Mon, Jun 7, 2010 -- 8:33 AM
Strawberries and Worker Safety - Part IDownload audio (MP3)
Ever since methyl bromide was found to harm Earth's ozone layer, strawberry farmers in California have been clamoring for a replacement. They say strawberry prices nationwide will spike if they aren't allowed to use the next best alternative, methyl iodide. But the issue has caused a rift within the state Department of Pesticide Regulation. Scientists charged with assessing methyl iodide say it can cause miscarriage, nervous system damage and cancer. They say their work has been ignored by administrators who intend to approve the chemical at levels 120 times higher than what staff scientists say is safe. Meanwhile, EPA officials are taking note. They say if California bars the use of methyl iodide, they may consider doing the same nationwide.
Host: Amy Standen