Methyl Iodide Is the Mother of Pesticides

The consensus of scientists is that methyl iodide is one toxic pesticide. A known carcinogen and neurotoxin, methyl iodide also can cause late-term miscarriages. Despite what over 50 scientists, five of them Nobel laureates, stated in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the EPA registered it as a pesticide in October 2007. The letter urged the EPA to “do whatever is possible to prevent this chemical from ever becoming a registered pesticide.”

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) received over 53,000 comments from California residents expressing concerns about methyl iodide. The California Scientific Review Committee (SRC) found that using methyl iodide would “have a significant adverse impact on the public health.” Still, the DPR approved its use on December 1, 2010. New York and Washington did not approve the use of methyl iodide.

Earthjustice and California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. filed a lawsuit against the use of methyl iodide on December 30, 2010. Over 52,000 Californians petitioned Brown on his first day of office to oppose its use in California. On March 23, 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown stated that he will reconsider the decision to permit uses of methyl iodide.


A legal petition was submitted to the EPA on March 31, 2010, and in August 2010 the EPA said they would reopen decision to approve it for public comment. The public comment period opened in March 2011, and received over 200,000 comments.

Over 35 California legislators, including Speaker of the Assembly John Perez, sent a letter to the EPA on April 4, 2011 asking it to “suspend cancel all uses of methyl iodide in the U.S.” A month later, over 35 scientists, three Nobel laureates, sent a letter to the EPA on May 7, 2011, urging it to cancel all uses of the fumigant. The letter stated:

“This rigorously conducted analysis indicates that methyl iodide cannot be used safely as a soil fumigant and serves as a sound scientific basis for U.S. EPA to cancel all agricultural uses of methyl iodide.”

“The science is in,” said Susan Kegley, a consulting scientist with PANNA. “An immediate withdrawal of methyl iodide from the market is the best strategy for preventing adverse effects from this highly toxic pesticide. Unless U.S. EPA wants to see more groundwater contamination, increasing numbers of late-term miscarriages in women who live or work near methyl iodide applications, more thyroid disease, and more cancers, they need to get this dangerous chemical off the market.”

Photo from the justified sinner via flickr


Grace Adams
Grace Adams6 years ago

Couldn't find any petition about methyl iodide--just one about lead shot (I had signed earlier) and one about a proposed new coal-plant in Mississippi which I signed. This late in the game, any new coal plants should be Integrated Coal Gasification Integrated Combined Cycle which is more efficient (so more kWh per ton of coal) and can be fitted to capture all the smoke coming out the stack.

Hope S.
Hope Sellers6 years ago


Ernie Miller
william Miller6 years ago

I dont see the artical just comments?

Dolores M.
Dolores M6 years ago

Send a message by purchasing only organic foods. If there is no market for sprayed fruits and veggies maybe then we'll see a change. Consumers have more power than they realize. Remember, big business is all about the money!

myra dolgoy
myra d6 years ago


Parvez Z.
Parvez Zuberi6 years ago

Signed the petition thnks

Andrea Connelly
Andrea Connelly6 years ago

And "there is no evidence that fracking is dangerous"!
And this agency is supposed to protect the environment. Hmm.. Has anyone in this so called agency ever read "Silent Spring"?
Corruption is not restricted to the Third World it is rampant enough in the US and in Canada, and is always at the expense of the environment and honest taxpayers.
Political corruption should be a core course taught in all high schools in North America, and indeed the World over. Let our youngsters be informed, whether they choose the right or the wrong side afterwards.

William Y.
William Y6 years ago


Jo Zee
Jo Zimny6 years ago

EPA = ENVIRONMENT (for) PROFIT AGENCY, it's not for health it's for profits, same old same old!

Yvette T.
Past Member 6 years ago

The EPA might need to remove the word "Protection" from its title. It does not protect us or the environment often enough. Is someone paying them not to?