Suterra LLC, a manufacturer of "biorational" pest control products based in Bend, Oregon, has issued a cease and desist order to Indybay demanding that information about a "secret" ingredient in the CheckMate OLR-F mating disruption pheromone be removed from the site. On September 28th, the Santa Cruz Sentinel published the key ingredients of CheckMate OLR-F; information inadventantly provided to the Sentinel by the United States Environmental Protetion Agency. The Sentinel was immediately contacted by a lawyer for Suterra and they quickly removed the ingredients from their website. HOPE (Helping Our Peninsula's Environment), a Monterey County non-profit environmental organization which started a lawsuit against the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), filed supplemental papers with the Court on October 9th including mention of the formerly secret "inert" ingredient in the Checkmate pesticide. At the October 9th Santa Cruz City Council meeting, the City of Santa Cruz voted (4-3) to either join HOPE's lawsuit or file a separate action to stop spraying planned in Santa Cruz County, including residential areas, from November 4th - 9th. On October 10th, Monterey County Judge Robert O'Farrell issued a temporary restraining order of aerial pheromone spraying in Monterey County. After the judge's ruling, the CDFA suspended the Light Brown Apple Moth pheromone application on the Monterey Peninsula "until further notice." The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing to consider the issue on October 16th. |
The identity of this isocyanate compound can now be found in court records and local newspapers, including the Santa Cruz Sentinel and the Monterey County Herald. According to safety data on the Suterra website, inhalation of CheckMate OLR-F is "not a likely route of exposure", however if exposure occurs, "remove victim to fresh air... Get medical attention." Aerial spraying took place in Monterey County on four nights, September 9th - 12th. Monterey County residents were told the spraying would last three nights, but sprayers "miscalculated" and had to spray a 4th day.
The website for the National Institutes of Health state, "Isocyanates are irritating to the skin and the mucous membranes, the skin conditions ranging from localized itching to more or less widespread eczema. Eye affections are less common and, although lacrimation is often found, conjunctivitis is rare. The commonest and most serious troubles, however, are those affecting the respiratory systems." HOPE states that there is a remarkable overlap with the symptoms and illnesses reported by 110 Monterey County residents and the symptoms known to be caused by the isocyanate.