methyl iodide

Our strawberries’ safety: will California approve methyl iodide this year?

As Margot Roosevelt reports in the Los Angeles Times, California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation has signaled that it will make a decision before Governor Schwarzenegger leaves office about whether to approve the use of methyl iodide as a strawberry fumigant.  Farmworker advocacy groups and environmental advocates fear the pesticide will be approved, and are planning …


California Clearing House on Scientific Review Panel

The California Report correspondent Amy Standen recently recounted the dismissal (or failure to reappoint, depending on your perspective) of a group of scientists from CalEPA’s Scientific Review Panel.  Little explanation for the action were given, although Standen notes that John Froines, a professor in the UCLA School of Public Health, also chaired a committee that …


Fumigants Take Center Stage in California

I wrote previously about the strange story of methyl iodide, a chemical purposely used by researchers to cause cancer in labs, being proposed for use as a fumigant for strawberry production in California.  The New York Times recently covered a  legislative hearing by the California Senate Food and Agriculture Committee in which the members of an external scientific review panel lambasted California …


Pesticides, Science and Politics

Those three can make for a toxic environment, literally and figuratively.  Take the case of methyl iodide, a material so obviously toxic that scientists use it to induce cancer in laboratory experiments.  Arysta LifeScience Corporation has obtained a federal pesticide registration from EPA for use as a fumigant, despite a letter from 50 scientists, including five …