California strawberry farmers may soon have a new pesticide to use on their fields. The state's Department of Pesticide Regulation is recommending approving use of the soil fumigant methyl iodide. However, scientists say that methyl iodide is very toxic and can cause cancer, brain damage and miscarriages. The Pesticide Action Network has not objected to the registration of any new pesticide in the last 15 years — but methyl iodide is so toxic that it's worth going to the mat on this one," says chemist Susan Kegley, who consults for the organization. Usually, newer pesticides are less toxic than the old ones, she says.
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