Invasive moth correct designation as major pest

FRESNO, Calif. - A panel of experts says federal officials were right to term the light brown apple moth a major threat to California crops and plants, but says officials didn't back up their findings with enough sound science.

Scientists, politicians and environmentalists have been battling for months over the methods used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's to combat the invasive moth.

Monday, a panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences said the agency was technically right to classify the moth as an invasive pest whose presence can initiate quarantines.

Opponents to the government's eradication plan say the agency has overblown the moth's potential impact, and unnecessarily put human and animal health at risk through prior spraying campaigns.

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