Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One former strawberry plantation worker says, “Tell the E.P.A.: No more methyl iodide”

I urge you to follow the science on methyl iodide and suspend and cancel all uses of methyl iodide (iodomethane) in the United States. Scientists across the country have studied and spoken about the dangers of this pesticide, which is a neurotoxin, endocrine disruptor, and carcinogen. Agricultural uses present unacceptable risks to farmworkers, wildlife, and surrounding populations. Methyl iodide is simply too toxic to be used safely as a soil fumigant pesticide, and has no place in American agriculture.

Kevin Stoda
a former strawberry plantation worker

Tell the E.P.A.: No more methyl iodide
Submit a public comment to keep poison off our food.
Take action!

Submit a public comment to the E.P.A., urging them to ban the use of toxic methyl iodide in agriculture.

Take action now!

Click here to submit a comment.

Dear Kevin,

Methyl iodide is a nasty chemical. It is a known neurotoxin and endocrine disruptor, and scientists in labs handle only small amounts using special protective equipment because it is so toxic. But do you know where else it is used? As a pesticide on strawberries and other food crops.

The battle against methyl iodide is being fought on several fronts. Last summer, Washington state banned the use of the pesticide. Unfortunately, the pendulum swung the other way in California, when despite more than 53,000 public comments submitted by CREDO activists and our allies, the state’s Department of Pesticide Regulation approved the chemical for agricultural use last December.

But the ultimate power to regulate pesticides lies with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has just decided to reconsider its approval of methyl iodide — approval that was granted during George W. Bush’s administration.

This is our chance to finally ban this toxic chemical from being used as a pesticide on our food. But we must act quickly.

Click here to submit a public comment to the U.S. EPA asking for a ban on methyl iodide in agriculture.

Methyl iodide has been subject to ongoing controversy in its approval process. The U.S. EPA approved methyl iodide for agricultural use in 2007, amid criticism from more than 50 prominent scientists1 that the process was hidden from public view and the research focus was too limited. In California, evidence has come to light that the DPR ignored advice from its own scientists. The head of that agency has since resigned — to work for the chemical company Clorox.

There is little to debate about methyl iodide’s toxicity. It is a known neurotoxin, disrupts thyroid function, damages developing fetuses, and has caused lung tumors in laboratory animals. Fumigating fields with the gas — even with the strictest regulations — would no doubt still result in unacceptable exposures to farmworkers and surrounding populations.

Urging the E.P.A. to permanently suspend and cancel all uses of methyl iodide as a pesticide is the only surefire way to keep this poison away from workers and our food.

Send an official public comment to the E.P.A.: Reverse your previous decision and prohibit the agricultural use of methyl iodide.

Thank you for standing up for safe and healthy food.

Adam Klaus, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets


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