Californian county to ban strawberry pesticide
Thursday February 16 2012
MONTEREY County will ban methyl iodide in agriculture and request that its use be re-examined by the state. The strawberry fumigant, intended as a replacement for methyl bromide, is toxic to humans.
Methyl iodide was approved for use in 2010, but the decision was highly controversial - the chemical may have neurotoxic and carcinogenic effects and pollutes water. Moreover, the approval went against the Department of Pesticide Regulation's own scientists. Although it is only intended for use away from residential areas by farmers taking careful safety measures, locals taking unofficial shortcuts through fields and other unforeseen circumstances could lead to problems with the chemical.
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