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April 1996, Volume 2, Number 2

California Extends Methyl Bromide Use

On March 12, 1996, Governor Wilson signed a law that permits the
use of the soil fumigant methyl bromide through December 1997.

The 1984 Birth Defects Prevention Act required pesticide
manufacturers to submit health studies by March 1991 if they wanted
to sell their products in California. The deadline for filing health
studies was extended for five years, to March 30, 1996, for methyl
bromide, a colorless gas fumigant used to kill insects in soils
before strawberries, carrots, grapes, and flowers are planted. Some
18 million of the 56 million pounds of methyl bromide used in the US
in 1995 were used in California.

The US government has banned methyl bromide use after 2001 because
of its ozone depletion effects.

On January 16, 1996, the California Assembly approved by a vote of
45-28 an extension of the use of the pesticide methyl bromide to
December 31, 1997. The California Senate followed on February 22,
1996, approving the extension by a vote of 22-11. Efforts to amend
the bill permitting additional time for health studies to require
e.g., an increased buffer around housing where the chemical could not
be used failed.

Ray Sotero, "Wilson to sign methyl bromide extension," Ag Alert,
March 13, 1996. "Strawberry farmers fight pesticide ban," Associated
Press, February 6, 1996.

David Holmstrom, "Mobile kids daunt urban schools," Christian
Science Monitor, March 26, 1996. Judith Havemann, "Federal job
training programs questioned," The Des Moines Register, March 17,
1996. Stephen Magagnini, "Helping migrant kids attain college
dreams," Sacramento Bee, February 5, 1996.

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