EPA Approves Pesticide Known to Cause Cancer and Miscarriages
Washington - On October 5, the EPA approved a new chemical fumigant for use on strawberries and other food crops across the U.S. The pesticide, methyl iodide, vaporizes quickly, causing it to drift far distances. Although the state of California has categorized it as cancer causing, and the EPA admits it causes thyroid tumors, the Bush Administration has been advocating approval of the fumigant for the better part of two years.In a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson on September 25, the nation's leading chemists asked EPA not to approve methyl iodide without further scientific review. The chemical has been used to induce cancer in laboratory experiments and causes neurological and thyroid problems, as well as miscarriages in studies with laboratory animals. Farm workers, families, rural workers, and the food supply will now be subjected to exposure to the carcinogen unless the EPA revokes the approval immediately.