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Posted Sun Mar 20 2011: from San Francisco Chronicle:
A new clue in the case of the toxic strawberries
It was disappointing, if not downright strange, when California's Department of Pesticide Regulation decided in December to approve methyl iodide for use on the state's strawberry crops despite more than 50,000 letters of opposition -- the most DPR has ever gotten on any proposed rule. Was DPR head, Mary-Ann Warmerdam, in the pocket of the chemical industry? There's no smoking gun, but Warmerdam had been subject to aggressive lobbying by Arysta LifeScience, the largest privately held chemical manufacturer in the world and the maker of the profitable methyl iodide. Earlier this week, Warmerdam resigned her post, announcing she would be taking a job at chemical maker Clorox. (Clorox does not manufacture methyl iodide.) DPR's approval raised eyebrows because methyl iodide is known to cause cancer, nerve damage and late-term miscarriage.... "Due to the potent toxicity of methyl iodide, its transport in and ultimate fate in the environment, adequate control of human exposure would be difficult, if not impossible."... California produces almost 90 percent of all strawberries grown in the U.S.
[Read more stories about: corporate farming, governmental corruption, toxic leak, toxic buildup, regulatory stupidity]

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