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San Diego Farmers Wait On Possible Quarantine

No More Light Brown Apple Moths Found

Audio

Aired 8/23/10

San Diego County farmers are waiting to find out when a federal quarantine takes effect due to an invasive pest. The Light Brown Apple Moth is a potential threat to the county's multi-billion-dollar agriculture industry.

San Diego County farmers are waiting to find out when a federal quarantine takes effect due to an invasive pest. The Light Brown Apple Moth is a potential threat to the county's multi-billion-dollar agriculture industry.

The Light Brown Apple Moth feeds on leaves and fruit, and in some cases burrows inside fruit. It has the potential to devastate nursery crops, fruits and vegetables.

Nurseries account for $1 billion -- or two-thirds -- of San Diego County's agricultural industry.

Several of the moths were discovered last month in a couple of areas of the county.

"The good news on the Light Brown Apple Moth is that they haven't discovered any more apparently than the original six," said Eric Larson, executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau. "The bad news, and we're kind of waiting for that shoe to drop, is when the federal quarantine will be laid on San Diego County."

Larson said the quarantine could begin in the next few weeks.

"When that happens all the growers will be subject to inspections and they'll have to get that done in a timely manner," said Larson.

One county nursery grower is concerned there may not be enough inspectors for the thousands of farms needing to be checked.

A quarantine means farmers will not be able to ship flowers or produce until their operations are found to be free of the pest.

Delays could spoil crops and hurt both farmers and the county's economy.

Comments

Avatar for user 'StanRoller'

StanRoller | August 23, 2010 at 9:40 a.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

The LBAM does not have the potential to devastate any crop due to physical damage. The quarantines and inspections will cause the most damage to agriculture if quarantines are imposed.

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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Avatar for user 'RobertWilliams'

RobertWilliams | August 23, 2010 at 10:32 a.m. ― 3 years, 11 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 the taxpayers of $100 Million per year for unnecessary pesticide contracts for 30 years are keeping this propaganda about LBAM alive.

In Northern California, these false claims about LBAM were finally 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.

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.

LBAM has been in the state for over 50 years now, not a recent arrival as CDFA preaches, and again, 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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