- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
UC Riverside emeritus professor of plant pathology, Jim Sims, recently gave his opinion on the pending registration of methyl iodide to several California newspapers. An article in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday said Sims believes methyl iodide is "absolutely necessary" to continue agriculture in the state.
"I think methyl iodide can be used safely," Sims was quoted by the newspaper.
In April, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation proposed registering methyl iodide for use in California. A 60-day public comment period ended June 29. The Chron said the 53,419 e-mailed comments and at least 175 letters have not been tallied, but that a DPR spokesperson said those against methyl iodide's registration were in the majority.
An article that quoted Sims appeared in the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian last Friday. Most of the story is only available in the print edition, but online the article noted that methyl iodide is a liquid pesticide that could be used in place of the fumigant methyl bromide, which is being phased out because of its ozone-depleting effects.
Sims researched the use of methyl iodide as a soil fumigant for nearly 20 years, the Register-Pajaronian said. His research led to a patent, owned by UC Regents, managed by UC Riverside and licensed to Arysta LifeScience Corp. of Tokyo.