Editorial: Inexplicably, state approves new pesticide

Why replace one toxic, ozone-depleting pesticide with another chemical that while not as damaging to ozone is even more toxic?

By approving methyl iodide to replace the soil fumigant methyl bromide, that's what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Department of Pesticide Regulation has done. The Legislature and Gov.-elect Jerry Brown need to review and rescind this dangerous action.

Methyl bromide long ago overstayed its welcome. In 1987, countries around the globe agreed by treaty to phase out methyl bromide, which kills soil-borne diseases, weeds and nematodes, and is widely used by strawberry and nut tree farmers.

It was targeted for elimination because it eats holes in Earth's protective ozone layer.

Its replacement, methyl iodide, presents other serious environmental and health risks. It is a carcinogen and nervous system poison that has caused miscarriages in laboratory animals.

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