Methyl iodide’s use in state challenged by suit

San Francisco Chronicle, Jan.4, 2010

Environmentalists and farmworkers challenged approval of a toxic fumigant and carcinogen for use on California crops Monday and urged Gov. Jerry Brown to reverse the decision.

The coalition of advocacy groups filed a lawsuit Thursday calling the decision to register methyl iodide as a pesticide “irresponsible and illegal.”

The chemical, produced by Arysta Life- Science Corp. primarily for use on strawberry fields, was approved by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation last month despite concern from some scientists, toxicologists and environmentalists. The lawsuit claims methyl iodide is a poison that causes cancer and thyroid disease and can harm the lungs, liver, kidneys, brain and central nervous system.

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