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Moth Discovery Prompts Agriculture Quarantine

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQbZZS6bnYw

Video published August 13, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: How will local farmers be affected by the light brown apple moth quarantine? We speak to a nursery owner and the county's agriculture commissioner about the risks the moth poses to local agriculture, and the challenges the quarantine will create for farmers who ship products out of the state.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY IS ON ALERT THIS WEEK, AFTER THE DISCOVERY OF TESTS NEAR BALBOA PARK, PROMPTED A QUARANTINE OF THE SURROUNDING AREA. THE LIGHT BROWN IS NEEDED IN AUSTRALIA, AND BEGAN IMPACTING NORTHERN CALIFORNIA FARMERS IN 2007. COMMISSIONER BOB ATKINS HOSTED AN INFORMATIONAL MEETING ABOUT THE PESTS THIS WEEK TO PREPARE LOCAL GROWERS FOR A POTENTIAL COUNTY WIDE QUARANTINE. WE SPOKE WITH COMMISSIONER ATKINS SPECIAL SOME GROWERS ABOUT WHAT THIS COULD MEAN TO THEIR BUSINESS.

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT ALL SIX MONTHS HAVE BEEN TRAPPED IN VERY TIGHT AREA. AND WE HAVE THAT AREA SATURATED WITH 300 TRAPS. SO THAT'S THE POINT OF USING THOSE, TO PINPOINT WHERE THE INFESTATION IS. AT THAT POINT, IT'S A LITTLE EARLY TO TELL. BUT IT DOES GIVE US CONFIDENCE THAT WE ONLY HAVE TWO LOCATIONS FOR THE SIX MONTHS. IT SUGGESTS THAT WE'RE PROBABLY VERY CLOSE TO WHERE THEY ARE. THERE ARE TWO QUARANTINES. THE STATE QUARANTINE IS REFERENCED BY THE USDA QUARANTINE. AND IT'S ALSO THE SMALLER OF THE TWO. IT'S WITHIN A MILE AND A HALF OF WHERE THE INSECTS WERE FOUND. THEY'RE EAST OF BALBOA PARK. THERE HAVE TO BE TREATMENTS AND TRAPPING. AN ONGOING TREATMENT PROGRAM IN THE NURSERIES TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY HAVE ALL PESTS UNDER CONTROL. THERE'S TRAPPING. ONE TRAP FOR EVERY FIVE ACRES. AND THERE HAVE TO BE BIWEEKLY INSPECTIONS. OF THE NURSERY STOCK. IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO SHIFT OUT OF THE QUARANTINE AREA.

WE'RE WORRIED NOT ONLY ABOUT OUR NURSERY STOCK BEING HELD OUT. HELD OUT FOR INTERSTATE SHIP. S, BUT OUR COMMODITIES AS WELL. WE WERE JUST FINISHING WITH THE MED FLY, AS FAR AS SPRAYING AND KEEPING WITH COMPLIANCE AND ALL OF THAT. NOW WE HAVE THINGS STARTING. WE HAVE A LOT OF COMMODITIES UP NORTH. AND WE SHIFT OUT OF STATE.

AT THIS POINT TDOES NOT APPEAR TO BE OF ANY IMPACT TO ME. AT LEAST THIS YEAR. I'VE ALREADY PICKED MOST OF THE GLORIES IN THE FALLBROOK AREA HAVE PICKED THEIR CROP FOR THE YEAR.

THEY SAID THAT ORGANIC FARMERS HAVE BEEN HIT THE HARDEST, UP IN THE NORTH. BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THEY'RE NOT USING THE SAME PESTICIDES THAT WILL BE USED ON A CONVENTIONAL FARMS VERSUS AN ORGANIC FARM. SO, YOU KNOW, POTENTIALLY IT COULD HIT US HARD.

