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ACTION ALERT: Petition demands San Diego County to keep organic farms pesticide-free

SAN DIEGO – Hundreds of people have joined a new campaign on Change.org urging the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to protect local, organic farms from toxic pesticides.

Alice Weaver, a San Diego resident who supports human and gay rights and is a member of Be Wise Organic Ranch’s Community Supported Agriculture program, started the petition in response to a proposal that would have allowed the County to spray toxic pesticides near organic farms in an effort to kill eye gnats.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will discuss this issue during a hearing from 9 am to noon Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 1600 Pacific Coast Highway in San Diego.

“I started this petition to protect organic farming in San Diego,” Weaver said. “I have been a member of community supported agriculture for more than eight years; it is almost my sole diet! Organic is real food, the way it was meant to be, and we need to support it in San Diego County.”

The goal of the online petition campaign’s is to increase pressure on county supervisors to enact a policy that protects organic farms from toxic pesticide use. Within just a few days of the campaign’s launch, Weaver had recruited hundreds of organic farming supporters on Change.org. Representatives from Be Wise Organic Ranch plan to hand-deliver petition signatures at the supervisors’ meeting on Wednesday morning.

“What these organic farming supporters have accomplished in just a few days is remarkable,” said Sarah Parsons, a Senior Organizer at Change.org. “Weaver believes that Be Wise Organic Ranch, Archi’s Acres, and other San Diego County certified organic farms are an invaluable part of the community, and she has rallied hundreds of people around her cause. Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on issues that are important to them, and it’s been exciting to watch Weaver’s campaign take off.”

While county supervisors recently backed away from their original proposal allowing for immediate fumigation, on Wednesday they will discuss a plan that would give interested parties 90 days to develop an eye gnat mitigation program. Organic farmers fear that pressure from homeowners will prompt officials to include pesticide fumigation in this plan.

East County Magazine coverage of the campaign

To read a comprehensive story about the eye gnat issue, click HERE.