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A Case Study of the 1980/82 Medfly Controversy in California. Emery M. Roe Graduate School of Public Policy University of California, Berkeley I like to compare the Medily Project to Christopher Columbus's first voyage. Columbus didn' t know where he was going, didn' t know where he was when he got there, and didn't know where he had been when he got back. But Columbus had it easy. At least he was alone. If Columbus had sailed under the same constraints we endured in fighting the medfly, his ship would have been purchased from the lowest bidder by the Department of General Services, and his crew would have been hired for him by the State Personnel Board. The rigging on the ship would have been arranged by State and Federal Occupational and Health Safety regulators, not for sailing, but for crew safety. And on the poop deck, he would have had a technical advisory committee of renowned geographers giving him up-to-the-minute input on direction and risk/benefit. To top it off, he would have had a full complement of television, press and radio newsmen running around on deck recording for the folks back home in Spain every time a crewman slipped on deck or grumbled about the food, his opinion of Columbus, the voyage and so on...Columbus had it easy. From remarks by the state co-manager of the 1980/82 California Medfly Project Introduction. This paper provides a case study of state/federal risk communication along multiple dimensions. The infestation and spread of Mediterranean fruit flies ("medflies") in California during the first years of the 198Os posed what was perceived to be a major economic threat to the state's agriculture, while at the same time leading to intergovernmental eradication efforts that were taken to entail substantial health, environmental, political, bureaucratic and professional risks as well. Although it is not unusual to cast complex public policy problems in teens of multiple risks, what makes the 1980/82 California medfly controversy of particular interest is its detailed documentation. This case study draws on the recollections of a number of the key participants in the controversy, recorded at a seminar series sponsored by the Survey Research Center, University of California, Berkeley. Unless otherwise stated, all figures and quotes below are from a draft volume of the edited transcripts and chapters based on these recollec~aons2. Sometimes candid, sometimes self-serving, sometimes post hoc rationalizations, the accounts of the controversy's major actors do not make for a straightforward history of what "actually" happened during the crisis. Interpretations of what took place at key meetings, not

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2 surpnsingly, vary greatly. For the purposes of this paper, though, the many different perspectives of the connoversy's important actors have one great virtue: The extensive quotes and paraphrases recorded below allow us to detail and contrast the wide range and variability in how risks associated win an important public policy issue are frequently perceived and how these perceptions are often communicated and responded to. Background. In June 1980 several medflies were found in two widely separated counties of California, Los Angeles and Santa Clara. A Mealy Project was immediately created in the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to deal with the outbreak. The following month a technical review committee, later known as the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and consisting largely of professional entomologists, was established to advise the Project and the public on eradication efforts. A ground program was initiated eventually consisting of fruit-tree stripping, localized application of pesticides, and the release of sterile medflies (known as the Sterile Insect Technique [SIT] whereby young male medflies are sterilized through irradiation, released as adults, and mate with wild female flies to produce nonviable eggs). The ground program was applied to 489 square miles of LA County, and eradication there was declared by mid-December, 1980. However, the Santa Clara infestation had continued to grow throughout the county and into adjacent county areas, spreading from some 150 square miles at the end of September 1980 to over 200 square miles by the end of November that year. By late 1980, officials in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) were maintaining that aerial spraying with a malathion bait mixture was necessary to eradicate this infestation, which was probably more extensive than official estimates indicated. The aerial spraying proposal, though, encountered strong opposition from environmental groups, politicians, scientists and academics (including members of the TAC) such that CDFA eventually agreed to postpone action. Citizen and local government opposition to aerial spraying was particularly vocal within Santa Clara

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3 County at this time, e.g. local physicians and pharmacology faculty at Stanford University came out against spraying while city councils passed resolutions seeking to prohibit such spraying over their jurisdictions. A formal risk assessment undertaken at this time by the state's Department of Health Services (DHS) concluded, however, that the chances of such spraying causing cancer in an exposed infant were in the region of one-in-a-m~llion. The ground program appeared to be effective throughout the winter, but June 1981 saw a fresh outbreak of medflies in Santa Clara County. On July 8, Governor Brown made the politically controversial announcement that the ground spraying program would be greatly expanded in order to deal with the re-emergence. The US Secretary of Agriculture responded by threatening to quarantine the state's fruit exports if aerial spraying was not begun immediately. On July 10 Brown gave the order to begin spraying malathion by air. Some state and international quarantines on California fruit were imposed, but eventually lifted. In September 1982, CDFA and USDA held a joint conference to declare that medfly eradication had been achieved in California. For ease of reference, a summary of these events has been provided in the Appendix's short chronology. Over $100 million was spent by federal and state authorities to eradicate the medfly during this period. Another $40 million was estimated to have been lost by state growers when other countries and state C rejected California fruit. More than 1,300 square miles a week were sprayed malathion by air, while several deaths resulted from accidents attributed to the aerial spraying program as a whole3. The Main Actors, Institutions, and Risk Dimensions Of The MedNy Controversy. The basic feature of the medfly controversy was that there were no widely accepted or clear-cut technical and scientific reasons to be in favor or against the ground-based program, the aerial spraying program, or some combination thereof4. As the Medfly Project's state co-manager put it,

