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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | East Bay | San Francisco | Santa Cruz Indymedia | Environment & Forest Defense | Government & Elections | Health, Housing, and Public Services
$74.5 Million Earmarked To Aerial Spray Parts of San Francisco Bay Area
People of the the San Francisco Bay Area. Large parts of the Bay Area are scheduled for a large scale spraying of chemicals. In the article is a link to the spray map. We need to take action now to stop this!
I am angry!
On January 24th, 2008, United States Department of (USDA) Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner announced the availability of $74.5 million in emergency funding to combat the light brown apple moth (LBAM) infestation in California. This announcement comes in conjunction with the release from the California Department of Agriculture’s (CDFA) expanded aerial spray zone, which includes the entire cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Berkley and many others. Following is a link to a recently published proposed spray boundaries, the yellow lines indicating the proposed spray zones .Spray Map Two million or more people who live in these and other targeted cities are scheduled to be exposed this spring or summer to chemicals that cannot that have never been tested on humans or animals before.
When I learned that Santa Cruz, my previous hometown was to be aerially sprayed, I was in a state of shock. This was followed by a long period of disbelief. Larry Hawkins, a spokesman for USDA, which is working with CDFA on the moth eradication, said the East Bay Area will be included in future treatments. So we have a federal agency, the USDA, telling millions of people, you will be sprayed. This announcement comes without any democratic process.
Apparently the CDFA or the USDA, or both, decided that the previous chemical formula’s used, Checkmate LBAM-F and Checkmate OLR-F were not good enough, which really points to the fact that the two past two aerial sprays in Monterey, and the one in Santa Cruz County were a waste of time and money, in addition to the severe health reactions experienced by thousands of people from chemical exposure. These chemicals have not undergone thorough safety evaluations, and do not just simply evaporate, but are designed to hang in the air 30-90 days or more. Such chemical applications are of most concern to pregnant women, in which even a minute dosage of a disrupting chemical, can cause grave harm to a fetus. This is over and above the real concern for people who are trying to live a chemical free lifestyle who won’t be able to escape the hundreds of square miles of densely populated area’s to be sprayed, or for those who are sensitive to chemicals, or who are in poor health. The chemicals sprayed are a plastic encapsulated microtechnology, the microscopic plastic dust, once sprayed, easily enters deep within the mouth, eye's, skin and lungs. Even after 90 days and several rains, some people in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties are still experiencing symptoms of spray poisoning. When they leave the counties, their symptoms many times abate. This aerial program is a real sword through the heart of democracy and decency. The government has really gone too far, and it must be stopped now.
I must inform you that through a freedom of information request, a local newspaper has learned that the CDFA has hired media spin doctor extraordinaire Porter Novelli at the tune of almost $500,000 tax payer dollars to convince the public that it is okay for the state to dump chemicals all over them, their gardens, their pets, and their neighbors. The state of California is in a budget crisis, and this is one example that explains why. Here the state is using tax payer dollars, to lie to and mislead the public, to try to convince the public that the state should be spending millions of dollars of resources on polluting the air, sea, and land with chemicals that the public in general does not want. Since a majority of spray funding is coming from the federal arm, know your tax paying dollars are going to a government sponsored large scale crime.
If you are not familiar with this heinous program, let me bring you up to date. In the beginning of last year, a taxonomist identified the presence of a non native species, LBAM in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. The moth may have been present in California for a long time, nobody knows for sure as detailed studies were never attempted. The entrance of the moth was likely due to lax boundaries from plant goods imported from New Zealand or Australia, in other words, it is the USDA's fault and responsibility for having allowed the moth in. In Hawaii, the moth has existed for the past hundred years without doing any harm to the local ecosystem, and without the need for the government to try to stop the moth. In fact it is considered harmless or benign to the environment. The moth does not transmit diseases or harm humans or animals in any way
Originally the USDA announced that the moth might cause $100 million in crop damage if allowed to multiply. This estimate of 100 million was based on one single worst year of estimated LBAM damage from over a decade ago in from Australia. Australian crop damage figures have little meaning in California, as the climate is different and the moth damage in Australia varies from year to year; it is relatively minor in any case. Even if this $100 million crop loss did come true, one has to consider that $90 million has now been ear marked to contain the moth, primarily the funds are to aerial spray chemicals on cities which contain people, and not crops like apples, oranges and grapes. It is unanimous from pest control experts (except the ones employed by the government) that the apple moth cannot be eradicated, but can only be controlled. Thus make this entire aerial experiment, an express of a collective evil. Many of the targeted cities are not reasonably close to any type of apple, orange or grape vineyards. To this day, there has been zero dollars of reported crop damage as a direct result from the LBAM presence in California. Clearly something fishy is going . Federal and state government’s are adamant with their efforts to douse everybody with chemicals for a relatively minute amount of moths.
