Action Alert: Stop Delay of U.S. Methyl Bromide Ban
A coalition of non-governmental organizations is calling for
action to stop U.S. legislation that (1) pushes back the U.S.
ban of methyl bromide from 2001 to 2005, and (2) allows
producers to continue exporting methyl bromide after the ban
is in place. The U.S. Congress passed the measure as part
of an agricultural appropriations bill on Tuesday, October 6.
The coalition asks those concerned to call Vice President Al
Gore and urge the Clinton Administration to veto the
legislation. The coalition includes the Pesticide Action
Network North America, Friends of the Earth, Ozone Action
and Environmental Working Group.
Methyl bromide is a highly toxic, ozone depleting pesticide
used as a soil fumigant to control pests on some crops,
including strawberries and tomatoes. Dangerous levels of the
toxic gas from fumigated fields have been documented near
schools and residential neighborhoods in areas where
the pesticide is used.
Methyl bromide destroys the ozone layer at a very rapid rate.
Scientists report that the ozone layer will reach its peak
level of destruction in the next 10 years. An extension of
methyl bromide use in the US - which uses more methyl bromide
than any other country - will cause tremendous damage during
this critical time. Ozone depletion contributes to increased
UV radiation, that causes skin cancer, eye cataracts and
weakening of the immune system.
In the United States, methyl bromide producers and users have
worked to delay the 2001 ban since it was established under
the U.S. Clean Air Act in 1993, and are doubling their
efforts as the date nears. Alternatives have been documented
for almost all uses of methyl bromide. Under the
international Montreal Protocol Agreement, all industrialized
countries will phase out methyl bromide by 2005 with interim
reductions. The proposed U.S. legislation brings the U.S.
into alignment with this slower schedule at a time when many
other industrialized countries are speeding up their phaseout
Action: Please call or email Vice President Al Gore as soon
as possible at (202) 456-2326 or
"email@example.com" and ask the Administration to
veto the agricultural appropriations bill now being
considered by Congress that would roll back the 2001 ban of
the toxic pesticide methyl bromide.
Source/contact: Pesticide Action Network North America
Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA)
49 Powell St., Suite 500, San Francisco, California 94102
Phone (415) 981-1771
Fax (415) 981-1991
web site www.panna.org/panna/
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