Essay: California Medflies

Pages: 5 (1630 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Agriculture  ·  Buy This Paper

California Medflies

The Medfly Problem: General Overview

How to combat the problem posed by the medfly to agriculture and international trade? While the California agricultural industry looks eagerly towards the expanding Asian market as a potential and continuing source of revenue, it must also combat the spread of the medfly, a pest that has dogged the industry since the 1960s and feared by the Japanese government. Japan fears that the medfly could enter its borders through imported California produce. To contain the medfly California growers first imposed quarantines on medfly-infested areas, and when the medfly threat reasserted itself in the 1990s, the agricultural industry then resorted spraying affected areas with pesticides. Given the threats the pest poses to agricultural revenue to the state because of a threatened Japanese trade embargo if the problem is not addressed, and increased pressure from the federal government, California and federal officials have responded by pressuring growers to initiate massive efforts to eradicate the medfly from affected areas, through spraying. However, threats to human health as well as the dangers of 'stripping' the produce because of the levels of toxins in the chemicals remains a constant concern.

Step 2: Describe important facts about the case

Spraying any region with chemicals poses hazards to environmental and human health. State and federal authorities, as well as growers, are also well aware of the revenue loss if the problem is not addressed -- and it must be added, the state economy and residents could face considerable damage if the threat is not addressed. The Japanese government as a legitimate state interest in preventing the medfly from encroaching upon its borders, and it is threatening to ban all potentially contaminated products from entering the nation. Should it do so, this could create a costly trade war that could be injurious to the U.S. government, the growers and government of the state of California, and all consumers in the United States.

Step 3: Identify the decision makers

The State of California and the California agricultural industry have a compelling interest in ensuring that crops are safe for export into the lucrative marketplace of Asia, and that Japan is satisfied that all necessary precautions are being met to curtail the medfly. The Japanese government wishes to keep its territory free of medflies and to protect the health of its people, while still enjoying imported produce in a safe manner. The U.S. federal government wishes to eliminate the medfly to avoid a trade war with Japan. California residents and consumers wish to preserve their health as well as the economic health of the state and desire sustained access to imported goods.

Step 4: Describe the goals and main concerns of each of the decision makers

California growers have the goal of increasing their revenue derived from a lucrative export market. The U.S. As a whole and the Californian state government will benefit from the taxes on this revenue and local growth, which will eventually bolster the economy of the U.S. As a whole. However, while the U.S. government is fearful of a trade embargo waged by such an economically and politically powerful ally as Japan, the California state government also has a responsibility to protect the health of its citizens against unsafe levels of pesticides as well as fears more embargos upon other agricultural products. California residents wish to keep their environment safe and healthy, but they also want to protect their own physical health. California has long been known as an environmentally conscious state, as well as a major agricultural producer. But if there is a trade war, all residents will be harmed in terms of access to affordable international goods.

Step 5: Describe five possible alternatives and likely responses

Cold-storing the produce to kill the medfly

The Japanese government: Happy because of the efficacy of the solution, and as a side benefit, exposes the Japanese people to fewer chemicals when they consume the product

California state government: Very happy because it eliminates the health risk to residents, yet enables the medfly to be contained and exports to continue. However, it may be concerned about the revenue drain upon producers

U.S. government: Happy about the containment of the medfly through this method, although concerned so about the expense to producers which may raise the costs of the exported goods

California residents: Happy that they are not exposed to pesticides, yet worried about the cost of the use of this method if they have any involvement in the agricultural industry because cutbacks may ensue to pay for the increased costs

California growers: Very unhappy because of the added cost, although mildly placated if this eliminates the threat of the medfly and averts a trade war

Spraying with Malathion via the air

Japanese government: Leery because spraying with this chemical alone failed to eliminate the problem in the past and also may have some concerns about Japanese consumer's health

California state government: happy to some extent something is being done to eliminate the pest and to keep the local government healthy, but worried about inefficacy of using this technique in the past and the danger posed by the chemical in the air and on the produce to state resident's and local consumers' health when living near affected areas or consuming produce with the sprayed pesticide

U.S. government: Also happy something is being done but may wish for more aggressive measures to entirely eradicate the pest

California growers: Happy with the fact that this chemical is less damaging to the crop than other pesticides, hopeful it will result in the eradication of the medfly, even though such efforts have not been entirely successful in the past

California residents: Concerned about health risks, but may be happy an aspect of their state's revenue is being protected and a trade embargo is being avoided

Spraying with methyl bromide and ethylene dibromide

Japanese government: May welcome more lethal pesticide for its protective value although some safety concerns may be present about Japanese consumer's health

California state government: May welcome more lethal pesticide because of its efficacy, even though these chemicals raise some concerns for human health and the state government's concern over the long-term health and environmental effects which it will have to 'pay' for at some point, if they arise

U.S. government: Very supportive of the plan because of the possibility of total eradication of the medfly, also looks like the government is 'doing something' aggressive, which will reduce the risk of a trade war

California growers: Concerned about threat to safety of produce in terms of human consumption and in the case of methyl bromide, the chance of the pesticide stripping the produce, resulting in a loss of revenue

California residents: Even more concerned about the dangers of these potent chemicals to the health of the region and their environment although if it proves effective, short-term happiness about economic improvement may temper this concern

Comprehensive plan: fumigation and cold storage prior to shipping to out-of-state Japanese government: Happy with comprehensiveness of the plan, although may be concerned about lingering health questions posed by spraying

California state government: Still concerned about threat to human health because of spraying

U.S. government: very happy with thoroughness of the plan

California growers: unhappy with long-term costs posed by cold storage destinations and dangers of stronger chemicals posed to crops

California residents: unhappy with the spraying, happy about job preservation and maintenance of good trade relations, which keeps prices down and selection in markets high

Doing nothing and hoping the problem corrects itself over time

Japanese government: Will likely prohibit goods from entering its borders

California growers: Loss of Asian market will be harmful to the industry's competitive internationally in the long-term

Californian state government: Suffering loss of revenue, as a result of economic losses because of grower's inability to… [END OF PREVIEW]

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California Medflies.  (2008, September 16).  Retrieved July 22, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/california-medflies/57518

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"California Medflies."  Essaytown.com.  September 16, 2008.  Accessed July 22, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/california-medflies/57518.