Pesticide Watch Helps Coalition Release New Report!

Learning disabilities, childhood cancer and asthma are on the rise in the United States. And a new report [link] out today points to pesticides – with over 1 billion pounds applied on farms and homes annually – as a critical contributor to these health harms in children.  In particular, the report points to the fact that children are sicker today than a generation ago, confronting serious health challenges from pesticides and other chemical exposures that their parents and grandparents were unlikely to face.

Pesticide Watch helped Californians for Pesticide Reform, in conjunction with health professionals, mothers and rural leaders to release the new report, which draws from academic and government research to chronicle the emerging threat of pesticides to children’s health. Compiled by researchers and scientists at Pesticide Action Network, A Generation in Jeopardy: How pesticides are undermining our children’s health and intelligence focuses on studies published within the past five years – a growing body of evidence that convincingly demonstrates a link between pesticide exposure and childhood health harms.

The report shines a light on the growing links between exposure to pesticides where children, live, learn and play and an array of impacts on the mind and body – including diminished IQ, ADHD & autism, childhood cancers and asthma. In particular, the report points to the following trends across studies:

  • The brains and nervous systems of boys are significantly more affected than girls.
  • Timing of exposure is critically important. If a child is exposed to even very small amounts of a harmful pesticide during a particular moment of development, the impacts can be severe – and often irreversible.
  • Studies link exposure to pesticides during pregnancy to increased risk of childhood leukemia and brain cancer. And children who live in intensively agricultural areas are more likely to have childhood cancer.


Monterey County Urges Reconsideration of Methyl Iodide

SALINAS, Calif. - February 14, 2012 - The Monterey County Board of Supervisors joined Santa Cruz County in urging Governor Brown to re-examine the registration and approved agricultural use of the chemical methyl iodide in agriculture. 

The resolution was proposed to Supervisor Simon Salinas by a diverse coalition of residents from Monterey County, Monterey County Safe Strawberries. Monterey County joins Santa Cruz County in expressing concern about the safety of methyl iodide and the need for non-toxic alternatives for agriculture. The group is part of a statewide coalition organizing to urge Governor Brown to revoke the permitted use of the chemical in agriculture and to help the CA offer safe alternatives for farmers. Methyl iodide is a fumigant that causes cancer, late-term miscarriages, fetal death, thyroid diseases and could permanently contaminate groundwater.

Scientists who use methyl iodide for cancer research commonly refer to this chemical as "one of the most dangerous chemicals on earth." Experts cite health care and lost labor costs for farmworkers and neighboring communities, as well as the cost to clean up damage to protect and clean-up local water supplies.

Santa Cruz Supervisors Vote on Methyl Iodide

Exciting news! On Tuesday November 8th the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors voted unanimously for a resolution asking Governor Jerry Brown to reconsider the registration of Methyl Iodide. 

Santa Cruz residents and members of Santa Cruz Safe Strawberries have been organizing very hard and have earned a much deserved victory!

Demand Safe Strawberries!

Fresno residents protest California's first permit for use of methyl iodide.

For more information on how to participate locally, visit

Take Action Against Methyl Iodide

Ignoring the assessments of top US scientists and its own Scientific Review Committee, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced on December 1, 2010 its approval late yesterday of methyl iodide, a new pesticide to be used in agriculture, exposing communities and farm workers to toxic pesticide drift. Read More...

Personal Pesticide Stories

Profiles of Poison:  Survivors of Pesticide Poisoning Say No to Methyl Iodide
Nine victims of pesticide poisoning share their stories and asked that methyl iodide, a new strawberry pesticide, not be registered for use in California. They are now joining groups across California to ask Governor-elect Jerry Brown to reverse the recent registration. Click here to view the full report.

Community Defenders

Amy Barden is the modest coordinator of Pesticide-Free Sacramento, a regional coalition made up of farmers, elected officials, physicians and businesses, supported by Pesticide Watch Education Fund, working to reduce and eliminate pesticide use in the Sacramento Region. And she wasn't born a pesticide reform activist. Read More...


Pesticide Watch co-coordinates grassroots activist workshops in Sacramento with the Environmental Health Legislative Working Group (EHLWG) and Central Valley Air Quality Coalition (CVAQ). Stay tuned for the next training in the Fall of 2011.

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