Hillary Clinton: Say “No” to Strawberry Pesticide

dangerpesticidesBefore she leaves office, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has an opportunity to protect children and families from a harmful strawberry pesticide. You can take action today (petition link) to tell her to say no to more dangerous strawberry pesticides.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the nation’s largest and most prestigious organization of children’s health doctors recently published a position statement about pesticides and children. The doctors noted that evidence links young children’s exposure to pesticides to childhood cancer and learning and behavior problems, and suggested policies to protect children. The statement is written in technical language, so we translated some of the doctor’s report (see our chart) into ordinary English.

Now, there’s a current controversy about an oldie-but-deadly pesticide. Twenty years ago, the U.S. agreed to an international phase-out of methyl bromide, a pesticide used by many strawberry growers. Methyl bromide is a potent ozone destroyer, hence the phase-out. The deadline for the phase out was 2005, but amazingly, eight years past the deadline, the agribusiness industry is still clinging to this toxic pesticide!

Right now, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, on behalf of strawberry agribusiness corporations, sent a letter asking Secretary of State Clinton and EPA Administrator Jackson to get more methyl bromide for California. Why? Because instead of coming up with safe, non-toxic alternatives to methyl bromide, industry’s favored alternative was another toxic pesticide called methyl iodide – a chemical known to cause genetic damage, miscarriages and cancer.

Last year, thousands of people just like you helped force the industry to drop its plans to replace methyl bromide with methyl iodide. You know that a vibrant organic strawberry industry is booming in California and those farmers do not use ANY fumigant pesticides.

It’s far past time for the strawberry industry to learn that we won’t stand for a choice between miscarriages and skin cancer! Tell Hillary Clinton that this toxic shell game must end — twenty years is long enough to find safer ways to grow strawberries, without these harmful pesticides.

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