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4 In the medfly public policy debate, the...technical information available to both the public and project management was constantly changing throughout the life of the project, and it was difficult or impossible for advisors and managers to accurately assess the risks and benefits associated with venous technical components of the program...ENor was He public1 able to evaluate the severity of the problem or assess the degree of risk associated with the various solution sS. Obviously, the costs and benefits associated with the two basic eradication alternatives of ground and aerial spraying would have been assessed in any case from a number of different, at times conflicting, perspectives--political, economic, organizational and professional, among others. Yet the numerous unknowns of a technical and scientific nature made such a composite assessment one of the few certainties the controversy had. Adding to the pervasive sense of technical uncertainty was the fact that much of the politics, bureaucracy, and science of the medfly eradication program was changing over time and with them the risk perceptions associated with that program's venous remedies. Not only was the controversy's cast of characters and relations a long one, including state and federal politicians, science advisors, environmental groups, departmental and interdepartmental nvaIries, the interests of agribusiness, and by no means last, the media and the public. Also, their variety and numbers ensured that the controversy turned out to be several different controversies perceived to have several different risks that were not just economic, health and environmental in nature, but political, professional, and organizational as well as shall be seen momentarily. In sum, multiple risk perceptions were associated with both the medfly infestation and its eradication efforts. Such risks, in turn, were realized and communicated in several specific, ultimately overlapping, ways--namely, scientific and technical uncertainties of medfly monitoring, organizational and group conflict, politics, the role of the media in the controversy, and the public's reaction to the various alternatives--which are discussed below. This case study concludes with a discussion about the way in which, in spite of all these differences and disagreements, the Medfly Project was a success.

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5 Managing The Uncertain Science of Medfly Detection and Eradication. From the outset, a major and continuing source of contention among the controversy's major players centered around the difficulties in interpreting just what the medflies caught in specially-cons~ucted detection traps really signified. While the trap finds condoned the presence of the adult medfly, they did not indicate the depth of the infestation, particularly for medfly larvae (in fnlit) or pupae (in the ground). But the problems of interpretation went much further and were more pervasive, especially in the areas of medfly detection, sampling, and the management of bow. In the opinion of one informed source, the local officials who had not treated the original medfly finds as a matter of priority "didn't know the true meaning" of the flies they had trapped6. So too for CDFA's initially slow response to these finds, at least according to its principal staff entomologist: "We didn't realize the significance of those two flies combined with that low a top density in Santa Clara...so we didn't take the action we should have"7. Trap records remained incomplete and not summarized in a fashion that the Project could usefully utilize, noted one of the USDA's leading entomologists8. Some traps even appear to have been sabotaged9. Perhaps even more troublesome was the fact that Project technicians were unable to distinguish trapped sterile and wild medflies from each other. Furthermore, why only female flies continued to be caught in the traps that relied entirely on male attractants was never fully explained. A different type of trap had to be introduced because the original type "loaded up like a piece of fly paper" with steriles after their released. More disturbing was the fact that no one was able to decide whether the trap finds at the outset of the m~-1981 re-emergence of medflies were ~ reality due to (~) the release of "stenles" left fertile because of improper irradiation, (2) the survival of medflies over winter, which earlier research said was not possible under Santa Clara conditions, (3) the Project's defective measly monitoring and detection procedures, or (4) a combination of these factors and others Finally, the eventual absence of any map finds by September 1982, when eradication had been declared for the final infested area, could be explained, according to one well-known university entomologist, by several scenarios other than one claiming eradication had been achieved through

