Gypsy Moth Spraying

Choosing the least toxic option

As towns are choosing whether to join in the Gypsy Moth Suppression Program sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, environmentalists are urging support for the Bt. spray program.

Towns that have weighed in are Evesham,Medford, Brick,DoverTownship,Jackson.  When applied at the right time, Bt. should give adequate protection from tree defoliation, while posing the least threat to human and ecological health.

The N.J. Environmental Federation has been joined with 36 N.J. environmental groups including Pinelands Preservation Alliance, N.J. Sierra Club, and N.J. Conservation Foundation in opposing the Department of Agriculture’s proposed use of the chemical pesticide Dimilin, classified as a probably human carcinogen, in  the Gypsy Moth Suppression Program.

Dimilin is a broad spectrum synthetic chemical pesticide that is inappropriate for use in sensitive ecological environments such as the Pine Barrens of Burlington, Ocean, Atlantic andCape Maycounties.

Broad scale pesticide spraying is not the answer to pest problems; it only adds toxins to our N.J. environment that already suffers from chemical overexposure.

Who knows what the synergistic effects are on the ecosystem from all the chemicals in use today? Without adequate monitoring of the environment for how these chemicals affect non target organisms, we cannot support the use of broad spectrum chemicals in state and municipal funded programs.

Citizens of N.J. suffer high rates of cancer, birth defects, and autism from chemicals in our environment. Please do not add to that burden by exposing us to yet another endocrine disruptor.

Jane Nogaki Pesticide Program Coordinator NJ Environmental Federation Marlton

February 5, 2008 7:48 AM