FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - California pesticide regulators have approved a cancer-causing fumigant for use by fruit and vegetable growers, despite heavy opposition from environmental and farmworker groups.
Officials announced Wednesday that the state Department of Pesticide Regulation will register methyl iodide as a substitute for the pesticide, methyl bromide.
Methyl bromide is being phased out by international treaty. The agency tentatively approved methyl iodide's use in April, despite concerns by a scientific advisory panel that it could poison air and water.
Regulators insist the chemical can be used safely and say strict guidelines will be followed.
Tests have found no traces of the carcinogen in fruit from treated soil. The pesticide already is registered in 47 other states.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)