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6 aerial spraying with malathion12. That widespread malathion spraying and the disappearance of infestations have been frequently correlated in the past was just that, a correlation and not proof of effectiveness, according to this scientist The key participants in the controversy responded differently to this basic informational uncertainty. Some tried to find ways to reduce it and thereby better estimate risks, others only succeeded in increasing the uncertainty, while a few took the uncertainty as pnma facie evidence of unacceptably high levels of risk associated with one or the other eradication alternative. Earlier on, the Mealy Project management and the TAC, eventually the major proponents of aerial spraying, had come to a consensus over what kind of trap finds would be taken as reflecting a medfly outbreak sufficiently severe to warrant aerial spraying with malathion13. The criteria agreed upon were recognized by these people to be somewhat arbritary, but necessary. In addition, while the Project managers were often at a loss over how to interpret the trap information, they did have a computer model that told the story of the medfly's life cycle in several useful ways for them (in particular, it explained how the medflies could overwinter, contrary to previous research findings). As the Project's federal co-manager put it: "...one thing that really gave our program credibility towards the en~..Ewas the] computer model for calculating the medfly life cycles under San Jose climatic conditions. It was a godsend to us and made what we said acceptable to the Japanese, the Floridians, and to whoever else [wanted to quarantine Californian fruit]''14. Finally, after great resistance by some of its parties, a protocol specifying how the aerial spraying of malathion was to proceed had been hammered out and agreed upon in July 1981, a protocol that kept the Project on track and "was our bible", according to the Project's federal co-manager15. In short, the outbreak criteria, computer model, and protocol allowed a number of the key participants who were not averse to spraying with malathion to take action as if they knew whether or not the empirical meets of situation warranted that spraying. Those who were averse to aerial spraying and in favor of the ground program had a much more difficult time in reducing informational uncertainties and assessing medfly-related risks. The

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7 major component of the ground program--the release of sterile flies--had many methodological problems that lessened the ability of its proponents to interpret basic information provided by the trap finds. One was the already-ment~oned difficult In distinguishing steeples from wild medflies; others, even more intractable, were evident. Correctly reading the meaning of results obtained from different or unrecorded trap densities was not the only sampling problem. The head of the Project's Quality Control unit complained about the unreality of meeting acceptable sampling standards. When a professional statistician indicated that a 10% sample of each sterile fly container was required, she pointed out that, on the average, we received 68 million flies a day. It would take one technician 262 years or 94,586 technicians working twenty-four hours to sample ten percent of a mixed population. That is impossible...A decision was never reached about sample size, so I used my judgmenti6. On the face of it, the "arbitranness" of her decision was no different from that of the outbreak cr~tena, computer model, or protocol mentioned in the preceding paragraph, save in one crucially important respect. The Project's sampling techniques provided trap information in a form that was of more use to the supporters of aerial spraying that it was to the supporters of SIT. Bait spray programs, such as that of aerially spraying of malathion, rely on discrete data that are demonstrably measurable, while sterile fly release programs are based on continuously variable data, having probability limits that are much less well-defined. One entomologist member of the TAC explained the difficulty and difference this way, The high quality of data for bait sprays lies in their discrete testable elements. The toxicant, the bait, the dosage, and the formulation are all testable individually...Ultimately, our "comfortableness" with the data derived from the bait spray experiments comes from the fact that it is quanta!, based on dead flies with yes or no data. Thereby you get yes or no advice....The [stenle insect technique] data are, by nature, variable and incomplete, and they don't give yes-no answers. Decisions about sterile flies always involve trade-offs...~7 The supporters of the ground program also had problems in making a clear-cut case against aerial spraying. Opposition to aerial spraying with malathion was fueled by media reports of the

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8 very real dissent within the Department of Health Services over the methodology used and conclusions drawn in its risk analysis of this alternative. The assessment was based on the "worst case scenario" thought possible under aerial spraying and eventually concluded that, probabilistically, there was a one-in-a-million chance of an exposed infant contracting cancer from the aerial spraying of malathion. Yet, even though malathion is one of the few pesticides whose effects on humans has received detailed research, one of the DHS officials who undertook the assessment concluded that the department's risk assessment methodology had important limitations. He complained that "[t]here is no consensus on a methodology for [treating]...events where the initial event may have been improbable, but it sets up greater probabilities for secondary errors''18. The departmental disagreement over how to compute acute and chronic health risks associated with malathion centered around "the tail end of the probability curve" and 'the possibility of relatively remote, very low probability events, which in some cases required concurrently occurring events in order to produce a situation where a small number of individuals would be adversely affectedly. The effect of such internal dissent when publicized worked in opposing directions. Supporters of aerial spraying pointed out that these methodological concerns did not disprove the DHS report's basic conclusion about the relatively low risk associated with malathion spraying (added to which, the supporters of the ground program seem not to have undertaken their own risk assessment of the chemicals used in that program, some of which--particularly diazinon and fenthion--were potentially far more hazardous that malathion). Cntics of the aerial spraying, however, claimed that such dissent, when combined with other criticisms leveled against the DHS report (e.g., it was charged that the report underestimated the number of sprayings, did not take into account uneven dosages or extraordinary sensitivity of some people to malathion, and did not properly question National Cancer Institute data used in their analysis- ), was itself a sufficiently good indication of the high uncertainty and risks associated with malathion spraying by air.

