Controversial Pesticide Worries Scientists

Most supermarket strawberries come from California. If the strawberries are not organic, they were most likely grown in fumigated soil -- a fact that is creating a stir between scientists and California regulators.

Currently, farmers use a fumigant called methyl bromide, which is being phased out because it damages the ozone layer. However, the leading alternative, methyl iodide, comes with its own set of problems.

According to NPR:

“... animal studies show that methyl iodide is a carcinogen and a neurotoxin, and it can cause miscarriages.”

But California has issued a notice to approve methyl iodide with an exposure limit of 96 parts per billion for workers -- a number 120 times higher than the level that an independent scientific review panel thought was safe.

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