It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
Yesterday, state officials scratched their plans to spray several California counties to eliminate the apple moth, which poses a threat to state's crops.
The change of plans marks progress toward a new modus operandi. First of all, props to all the citizens who acted to defend their breathing air. Cal's Secretary of Agriculture A.G. Kawamura denied that the move had anything to do with major public opposition, but that's hogwash.
Secondly, the change represents the victory of a "presumed dangerous until proven safe" approach to chemicals over the United States' standard "presumed safe until proven dangerous" approach. As Mark Schapiro's book, Exposed, reveals, European countries have long adopted the approach California citizens backed by demanding more proof that the pesticide caused neither immediate nor long-term damage to humans. Europe, for reasons likely including this legal bias, has better health outcomes than the United States.
Thirdly, the decision not to spray is proof that greener methods are often available—or can be thought up given enough pressure. The state has announced that it will now release a large number of sterile moths, which, like the chemical spray, will interfere with the insects' ability to reproduce. The less invasive alternative should, of course, have been the first tried, but we need to re-engineer ourselves to approach problems more holistically. The California ag. secretary may now be climbing the steep part of a learning curve.