CA PESTICIDE SPRAYING PITS TRADE SECRETS AGAINST RIGHT TO KNOW

October 31, 2007

California is trying to eradicate the brown apple moth along the state's central coast by aerial spraying of a pheromone-based pesticide intended to interfere with the insect's natural reproductive cycle. Some residents want to know what's being sprayed on them.

Their health worries are so far no match for the state's concern for protecting the 'trade secrets' of the pesticide manufacturer. Attorneys for the state have asked a judge to let spraying resume.

"Many of the product's ingredients remain a mystery, cloaked in nondisclosure agreements in a federal law governing pesticides that make them exempt from public-records requirements," the Associated Press reported.