Santa Cruz County Passes Resolution Opposing Methyl Iodide
November 8, 2011
Monterey's neighbor in both geography and strawberry-friendly climate became the first county in California to issue a resolution opposing the use of methyl iodide. The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors today voted 5-0 to approve the resolution, urging state regulators to revisit their approval of the fumigant back in December 2010.
Although county lawmakers do not have the authority to supersede the state Department of Pesticide Regulation's rules on the use of methyl iodide, it's leverage—and therefore more than just a symbolic gesture, according to activists who brought the proposal before the board. “This [resolution] is great ammunition for legislators to show they have the backing of local communities," says Dana Perls, an organizer with Pesticide Watch. "The very people whose economy is based on strawberries do not want methyl iodide in their community."
The Monterey County Board of Supervisors may decide on whether to sign off on a similar resolution as early as next Tuesday's board meeting, after Supervisor Simon Salinas formally requested the subject be placed on an agenda. Of the Santa Cruz decision today, "This is a groundswell," Perls adds, "and it’s hopefully going to have a domino effect."