Godzilla versus Mothra: the LBAM sequel

Tiny moth, vast threat?

It seems like only the other day that the Guardian broke the news that the California Department of Food and Agriculture was threatening to spray San Francisco with moth pheromones, based on controversial estimates of a tiny invasive moth's economic and environmental impacts.

That program was stopped, but not before residents of Santa Cruz and Monterey were subjected to repeated spraying by low-flying crop dusters, and questions were raised about the economic and political motivations behind the push to spray.

And now, on the 4oth anniversary of Earth Day, City Attorney Dennis Herrera has announced that San Francisco is joining a coalition of cities and health, environmental and mothers' groups in a lawsuit that challenges the state's current light brown apple moth (LBAM) eradication program. 

Filed in Alameda County Superior Court today, the civil lawsuit charges that the final programmatic Environmental Impact Report for the program is not based on sound science, and is invalidated because the program's objective was changed from eradicating to merely controlling the moth, after the EIR was finished.

"The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has produced an environmental impact report that raises many more questions than it answers," Herrera said in a press release. "After combing through this document, it is literally impossible to say with certainty what CDFA plans to do, or when and where it plans to do it. To confuse matters further, the eradication program under review was subsequently morphed into a 'control, contain and suppress' program-whatever that means."

Copies of case documents are available at the City Attorney's website.




CDFA was planning on approximately $100 Million of taxpayer dollars every year for about 30 years for this fraudulent LBAM Program. Kawamura, the Secretary of the CDFA, and the other top executives, cannot easily steal the money and put it into their own accounts. Instead, they deliver it to their crony buddies at large privileged insider chemical companies in the form of contracts for pesticides that are totally unnecessary.

This and other similar lawsuits filed against CDFA over this matter will put mud in Kawamrua's face since he has failed to accomplish the total fraud that he has been heading up for nearly three years now. And because the Governor appointed Kawamura, tremendous embarrassment goes the governor's way, such that this fiasco for a bug that is a non-issue will offset Schwarzenegger's reputation for anything good that he did during his tenure, as little as that may be.

Unless the governor directs the attorney general NOT to defend this case, but rather to withdraw the flawed EIR and moth program, this LBAM fiasco will go down worse than any of the governor's "B" Movies.

And to think that they may have gotten away with such a fraudulent program. Had the economy not tanked, it is very possible that CDFA would have gotten away with the $100 million for 30 years amongst the prosperity and the public would not have not known the entire basis of the program was a fraud.

Kawamura should resign immediately or be imprisoned for abuse of public funds and for chemical molestation of children when there was no reason to compromise the children's well being in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 22, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

I helped fight the original program to spray everyone and everything a few years ago. This was at the behest of the non-organic wine industry, with enthusiastic support of the chemical companies who stood to make money off of the spraying.

What we really should be talking about is banning pesticides, those horrible chemicals that poison the Earth and everything on it, including us. Everyone ate just fine for the entire history of the Earth before this crap was invented, and it's past time to say that it was a bad idea and needs to be abolished.

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on Apr. 23, 2010 @ 11:03 pm