Additional funds have gone to the CDFA’s public relations campaign, which among other things, involves travel money and putting up the CDFA’s senior officials, like the outlaw leader Secretary A.G. Kawamura in nice hotels, and paying for their meals at restaurants and their travel expenses as they go around the state and lie to people about the need for and safety of, this moth spray program. No money has been earmarked to pay for medical costs or even research to determine if people are getting sick. This is because the CDFA’s simply assumes that this product is safe. They base their safety assumption on a bogus “consensus document” that was created by the Department of Pesticide Review only after several aerial sprays. The document contains little evidence, and a lot of opinions. What is of grave concern is the method funded and supported by the USDA and EPA, which CDFA is carrying out, spraying never-before tested pesticides, on people, in cities.
Let me repeat this because just this fact is so shocking it is hard to comprehend. People in California are being subjected to biochemical, microscopic moth warfare. The reported microcapsule size of the aerial mating disrupter is as small as 10 microns and averages 25-35 microns in size for an undeployed moth spray. This size is coming dangerously close to micro sized particles that are used to evade the bodies defensive systems for biological weapons, those are reported to be 3-4 microns in size. Even with horrible tracking methodologies, and blatant lies to the public to fool people about the danger of the aerial spray, 643 illnesses were documented, Spray Illnesses from Monterey and Santa Cruz counties in the 2007 aerial spray campaigns. It makes sense that people would get sick because these minute particles can easily enter deep within the body. So the effect of a small amount of chemical can be magnified many times. But you know, that assertion is hypothetical, because nobody has ever done any legitimate testing to see the chemicals in the microcapsules could affect human health. These 643 reports represent a fraction of the real injuries, the actual spray has caused thousands to be poisoned from this biochemical formulation. See my related article, NewsTarget Article Despite these reports which include 330 official illness claims filed with the CDFA, the CDFA states the following lies on their website, “Pheromones are extremely safe,” and “Public safety is the primary concern.” The statement pheromones are safe, is a lie. Sure, pheromone’s can be safe when used responsibly, for example a benign moth trap in an apple orchard that has pheromones to attract the moths. But when you create a microscopic biodegradable ball of volatile chemicals, and then place within it a synthetic moth pheromone, which itself is described as an explosive chemical, you have more of a drug which can interact and create changes within the human body, than a pesticide. Furthermore, no thorough investigation has been done of these 330 official illness complaints, and at least some of these people have not yet recovered.
One must realize that any documentation regarding the safety of pheromones reported is from non-aerial applications, such as a moth sticky trap that is scented with pheromones and stuck on a tree, or a pheromone laced twist tie applied to apple orchards or vineyards. The last aerial application was reported to contain 10-20% of the “safe” pheromone, and 80-90% other ingredients. These saftey assertions also do not related to the method of application. A sticky trapped laced with pheremone is a different entity, than a microscopic ball that is designed to biodegrade with pheremone encapsulated within it. Several of the Checkmate ingredients have yet to be disclosed to the public under trade secret laws. The newly tested chemicals, which are scheduled for either the spring or summer time to be sprayed on millions, similarly will not be disclosed to the public. We do not know even what this stuff is? How can the government say the chemicals are safe, and then hide the ingredients from scrutiny? If these chemicals are so safe, why not tell us honestly what it is? Clearly the intention of the CDFA, USDA, and EPA, is to cover up the real nature of this biochemical assault. They are trying to hide what they do from the public’s eye. They do not want you to know the truth. The truth is, people get sick. Not everybody get’s sick from the moth spray, but many people do. Its effects can be strong and violent.
The deepest concern is regarding the distribution method of the pheromone. The pheromone is encapsulated into a miniature and highly volatile plastic ball. According to a recent UC Davis study paid for by the CDFA the microcapsules from an unsprayed batch of Checkmate LBAM-F ranged in sizes of 10 to 190 microns. Over time, these particles averaging 25-35 microns in size, shrink and degrade into more dangerous sizes, which fall under the category of particle pollution. Miniature particles between 2.5-10 microns in size, especially from pesticides, are known to cause both short term and long term health effects, including decreased overall life span. Again, nobody as yet knows how small the degraded microcapsules are, or how this will effect people in the short and long term, because no such testing exists. In essence, people have been subjected to a biological and chemical experiment. This is insane!
