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Apple Moth Pesticide Program

A light brown apple moth.

A light brown apple moth. The apple moth program targets an insect that to date has done no documented damage to crops or wild plants in California.

David Short / CC BY 2.0

What’s at Stake

The controversial program began by aerially spraying populated areas of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties in 2007, resulting in hundreds of complaints of harm to human health and wildlife.

The Department of Food and Agriculture did not analyze health and environmental impacts of an indefinite control program and did not reconsider less-toxic control strategies.

Overview

At issue is an ill-conceived California Department of Food and Agriculture statewide pesticide campaign for the light brown apple moth that included plans to aerially spray the San Francisco Bay Area for seven years. The controversial program began by aerially spraying populated areas of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties in 2007, resulting in hundreds of complaints of harm to human health and wildlife.

By 2015, the apple moth program has cost $6 million in federal funds alone during the past two years and targets an insect that to date has done no documented damage to crops or wild plants in California.

The lawsuit was brought by Our Children’s Earth Foundation; the Cities of Albany, Berkeley, and Richmond; Mothers of Marin Against the Spray; Stop the Spray East Bay; Center for Environmental Health; Pesticide Action Network North America; Citizens for East Shore Parks; Californians for Pesticide Reform; Pesticide Watch; and Stop the Spray San Francisco, represented by Cooley LLP and Earthjustice, and by the City and County of San Francisco represented by the City Attorney.

Case ID

1776

Attorneys

Case Updates

August 30, 2012 | Legal Document

Apple Moth Decision

Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento