Monday, October 25, 2010

Two more countries approve methyl iodide

Arysta LifeScience announced today that Mexico and Morocco have approved the chemical methyl iodide for commercial use as a soil fumigant.

That brings to six the number of countries allowing the chemical.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registered it in 2007. But some states conduct their own investigations of new chemicals before allowing them. Among them are Washington, New York and California, the only states still holding out.

Growers are counting on methyl iodide to replace methyl bromide, which has been phased out under international agreement to reduce ozone-depleting emissions.

California's approval process is considered the most rigorous of all. The state's Department of Pesticide Regulation said last month it expects to make its final decision by December.

The agency said early this year it would decide on the chemical by spring, but later said the case's high profile has slowed the process. The agency published a proposed deregulation earlier this year, and is now sifting some 53,000 public comments.

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