turned away for lack of funds or for events put on by a
> non-profit organization or organized for a no-profit effort
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> More complete information is here:

with all due respect,
With all my best wishes,
Trees Rock!
May the Forest be with you,
Metaphors be with you,
Persistence is the most powerful tool known to
Keep it up,

-David Dilworth, Executive Director

Helping Our Peninsula's Environment
Carmel, California,
USA, Earth,
Milky Way Local Group,
Virgo Supercluster
831 624-6500

Founded in 1998, and known for helping with hundreds
of environmental and democracy successes, H.O.P.E.
is an IRS 501(c)3 non-profit, tax deductible, public
interest group protecting our Monterey Peninsula's
natural land, air, and water ecosystems and
public participation in government, using science,
law, education, news alerts and advocacy.

* HOPE has achieved more environmental and democracy
successes than all other Monterey County non-profits

* HOPE participates in more governmental meetings
than any other Monterey County group.

* HOPE's website shows up as Number 1 in many Google
Searches and is Monterey County's largest democracy
and environmental website with more than 350 pages.


I think that I shall never see,
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest,
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast.

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray.

A tree that may in Summer wear,
A nest of robins in her hair.

Upon whose bosom snow has lain,
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

-Joyce Kilmer


Mother Nature Bats Last


Disclaimer: No trees were harmed in the production
of this message; however, a rather large number of
electrons were somewhat inconvenienced.

NOTICE: Due to Presidential Executive Orders, the
National Security Agency has archived and may have
read this email without warning, warrant, or notice.
Although un-constitutional they do this without any
judicial or legislative oversight.

For more information please google "Echelon"
and "Project Censored" at Sonoma State University.

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