Activists rally against fumigant

From the

While leaders of environmental, labor and health-care groups gathered in Salinas on Thursday, the California Strawberry Commission took umbrage over charges that not enough effort is being placed on finding a viable alternative to the controversial fumigant methyl bromide.

Surrounded by supporters on the steps of the Salinas main post office, an anti-pesticide coalition announced it had delivered about 18,000 signatures to California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Matthew Rodriquez calling on him to stop supporting extensions on the banned fumigant methyl bromide and to set a 2020 deadline to stop its use completely.

Based on mapping in 2010 by the California Department of Public Health, the Salinas Valley has a denser concentration of use of methyl bromide than any other region in the state, including Oxnard, Bakersfield, Fresno and Stockton – in some cases more than several of those regions combined.