Keep California marching toward safe strawberry fields

Keep California marching toward safe strawberry fields

Last spring we won a tremendous victory in keeping the cancer-causing fumigant methyl iodide out of California’s strawberry fields. As a direct result, that chemical has now been pulled from the entire U.S. market and we are all a little safer.

Now, instead of investing fully in moving towards safe strawberry fields, decisionmakers have caved to industry pressure by petitioning to create more exemptions (i.e., loopholes) allowing the use of methyl iodide’s banned predecessor, methyl bromide. These exemptions are unnecessary and undermine the progress our state has just begun to make in transitioning off of fumigant pesticides.

Hold officials accountable to the promise of safe strawberry fields in California. Join us in urging California EPA head Matt Rodriguez to affirm his commitment to end fumigant pesticide use by 2020 in California, and to create a plan that supports farmers to do so.

Dear Secretary Rodriguez,

We are writing to ask you to publicly affirm your commitment to create and implement a plan to end fumigant pesticide use by 2020 in California. We urge you to work alongside strawberry farmers to create policy shifts and investments that will ensure cutting-edge alternatives become a reality.

Your recent letter seeking exemptions to continue use of methyl bromide in California represents a startling step in the wrong direction.

California has the opportunity to lead the transition to healthy, safe food systems by ending our reliance on some of the most dangerous pesticides used on earth, and we’ve only just begun. We urge you to not backtrack now. We request the public release and initial implementation of the fumigant transition plan by March 2013, start of peak strawberry season.

We urge your strong leadership on this issue.

Sincerely
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