Friday, July 9, 2010

Methyl Iodide in California: Concern for Everyone

There’s a battle taking place in California and we should all be concerned, especially those of us who love strawberries.

Methyl iodide, a pesticide, is close to winning approval by California. If that happens, it will be used by the state’s strawberry growers. (California grows 90 percent of the country’s strawberries.)

Click here to read an informative article from Rodale News about the issue. Everyone—not just residents of California and strawberry lovers—should know about methyl iodide, since it has been approved for use in 47 states and is employed for a variety of crops.

Here’s one important paragraph from the article:

The concern is that it will harm people living near strawberry fields because of the chemical's ability to cause miscarriages and ailments linked to neurotoxins. There's also worry that since the fumigant is injected into the ground before planting to kill organisms in the soil, it could contaminate water supplies. Since methyl iodide was only registered in 2007, there's no long-term data looking at the health and environment implications of using the substance on such a large scale or in more populated areas. After all, strawberries like to grow where people like to live—where it's not too hot and not too cold.


Orsi said...

You know, I'd say this is another reason to eat organic, but I am afraid that these pesticides contaminate their environments to such a degree that even organic farms are affected.

Chef Rob said...


Unfortunately, my gut feeling is the same.