California Statewide Pesticide Use
The California Department of Food and Agriculture is preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a Statewide Plant Pest Prevention and Management Program.
GR: The EIR considers approaches and alternatives and describes an “Environmentally Superior Alternative” that seems more destructive than beneficial. The Alternative does not appear to me to be prudent in light of recent determinations of the harmful consequences of pesticide use.
A “No Pesticide Alternative,” is included, but its description criticizes the alternative in the first sentence. The Department says, “It could cause other adverse environmental impacts because alternative management methods are not anticipated to be as effective in controlling or managing pests.”
There are guidelines for the safe use of pesticides, but I believe guidelines are outdated and inadequate. As native species and ecosystems are damaged, invasive species spread even more quickly. Moreover, invasive species evolve pesticide resistance. The continued use of pesticides-while ecosystems decline and super bugs form is a short-term (rape and pillage) strategy.
Throughout the report, the Department fails to consider recommending changing crops and practices to avoid pest impacts. Of course, we might have passed the point where we can feed our growing population without pesticides. In this case, we can look forward to a time of forced population decline. When our ecosystems fail to moderate storms and floods, and they stop absorbing toxic wastes from the farms, food production will fall.
The full report and the address for comments are available here.