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EPA may cancel registration of methyl bromide replacement.

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering a petition from a coalition of farm worker and environmental groups to rescind its earlier approval of the soil fumigant methyl iodide. The groups claim that the toxicity of methyl iodide is "significantly greater" than EPA assumed when it approved conditional registrations for the fumigant in 2007.

The petition says that that EPA can grant conditional registrations under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act only if it determines that use of the pesticide will not cause any unreasonable adverse effects on the environment, and "current evidence demonstrates that the potential harms from the use of this fumigant are serious, immediate, and of unacceptably high probability."

Methyl iodide is a soil fumigant used on strawberry, tomato, and pepper crops as well as fruit and nut trees. It was adopted as a replacement for methyl bromide after all uses of the fumigant were phased out by 2005 with certain critical use exemptions. Methyl iodide is a powerful fumigant that has been proposed for use as a fungicide, herbicide, insecticide, nematicide, and as a soil disinfectant.
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Publication:The Food & Fiber Letter
Date:Mar 28, 2011
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