ACTION: Chemical industry urges CA governor to ignore science
We've written to you before about methyl iodide. Thousands of UFW supporters
have written to California authorities and begged them to do the right thing
and refuse approval of this deadly, mutagenic compound.
This highly toxic new pesticide is currently being given a comprehensive
review by the Department of Pesticide Regulations and the agency's
registration decision is pending advice from a panel of scientists convened
specifically to review this chemical.
However, according to inside sources, California Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger is being pressured by corporate interests to fast-track
registration of this toxic pesticide--despite serious concerns from the
state's own scientists at the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR).
"Methyl iodide is so toxic that scientists working with it in the laboratory
take extreme precautions when handling it, using a ventilation hood, gloves,
and special equipment for transferring it so it does not escape to the air,"
notes Dr. Susan Kegley. "This degree of protection is not possible in an
agricultural setting where the pesticide would be applied at rates of 175
pounds per acre in the open air. Buffer zones of 400 feet for a 40-acre
fumigation would still result in a dose of methyl iodide to neighbors that
is 375 times higher than DPR believes is acceptable. For workers, the
numbers are much worse, with exposures estimated at 3,000 times higher than
DPR's acceptable dose for some tasks."
Methyl iodide's manufacturer, Arysta, withdrew its New York application for
registration after state officials raised concerns about groundwater
contamination and potential exposure for workers, bystanders and nearby
residents--especially children, pregnant women and the elderly.
Now the industry is asking California's governor to order DPR to fast track
the registration of this deadly fumigant. This is not acceptable. Please
take action and tell the Governor to keep methyl iodide of California's