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9 Organizational and Group Conflict. Intradepartmental differences over how to assess the risks associated with the proposed solutions to the medfly infestation were complemented and in some cases accentuated by equally real differences, both within the same profession or interest group as well as between different agencies, bureaucracies and interest groups, over matters relevant to the more general assessment of associated risks. flow you stand depends on where you sit, and this was nowhere more true than In the mealy controversy. Intergroup Conflict. Agribusiness and environmental groups were at odds with each other in this controversy as they frequently are on other issues. Contrary to the views of the fruit growers, environmentalists often argued that the effort should be one of controlling the medfly, not eradicating it: "...it might be far cheaper to learn how to develop a mix of strategies to control [the medfly] below an economic threshold...Once you learn how to live with it you may decide that it's not a bad thing after all. The world had to live with it; and, by the way, most of the world is living with the medfly''21. The representative of one of the more important environmental interest groups in the controversy claimed: "People...were saying that medfly was going to destroy California's agricultural industry--billions and billions of dollars down the tubes. But medfly can't destroy our entire agricultural industry. Only a small proportion of the industry would be susceptible..."22. However, the estimated $40 million--and it is only an estimate--lost to fruit growers because of quarantines does indicate agribusiness had some incentive to ensure that eradication, rather Can control, took place, given eradication was the requirement other states and counmes imposed on their unportanon of California fruit. nter~epartmer~tai Conflict. Departmental battles over turf colored the perceptions of risk associated with the two principal eradication alternatives of ground or aerial spraying. Such conflicts can be found throughout the history of the "c~management" of the Medfly Project, where

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1 0 USDA and CDFA were each to assign a co-manager to the Project, both of whom in turn were expected to work in close consultation and cooperation with various county off cials. The conflicts arising from this arrangement were probably no different than found in many other aspects of intergovernmental relations in the United States. As the Project's state co-manager described it: "No place else in the world, when you have a fire do you have a federal fire department, a state fire department and a county fire department all respond, and then argue over who should be in charge or how you should go about fighting it. We have that model everywhere"23. Or as a senior USDA official put it more succinctly for the Project: "There was too much leadership at an levels: federal, state, and especially county. It was a mess..."24. One example from many illustrates how the interorganizational tension arising out of the Project's co-management influenced the way various parties perceived the risk associated with the various eradication proposals. Once aerial spraying began in July 1981 USDA took steps to prevent any recurrence of disputes such as that arising when members of the TAC had disagreed with USDA over the utility of the proposed 1980/81 winter spraying with malathion. After aerial spraying began, a permanent USDA co-manager was appointed to the Project (pnor to that the federal co-managers had been rotated on a 30-day basis, itself a cause of a number of organizational problems in the operation of the Medfly Project). Equally important, the TAC was reconstituted to make it more favorably disposed to the aerial spraying program. Thereafter, the USDA exerted a much stronger influence on the running of the Project and its Technical Advisory Committee, according to the TAC's former chairperson. He went on to explain: "The Committee was revamped and [a USDA official] replaced me as the chairman. [He] was a good showman, a loyal soldier. He reporter} to He project leadership to find out what Hey wanted and he came in and sold it to the Committee. They put several other USDA people on the Committee; the most unfortunate choice was [a senior USDA official]...[whose beliefs were] based upon experience, not based upon scientific facts"25. This senior USDA official, in turn, happened to be the new chairperson's superior within the USDA hierarchy and a long-time advocate of aerial spraying with malathion for

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such infestations. In the view of the former TAC chairperson, this senior official "rammed...through" the committee what some of its members considered to be a very risky measure (namely, to consider the aerial spraying of a commodity with malathion sufficient for its export without any supplemental fumigation)26. Another TAC member described this effort in the following terms: "...we [on the TAC] were told very directly, 'I don't care what you decide you're going to recommend. We're going to do it this way"27. "I felt that [this senior USDA official], particularly, had an overall control of what came out of that Technical Committee" is how a newspaper reporter covering the operations of the TAC described the matter more generally28. USDA did not, however, present a united front in its approach to the eradication alternatives and the risks attached to them. Not surprisingly, "distrust" arose between staff within the research arm of USDA, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), which had been an early developer and supporter of the SIT approach to fruit fly eradication, and staff within the applied arm of USDA, the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APES), which had a great deal of experience in and was a strong supporter of eradication programs based on aerial spraying of pesticides. The impact of such organizational differences on risk perceptions is well-illustrated in the dispute that arose over the aborted USDA proposal for winter spraying of malathion, where a well-known ARS entomologist on the TAC questioned the efficacy of this APHIS-originated proposal without first proving that the SlT-based ground program had been ineffective29. (APHIS officials were to later complain that had winter spraying taken place, the mid-1981 outbreak could have been avoided as well as many of the costs associated with it.) ntraprofessional Conflict. Differences within professions and groups also filtered and structured the perceptions of risk. Perhaps the most notable example of this were the widely varying opinions expressed within the medical community about the recommendation against aerial spraying made by the pharmacology faculty at Stanford University, many of whom presumably worked or lived in the spray zones of Santa Clara Valley (see below). A number of other

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1 8 The Project's state co-manager described the events of that night and their implications for press coverage from a different perspective, ...the pumps jammed closed and when the helicopter went over nothing came out. The press arid public said, "Jesus, is that all there is to it? ~ thought there was going to be more than this." The news stories the next day said, "Is this all there is?" and overnight public reaction changed. [One major San Francisco newspaper] did a poll at the end of that week and 73% of the people were in favor of aerial spraying. The week before you couldn't have found two percent in favor....ET]he media was seduced by our candor. We let them have the run of the project. They got to taLk to anybody they wanted to. ~ think they are not used to that, and as a result they were much more fair, even biased in our favor than you would normally find. There were a number of incidents where [Project] employees stole a vehicle and took the day off at the beach...or tipped over a spray fig. It was not a big story, because the media was living wig us on this project. There was all this complexity and they said, "Well, hell, with this many people you are going to have those kinds of problems; that is not news.''S7 The Public's Reaction S8. Did, in fact, the media's changing coverage of the controversy have the kind of general effect just implied by the Project's state co-manager? What indeed were the public's perceptions of the risks associated with the ground and aerial spraying programs and how did these perceptions influence the public's actual behavior? Two researchers at the University of California, Davis, undertook a telephone survey of 126 randomly selected persons in a town within Santa Clara County that had been subject both to the earlier ground program and the later aerial spraying with malathion. The survey took place during the first several months of anal spraying and thus was able to assess how the number of sprayings affected risk perceptions of local residents. Given the graphic media coverage described earlier by the researchers, they were particularly surprised, after our [su ~ ey] results were in, to find very little hostility [toward aerial spraying], and high acceptability of eradication by those sampled...This gave us pause to think that, perhaps,...the experts in Medfly eradication were also, in a way, duped by the press. Duped in the sense that public reaction was not as heated and considerably more supportive than what [we] were led to believe59. From what was said earlier, this finding should have not been all that surprising. The media

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1 9 responds to the "squawk factor" in its reporting of public meetings--those who shout the loudest frequently get the most coverage--and by and large the public are not squawkers. Still, the press was not without influence on its readers (particularly when it came to influencing environment as distinct from health risk perceptions), as shall be seen momentarily. The survey found that some 90% of the respondents relied on television or newspapers for nforrnation about the medfly situation in their area. Similarly, nearly all of the respondents (94%) felt the medfly provided a major threat to the California economy. The two basic alternatives to handling the medfly infestation met with a high degree of acceptance in the community: Of those responding, 86% agreed with the pesticide spraying component of the ground program (only 56% were in agreement with the sterile fly method), while 81% agreed with the aerial application of pesticides. Except for the sterile fly releases, about one-th~rd of the respondents felt the eradication efforts were very effective, while around one-half ranked them as somewhat effective. Some three-fourths (73%) of the respondents considered the ground spraying to be of slight or no risk to humans. Roughly two-thirds (66%) of the sample felt the same about aerial spraying. The majority of respondents considered the environmental problems of ground and aerial spraying to be minimal (66% and 62% perceived slight or no hazard, respectively). However, what the sampled residents expressed about their perceptions of risk differed somewhat from the actual behavior they demonstrated in response to the perceived risks. Less than 10% of the sample reported taking none of the publicized precautions at all during aerial spraying. Approximately two-thirds of the sample (64%) said they had stayed indoors to avoid the aerial spraying; some three-quarters reported closing doors and windows; and slightly more than half (52%) of the sample kept children and pets inside. (The researchers did not say how unusual such precautionary behavior was at that time.) Work and jobs kept some people from taking the precaution that Hey wanted to, namely, leaving He area completely. Based upon their reading of the relevant literature and taking as the dependent variables the sample's degree of perceived risk and the acceptability of such risk, the researchers hypothesized

