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January 27, 2011

Pesticide approval challenged in California

I'm quoting below in an article in the Atlantic Monthly online concerning a pesticide that has just been approved in California. You can classify this under the "it never ends" catagory. One pesticide is fased out while another makes its appearance and is even worst in consequences. A person really has to be up to date to avoid pesticides. Strawberries are delicious, yet the only safe kind are organic or homegrown.

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The chemical in question is called methyl iodide (or iodomethane) and is marketed under the trade name MIDAS by Arysta LifeScience, a Tokyo-based firm that is the world's largest privately held agrichemical company. Methyl iodide is a fumigant that is injected into fields before planting to kill insects, microorganisms, fungi, weed seeds--virtually every living organism.

It's worth noting that when scientists want to create experimental cancer cells in the laboratory they use methyl iodide. Claiming that it can also kill the humans who handle it or are unfortunate enough to live in the vicinity of farms (PDF), a group of farm workers and environmental health organizations filed suit late last year to reverse California's Department of Pesticide Regulation's approval of methyl iodide's use.

"We are going to court to challenge the last-minute approval of this cancer-causing pesticide," said Paul Towers, director of Pesticide Watch Education Fund, a public health and environmental organization that is one of the plaintiffs. "The department did this despite the state's own Scientific Review Committee's unanimous warning that it was too toxic to be let out of the laboratory."

When people talk about getting rid of regulations, they forget that the government has the means to protect people from dangerous chemicals and that they should be allowed to do their job.

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Posted by Marilyn Renaker at January 27, 2011 2:42 AM
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