Department of Pesticide Regulation’s own scientist decries fumigant registration.

Posted by Trish Riley, February 24, 2011

During a hearing Tuesday before the California Assembly Committees on Health and Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, that scientist, John Froines, testified “there is no safe level for methyl iodide.”

“It is painful for me personally and professionally to have to report the science was subverted in the DPR approval,” said Froines, a professor of chemical toxicology at the UCLA School of Public Health.

The fumigant kills nematodes, weeds and disease in the soil, and was registered by the DPR for use on Dec. 1, 2010. The same properties that make it an efficient pesticide also make it a human health hazard, according to opponents.

DPR registered methyl iodide for use at exposure rates as much as 100 times higher than what Froines’ Scientific Review Committee recommended. Froines contends real-world conditions must be taken into account, and that DPR’s risk management calculations do not effectively do so.