JUDGE RESTRICTS SPRAYING FOR LIGHT BROWN APPLE MOTH

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By Lori Abbott, California News Service

September 13, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--California's efforts to control the light brown apple moth will not include aerial spraying, although environmental groups say that restriction isn't enough.

Erin Tobin, an attorney with Earthjustice, says there's very little evidence to prove the non-native species causes any real harm to agriculture in California.

"It basically authorizes state officials to apply pesticides virtually anywhere in the state, at any time, and with no further environmental review or disclosure."

The state originally got approval for its plan to eradicate the apple moth five years ago by declaring a pest emergency. A Sacramento Superior Court judge recently removed the aerial-spraying component but approved the rest of the controversial statewide pesticide plan and ordered a review if the program continues beyond 2017.

Tobin says the whole issue raises a bigger concern.

"Do we really want state officials to be applying chemicals with unknown health effects in our communities where children live and play - applying these chemicals over and over again?"

Tobin says the environmental and health groups they represent may appeal the ruling.

More information is online at earthjustice.org.