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20 some nine important independent variables affecting both health and environmental risk perceptions of the sample and its acceptability of the risks assoicated with the spraying programs: the respondent's age, sex, education, political orientation, experience with or knowledge of pesticides, confidence in chern~cal industry experts, number of aerial sprayings, perceived benefit of eradication efforts, and response to media coverage, the latter being measured by his or her attitudes before and after the aforementioned two-day "media event" (when the column inches devoted to the medfly infestation increased by almost four times over the amount before and after this time in the regional newspaper concerned). Health and environmental risk perceptions, in turn, were also hypothesized to influence risk acceptability of a respondent. While approaching statistical significance in some cases, a number of the independent variables were found to be unreliable predictors. However, four variables were found to be reliable in predicting respondent variation In risk perceptions. To quote the researchers at length: Those having the least confidence In industry experts expressed the highest degree of perceived risk, and conservatives perceived the least risk in the spraying situation, and the liberals perceived the most. The power of the press was clearly demonstrated as respondents question after the media event [i.e., after aerial spraying had begun] perceived considerably more environmental risk than those polled before the event. And finally, as predicted, those believing the eradication program was beneficial expressed little worry about the attendant risks, compared with those seeing no benefit...In order to further scrutinize these four predictors, each was examined a second time web the influence of the other three first extracted through statistical procedures. All of the significant predictors of the perception of health risk continued to be significant. However, the political ideology dropped out as a predictor of the perception of environmental risks. This suggests that political ideology operates only indirectly in influencing the perc,e~,tion of environmental risk, perhaps by influencing confidence In experts and perceived benefit... The researchers found that several variables explained variations in the respondents' acceptability of risks associated with the spraying programs. Again, to quote the researchers at length: Those expressing less confidence in experts indicated less acceptability as well. Liberals were less accepting than conservatives. As perceived benefit increased, so did acceptability, and high health and environmental risk perception was associated with less acceptability...When each predictor was re-exaniined with all other significant predictors extracted, only perceived health risk and perceived environmental risk were significant predictors. This suggests that, in the present situation,

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21 acceptance was primarily influenced by one's opinion of the health and environmental hazards involved. Political ideology, confidence In experts, perceived benefits, and the media all influenced risk acceptability by influencing the perception of health risks. Nonetheless, both health and environmental risk perceptions contained variance unaccounted for by these other variables and both remained predictive when all other predictors were statistically controlled.61 Last but not least, only a few in the researchers' sample attributed illnesses to the chemical spraying, at least at the time of the surrey. Some 2% and 6% of the respondents said they had become ill from the exposure to chemicals used In the ground and aerial spraying, respectively (the commonly reported symptoms were respiratory difficulties and nausea [25% each of those reporting ill] and headaches [13%]). These findings were conf~rrned by DHS research undertaken at roughly the same time in another part of Santa Clara County62. Asthma admissions to the emergency room of a major county hospital did not go up after aerial spraying commenced any more than did control injures unrelated to such spraying. In addition, no changes in the frequency of such symptoms as respiratory difficulties, allergies, derrnatologic disorders, eye complaints, organophosphate poisonings and anxiety were found at this hospital before and after aerial spraying. A DHS telephone survey to 60 randomly selected individuals in a spray area and a control area also came up with similar findings. Indeed, anxiety was found to have gone down after spraying when compared to before (14% of this DHS telephone sample in the spray area complained of anxiety prior to aerial spraying compared to 6.5% after spraying had commenced). As a DHS official put it: "The day following the aerial spraying, people came out in the morning; they weren't falling over dead; they were alive and everything was O.K. This was a lytic phenomeon: After the crisis passed, the frequency of symptoms falls off dramatically and then returns to the control or normal base line"63. Conclusion. As we have seen, some found surprising the finding that the public's risk perceptions were very different in several respects from what one would have thought, given the impressions left by

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22 media accounts or the kinds of scientific uncertainties, organizational conflicts and politics described artier. Perhaps an even more important aspect of the controversy was also contrary to these impressions: By a number of effectiveness measures, the intergovernmental Medfly Project was a success. The 1980/82 Project was probably more expensive in terms of staff, time, and money than it need have been. Also, no one knows for certain that chronic, long-term illnesses have not resulted from the malathion spraying. Indeed, no one can prove that the expanded ground program would not have worked and that it was the Project's aerial spraying of malathion, and that alone, which led to the medfly's eradication, if indeed eradication was what actually happened. But for all that, the organizational capacity of the federal, state and county agencies to respond to the infestation, often on very short notice, was realized on an impressive scale. According to the Project's state co-manager, the Project had by its end released over four billion sterile medflies, ground sprayed and stripped the fruit from more than 100,000 urban backyards, aerially sprayed approximately 900,000 acres in 44 cities and 8 counties (counting multiple applications 10 million acres were said to have been sprayed), distributed some 2.1 million notices door-to-door or by mail, handled over 250,000 telephone calls on the Project hotlines, and inspected over 5 million vehicles at roadblocks64. Not unimportantly, state and federal officials both inside and outside the Medfly Project were also able to work out an agreed-upon plan for handling the next medfly infestation. While such figures are only estimates, these events of the early 1980s record not only a controversy but also the intergovernmental capacity to overcome an initially serious underestimation of logistical problems connected with eradication. And government officials did so by planning, implementing and managing a rather complex, large-scale program that was, albeit costly, nonetheless successful in achieving the aims it had set for itself. In these times when what is often communicated about public health and environmental risks is government's inability to effectively deal with them, Me 1980/82 medfly controversy provides a salutary reminder that this is not always so.

