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Controversial Strawberry Pesticide Pulled From US

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Strawberries (credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Strawberries (credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

CBS Sacramento (con't)

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FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A controversial strawberry pesticide is being pulled from the U.S. market by its Tokyo manufacturer.

Arysta LifeScience Inc. announced late Tuesday that it’s immediately suspending the sale of all formulations of the fumigant Midas, or methyl iodide. It says the decision is based on its economic viability in the United States.

The fumigant is used by growers of strawberries, tomatoes, peppers and other crops.

Methyl iodide was seen as a replacement for another fumigant, methyl bromide, which is being phased out under international treaty because it depletes the Earth’s ozone.

But the new fumigant never took off in California.

The state approved its use despite opposition from scientists who said it can cause cancer. Environmentalists have been pressuring the administration to ban it.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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