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Wed Feb 26 2014 (Updated 03/05/14)Federal Agency Refuses to End Quarantine on Moth Despite Public Outcry
Wed Feb 26 2014 (Updated 03/05/14)USDA Maintains Classification of Light Brown Apple Moth as Actionable Quarantine Pest
The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced on February 7 its decision to maintain the classification of the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM, Epiphyas postvittana) as a quarantine-significant pest. The APHIS stated that by maintaining this classification it is, "seeking to minimize the further spread of the moth in the United States and maintain foreign trade markets for our producers." Eradication programs relating to the moth have been of particular concern to those in California, where large residential areas in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties were sprayed aerially with pesticides in 2007.
The APHIS claims that if the moth were to be reclassified as a non-actionable pest and APHIS' regulatory program for the LBAM were ended, the related damages to commercial crops would lead to the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in agricultural industry revenue. The APHIS had been evaluating the possibility of reclassifying the LBAM as a nonactionable, non-quarantine pest following petitions submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture in 2008 and 2009. The federal agency has acknowledged that the majority of commenters throughout the process, "requested that we reclassify LBAM as a non-quarantine pest."
In a summary of comments from the public, the APHIS states, "the majority of commenters expressed concern regarding the impacts on the environment and human and animal health associated with the use of pesticides and chemicals to control LBAM. The commenters expressed concern that chemicals used for the control of LBAM had not been tested on humans and that formulations had not been disclosed."
Previous Related Indybay Features: Aerial Pesticide Spraying for LBAM Over Cities Stopped | State Plans to Spray LBAM Pesticide from Northern Bay Area to Santa Cruz and Monterey | Fraud and Deception: The CDFA LBAM Eradication Program | Professor Releases Second Report Exposing the Fraud of the CDFA LBAM Eradication Program | New Studies of LBAM Spray Inadequate, Reveal More Violations of the Law by CDFA | CASS Releases Economic Impact Report on LBAM Pesticide Spray Program