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Strawberry Show Down: No Methyl Iodide with My Shortcake, Please

Civil Eats - Commercially grown strawberries and tomatoes in California could start getting an unhealthy dose of the highly toxic fumigant methyl iodide, a known carcinogen, neurotoxin, and thyroid disruptor. Among scientists’ greatest concerns is the pesticide’s ability to cause spontaneous abortion late in pregnancy. So you might be surprised to hear that the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) recently issued a proposed decision to approve methyl iodide for use just months after a state-commissioned study warned that any agricultural use “would result in exposures to a large number of the public and thus would have a significant adverse impact on the public health” adding that, “adequate control of human exposure would be difficult, if not impossible.”

Strawberries are already near the top of the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen (13 pesticides were detected on a single sample) and recently, a high-level Presidential Cancer Panel recommended reducing chemical exposure by choosing fruits and vegetables grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers (i.e., organic). Read more.


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