We hear a lot about recalls these days. But last night it wasn’t ground turkey, cantaloupes, or peanut butter that was taken off the market. It was one of the most hotly contested pesticides in recent memory: methyl iodide. As reported by the San Jose Mercury News, Arysta Lifescience, the makers of the fumigant, announced on Tuesday evening that they’d be suspending sales of the product (also known as Midas) in all U.S. markets.
In California, where methyl iodide was being slowly phased into use as a replacement for the ozone-depleting methyl bromide, farming communities have spent the year protesting. Several Central Coast counties even banned the chemical, which is used to sterilize the soil before strawberries and other high-dollar row crops are planted. Amy Yoder, head of Arysta LifeScience North American, was sufficiently vague when speaking to the San Jose Mercury News about the company’s withdrawal, and she said the company’s decision was based “on its economic viability in the U.S. marketplace.”