No more methyl iodide distribution in U.S.
March 22, 2012
A years-long battle by environmentalists to halt the use of methyl iodine as a fumigant for strawberries and other crops ended abruptly when the company producing it said it would no longer deliver it to the United States. [LATimes]
Methyl iodide was thought to have little effect on air quality. However, some scientists say it can cause cancer, brain damage and miscarriages to farm workers and can be a threat to ground water.
“This way is more powerful than a court victory. It’s a concession. It’s them walking,” said Greg Loarie, lead attorney in a lawsuit attacking the process California used to approve the chemical in 2010 to the Times.
“Today I’m really happy,” said 19-year-old Gabriela Rincon, who joined marches against the chemical and told her parents, both pickers in the Salinas area, about the risk. “It feels like someone finally listened to us about something really important.”