Friday, March 25, 2011

Like Strawberries? Help Fight Methyl Iodide (Again)

I received the following action alert yesterday from the Pesticide Action Network (PAN). It concerns the possible use of methyl iodide on California’s strawberry crop. We should all be concerned and take time to sign PAN’s petition.
Together, we’ve worked for over 5 years to stop the use of cancer-causing methyl iodide, called by scientists “one of the most toxic chemicals on earth.” Last week, that work paid off with two big breaks.

First, the agency head who ignored her own scientists to approve methyl iodide for use in California, Mary-Ann Warmerdam, resigned and went to work for Clorox. At least this revolving door is an exit.

Second, U.S. EPA is reconsidering its decision on methyl iodide - despite intense pressure from Arysta, the largest private pesticide company in the world, to keep it on the market. On March 17, the agency opened public comment on our legal petition to end all uses of this pesticide, nationwide. The science is clear: this pesticide is too toxic to be used safely. But the pesticide industry will keep weighing in. We need your voice at the table. Now.

Sign this petition to U.S. EPA, urging Administrator Lisa Jackson to follow the science, and do the right thing.

Our asks:

• End all uses of methyl iodide immediately. Don’t let the pesticide industry override science. An 11th Hour Pesticide, methyl iodide was ushered in during the final moments of the Bush Administration nationally, and the Schwarzenegger administration in California — despite warnings from government scientists and Nobel laureates. Methyl iodide is a known carcinogen, and linked to late-term miscarriages and neurological disorders.

• Support innovative farmers and scientists in green agriculture. U.S. EPA should initiate agreements with the USDA and President Obama to maintain funding for green payments to farmers to grow food without toxic chemicals like methyl iodide. These farmers steward the land and support strong rural economies.
Click here to read more about the issue from Rodale News.


Anonymous said...

Were you aware that methyl iodide is a naturally-occurring chemical, with trillions of pounds produced by the oceans every year? Methyl iodide has already been in use in the U.S. for more than three years and has been applied to thousands of acres...and there have been no safety or healthy incidents as a result. In fact, methyl iodide is not considered a carcingoen by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, the National Toxicology Program, or the U.S. EPA. It has not ever been linked to cancer or miscarriages in humans. Unfortunately, PANNA is spinning the story surrounding methyl iodide to fit their anti-chemical agenda and to scare the public into action. The truth is that methyl iodide is another tool growers can use to allow keep their crops from becoming infested by diseases and weeds.

Chef Rob said...


Thank you for your comments; it's always important to hear another point of view.

Is there a website you recommend where people can get more information about the issues you raise?