By Rami Nagel
On September 9th, 2007 several planes hired by the State of California Food and Agricultural Department (CDFA) flying at an altitude of approximately 500ft sprayed the untested biochemical, CheckMate®OLR-F, on over 30,000 citizens in Monterey and other surrounding cities in California. This occurred without the permission of the citizens. The spraying continued for three nights from approximately 8pm to 5am. About 1,500 pounds of biochemical were dumped on the cities. Many citizens did not even know what was happening when the planes were buzzing overhead.
An 11 month old child nearly died from breathing difficulties. A six year old child developed asthma as a result of the aerial spraying. Over one hundred people signed affidavits stating that they got sick from the spraying. Hundreds of people had symptoms like; shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, burning lungs, nausea, and muscle aches.
The excuse for aerial spraying is not a deadly disease carrying mosquito, but a moth whose larva may eat some leaves of some plants; called the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM). The CDFA considers the moth an invasive species since it is from Australia. Yet, evidence suggests that the moth has been in California for many years, living peacefully. In response to the moth, the CDFA set up relatively harmless sticky traps, which have captured nearly every Light Brown Apple Moth in the Northern California region.
Governor Schwarzenegger is a strong supporter of the declared emergency; the need to spray untested biochemicals on humans to stop the LBAM from destroying crops.
This aerial spraying violates several state, federal and international laws. It violates the right to personal safety given by the California State Constitution, the very document that creates the California government. It violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, which protects people with chemical sensitivities and other disabilities from discrimination. It violates the Federal constitutional right to personal liberty. It violates the EPA’s laws against spraying pesticides on people. It violates human rights laws that say that human experimentation without consent is unethical and immoral. It violates criminal laws that claim it is a crime to poison children, or anyone else. It violates pollution laws to spray a toxic substance over plants, animals, and waterways. It violates laws against organized crime and it violates the very tenants of our democracy; a system of government designed to represent the people, not to poison the people to represent private agri-business interests.
Recently, in a series of rapid fire events, the CDFA declared a state of emergency relating to the LBAM claiming that the moths are about to destroy a huge portion of the state’s agricultural crops. The claim is that the LBAM will cause hundreds of millions of dollars of crop damage. Due to this supposed “emergency,” the CDFA claims it must immediately spray an untested biochemical to eliminate this threat as soon as possible despite the reported harms. Mind you, these moth’s only travel within a 20-30 yard diameter of their birth place during their entire life.
The state of emergency is a false declaration because the CDFA cannot produce any meaningful evidence that the LBAM can or would destroy crops and the sticky traps are effective at containing the moths. In Hawaii, the LBAM has been a help to the ecosystem by destroying invasive species and there’s no evidence of crop harm for the last 100 years.
The only emergency seems to be that the State of California, under Governor Schwarzenegger’s helm, has an urgent need to spray as many humans; men, women, children, pregnant women, people with allergies, the elderly, and the sick, with chemicals. There is no sensible explanation as to why they want to do this, nor is there any explanation as to why they think that spraying pesticides on people is a good thing to do.
Spraying chemicals, safe or not safe, on humans against their will is illegal. It is a crime! The Nuremberg Code, established after the horrors of World War II, prohibits human experimentation without the consent of the person who is being experimented upon.
The state does not care about the over 200 health complaints, nor the laws they are violating, but rather cares about the commercial agricultural business. Trade partners with the US may not accept shipments of plants or produce that may have the LBAM. The CDFA has given various figures of the estimated crop damage that the LBAM will cause. Their estimates range from 100 million to 2.7 billion dollars. Now, these estimates are not based on any scientific survey but rather on their opinion and fears.
Even if the harmless moth could cause such damage, it is a dangerous precedent to place the health and safety of United States citizens, especially infants and children, secondary to money. So the CDFA and Governor Schwarzenegger has determined that 100 million dollars of possible damage gives them justification to poison children with chemicals. In this case, economic factors have been given priority over liberty and human value.
So what chemicals make up Checkmate OLR-F and LBAM-F Products?
My understanding is that approximately 15-20% of the main biochemical is made up of a synthetically derived moth pheromone. This pheromone supposedly confuses the moths and disrupts their mating cycles. I am unaware of any scientific evidence to prove that the pheromone is effective at controlling the LBAM population. I supposed the CDFA’s plan is to see how it works after a year or more of spraying. This is essentially biochemical testing. And the problem is that they are doing it on the public on a large scale, against the people’s will. Due to the declaration of an emergency, the CDFA allow themselves to bypass the normal environmental review process meant to examine such questions.
