Standing Up for Safe Strawberries

My sister is an organic farmer in southern California. Sometimes she grows strawberries, and I have occasionally had the incredible privilege of eating freshly picked strawberries for Christmas dinner.

Those strawberries are a piece of paradise, but my sister’s family, as well as families in all strawberry-growing areas, now need your help. This is an unapologetically personal appeal.

My sister’s farm is surrounded on two sides by the largest strawberry grower in San Diego County. While my sister and her husband have spent years building a healthy soil, her neighbor’s whole operation is based on using toxic chemicals to grow strawberries in lifeless soil.

The stunningly toxic strawberry pesticide methyl iodide has now been approved for use both at the federal level, and here in California. I’m convinced that if we don’t act now it’s only a matter of time before it’s used next door to my sister, and next door to many other families. I’m worried about my sister and her husband, I’m worried about my adolescent niece who is at at an age when she seems so vulnerable to toxic insults, I’m worried about the people who work on the farms that use it, and I’m worried about everyone who lives near where this chemical will be used.

Fortunately, methyl iodide is not a done deal. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has just agreed to consider taking a second look at methyl iodide. Right now, please tell EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson what you think. It’ll only take a few seconds. I don’t have enough wordsmithing skills to tell you how grateful I am for your help, but thank you.

Want to know what else you can do to keep methyl iodide out of our strawberry fields? Visit