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   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county

Sale of Controversial Pesticide Methyl Iodide is Suspended in the United States

March 2012

Arysta LifeScience Inc. confirmed in a news release late Tuesday, March 20, 2012, that it was immediately suspending the sale of all formulations of the fumigant Midas in the United States after controversy about its threat to human health, the environment, and worker safety persisted.

Methyl iodide, marketed as Midas, was approved for use in California in 2010 by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation despite recommendations from the Department’s staff scientists and the commissioned Peer Review Committee not to register the fumigant.

Chapter leaders, farm workers and other members of the agricultural community have been working closely with Assembly member Bill Monning to bring the scientific evidence forward and seek safer alternatives to toxic pesticides. In February, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in favor of banning methyl iodide.

Earthjustice and California Rural Legal Assistance filed a suit against the Department of Pesticide Regulation on behalf of workers and rural communities, asserting that scientific evidence was overlooked and emergency regulations were inappropriately put in place as Governor Schwarzenegger’s term was coming to an end. A decision on this lawsuit is expected any day.

Assemblymember Monning stated, “My interest has always been driven by a concern for public safety as well as the viability of our local agricultural economy. I applaud Governor Brown for his shared commitment to support the exploration of alternatives to methyl iodide.”

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