H-CENTRAL COAST

Dec 1, 2010 9:41 PM by Ariel Wesler

Controversial pesticide approved in California

After months of debate, California regulators have approved a controversial pesticide for fruit and vegetable growers. Methyl iodide faced heavy opposition from environmental and farmworker groups. They said it could poison air and water. The new pesticide will replace methyl bromide, which is being phased out because it damages the ozone.

"The newer chemistries and the newer pesticides are much less toxic to other species including humans and they target a specific pest more effectively," said Richard Quandt, President of the Grower-Shipper Association.

While methyl iodide is on the state's list of toxic chemicals, regulators say it can be used safely under strict guidelines. The pesticide is already approved for use in 47 other states.

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