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Monterey County Says No to Methyl Iodide

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page, Farm Issues page, and our California News page.
Last month, I wrote about the very real possibility that Monterey County - one of the biggest farm counties in California - would pass a resolution to ban the fumigant methyl iodide.

Well, on Tuesday morning, Valentine's Day, the Moneterey County Board of Supervisors did just that. They'll join Santa Cruz County (another big ag county) in urging California Gov. Jerry Brown to re-examine the registration and approval of this known carcinogen on farms.

Methyl iodide is being seen as a replacement for the ozone-depleting methyl bromide, which will be phased out of use in the state by 2015. And while farmers appear to be holding off on using this highly toxic chemical (only a handful of applications have been recorded in the state so far), that fact hasn't stopped anti-pesticide advocates from pushing lawmakers to to reconsider the decision.

The news comes only weeks after Brown appointed Brian Leahy, a former organic farmer and the former assistant director at the California Department of Conservation, to head up the state Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR).


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