The CDFA reports that they want their newest moth weapon deployed this spring and summer, to be even longer lasting, which to me means that the microcapsules will be even more dangerous, possibly indefinitely sticking in the environment, and irritating people’s sensitive ducts and glands; like the eye’s and the nose, much like allergies from pollen. In each aerial application billions of these volatile balls are launched into the environment, sprayed by planes contracted through Dynamic Aviation, Dynamic Aviation which has other specialties beyond aerial application of pesticides. They also do, “Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.” The spraying is conducted at a height of between 500-800 feet and residents in the sprayed area report feeling like they are in a war zone. Once in contact with residential neighborhoods, parks, and playgrounds, the balls slowly disintegrate over time releasing pheromones designed to confuse the moth's mating patterns.
Typically a drug takes many years for the Food and Drug Administration to approve for safety for humans. Under and emergency declaration, the EPA can exclude new chemicals from rigorous testing. These laws were designed for agricultural emergencies, and are being violently misused because they are planning on spraying large urban populations and not apple orchards. The EPA and USDA have flagrantly crossed legal and ethical boundaries, by applying laws designed for agricultural fields, to densely inhabited city centers.
Further consider that the testing of these chemicals is not done to make sure that it is safe for humans, as the safety is merely an untested assumption. As an example, it took several months after the first aerial spray of Monterey County for the CDFA to pay the University of California Davis to see if the Checkmate formula was toxic to certain very small ocean insects. It took several months for this first test of the Checkmate formula already sprayed on well over two hundred thousand people. The testing being conducted in New Zealand is not to ensure safety for humans, but to see if the mating habits of the moths are disrupted. This spraying is approved by the EPA despite the fact that there are specific laws to prohibit chemical testing on pregnant women and children. EPA Standards “EPA's rules make it clear that all pregnant women, all nursing women, and all children are excluded from all studies involving intentional exposure that are intended for submission under the pesticide laws.” If the EPA cannot test pesticides, , on pregnant women, nursing women, and children, then under what jurisdiction and authority can they simply expose pregnant women, nursing women and children with untested pesticides?
How many more children do we need to see poisoned by these indefensible government actions until we wake up and say, ENOUGH! How many more of our friends, relatives and neighbors do we need to see develop chronic health conditions due to exposure to aerially sprayed chemicals until we take effective action to stop this insanity? How much longer are we going to allow the government that is created for the people, to represent the people, to break its own laws and poison its own people and then disregard any reported health concerns?
To see this insanity clearly let's examine the moth population. In San Francisco County, 3,501 total moths have been trapped and killed. The entire city of San Francisco, whose population is 744,041, is in the proposed spray boundaries. About 744,000 people are to be exposed to unsafe microcapsulated pheremones, for several years, to try to control the mating habits in a city which had a total of 3,501 moths found over the past 8 months. This is really a needle in the haystack approach to pest control. Keep in mind, each moth found, is a moth that has been trapped and exterminated. Moth ReportIn Alameda County, 431 months have been found in the past 8 months out of 2,327 traps. The moth population in Alameda County is thus sparse at best. Just look out your window. Imagine how many insects are in the tree, the yard, or the local park. I have seen more than 431 ants crawl into my kitchen on a rainy day. So in a giant area of 141 square miles, and the tens or hundreds of millions of insects in that zone, to try to eradicate such a miniscule pest by just spraying chemical everywhere is ridiculous and unsafe. The proposed spray map for Alameda County includes densely populated cities of the east bay area: cities such as Richmond, Albany, Berkley, Emeryville, Piedmont, and Oakland. In this area, well over one million people reside. The plan is to expose more than one million people in these cities, over a multi-year period to chemicals meant to hang in the air, in order to try to stop the mating habits of any remaining moths, which if there are any at all, could not be more than a few hundred. The 431 moths that were found there in the past eight months are now dead. These 431 months are the governments excuse, for a multi-million dollar civil rights incursion.
Here's how I suggest you take action.
* Share this information with your friends and neighbors.
* Don't be fooled when the CDFA says that the “pheromone” is safe. I have been poisoned myself by these microcapsules, and so has my family, it is a terrible feeling. Ask for test results to show it is safe for humans, you'll see they have none.
