April 18, 2008

Open Letter to Gov. Schwarzenegger

This was my letter to Gov. Schwarzenegger; feel free to adapt it when contacting your local politicians.

Dear Mr. Governor,

I am writing as yet another concerned citizen and small business owner who is vehemently opposed to the CDFA's plans to conduct aerial pesticide spraying over a large portion of your State's residential population. While I certainly support measures to protect California's essential vegetation, it is untenable to sacrifice human health and safety for such unproven methodology. I believe the State has a responsibility to cancel its aerial pesticide spraying plans for the following reasons:

1. Widespread aerial pesticide spraying as a means of successfully controlling the light brown apple moth is experimental and unproven, and in fact not recommended by relevant scientists and ag researchers.

See: Integrated Pest Management Practices for the LBAM in New Zealand: Implications for California
See: IPM Task Force Chair Nan Wishner's testimony in front of the California Assembly Ag Committee
See: California Certified Organic Farmers Oppose the Spray

2. Widespread aerial pesticide spraying as a means of successfully controlling the light brown apple moth has not been proven safe for humans, and has in fact already caused detrimental health effects in the public.

See: CheckMate MSDS
See: HOPE Executive Summary of 643 Health Complaints

3. Widespread aerial pesticide spraying is detrimental to the reputation and economic health of the State of California, and has already caused damage.

See: Tourism, Real Estate Brace for Impact
See: Pesticide Maker Owned by Political Donor
See: Berkeley May Sue Over Moth Spraying

4. Widespread citizen opposition to aerial pesticide spraying continues to grow, and the voices of those who will be sprayed deserve to be heard.

See: California Certified Organic Farmers, Stop the Spray, LBAMspray.org, California Alliance to Stop the Spray, Stop the Spray Marin, Play Not Spray, Don't Spray California

Governor Schwarzenegger, given that the State cannot prove the safety of the spray, and that many in the scientific and agricultural community oppose it, and that the citizens who will be sprayed oppose it, how can you justify proceeding with such plans?

If the State intends to use unproven and experimental techniques to control an agricultural pest, the State must hold the burden of proof that their techniques are safe for humans. Given that the State cannot support its claims of safety, it can only appear that California intends to treat its citizens as medical guinea pigs. Not only is this unacceptable to the citizens of California, but as public opposition continues to grow and capture the nation's attention, it will be unacceptable to the citizens of the United States as a whole.

Thank you for your sincere consideration of these matters.

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