U.S. Strawberries growers oppose registration of methyl iodide

Strawberry production on the Central Coast is part of a $2 billion industry.

Of all the strawberries grown in the United States, 88 percent of the crop is grown in California, with roughly 50 percent coming from the Watsonville, Salinas and Santa Cruz areas alone.

Critics cite the potential health effects of the new pesticide as the reason it should not be registered. Methyl iodide is a known carcinogen under Proposition 65, according to a report compiled by Susan E. Kegley, a consulting scientist for the Pesticide Action Network. It is four times more neurotoxic than methyl bromide, and up to 3.5 times more acutely toxic than methyl bromide.

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