I hope everyone is having a fine time drifting into 9th week however, I hope also to quickly stall that and speak on an important and urgent topic, the possible use of methyl iodide as a pesticide on strawberries and tomatoes. The chemical is a very scary and dangerous one, which would have hazardous effects not only on the environment and those who eat food exposed to it, but more severely for the workers who deal with it.
There have been many prominent voices speaking against its approval, including several Nobel Prize winners and the head of a special committee appointed by the California Domestic Pesticide Regulations. The leader went so far as to say, “adequate control of human exposure would be difficult, if not impossible” (Examiner).
I am obviously one for organics no matter how harsh the pesticide, however this chemical raises alarms well beyond my normal concerns due to its clear danger to the food, but more so to the workers who handle it and the communities surrounding its users. The approval is not yet final, it is pending upon final comments from the public lasting until June 29, when a decision will be made. Here at UCSD we boast a large community and one who can make a loud voice when necessary. Unless we want workers and our stomachs to be poisoned by methyl iodide we must stand up and speak our voice.
Along with our friends The Sustainable Food Project I am preparing a student petition against the act that includes asking our school’s food providers to abstain from purchasing and selling produce touched by the harmful chemical.
Look for us this coming week on Library Walk, asking you to learn about your farmer and help protect workers, farmers, the earth, and your stomach.
Hopefully my next entry will be happier, in fact I have many posts I could add to make life happier, and will at some point-just for now, we need to act.
Jared A Muscat
SSC Director, Food