Victory: Methyl iodide banned nationally!

Ignoring assessments of the country’s top scientists, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) decided on December 1, 2010 to approve methyl iodide—a pesticide that causes cancer, late term miscarriages and contaminates water—for use in California’s fields. Though many pesticides are dangerous, methyl iodide was one of the most toxic pesticides ever approved for use in the state.

On December 30 2010, Earthjustice and California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. filed a lawsuit on behalf of Californians for Pesticide Reform, as well as many of our member groups including Pesticide Action Network North America United Farm Workers of America, and Pesticide Watch Education Fund.

Finally, on March 20, 2012, after years of promoting their product in the face of scientific opposition, pesticide manufacturer Arysta LifeScience yielded to mounting pressure and pulled cancer-causing methyl iodide off the US market. Arysta’s decision ends U.S. use of what state scientist reviewers called “one of the most toxic chemicals on earth.”

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation immediately followed Arysta’s announcement by cancelling the registration of methyl iodide, meaning that the chemical is banned for agricultural use in California. In November 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cancelled methyl iodide nationally, meaning that it cannot be used anywhere in the country.


Learn more about methyl iodide.

In April 2010, CPR published a report Profiles of Poison: Survivors of Pesticide Poisoning Say No to Methyl Iodide.  Through this report, nine victims of pesticide poisoning shared their stories and issued a call to DPR and the Governor: Don’t register this new poison for use in California!

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