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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Jay Van Rein, CDFA Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462 or (916) 502-7447,

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #07-086
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SACRAMENTO, October 20, 2007 – Following the lifting of a temporary restraining order on the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) eradication program, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger directed California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to immediately resume eradication efforts for this dangerous pest.  The Governor also directed CDFA to make public the list of ingredients in the pheromone being used for this program.

Monterey County Superior Court Judge Robert O’Farrell lifted a restraining order yesterday after determining that the ingredients used in the pheromone Checkmate LBAM-F made by Oregon-based Suterra did not contain chemicals known to be harmful to the public.

“The Governor and Suterra have upheld a commitment to keep Californians and the foods we eat safe and healthy,” said Secretary Kawamura. “My department will ensure a safe eradication of a pest that has the capability of crippling our agriculture and nursery industries, damaging our environment and raising the cost of putting fresh food on our families’ tables.”

The ingredients in Checkmate LBAM-F are:
(E)-11-Tetradecen-1-yl Acetate
(E,E) -9,11 Tetradecadien-1-yl Acetate
Crosslinked polyurea polymer
Butylated Hydroxytoluene
Polyvinyl Alcohol
Tricaprylyl Methyl Ammonium Chloride
Sodium Phosphate
Ammonium Phosphate

“Governor Schwarzenegger made it very clear that, to the maximum extent possible under US trademark law, the list of ingredients in the product used to eradicate the Light Brown Apple Moth should be disclosed to the public,” said Secretary Kawamura. “The Governor supports the public's right to know every ingredient in the product and is confident that full disclosure will confirm what my Department, the California Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Pesticide Regulation established before treatment began—that Checkmate LBAM-F is non-toxic to humans, plants, animals and insects.”

“California has what is considered the strictest and most comprehensive state pesticide regulatory program in the nation,” said Mary-Ann Warmerdam, Director of Cal-EPA’s Department of Pesticide Regulation. “My department will continue to assist the LBAM task force in performing further analysis and monitoring to ensure that the community’s concerns are fully considered.” 

Next Steps in the Eradication Program

The release of the ingredient list in Checkmate LBAM-F follows an announcement on Friday, October 19, by the Monterey County Superior Court that a temporary restraining order was lifted, allowing aerial treatment on the Monterey peninsula to resume. The treatment will be applied on the nights of October 24-27, from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., weather permitting.  Notices including these new dates will be mailed to all known addresses in the treatment area by U.S. mail in advance of the treatment.

CDFA has arranged to send e-mail updates to subscribers announcing intended areas of treatment, weather permitting. And on mornings following treatment, CDFA intends to e-mail subscribers with results of the just-completed application. E-mails will include a link to a map showing the progress of the treatment. Those interested in receiving e-mail updates may sign up at:

Public meetings remain scheduled next week to inform residents and respond to concerns about the aerial pheromone treatments. The meeting schedule is as follows:

Santa Cruz - Monday, October 22
Cocoanut Grove Grand Ballroom
400 Beach Street.
5 pm to 7 pm - Informational Open House
7 pm to 10 pm - Presentation and Public Comment

Santa Cruz -Tuesday, October 23
University Inn and Conference Center
 611 Ocean Street
 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm - Informational Open House
 7:30 pm to 11 pm - Presentation and Public Comment

Salinas - Wednesday, October 24
Echo Valley Elementary School 147
Echo Valley Road 
5 pm to 7 pm - Informational Open House
7 pm to 9 pm - Presentation and Public Comment

Salinas - Thursday, October 25
Salinas Community Center - 940 N. Main Street
4 pm to 6 pm - Informational Open House
6 pm to 9 pm - Presentation and Public Comment

Salinas - Friday, October 26
Salinas - Cesar E. Chavez Elementary School – 1225 Towt Street
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm - Informational Open House
7:30 pm to 10 pm - Presentation and Public Comment

The issue-neutral moderators are former state Assembly Member and current Santa Cruz County Treasurer Fred Keeley who will serve as moderator of the Santa Cruz meetings, and Monterey County public affairs specialist Candace Ingram who will facilitate the Salinas meetings.

The light brown apple moth is of particular concern because it can damage a wide range of crops and other plants including the Central Coast’s prized cypress, as well as redwoods, oaks and many other varieties commonly found in our urban and suburban landscaping, public parks, and natural environment.  The list of agricultural crops that could be damaged by this pest includes grapes, citrus, stone fruits (peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, apricots) and many others.  The complete host list contains well over 1,000 plant species and 250 crops.  The pest damages plants and crops by feeding on leaves, new shoots and fruit.


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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814