The concern with the Checkmate chemicals is not so much about the pheromone, but rather the pheromone distribution system. The pheromone is encapsulated in a micro-capsule (like a miniature pill) which the CDFA brags is biodegradable. What they do not tell you is that the capsule needs to dry out to biodegrade. In water environments (like your body), the pheromone stays encapsulated. The micro-capsule takes approximately 30 days to degrade. The full degradation occurring within 30 days is unlikely because Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties experience frequent rain and dampness from the Pacific Ocean. Thus, the people in the areas that are sprayed will be inhaling and touching miniature pills. Once in their bodies, the capsule will likely slowly degrade causing moth pheromone to be released directly into people’s bloodstream.
The micro-capsule is made out of what are falsely called “inert” ingredients. Again, the EPA brags that these “inert” ingredients are mostly ionized water. However, they forget to tell you that there are also two known dangerous toxic substances in the inerts – tricaprylyl methyl ammonium chloride (TMAC) and polymethylene polyphenyl isocyanate (PPI).
The breathing problems and asthma-like conditions are known side effects of PPI. So how is the state legally able to spray it on people?
The way they illegally avoid the law and lie to people, so that people will be lulled into a stupor, is by saying that PPI, along with other ingredients, are actually not in the pesticide. Well, this is about 5% true and 95% a lie. Say you are baking a cake; you use flour, sugar, some eggs and other ingredients, and you bake it. One could argue that, in the final cake product, there is no flour but rather a new chemical compound called cake. In the same way, when PPI and other ingredients are processed, they meld and bind together and change their chemical form. They no longer resemble exactly their original substances, just like cake does not look much like the flour it was made of. When you examine the final biochemical, you will see no PPI but rather some new toxic substance.
Since there is no independently verifiable evidence that these new chemical compounds are toxic or not, other than 117 signed affidavits of people who got sick, and since there is a so-called “emergency”, no thorough testing needs to be done. It is a devious way to avoid the law. The end result is that we must “trust” the EPA to say the chemicals are safe. It’s hard to trust the EPA because, for example, with water fluoridation the entire employee’s union at the EPA came out to say that water fluoridation is dangerous and harmful while the official position of the EPA is that water fluoridation is a good thing. It also becomes more difficult to win a court case against the aerial spraying when you cannot get any evidence that the chemicals are dangerous because you are not allowed to independently verify anything that the EPA alleges.
Strangely, the CDFA came out with precautions for this “non-toxic” chemical. Recommendations such as; to close all your windows during the spray, to stay inside, to hose everything off in the morning before you touch it, and to not touch anything that is covered with the chemical residue (anything outside) were encouraged. These warnings are good ideas since the micro-capsule can easily be inhaled, stays stuck on things, or remains in the air. I recently checked the CDFA website looking to quote this document and they had removed all warnings about the chemical, claiming now that it is totally safe. Perhaps this was spurred by the CDFA Secretary of Agriculture A.G. Kawamura’s concern that citizens would waste too much water following the CDFA’s instructions to wash the chemical off of things before touching them. It is eerie how A.G. Kawamura is concerned about saving water and our environment, but is totally oblivious to the fact that hundreds of people have been poisoned due to his aerial spraying efforts.
Spraying chemicals on people is a crime, safe or not.
This is an outrage and this is sickening.
It used to be easy to turn a blind eye to government corruption because we could avoid it. You can avoid vaccinations by claiming an exemption. You can avoid polluted soaps and shampoos by buying natural ones, and you can avoid pesticide ridden foods by choosing organic. (In case you are wondering, strawberries and other produce sprayed with Checkmate will still be certified organic by the State, so you won’t know you are eating pesticide ridden produce.) But the citizens of Monterey, Santa Cruz, Seaside, Los Lomas and other communities consisting of over 100,000 people who are scheduled to be spray bombed, some beginning today for up to six nights in a row, do not have the choice. Their personal boundaries have been violently violated by the CDFA.
Now, you cannot turn a blind eye anymore to what the government does. We need to acknowledge that these things are wrong, whether we can avoid them or not. When we do not stand up against evil, we affirm it. When we say what is happening is smart, we affirm that the evil doer is good because we do nothing to stop them.
I encourage you, in every way possible, to not sit back here. When you see someone doing wrong, whether it is a relative, a neighbor, or the local government, speak up. We need to stop this juggernaut. It is truly a terrifying experience because I have a pregnant partner and a young child and I have to move away from here to avoid being sprayed, to avoid being force vaccinated with synthetic moth hormone. The last bastion of hope is that the Santa Cruz City Council narrowly voted to sue the criminals doing this. It is unclear whether their lawsuit will be effective.