Scientist slams state for OKing toxic pesticide

Two months after a California regulators approved a cancer-causing pesticide for use in strawberry fields and in other crops -- and weeks after environmentalists and farm workers filed suit over the decision -- the state Assembly waded into the debate over methyl iodide Tuesday with a hearing on the toxic chemical, which is used as a soil fumigant.

The strongest testimony this week came from John Froines, a professor of environmental health at UC Los Angeles who led that independent panel hired by the state to assess the risks of methyl iodide. They recommended that California not approve the chemical.

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