The shopping list for my office supply run may include a fire extinguisher.
In the wake of my commentary (Western Farm Press, Nov. 15) about false alarms over pheromone spraying to control light brown apple moth (LBAM), my e-mail inbox has been ablaze with angry folks in the LBAM treatment/quarantine areas taking exception. To print them all would fill several large editions of Western Farm Press. I tried to respond to some of them — another mistake. Here is a smattering of comments received — so far:
• “You are ignorant. The little spraying that they did did not work. There is no LBAM emergency; it has been here for decades.”
• “I worked for Chevron Chemical Corp., as a field sweeper in my college years (in Fresno). Pesticides are only developed for use in agriculture; they are all dangerous and not for use on humans or places where they live and work!”
• “I know you’ve heard of sustainable farming as a way to avoid pesticides. You might want to write on it some day as an alternative to using pesticides.”
• “Urban population (was turned into) guinea pigs for the aerial applications of a so-called pesticide containing an untested material”
• “Actually you have drunk the CDFA Kool Aid and totally, mindbogglingly, accepted all of their disinformation. The scientists the CDFA used couldn’t find their way in from a rainstorm if their lives depended on it.”
• “Thank you for all of your propaganda – Mr. Propaganda Cline for BIG AG/CHEMICAL. I will write to someone other than you because you are on the payroll and will not respond with an honest answer.”
• “Just to let you know you’re tripping — over your own feet (probably from pesticide poisoning). I don’t know if you’re just ignorant and misinformed and live under a rock or just one of those unconscious dumb %$#@ who has no respect for life and will do anything including mass murder for a buck?”
• “Just a reminder: You are not immune. You too could succumb to pesticide hell.”
• “I am hoping you can at least remember that you are an American citizen, and supposed to be a supporter of the Geneva Code which prohibits the testing of chemicals on human beings without their consent. By siding with forces who would set aside the edicts of the Geneva Code ... your stance is unpatriotic.”
• “I think that the problem with the CDFA is the desire to keep their organization large and to respect the efforts of our governor to support his major contributors, which include large contributors from chemical companies.”
I was also informed that litters of rabbits died from the pheromone treatments; young children became critically ill; adults in the treatment area suffered symptoms for seven to eight months after aerial applications of LBAM pheromones; 600 birds died and pheromone-laden foam washed up on the beaches.
Nice, rational folks in Santa Cruz, Pacific Grove and in urban Monterey County. There also was one from Sonoma County where LBAM pheromone treatments have been made. No point in detailing or debating the issue again in this space. I would be preaching to the choir and likely set my e-mail inbox ablaze from the unchurched.
CDFA has its hands full trying to protect these people from themselves and protect agriculture from LBAM.
More importantly, California is in far more peril from ignorance than LBAM.