Monday, February 6, 2012

No Future for Methyl Iodide on Strawberries in California?

As I say ad infinitum, "not all strawberries are good and not all butters are bad." Butters from grass-fed cows not administered hormones and antibiotics and not fed genetically modified corn and soy that have been sprayed with pesticides are a mine of nutrients. (Kerrygold and Smjör are two examples; click here to read about the lutein, conjugated linoleic acid, omega-3 fatty acids and beta carotene found in grass-fed meat and dairy.)

To the strawberries. Sure, we are supposed to be eating more fruits and vegetables, but should they be awash in dangerous pesticides? Non-organic strawberries are high on the Environmental Working Group's list of produce to avoid, and that's without the methyl iodide, a pesticide proposed for use on California's strawberry fields, the source of over 80 percent of this country's crop.

But, thanks to a political appointment last week, methyl iodide may not be part of our kids' strawberry addiction. This action alert I just received from the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) tells more; click here to make your voice heard.
"Great news! A successful organic farmer has just been appointed to head California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) by [Governor Jerry] Brown. This is happy news on a number of fronts, but first and foremost, it means that [California] is now poised to reverse the decision to register the cancer-causing strawberry pesticide, methyl iodide.

"For over a year, Gov. Brown has been refusing to take action on methyl iodide, saying that the decision must rest with the incoming head of DPR. That person, Brian Leahy, is now in place.

"Please join us in calling for immediate action on methyl iodide.

"Action in California, where over 80% of the country’s strawberries are grown, will have national implications. In addition to closing off the major market, a [California] ban will give EPA cover to re-evaluate this chemical in light of the now even more overwhelming scientific evidence that methyl iodide has no safe place in agriculture.

"Methyl iodide is a known carcinogen that causes spontaneous miscarriages, and is likely to contaminate groundwater. Injecting it as a gas into the soil at over a hundred pounds per acre presents unacceptable risks to nearby rural communities, pregnant women, children and farmworkers. This chemical is just plain dangerous, and we will continue to press on all fronts to get it banned before it gains wide use.

"Help Brown and Director Leahy prioritize pulling methyl iodide. With your help we’ve been holding the line on methyl iodide for years now. That struggle is what has created the moment of opportunity we have right now. Let’s finish this!"

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