Green Party of California

EARTH DAY: Green Party elected supervisor, mayor, city councilor, lead battle opposing $74 million state plan to spray pesticides to kill Light Brown Apple Moth


BERKELEY, Ca. (April 22, 2008) - Green Party elected officials in Bay Area cities are helping oppose a $74 million plan by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to conduct aerial spraying of a pheromone pesticide to eradicate the Light Brown Apple Moth, scheduled to start this summer.

Greens have authored resolutions against the spray and are participating in lawsuits against it. More than 30 cities have now officially opposed the spraying that Greens describe as "a hazard to human health."

San Francisco Supervisor and Green Ross Mirkarimi - who described the spraying as a "neutron bomb effect" - was applauded when he introduced a resolution opposing the spraying campaign, which passed unanimously last week at the SF Board of Supervisors meeting.

Mirkarimi's San Francisco resolution calls for a long-term study by the state of the health and environmental impacts of the spraying already conducted in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties in 2007 in which over 600 residents reported adverse health outcomes, and support for state legislation requiring the consent of residents before any aerial spraying.

In Berkeley, District 4 City Councilmember Dona Spring, a Green, authored a resolution against the spray campaign and backed a lawsuit. "We've got expert testimony that it would pose a hazard to human health so it's going to be done over some dead bodies," Spring said.

And Richmond Mayor and Green Party member Gayle McLaughlin co-sponsored a resolution against the spray for the City of Richmond, calling it "expensive and ineffective." In an interview she stated, "It's very clear there are many other ways to address this."

The Green Party's philosophy of local control and grassroots democracy may help resolve the spray controversy in favor of local public health officials, who have expressed concern and recommend using other methods. Public Health Directors in Alameda County and Santa Cruz County have even posted letters to state officials calling for consideration of different and less toxic alternatives. However, state health officials believe the spray is safe, and are willing to put profits over public health, even over protest from other public health officials.


For more information:

Susan King, Spokesperson, 415.823.5524,
Dr. Bob Vizzard, Spokesperson, 916.206.8953,
Daniel Brezenoff, Spokesperson, 310.422.2211,
Cres Vellucci, Press Secretary, 916.996.9170,

The Green Party of California
PO Box 2828
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437