A California court has halted a state program allowing pesticide spraying at schools, organic farms and backyards across California because of inadequate public disclosure of the chemicals’ harms.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s statewide “pest management” program required no site-specific analysis of risks before the application of 79 pesticides, including some known to cause cancer and birth defects and to be highly toxic to bees, butterflies, fish and birds.
In a sweeping decision issued Monday, Judge Timothy M. Frawley ruled that the state agency failed to adequately review impacts or provide adequate notice of pesticide spraying. The agency also didn’t account for the full range of dangers caused by the program, including risks of contaminating water supplies and the cumulative danger of adding even more pesticides to the more than 150 million pounds of pesticides already being used in California each year. Continue Reading »
- One of MOMAS’ important achievements was to strengthen Marin County’s pesticide laws. Due largely to MOMAS’ advocacy work, Marin County now has some of the healthiest, most child-focused county pesticide laws in the country.
- Some examples of the results of our advocacy work include: “pesticide free zones” for Marin County playgrounds, picnic areas and playing fields/turf; “organically maintained” County bike paths and multi-use paths; establishing benchmark reductions for particularly harmful pesticides; and ensuring transparency & full and accurate reporting about pesticides used on County property.
- MOMAS continues to monitor and publicize the County pesticide program, attends crucial County meetings, and meets independently with County officials to: (a) advocate for health-focused policies; and (b) ensure that funding for this important program continues.
- In 2008, MOMAS was a key member of a broad coalition that defeated a Bay Area-wide multi-year aerial pesticide spray plan for a harmless moth (the Light Brown Apple Moth) by the state of California.
- MOMAS continues to monitor the program and is a plaintiff in litigation against the state opposing continuation of the Light Brown Apple Moth program.
- MOMAS has developed key relationships with UC Davis scientists, environmental health experts, community groups, legislators and other stakeholders. Together with our partner organization, California Environmental Health Initiative, we have organized a coalition of over 60 health and environmental organizations to oppose the state’s current efforts to establish future statewide pesticide spray programs.
- MOMAS is working tirelessly to educate and advocate to our state officials about the need for a new approach to managing pests; and supporting the efforts of independent experts at UC Davis who are working to re-envision the way California manages invasive pests so as to develop an approach that is more effective, less burdensome to farmers, economically feasible and far less toxic.
Education & Outreach
MOMAS has developed educational talks for parents and caregivers. See our Current Campaigns page for a more detailed description of our public education and outreach.