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23 Appendix: A Chronology of the Medfly Controversy* 5 June, 1980 One medfly male found in a Los Angeles trap. Sent immediately to Sacramento for verification. Two males found in a Santa Clara map. Sent lo Sacramento third class mad! and received 17 June. 6 Line California Medfly Progect created. First CDFA Project leader for the Santa Clara ~nfestanon named 20 June. 2S June-July 5 Fruit shipping and collection begins. July Technical Review Committee, later known as Technical Advisory Committee, is created, consisting of scientists to advise and review Project operations. 17 July State quarantine established (approximately 96 square miles in Santa Clara Co. and 130 square miles in Los Angeles Co.~. 22 July First sterile flies released. Ground spraying and aerial release of flies begin ~ August. 31 October The infested area in Santa Clara Valley has grown to 175.8 square miles. work. 24 November USDA reaches consensus that aerial spraying with malathion is necessary. Three days later USDA and CDFA discuss tremendous pressure being exerted by California growers and other states for aerial spraying. 3 December CDFA and USDA hold news conference to announce proposed aerial spraying with malathion. TAC minutes show its members divided over whether or not such spraying is warranted at this time. 8-9 December Four city councils and He Santa Clara Board of Supervisors vote to prohibit aerial spraying. A number of other cities do the same later in the month. December CDFA agrees to hold off on aerial spraying in order to see if intensified ground program will Mid-December Eradication achieved in LA County. The California State Department of Health Services publishes its report on health risks associates! with the aerial spraying of malathion bait mixture.

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24 23 June, 1981 First medily larvae collected since intensified ground spraying began. CDFA officials are, however, uncertain what caused this fresh outbreak. 7 July TAC holds emergency meeting and recommends aerial spraying. July TAC members meet with Governor Brown and try to convince him to start aerial spraying at once. Instead, the Governor announces an expanded ground program to handle the new outbreak. 9-10 July US Secretary of Agriculture John Block threatens to quarantine the entire state of California if aerial spraying is not begun immediately. Governor Brown announces aerial spraying will commence on 14 July. (Spraying begins shordy after midnight of the 13th from a secret helicopter base established in a Los Altos Hills cemetery. Pressure for Governor Brown's impeachment mounts.) 16 July Texas, South Carolina, Mississippi and Florida impose quarantines resmcting movement of specific California produce. Other state and international quarantines (particularly Mexico and Japan) follow later that month and the next. These quarantines are subsequently lifted through court action or by other bureaucratic channels. August assigned. The TAC is reorganized and a permanent USDA co-manager to the Medfly Project is 21 September, 1982 USDA and CDFA hold news conference to officially declare eradication. TAC holds final meeting. All regulatory measures are dropped. * Abstracted pnmanly from the USDA and CDFA's Medfly Eradication Project Chronology of Events. June 1980- September 1982.