Reporter: THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO EVER BE MINDFUL THAT THEY'RE TAKING A RISK WHEN THEY MOVE PLANTS. AND THEY SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT WITH THE AGSULT L CULT -- AGRICULTURAL COMMISSIONER WHEN THEY MOVE PLANTS PARTICULARLY FROM ONE AREA TO ANOTHER. AND TO BE GENERALLY AWARE OF THESE NEW PLANT QUARANTINES THAT WE HAVE. THERE IS AN EXCELLENT RESOURCE AT THE CDFA WEBSITE. AND AT OUR WEBSITE, WE HAVE LINKS TO THAT. IF YOU'RE MOVING FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER, YOU CAN DO A QUICK CHECK TO SEE WHAT QUARANTINES ARE IN PLACE.

Comments

Avatar for user 'RobertWilliams'

RobertWilliams | August 13, 2010 at 10:24 p.m. ― 4 years, 2 months ago

THE LIGHT BROWN APPLE MOTH (LBAM) IS NO MORE OF A THREAT TO AGRICULTURE THAN THE WIND.

The entomologist who first noticed it, three courts who evaluated it, the state senate committee on agriculture all determined that the moth is a NON-ISSUE to agriculture.

Only the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA), the USDA, and the chemical companies who stood to rob California taxpayers of $100 Million per year for unnecessary pesticide contracts for 30 years are keeping this propaganda about LBAM alive.

Finally in Northern California, these false claims about LBAM were uncovered and CDFA had to stop the insanity there. But in order to continue to rob taxpayers, CDFA is now pulling the same scam in San Diego, where the people simply aren't familiar with the truth about this moth and this fraudulent program. Farmers with LBAM in their fields know that LBAM is a non-issue.

The quarantines and interference with farming are very real, but they are caused by the CDFA, not LBAM.

Contact any/every agriculture commissioner in the state and you will find: NO DOCUMENTED DAMAGE FROM LBAM in the state of California. Media reports of damage are taken from false information supplied to the media by the CDFA.

Tens of thousands of LBAM have been trapped in Santa Cruz and San Francisco counties and NO DAMAGE.

LBAM is Not a recent arrival as CDFA preaches. LBAM has been in California for over 50 years now and NO DAMAGE, NONE. Check for yourself!

See a Professor's Press Release on the Fraud of the CDFA LBAM program:
http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/view/76798

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Avatar for user 'StanRoller'

StanRoller | August 14, 2010 at 9:17 a.m. ― 4 years, 2 months ago

There is NO THREAT caused by the LBAM ANYWHERE it is found in the world. The moth has been in the state for decades and has, by CDFA's own admission in their EIR, NOT CAUSED ANY DAMAGE in the state. The moth was misclassified decades ago and the USDA and CDFA refuse to respect modern research and knowledge regarding the real threat of this innocuous insect. In New Zealand, where it has been found for more then 100 years (this is true also for Hawaii, the UK, and everywhere it is native or has been introduced) farmers are required to provide only LBAM-free produce if they intend to export to the US. New Zealand farmers are not subject to quarantines, do not have to have LBAM-free farms, and the government helps these farmers with useful information on control. Our CDFA and USDA are not there to help just prevent farmers from doing their jobs and imposing restrictions. LBAM is easy to control with organic IPM methods.

The ONLY threat of LBAM is the inspections and draconian quarantines imposed on our farmers and the violation of our farms and businesses by the CDFA/USDA. The media and agricultural commissioners have not acted responsibly and need to check the misinformation they promulgate as facts regarding the LBAM and the eradication program.

Resist the quarantines, ask questions, get educated (Northern California resisted after the CDFA sprayed regions of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties with synthetic chemicals never meant for or tested for exposure to humans and without any efficacy tests on how these treatments might work), urge reclassification of LBAM. Refuse to sign compliance agreements until all of your questions are answered. Stand up and fight with legal challenges. LBAM is not a threat, our Ag agencies are the real threat despite the fact their job is to protect us.

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