It’s a step forward: the state of California has reversed its position on spraying for the light brown apple moth in the Bay Area. But they apparently will still spray over agricultural and undeveloped areas in the state, as well as use the chemical at ground level.

The decision follows months of protests and lawsuits from residents of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, and around California, after airplanes sprayed parts of the two counties with the chemicals last year.

“We want to move away from the tools of the past,” said A.G. Kawamura, secretary of the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture. “Our focus right now is, let’s all work together to eradicate this pest.”

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Not all of the public criticism disappeared with today’s announcement, though. Roy Upton of Soquel, with consumer advocacy group Citizens for Health, said he was “ecstatic” to hear his neighborhood will not be sprayed, but questioned the safety of insecticides that the state plans to use on the ground. Upton said he believes the moth is already established in California and any attempt to get rid of it won’t work.

Read the whole thing (San Jose Mercury News).


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