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25 Endnotes. T. Jerry Scribner (1985), "The 1980 California Medfly Program: A View From Management--The State Perspective," pp. I-2. 2. The draft volume is tentatively titled A Flv in the Policy Soup: The 1980 California Medflv Program in Multiple Perspective, H. Lorraine, P. Tannenbaum and M. Trow, editors. ~ would like to thank Percy Tannenbaum for his comments on an earlier draft of this paper. 3. Cost and coverage figures from Erik Larsen, "A Close Watch On U.S. Borders To Keep The WorId's Bugs Out," Smithsonian, June 1987, p. ~10. 4. In reality, the eradication alternatives were not stocky either/or in nature: The aerial spraying program had a ground component and the ground program, some contended, should have had a preliminary aerial spraying phase, a point discussed later in die paper. 5. JeITy Scnbner, page 13. 6. Quoted from Greg Rohwer (1985), "The View From Washington," page 20. 7. Donald Dilley (1985), "The Technical Advisory Committee: Use and Abuse," page 8. 8. See Hilary Lorraine (1985), "Medfly: An Historical Overview: Tag-Team Wrestling in the Technical Arena," page 10. 9. John Thurman (1985), "Medfly Politics," page 7. 10. Jerry Scribner, page 3. 11. For example, see Cheryl Churchill-Stanland (1985), "Quality Control: Management's Forgotten Resource," page 17. 12. Donald Dahlsten (1985), "The Scientist as a Source of Technical Advice to Large Action Programs," page 14. 13. Hilary Lorraine, "Medfly: An Historical Overview...," pp. 28-30. 14. Dick Jackson (1985), "A View From Management--The Federal Perspective," page 20. 5. Dick Jackson, pp. 12, 1 3. 16. Cherry1 Churchill-Stanland, page ~ 1. 17. Derrell Chambers (1985), "Technical Advisors: Wise Men, Wizards, Wind Vanes or Wimps,-- pp. 5, 10. 18. Marc I-appe (1985), "Technical Dissent," page 9. 19. Marc Lappe, page 10.

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26 20. Kathleen Rassbach (1985), "A Medical Overview of the Health Debate," pp. 995. 21. Quoted from the Rohwer chapter, page 24. 22. Steve Dreistadt (1985), "A View From The Community," page 9. 23. ferry Scribner, page I. 24. Greg Rohwer, page 8. 25. Donald Dilley, pp. 15-16. 26. Donald Dilley,pagel:6. 27. Dented Chambers, page 19. 28. Tracy Wood (1985), "Medfly and the Media," page 27. 29. See Greg Rohwer, pp. 18-19. 30. Jerry Scnbner, page 4. 3 I. Quoted from the Jackson chapter, page ~ I. 32. Quoted from the Rohwer chapter, page 21. 33. DerreD Chambers, page 21. 34. Donald Dahisten, page I. 35. Quoted from Me Jackson chapter, page 23. 36. Quoted from the Churchill-Stanland chapter, page 25. 37. Tracy Wood, page 12. 38. Derrell Chambers, pp. 17-~. 39. John Thurman, page ~ I. 40. Steve Dreistadt, pp. 7, 8. 41. Quoted from Hilary Lorraine (undated), "Man the Master or Sorcerer's Apprentice," page 24. 42. Quoted from Hilary Lorraine, "Man the plaster...," page 23. 43. Jerry Screener, page 28. 44. Jetty Scribner, page 27. Such a remark as the Governor's is not unusual. "You give me the perfect plan and I'll worry about the politics," so said President Carter to his HEW Secretary during the design of their ill-fated welfare reform proposal (Lawrence Lynn and David Whitman [1981], The President as Policymaker: limmv Carter and Welfare Reform, Temple University

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27 Press, Philadelphia, page 89). Perhaps one of the best indices of a high-risk public policy isle"= is finding some of its key actors maintaining the commonplace distinction between politics and a~ninistra~a~n, when In reality that issue is so complex and uncertain as to blur the line between the two. 45. John Thurman, pp. 12, 14, 15. 46. Quoted from the Jackson chapter, page 17. 47. John Thurman, page 8. 48. Dick Jackson, page 16. 49. John Thurman, page 12. 50. Glenn Hawkes and Martha Stiles (1985), "A Survey of the Public's Assessment of Risk," page 3. Such dramatic events in the controversy also provided more personal forms of risk communication. "One evening [after aerial spraying had commence ~ rode with the Highway Patrol observation heliocopter," recalled the former chairperson of the state assembly's agriculture committee. "I asked, 'What are those flashes of light coming up through the air?' The Highway Patrolman said, 'Those are bullets.' ~ am not a coward but ~ said, 'Please, land this damn thing!"' (John Thurman, page 81. 51. Glenn Hawkes and Martha Stiles, page 4. 52. Dented Chambers, page ~ I. 53. Marc Grippe, page 17. 54. Steve Dreistadt' page 12. 55. Tracy Wood, page 24. 56. Tracy Wood, page 8. 57. Jerry Scrubber, pp. ~ I, 33-34. 58. Unless otherwise stated all figures provided in this section are drawn from the Hawkes and Stiles chapter. SSi. Glenn Hawkes and Martha Stiles, page 3. 60. Glenn Hawkes and Martha Stiles, page 17. 61. Glenn Hawkes and Martha Stiles, pp. 17-~. 62. Ephraim Kahn and Richard Jackson (1985), "Assessment of the Health Risks from the Proposed Aerial Application of Malathion in Santa Clara County," pp. 18-22. 63. Ephraim Kahn and Richard Jackson, pp. 21-220 64. Jetty Scnbner, page 12.

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