ASSEMBLYMEMBER JOHN LAIRD
27TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT

For Immediate Release: April 16, 2008
Contact: Bill Maxfield
Phone: (831) 596-0910

Laird LBAM Legislation Passes Assembly Agriculture Committee

 

SACRAMENTO – At a packed hearing of the Assembly Agriculture Committee that was highlighted by approximately 350 public comments of support, the Committee this afternoon passed two pieces of legislation authored by Assemblymember John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) related to the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) controversy.

“I’m pleased these two pieces of legislation are moving forward because public confidence is at issue,” said Assemblymember Laird.  “We need to back up and walk through each outstanding issue in a science-based, clear way using neutral third party experts.”

ACR 117, an Assembly Concurrent Resolution that calls on the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the Department of Pesticide Regulation, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and other relevant state departments to address unresolved health, scientific and efficacy issues surrounding the CDFA’s Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM )eradication plans.  The resolution passed by a vote of 5-3 and next heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

“As stated in the resolution, it is the responsibility of our government to demonstrate its LBAM actions are necessary and do not compromise human or environmental health,” said Mr. Laird.  “It isn’t the responsibility of the people to demonstrate the reverse.”

AB 2763, the Invasive Pest Planning Act of 2008 – would require the CDFA to create a list of invasive animals, plants, and insects that have a reasonable likelihood of entering California for which an eradication program might be appropriate.  For each invasive on the list, the department would prepare a written assessment on the most appropriate method of eradication.  If pesticides were to be used, the assessment would have to discuss application methods, the chemistry of the pesticide and its inert ingredients, impacts on public health and the environment.  If a pest was found, the department would have to notify various local agencies, hold public hearings, and comply with other requirements.  The bill passed by a vote of 8-0 and next heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

“The California Food & Agriculture’s Light Brown Apple Moth program has led to more contacts with my office than any single issue during my time in Sacramento,” said Mr. Laird.  “Clearly, the state was not adequately prepared for LBAM.  This bill aims to put in place a pest planning process that prevents the kind of public fear and confusion we’ve experienced with LBAM.”

For more information on the Light Brown Apple Moth issue—including key documents, correspondence, news and other information, visit Assemblymember Laird’s LBAM resource page: http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a27/moth.htm


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Assemblymember.Laird@assembly.ca.gov