Frequently Asked Questions
- Why the need for an alternatives work group (WG)?
California is in the process of cancelling the registrations of the pesticide chlorpyrifos because of the detrimental human health effects associated with its use. Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate pesticide that is used to control pests on a variety of crops, including alfalfa, almonds, citrus, cotton, grapes and walnuts.
Although use of chlorpyrifos in California has declined by about 50 percent in the last decade, and significantly in the last year due to the latest interim restrictions (permit conditions) on chlorpyrifos use, some growers who still use this pesticide to tackle pests will be impacted by the cancellation. The cross sector alternatives work group will help to identify, evaluate and recommend alternative pest management tools that protect public health, workers and the environment, support sustainable agriculture and are cost-effective in California. It is a reflection of the administration's vision of providing strong public health protection and strong protection for workers while building a thriving agricultural sector.
- Who is on the Alternatives Work Group?
The work group will consist of representatives from California universities, environmental justice groups, farmworker health and safety organizations, UC Cooperative Extension and Integrated Pest Management scientists, pesticide registrants, agricultural commissioners, commodity organizations, pest control advisors, and product manufacturers. CalEPA, CDFA, and DPR will serve in an advisory capacity.
It will be facilitated by Joseph McIntyre of Ag Innovations based in Sebastopol, CA. You can see a roster of the work group.
- How were participants chosen?
- Working group members were selected to represent a diverse range of perspectives and critical interests.
- Joseph MCintyre was chosen as the facilitator of the group as he has worked with DPR and CDFA in the past to navigate complex California agriculture issues including Integrated Pest Management, the CA Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment and several other roundtables. In addition to that, CDFA contracted with Mr. McIntyre to facilitate agricultural labor discussions around housing and mobility. Mr. McIntyre also has experience working with community organizations.
- What are the roles and tasks of the work group?
The main goal of the work group is to develop short and long term action plans to identify and develop safer, more sustainable alternatives to chlorpyrifos. The work group will leverage the work of experts from across the globe to identify and develop pest management tools. Ultimately the group is tasked to:
- Provide practical, short-term solutions (that can be implemented between 3 and 12 months) to begin the transition to safer, more sustainable pest management solutions.
- Provide direction for a five-year action plan on how to strategically manage pests using safer, less toxic alternatives. DPR and CDFA anticipate that this plan will include the estimated costs of, and opportunities and barriers to, implementing it, as well as information on possible resources to support continued research, production trials, and outreach to the grower community.
- Consider issues including farm worker safety, community health, efficacy, and climate smart solutions as it seeks to develop alternatives to chlorpyrifos.
- How can the public participate in this process?
Engaging the public will be a critical factor for the work group. As it develops short-term and long-term plans it will solicit input from the public at various stages.
Initially the public can offer input and ideas to the workgroup to consider via email at Alternatives@cdpr.ca.gov until Monday September 30th. The public can also sign up for updates about the Work Group via a list serve at alternatives to chlorpyrifos list serve.
In addition, the workgroup will coordinate 3 statewide public workshops where the work group will solicit public feedback on the action plans it is developing. The dates and locations of these workshops will be announced at a later date.
- When can we expect results from the work group?
The work group will begin work in Aug 2019 and complete its work in the spring of 2020.
For more information on chlorpyrifos, the cancellations, and the Work Group and other related topics, visit our website.
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