In a letter submitted yesterday, scientists called out California officials for downplaying evidence of health hazards — including cancer — posed by a widely used fumigant pesticide.
Often applied to the state's strawberry fields, new rules may pave the way for even more use of chloropicrin unless policymakers follow recommendations from both state and independent scientists. This story is all too familiar.
The hearing room in Salinas was brimming with people concerned about fumigant pesticides on Monday night. Dozens of concerned residents, farmworkers and farmers showed up to press state officials to protect this Central Coast community from the volatile fumigant chloropicrin — and to make good on the promise of safer strawberry fields.
Salinas is in the heart of strawberry country, so the issue hits especially close to home. Californians are speaking out at such hearings across the state throughout the month of June, submitting written testimony and sharing stories of how they've been affected by fumigant pesticides.
Last Thursday, I joined about 50 farmworker, health and sustainable farming advocates in Sacramento to cheer California on towards fumigant-free farming. We were there to urge legislators to support new technologies and practices that will make agriculture in the state more sustainable and resilient.
Fumigants are among the most hazardous pesticides on the market, and their continued use threatens the health of California communities. But transitioning away from these chemicals won’t happen if pesticidemakers, and their lobbyists and allies roaming the Capitol's halls, get their way.
When the strawberry fumigant methyl iodide was taken off the U.S. market last March, pesticidemaker Arysta continued to promote the use of the cancer-causing chemical in other countries.
In coordination with partners around the world, PAN is now working hard to ensure methyl iodide is also removed from the global market. Last month, PAN International sent a letter to EPA calling on the agency to restrict the export of methyl iodide to other countries.
After years of promoting their controversial pesticide in the face of scientific and public opposition, Arysta LifeScience has pulled cancer-causing methyl iodide off the U.S. market.
The Tuesday evening announcement ends use in this country of what scientists have called "one of the most toxic chemicals on earth."
Opposition to cancer-causing methyl iodide is at a fever pitch in California, a year after the Schwarzenegger Administration approved the chemical for use in the state.
As Gov. Jerry Brown considers action on methyl iodide in 2012, as well as the appointment of a new chief pesticide regulator, it’s worth reflecting on PAN's efforts to ensure safe strawberries over the past year.
It was chile peppers, not strawberries, that saw the first use of cancer-causing methyl iodide to sterilize California soil. And today, community leaders from Fresno and throughout the Central Valley gathered at the Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner's office to urge officials to stop any future use of the chemical in their community.