The reality is that California’s restrictions on methyl iodide are many more times greater than those required by the Environmental Protection Agency or any other jurisdiction.
The use restrictions include large buffer zones, a requirement of only DPR-approved highly retentive tarps, specific groundwater protections, reduced application rates and stronger worker protection measures.
And in spite of all of these requirements, which go far beyond other states and countries, anti-pesticide activists are calling upon the new administration in Sacramento to reverse the decision to use methyl iodide in California.
Is methyl iodide a product to be handled with extreme care? Absolutely, but it can be used safely.
DPR, along with farmers, as stewards of their land and the environment, certainly realize that fact. In order to continue to produce food from our state, growers need to have access to crop production tools based upon rational and reasonable science.
If we allow the process to become a prisoner of emotion, we will not only find ourselves without methyl iodide, but in the not too distant future the majority of our food production will come from places with much less regulatory oversight.
Barry Bedwell is president of the California Grape & Tree Fruit League, Fresno.
Where do you stand on the issue of methyl iodide use? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.