* Demand accountability. Ask your local California representative why they are continuing to allow the state to spray chemicals on people, even though the state has laws, like the state constitution right to personal safety, and legislative laws such as the California Environmental Quality Act, meant to stop this. Your state representative can amend or modify the LBAM law that went into affect that gave the CDFA the unanimous green light to eradicate the apple moth. Surely your representative does not support aerial spraying? Each county has to have their local agricultural commissioner or someone to that effect sign a permit to allow the state to spray. Stop these people from signing the permit!
* State and Federal representatives can also design an independent committee to come up with non-biased recommendations. The CDFA created such a working group, but they strangely seem to believe that aerial spraying people to stop moth’s from mating is a good idea.
* Gather your local city councils. Use local resources to conduct research, and file lawsuits against the state.
* Ideally the city attorneys and mayors should file legal suits against CDFA and the EPA and the USDA for polluting the air and water, for violating state and federal laws, and for poisoning children.
* Contact your US Senate and House Representatives, and ask them to stop funding for the aerial spray program, and to declassify this tiny moth from class A pest. Ask them to strengthen protections so that populations cannot be aerially sprayed unless there is grave and immediate danger to public health.
* Additional Note: If the aerial spray does occur, take samples. Put a turkey baster-sized aluminum tray in your back yard. Put the tray out on the night prior to the aerial spray, and another on the night of the aerial spray. Seal each tray well. Each city should organize its own tests of the chemicals, including tests for biological agents, contaminants, radioactive substances, and a microscope analysis to see how big the microcapsules are, and to see if the microcapsules contain miniature micropcasules. Analysis ideally should also include a detailed chemical profile of the substance sprayed, since the government won't tell us.
Finally, the way I see it, it is a crime to poison children and our fellow people who live in California. Just because the people who are polluting and poisoning the air with chemicals work for the government, should not make them immune to criminal liability and prosecution. Unfortunately, no city officials, yet, have the decency and standards to attack this matter as it is, a crime. Crimes require criminal investigations, and criminal charges.
People can be alarmed, and if cities take equitable action we do not need to be afraid. For example, we pay taxes so we can have a fire and police department to protect ourselves from crime. Why not use the police force to protect residents from government sponsored crimes?
The media creates a false fear about some hypothetical terrorist releasing chemical weapons in the United States. Meanwhile, the US government is doing something very similar, releasing potentially deadly chemicals on its population, for no good reason.
This is a cover-up.
The LBAM infestation, a monumental hoax. (yes there are LBAM’s, but we really don’t need to worry too much about them.)
I pray for grace for everyone; so that people in the proposed spray zones remain safe from harm, and that those who are inspired to take action to stop this be inspired to act effectively, with humility, strength and compassion.
To Take Action
In Santa Cruz and Monterey, local residents have started the California Alliance to Stop the Spray. (CASS) This alliance is developing evidence and documentation to stop the aerial spraying for the Light Brown Apple Moth. Just because this alliance is formed, does not mean the moth spray will be stopped. Each area needs to form their own groups, and work together to defeat the real pest, the state and federal government’s who are performing illegal operations.
Important websites were you can learn more and take action include:
LBAM SPRAY – On the right hand column of this website is a portal to CASS. You can find many ways to participate and help the cause. Also contains most relevant information.
Hope For Truth– My LBAM site.
(http://www.1hope.org/chkmate.htm) – Lots of documentation and recent news postings.
(http://www.stopthespray.org) – Sign the petition to stop the spray!
For those who are taking community action, two generous people have volunteered to provide further resources.
Roy Upton, California Alliance to Stop the Spray (CASS)
831-461-6317, herbal [at] got.net
Bonnie Keet, California Alliance to Stop the Spray (CASS)
bonnie619 [at] yahoo.com
When Governor Schwarzenegger says he supports the health and welfare of children, he is lying to you. Governor Schwarzenegger supports biochemical spraying which has been documented to cause life-threatening harm to some children.
Call Governor Schwarzenegger and tell him what you think of his policies.
Voice: (916) 445-2841 2841 (press #1, #5, #0)
Fax: (916) 445-4633
Senator Diane Feinstein
San Fransisco Office - (415) 393-0707
Senator Barbara Boxer
San Fransisco Office - (415) 403-0100
They want to here our stories,
As a final addendum, many people have written to me about mosquito fogging, about chemtrails, and about large scale chemical sprayings which occur in the United States unmonitored in more rural areas. While my article does not address these concerns, this article shows that people are sick and tired of being exposed needlessly to chemicals. Your concern about chemical exposure is vital. Listen to it!