Stop the Chemical Arms Race
The Salt Lake Tribune recently published an article on current developments on the issue of spraying pesticides by the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District (SLCMAD). UPHE is calling for a two year moratorium on spraying mosquito pesticides, by airplane, truck, and backpack.
SLCMAD officially dropped their plans to involve the Air Force because of the opposition led by UPHE and many other groups. But they are digging in their heels and refusing to suspend their other types of pesticide application, including using private airplanes. “The negative attention that has garnered by a very small vocal percentage of the population is not worth the demand on our time/effort and strain on our public relations that we feel are requirements to move forward,” Ary Faraji, the district’s executive director, wrote in an email.
We beg to differ. In the 63 page report UPHE sent to the District three weeks ago, with hundreds of medical references, reviewed and signed by 13 physicians, many with past and present university appointments, who collectively have as much expertise on environmental toxins as any entity in the Western US, we made a strong case that spraying toxic pesticides to kill adult mosquitoes was harmful to public health, specifically neurodevelopment of children, was likely ineffective, and possibly counterproductive in controlling the mosquito population, and was ineffective in controlling WNV cases which are already very low. There were only two WNV cases in the entire state last year.
The science is clearly on our side, and we intend to show the public is as well.
Pesticide spraying against mosquitoes is an institutionalized relic of the 1950s. There are safer and more effective ways to control mosquitoes. Stop the chemical arms race!