California tightening rule on popular pesticide

California Drought Rice Harvest

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — California regulators say they’re tightening rules on how much farmers can use a potentially dangerous pesticide in the nation’s most productive agricultural state.

Brian Leahy, director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, told The Associated Press about the new rule for Telone ahead of the announcement Thursday. It’s used to kill pests in soil before planting crops.

California lists Telone as a chemical known to cause cancer. The agency says it’s the only state to restrict how much can be applied.

Merced County sweet potato farmer Bob Weimer says the rule has no logic because his fields are far from people, posing no health risk. He fears rising food prices.

Caroline Cox at the advocacy group Center for Environmental Health says no direct cases of illness have been linked to Telone but it’s the state’s job is to protect residents.

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