(NaturalNews) In a shocking, last-minute decision by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), the agency approved the use of methyl iodide, a highly-toxic carcinogen, as a pesticide for conventional strawberries. Ignoring the recommendations of both its scientific advisory panel as well as the comments of tens of thousands of citizens opposed to its use, the DPR instead sided with the interests of the chemical industry and granted approval.
Currently, most conventional strawberries are doused in methyl bromide, another toxic pesticide linked to respiratory, nervous system, and neurological disorders. The chemical is banned in many countries throughout the world because of the significant health threats it poses. But methyl iodide is even worse, as it causes DNA damage, neurological problems, thyroid disorders, and cancer (http://www.naturalnews.com/029051_strawberries_pesticides.html).
Fifty-five scientists from the National Academy of Sciences, five of which are Nobel Laureates, expressed opposition to the methyl iodide back in 2007 when it was first registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And a scientific review panel assigned to review the safety of the chemical for the DPR recently concluded that the chemical is a huge threat to public health.
"Based on the data available, we know that methyl iodide is a highly toxic chemical and we expect that any anticipated scenario for the agricultural or structural fumigation use of this agent would result in exposures to a large number of the public and thus would have a significant adverse impact on the public health," told the group to the DPR. "We have concluded there is little doubt that the compound possesses significant toxicity."
But the DPR, during the final days of leadership under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, ignored this information and instead pandered to the interests of Arysta LifeScience, a Japanese chemical company that produces methyl iodide. And the group approved the chemical's at levels 100 times higher than those considered "safe".
The Pesticide Action Network (PAN), an organization devoted to reducing pesticide use around the world, believes that with enough public pressure, Governor-Elect Jerry Brown will issue an immediate moratorium on the chemical once he takes office in January. And you can help make this happen by signing a PAN petition that will be sent directly to him.
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