For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s Health Issues page, Environment and Climate Resource Center page and our Texas News page.

A crop duster sprays pesticides over a farmfield.
Denton Rumsey / Shutterstock

Sacramento, CA –

Twenty-seven health, water, and environmental groups have commented on the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s multimillion dollar plan which calls for unfettered statewide spraying for pests.

The groups are condemning the agency for:

failing to disclose the true health and ecological impacts of spraying; 
dismissing modern sustainable and scientifically sound approaches to farming; 
foreclosing nearly all opportunities for affected communities to have a voice in or prevent future pesticide applications;
and  developing a plan that allows the state to spray an array of pesticides into the indefinite future, while avoiding almost all additional environmental review and public scrutiny.

The groups, listed below, criticized the state for spending $4.5 million to prepare an environmental review document that ignores growing demand for organic food and mounting scientific evidence about the risks pesticides pose to human health, honeybees and the environment. Each contend that the plan ignores proven biological and ecological farming approaches for managing pests in California and casually rejects without evidence modern growing techniques that are protective of pollinators, waterways, and human and environmental health. The public’s awareness and engagement around these issues is also at an all-time high.

In a 100-page comment letter submitted to the state last week, the groups criticize the plan because, instead of modernizing the state’s agricultural system, it outlines and defends a toxic, decades-old, chemically intensive pest management approach that includes aerial, truck, and hand spraying and “pre-approves” a list of nearly 80 chemicals.