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Davis residents get sprayed w/ toxic pesticides, W. Nile hysteria

The Sacramento Valley community of Davis (CA) struggles to fend of pro-pesticide city council members who whip up fear of west Nile virus into a frenzy as justification for exposing ALL Davis residents & beyond to toxic carcinogenic pyrethrin pesticide without possibility of a vote..
Even though this article pertains to CA, there's some info here that may help ORegon communities in the event of a pro-pesticide spraying outbreak in your community..

The Davis City Council voted 4-1 (Lamar Heystek dissenting) in favor of NOT allowing Davis neighborhoods to vote on aerial spraying occurring over their homes and streets. Usually progressive councilmember and now Mayor Sue Greenwald has stepped hard to the right when she refused to support Lamar's proposition in giving the residents of Davis greater say in decisions made about having potential carcinogenic pesticide "pyrethrins" sprayed over homes and yards where their pets and children play. Mayor pro-temp Ruth Asmundson waved her hand briskly to dismiss Lamar's idea of considering a community vote about what effects the air, land and water we all live together in. Ruth said she "won't EEEVEN address it". How about two snaps and a circle for you too Ms. Thang. Councilmember Don Saylor growled that it was "time to drain the swamp AND kill the alligators" and advocated aeriel spraying. Maybe Mr. Saylor needs to lay off the John Wayne Rambo reruns and learn a bit about wetlands ecosystems? Nah, learning ecology is too much trouble, much easier to flick the remote & watch Rambo Raygun reruns on TNT. Councilmember Stephen Souza took a nap by choosing the path of least resistance..

If you were unable to make the meeting, even if you don't live in Davis, you also have the right to express your opinion of aerial pesticide spraying as we ALL breathe the same air (not fixed in position). Please email city council and express your concern about additional toxins polluting the central valley's air quality..

Davis city council emails @;

Public comment favored alternatives to spraying toxic pyrethrin pesticides, including improving beneficial insect habitats, public outreach and other preventative measures outside releasing more toxins into the ecosystem. One comment expressed that people with chronic illness like Parkinsons, multipple sclerosis, etc.. were at risk of dying from exposure to pyrethrins. The risk of a small number of people becoming sick from West Nile virus is far less than the risk of many people developing cancer or other serious illnesses over the years following aerial pyrethrin pesticide spraying..

Another comment mentioned that by reducing fertilizer runoff and resulting eutrophication (algae bloom growth & death from excess nitrates), we could improve water flow. Stagnant water in agricultural irrigation canals is a prime mosquito breeding habitat, moreso than the yards and fountains of Mace Ranch residents. Beneficial predator insects like dragonfly larvae generally prefer less stagnant water, the larvae of dragonflies are essential in lowering the amounts of breeding adults by feasting on mosquito larvae..

The public comments also reminded the Davis city council that initially DDT was considered "safe for public exposure" in the sixties, before Rachel Carson wrote "Silent Spring" about bioaccumulation of DDT toxins in bald eagles resulting in thinner egg shells. The breast cancer rate in humans also showed significant increases following several years of DDT applications, later tests showed that DDT was indeed the culprit..

"Don't worry", say the pesticide advocates with a nod and wink, " THIS time pyrethrins really are safe! Trust us!"

Sure, the experts always know best and the people of Davis are a bunch of hippie dimwits who don't trust the nice benevolent corporations who generously offer their shiny sparking pesticide products with a smile..

Of course we could count on Richard Roush, head of UC Davis Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, to make his public appearance and advocate for aerial spraying of pyrethrins. His focused on the small amount of pyrethrins being sprayed, claiming that if it was all scraped up and put into a drinking vessel it still wouldn't kill anyone. Well Mr. Roush, be my guest to sample the petrochemical product you claim to be so safe on your own, but leave the rest of the people out of your bizarre public laboratory tests. The IPM program at UC Davis currently seems to include more than generous applications of pro-biotech GMO and pro-pesticide product propaganda than ecologically sound practices. When research money is squandered on pro-corporate pesticide/GMO projects, other sustainable research projects (symbiosis, beneficial insects) are left stranded. We're also looking into UCD's IPM program funding and research direction coming from Monsanto and other petrochemical manufacturing corporations (Dow, DuPont, etc..), so get your paper shredder warmed up. Fair warning..

visit with Mr. Richard Roush here @;

Many other organizations are also struggling to maintain pesticide free zones around their homes and farms. Here's a group from the coast that has info on pesticide toxicity and local issues..

Download Californians for Alternatives to Toxins (CATs) "Do Not Spray: Pesticide Free Zone" sign @;

The PAN database for pesticides needs constant updating, especially for potentially carcinogenic ones like pyrethrin just recently put on the market. It is often difficult to get accurate data on human exposures following the release of a pesticide into the human ecosystem. Pesticide manufacturing corporations like Dow and DuPont subject non-human animals to often inaccurate tests to hasten the release to the market. If the rats, guinea pigs or whatever animals are tested don't die overnight, they are left to die of old age and not further examined. Reminding people of pharmaceutical product thalidomide, tested on many species of animals with no adverse effects, resulted in humans giving birth to children with flippers instead of hands and feet. Needless to say damage control quickly pulled the product off the shelves and media soon forgot. Not here @ imcs, we never forget..

