The Fume, the Crowd, the Berries
EPA withdraws plan to approve toxic fumigant methyl iodide
After contriving to approve toxic fumigant methyl iodide for use in strawberry fields forever, the U.S. EPA has withdrawn the plan in the face of fierce opposition from California officials, labor unions, and enviros. The approval of methyl iodide was to be the culmination of a nearly 15-year search for a substitute for ozone-depleting methyl bromide, which is banned internationally and being phased out. Yet rational people objected to the idea of shooting up strawberry fields with a carcinogen (so labeled by the state of California) that tends to evaporate and drift; the EPA received about 13,000 letters criticizing its choice. The agency will reevaluate methyl iodide again next year. Because if they look at it more, it might stop causing cancer.