Don't Spray On Me: Families, children resist this inhuman and very questionable "spraying" of our lan

POOR correspondent - Posted on 06 July 2010

Tony Robles/PNN
Monday, April 21, 2008;

"Profits enslave the world"
--Filipino American labor organizer Philip Vera Cruz

The cat sprayed in the computer and now the government wants to spray on us. The reason? It's called LBAM, aka the light brown apple moth. The state and big agribusiness is putting out propaganda that says this little moth--unless controlled by spraying--will cost California billions of dollars in lost crop export revenue.

Activists and community groups say that the state is being irresponsible, putting the health of people at risk for the benefit of big agribusiness and chemical companies.

As a Filipino-American, the issue hits a very sensitive chord with me. Filipino-Americans were very instrumental in fighting big agribusiness for decent wages and working conditions. Leaders like Philip VeraCruz and Larry Itliong organized Filipino workers throughout California, successfully gaining better wages for workers. Through their work they were able to forge alliances with their Latino brothers and sisters, led by Cesar Chavez, to form what would become the UFW.

It came dollars then, and it comes down to dollars now, at our expense.

In August the state plans to commence aerial spraying of San Francisco, Alameda County and the greater Bay Area with a pheromone cocktail known as checkmate LBAM-F. Monterey and Santa Clara Counties were sprayed last year. People who had never before experienced respiratory problems reported symptoms lasting for weeks and months. If the state has its way, areas will be sprayed every 30-90 days, likely for many years to come. The City and County of Santa Cruz has sued the state, a hearing is scheduled for April 24th

California's office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment says there is no conclusive link between aerial spraying and the health complaints cited. According to their office, the most common complaints were eye, skin and respiratory irritations. According to their findings, those symptoms could have been caused by a number of factors such as allergies, pollen or the common cold. As a result, the agency said they couldn't make a conclusive determination of a link between the health symptoms and the spraying.

Those opposed to the spraying indicate that the use of pheromone-based mating disrupters has never been proven to be effective. The chemical (checkmate) has known carcinogens and has not been tested for safety on humans. The long term health effects of the compound have not been determined.

Community and advocacy groups are working to stop the aerial spraying. The State Assembly's Agriculture Committee is catering to big agribusiness and the wealthy chemical companies at the expense of the health of our communities, in particular our children.

A petition against the spraying has garnered over 23,000 signatures. Please help stop this spraying.

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