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) info on pyrethrins @;

PAN info for DEET @;

Much love goes out to our friends from across the great rio who also attended the Davis city council meeting and offered some info to counter the pro-pesticide positions of public officials. Here's some logical reasoning found at No Spray Sac's website;

"Treating mosquitoes with spray is . . . analogous to trying to machinegun mosquitoes in flight as opposed to attacking their life support while they are relatively fixed in the water. The former is mathematically difficult to impossible and dangerous. The latter, while requiring more thinking, is less dangerous and very effective (as shown by data) . . . "

Martin Walter, Professor of Mathematics, University of Colorado, Boulder. "

for more info visit No Spray Sacramento @;

Fact sheet from No Spray Sacramento @;
 link to www

The pesticide treadmill refers to the continuous evolved resistance of "pest" insect species like mosquitos, the reduction of beneficial predators (dragonflies, frogs,, etc..) who are usually more suceptible to pesticides through bioaccumulation, longer life cycles, and the eventual need for a newer, more toxic pesticide to become effective at reducing the overpopulation (lack of predators, evolved resistance to pesticides) of pest species. Here's an excerpt from a earlier study from Pesticide Action Network;

"Predator-prey relationships can also be upset by pyrethroids. For example, a black fly predator, the caddisfly, is susceptible to permethrin at rates lower than those necessary to control blackfly. The same is true for a group of spider mite predators, the phytoseiid mites. These mites have an LD50 15 times lower than the spider mite pest.35 Chronic exposure from residual deposits on vegetation could have an effect on beneficial arthropod behavior and physiology.2,41"

article continues @;

Humans and other "top of the food chain" animals like eagles, owls, etc.. are MOST at risk from bioaccumulation of toxic pesticides over time..

"Many pyrethroids have also been linked to disruption of the endocrine system, which can adversely affect reproduction and sexual development, interfere with the immune system and increase chances of breast cancer. Pyrethroids contain human-made, or xenoestrogens, which can increase the amount of estrogen in the body (Garey et al., 1998). When tested, certain pyrethroids demonstrate significant estrogenicity and increase the levels of estrogen in breast cancer cells (Go et al., 1999). Because increased cell division enhances the chances for the formation of a malignant tumor in the breast, artificial hormones, like those found in pyrethroids, may increase breast cancer risk (PCBR, 1996). Some pyrethroids are classified by EPA as class C (possible human) carcinogens."

more info @;
 link to www.beyondpesticides.org

Profit motive of pesticide manufacturing corporations (Dow, DuPont, Monsanto, etc..) needs to be addressed also, the slow death of humans from cancer is not always attributed to the source (toxic products from corporations) and corporations continue to market their products until overwhelming evidence forces them to pull the product off the shelves (DDT) unless they find a desperate community in malaria-stricken (dams create stagnant river water, poverty weakens immune system, etc..) Africa who is unaware of proven cancer risks of DDT..

"DDT Use in South Africa Results in Elevated Human Poisoning
(Beyond Pesticides, July 25, 2006)

According to the Independent Online, a study, entitled Contamination of the water environment in malaria endemic areas of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, by agricultural insecticides, has found that mothers tested in South Africa's rural areas have pesticides, including DDT, in their breast milk. Some of the women have 77 times the international limit for DDT residue in humans, while in some of their babies it is 12 times the World Health Organization's "acceptable" limit. The study is not yet publicly available in the U.S., but can be accessed by registering here.

In the study, pesticides were found in the breast milk of 152 women at clinics in the towns of Jozini, Mkuze and Kwaliweni in northern KwaZulu-Natal, near Durban, South Africa. DDT is used in two of the towns to control mosquitoes that transmit malaria. Between 1995 and 2000, pyrethroids were used, then DDT usage was resumed. The pyrethroids found in the women's breast milk are used as agricultural pesticides in the regions where they live. Mothers from Jozini had life long exposures to DDT from malaria control, and also had the highest residue rates. Scientists said the source of DDT in the town of Kwaliweni should be investigated to determine whether water or fish were the source of contamination, because mothers in that town did not report living in DDT treated dwellings.

First time moms had the highest level of DDT residues, meaning first-borns got the highest amount of the pesticide in breast milk. Scientists say that the levels of DDT found in babies warrant strong concern."

article cont's @;

Last year's (2005) spraying in Sacramento of pyrethrin based pesticides was McLaughlin Gormley King's (MGK) Evergreen 60-6, and also Bayer/Aventis's Pyrenone 25-5. The pesticide manufacturing corporations depend on people remaining ignorant to 1) other more effective, safer, lower cost solutions for mosquito control 2) risks of pyrethrin pesticides on human/animal health 3) pattern of pesticide treadmill reducing beneficial predatory insects; the natural, free and safe method of pest control..

Let's remind the pesticide manufacturers that people are aware..

"What do dragonflies eat?

Answer: Larval dragonflies are aquatic and eat anything small enough for them to catch and hold onto while they grind it into pieces and eat it. This ranges from scuds, tubifex worms, water beetles, mosquito larvae, small fish, mayfly larvae, damselfly larvae, other dragonfly larvae, etc., etc. As adults, dragonflies eat just about anything they can catch while on the wing. Mosquitoes, gnats, flies, flying ants, swarming termites, mayflies, midges, butterflies (even big swallowtails), damselflies, other dragonflies, or just about anything small enough for them to catch."

more on dragonflies @;