Published: February 4, 2023

Category: Pesticides

Leaders representing diverse interests reach consensus on a path to move the state to sustainable practices in urban and agricultural settings

The State of California recently joined leaders from a diverse range of backgrounds to unveil a roadmap of ambitious goals and actions to accelerate California’s systemwide transition to sustainable pest management and eliminate prioritized high-risk pesticides by 2050 to better protect the health of our communities and environment, while supporting agriculture, food systems and community well-being.

The Sustainable Pest Management Roadmap for California—released by the Department of Pesticide Regulation, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture—charts a course for the state’s transition to sustainable pest management in agricultural and urban settings.

The roadmap was developed over nearly two years by a diverse, cross-sector group of stakeholders representing conventional and organic agriculture, urban environments, community and environmental groups, tribes, researchers, and government.

“For decades, California has used pesticides to protect our crops, our cities, our homes, and our businesses from pests,” said Yana Garcia, California’s Secretary for Environmental Protection. “Exposure to harmful pesticides carries risks—to our health and to our environment—and these risks are disproportionately borne by communities already overburdened by pollution. If we truly want to build a healthy and safe California for all, we must phase out and replace the highest-risk pesticides, and the Sustainable Pest Management Roadmap is a bold, new plan to get us there.”

Sustainable pest management is a holistic, systemwide approach that builds on the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) by incorporating essential elements of human health and social equity, environmental protection, and economic vitality. IPM uses the least toxic, effective method to solve pest problems. While IPM has been practiced to varying degrees for decades, it hasn’t been adopted at scale, across the board, in agriculture or in urban or wildland settings, which is why the holistic, systemwide approach recommended through the Sustainable Pest Management Roadmap is a necessary evolution.

Source: California Department of Pesticide Regulation

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Organic & Non-GMO Insights, February 2023