Radio Report: Florida has no reporting requirements for controversial pesticide methyl iodide

Methyl Iodide is injected underneath the soil of strawberry fields. photo by Kelly Benjamin

Click here to listen to the radio report by Kelly Benjamin

Methyl iodide is a controversial pesticide that has been approved for use in agricultural fields in Florida and California despite vocal opposition linking it to cancer and other ailments. Today is the last day the Environmental Protection Agency will take public comment on use of the chemical. But finding out where and how much methyl iodide is being used in Florida is a difficult task.

The EPA’s public comment period on methyl iodide comes at the request of EarthJustice, a law firm working on behalf of farmworkers, environmentalists, and health advocates who say the pesticide is too toxic to be used in agriculture and that the EPA should suspend it’s use. Paul Towers is a director with Pesticide Watch Education Fund.

“Mainly, methyl iodide is far too toxic for use anywhere in this country. It’s linked to cancer, it’s a known reproductive toxin, it causes brain damage. For all of these reasons, methyl iodide, the cancer causing strawberry pesticide doesn’t belong anywhere near our communities.”

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