Groups sue Calfornia over methyl iodide registration

01/03/2011 02:00:00 AM

Brooks says the department didn't need the emergency regulations and could have directed county agriculture commissioners to require a restrictred-use permit.

"We sought those additional safeguards," she says about the emergency regulations.

As an alternative to fumigants, the groups would like CDPR, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Department of Public Health to work with stakeholder groups to coordinate research into methyl bromide alternatives.

They would report on their progress by November.

In addition, the agencies would "coordinate access to funding for research into alternatives as well as for farmers for some sort of transition payments," says Susan Kegley, a consulting scientist with the Pesticide Action Network North America. "The administration needs to set a vision of strawberry farming in the future free of fumigants."

Among the existing funding sources cited were the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grants, USDA Pest Management Alternative Program and Environmental Quality Incentive Program.

In a related move, the environmental groups delivered petitions that contained more than 52,000 public signatures collected since December to newly sworn-in Gov. Jerry Brown. The petitions request the registration of methyl iodide be cancelled.

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