The California Environmental Health Initiative


Science at the intersection of human health and agriculture.


Light Brown Apple Moth Program

     UPDATE: Vctory in Apple Moth Lawsuit

On Dec. 2, 2015, an appeals court threw out the state’s approval of the apple moth program. Read the court’s decision and our press release.

In 2007, the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) aerially sprayed areas of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties in California with an untested pesticide for the light brown apple moth (LBAM), claiming that LBAM posed an emergency threat to California crops even though there was no evidence of damage from the moth and numerous entomologists said that the moth had been in the state for decades.  After the spraying, hundreds of individuals and families reported adverse health effects including the near death from respiratory arrest of a previously health infant. 

CDFA planned to continue spraying the heavily populated San Francisco Bay Area in early 2008. However, two courts ordered CDFA to stop spraying and prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the LBAM program, as required by state law.

The LBAM Programmatic EIR (PEIR) was released in 2010, and CEHI (under our previous name Stop the Spray East Bay) challenged the EIR in a lawsuit along with several other health and environmental groups and California cities.

History of the court case

Read the lawsuit Opening Brief in the lawsuit on Dec. 23, 2011. The court heard the case May, 2011. Click here to read the final brief submitted by our attorneys prior to the hearing. Click here to read the superior court ruling issued in August, 2012.   Click here to read our press release about the ruling. We appealed the case. Click here to read our appeal brief. See top of page for information our victory in appeals court.

Read “Clear, Present, Significant, & Imminent Danger: Questions for the California Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana) Technical Working Group” by Drs. James Carey and Daniel Harder, published in the winter 2013 issue of American Entomologist

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