How Cancer-Causing Methyl Iodide Sneaked Past the EPA and Onto Farm Fields

In the final days of the Bush Administration, the EPA ignored strong warnings from independent scientists and it approved use of a pesticide so carcinogenic that scientists had previously used it to induce cancer in tissue samples.

The chemical was a fumigant called methyl iodide, and it swiftly went into use in states with significant production of fruit, mainly strawberries. California subjected methyl iodide to a separate review process, but now that state also stands on the verge of approving methyl iodide.

In the podcast linked below, Tom Philpott of Grist talks with Susan Kegley, an organic chemist.

According to Grist, Kegley is:

“...[the]  long-time science guru for the California-based Pesticide Action Network of North America, which has just issued a brand-new report (PDF) showing that drift from fumigants such as methyl iodide routinely shows up at alarming rates in air of nearby communities, ‘even when all application rules were followed and no equipment failure occurred.’”

In the podcast, Kegley explains how the chemical keeps gaining favor from politicians even while scientists warn against it.

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