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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Methyl Iodide

The New York Times reports on a potential environmental toxin:

In a report and in public testimony Thursday before the [California] State Senate Food and Agriculture Committee, members of the review committee said the state’s decision to approve the new pesticide, methyl iodide, was made using inadequate, flawed and improperly conducted scientific research.

“I’m not in blanket opposition to the use of pesticides, but methyl iodide alarms me,” said Theodore A. Slotkin, a professor of pharmacology and cancer biology at Duke University Medical Center and a member of the scientific review committee. “When we come across a compound that is known to be neurotoxic, as well as developmentally toxic and an endocrine disruptor, it would seem prudent to err on the side of caution, demanding that the appropriate scientific testing be done on animals instead of going ahead and putting it into use, in which case the test animals will be the children of the state of California.”


Once out in the environment, neurotoxic chemicals like methyl iodide contribute to neurodevelopment disorders including learning disabilities, conduct disorders, autism spectrum disorders and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, said Dr. Slotkin, who called such health disorders a “silent pandemic.”

A press release on the hearing is here.

A post from the Pesticide Action Network is here.