When the California Department of Pesticide Regulation acted last month to approve use of the strawberry pesticide methyl iodide, the department gave a thumbs up to use of a cancer-causing pesticide an expert panel had said was too dangerous for use. Dr. John Froines, chair of the committee of scientists that reviewed methyl iodide, said, I honestly think that this chemical will cause disease and illness. And so does everyone else on the committee. But that’s not all. It also seems likely that the Department broke not one or two, but five different California laws in approving the use of methyl iodide. Last week, the United Farm Workers, Earthjustice, California Rural Legal Assistance, two farmworkers who will be exposed to methyl iodide as they work, and an impressive list of other organizations filed a lawsuit challenging the decision.
CEH is represented in the lawsuit by Californians for Pesticide Reform, the statewide organization that has coordinated the campaign to keep methyl iodide out of California. CEH is a member of CPR’s steering committee.
Methyl iodide was approved in the last few days of the Schwarzenegger administration. CEH, with your help, is asking the Brown administration to reverse this short-sighted, money-driven decision. Many thanks to the hundreds of you who signed our letter to Governor.
Brown. It’s discouraging when regulatory agencies make decisions that are so counter to health and justice, but this one is far from over. We’ll let you know as soon as the next chapter in this story unfolds.