Parents and grandparents have been, in greater and greater numbers, seeking organic alternatives to pesticide-laden, potentially harmful fruits and vegetables. However, that is not always an option for a number of reasons (cost, availability, etc…). Great news coming out of California will soon mean that strawberries, even non-organically grown ones, will be a safer snack to serve.
From the Environmental Working Group:
Oakland, Calif. – The battle over a cancer-causing pesticide often applied to California strawberry fields is over. The maker of the highly toxic methyl iodide has pulled the agriculture pesticide from the American marketplace in the face of mounting opposition from the public, leading scientific and public health experts and farmworkers.
“It’s very welcome news that American families and farmers will no longer be at risk from methyl iodide use in the fields, and near their homes and schools,” said Sonya Lunder, senior scientist with Environmental Working Group. “This highly toxic pesticide should never have been approved for use to begin with. It has no place in US agriculture.”
The decision by Arysta LifeScience to pull its product from the U.S. market was made public late Tuesday. ThePesticide Action Network of North America, which has worked for years to ban methyl iodide, alerted EWG and other groups joined in the effort to protect the public, including farm workers, from being exposed to the substance. Other organizations engaged in this effort include Californians for Pesticide Reform, Farmworker Association of Florida, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, EarthJustice, Farm Worker Pesticide Project and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Methyl iodide exposure is particularly worrisome when it involves children, who can be disproportionately affected as they grow and develop. Both consumers of California strawberries and the communities that grow them should be more confident about their health and well-being.