Greenwashing 101

Spray Away “Sustainable Sonoma” grape growers

“Grasses, weeds, insects, fungi are eradicated in these fields year round along with anything related to those in the food chain: birds, frogs, dragonflies, etc. These are essentially ecological dead zones, save for the vines themselves. They have not been “preserved” for anyone and these practices are not “sustainable.” Child cancer rates in our county are high and rising and there is a link is to this spraying. A lot of these sprays are carcinogenic or have unknown long-term effects. They are designed to kill many forms of life on contact so the equation makes sense that we will be affected.”

SPRAY AWAY

I’ve been shocked by the amount of spraying I see around my home and around the Joe Rodata Trail. On the way I pass by several vineyards and I’ll see a person in a hazmat suit and heavy respirator, spraying something from a tractor as they go up and down the rows. I did some research and most vineyards are sprayed several times a month with a cocktail of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers and fungicides.

Interestingly, “Sustainable Sonoma” signs are proudly staked next to these lands. Occasionally, a “preserved forever” sign. As someone with a background in ecology I find these signs very misleading and actually a bit insulting.

Grasses, weeds, insects, fungi are eradicated in these fields year round along with anything related to those in the food chain: birds, frogs, dragonflies, etc. These are essentially ecological dead zones, save for the vines themselves. They have not been “preserved” for anyone and these practices are not “sustainable.” Child cancer rates in our county are high and rising and there is a link is to this spraying. A lot of these sprays are carcinogenic or have unknown long-term effects. They are designed to kill many forms of life on contact so the equation makes sense that we will be affected.

I’ve spoken to locals, neighbors, farmers, SRJC professors and viticulturists. This is a major concern with little education to the public and not much info from local publications, even you Bohemian! Why is that?

We are all passively breathing it in, drinking it, swimming in a toxic soup. Questioning our ignorance about the effects on humans and ecosystems is lost somewhere between sips of Zinfandel. I see the vineyards multiply and the spraying near our home, our schools, and recreational parks and trails. It is a toxic fog over this county starting in March that wafts across boundary lines and blows into the lungs of our residents (including children) through the summer and fall. We need to make a change and we must do it all together.

Sebastopol

Carcinogens used by vineyards in Sonoma County per California Dept. Of Pesticide Regulations.

 

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