California Lobbyist's Pesky Pesticide Past

A former farm lobbyist will become California's top pesticide regulator, despite complaints from environmentalists. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Mary-Ann Warmerdam, who worked for the California Farm Bureau Federation from 1981 to 2001, to head the state's Department of Pesticide. Warmerdam currently is a lobbyist for Pacific Gas & Electric. The Los Angeles Times reports that in August nine environmental groups wrote Schwarzenegger questioning the appointment to top pesticide regulator of someone who worked two decades for "an organization that has a long tradition in California of fighting efforts to protect public health and the environment from pesticide use."