Advocacy & Activism, Environment, Health & Safety, Pesticides, Work Hazards

EPA Comment Period for Methyl Iodide Closes

From FoodSafetyNews.com, Helena Bottemiller, 27 Apr 2011.

The comment period for weighing in on a petition to ban the controversial chemical methyl iodide — an EPA-approved crop fumigant developed for strawberry production — is winding down this week. Those interested in weighing in on the issue have until April 30 to do so.

The Environmental Protection Agency was petitioned last year by Earthjustice, on behalf of several other public health and farmworker NGOs, to revoke its 2007 approval of the fumigant because of serious human health concerns. Responding to increasing public interest in the topic, EPA eventually agreed to open up a formal docket for comments, even though it was not legally required to.

The comment period comes to an end just two weeks after a member of California’s State Legislature expressed their concern to top EPA officials about the chemical, which the $2 billion California strawberry industry insists is an important pest and disease management tool.

“Extensive scientific analyses have been conducted on methyl iodide and scientists have overwhelmingly concluded that the adverse health and environmental risks to public, worker, and environmental safety associated with this chemical are significant,” the assemblyman wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “Methyl iodide is a known carcinogen (Proposition 65 list), neurotoxin, and mutagen. Additionally, there is significant potential for contamination to groundwater. According to the chair of the Scientific Review Committee, Dr. John Froines, ‘there is no safe level of use for methyl iodide.’ ”

Methyl iodide is not approved for use in New York or Washington state. A coalition of public health, environmental, and farm worker groups, including Earthjustice, is suing the state of California for its December 2010 approval of the chemical.

“We’re glad to see the Environmental Protection Agency taking this concrete first step toward repealing the last administration’s approval of this cancer-causing pesticide,” said Earthjustice attorney, Greg Loarie, in a statement last month.

The public can comment on the petition at regulations.gov, here.

Source: FoodSafetyNews.com, “EPA Comment Period for Methyl Iodide Closes” by Helena Bottemiller, 27 Apr 2011.

About Farmworkers Forum

Farmworkers Forum is an online news and information resource for and about farmworkers. Your comments and suggestions are welcomed and very much appreciated! Let us know how we can improve this forum to better serve your needs and interests.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

________________________________
Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 139 other followers

%d bloggers like this: