Issue 4 Introduction
Issue 4 On-line Discussion
Internet Resource Sites
Use of Methyl bromide in Agriculture:
Methyl bromide is a toxic pesticide that is injected into soil before planting strawberries, grapes, almonds and other crops (85% of its use).
It is also used to kill pests in stored and quarantine treatment of commodities, in agricultural shipments and in buildings. In this use, the methyl bromide is pumped as a gas into sealed containers or room containing various commodities which may include various fruits and vegetables. Some countries require this treatment before import or export of certain fruits or vegetables. For example, lumber from certain Asian countries is treated with methyl bromide to kill the long horned beetle which has infested some trees in the Chicago area.
Strawberries: Here are a couple of links to a site where methyl bromide is used as a soil fumigant before planting strawberries. Dave Peck of Manzanita Farms was kind enough to respond to one of our debate discussion forums. As a result, I asked him for some more information about the use of methylbromide in his operation. He wrote the following letter/essay in response:
Manzanita Farms - growing strawberries - look in particular at (B.) Soil Preparation
Essay Explaining the use of methyl bromide in growing strawberries - Dave Peck, Manzanita Farms - further info
Alternative to Methyl Bromide: A communication from Dave Peck, Nov. 21, 2002: "We have forsaken methyl-bromide for good, opting to use the chloropicrin and Telone 2 (Dow Chemical's "Inline") on 100% of our 300 acres this year. It is an economically reasonable alternative and works well with our berry variety.
Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depeltion:
In 1987, an international agreement known as the Montreal
Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed
by many nations. The Protocol required the that CFC production
would be reduced to one-half of the 1986 levels by 1998. Based
upon a growing understanding of the cause of the ozone hole and
the potential for global ozone depletion, approximately 100 nations
in 1990, agreed to a complete ban on the use of CFCs in 2000.
Subsequently, in 1992, President George Bush ordered the complete
halt to CFC production in the United States after December 31,
The following contains the most definitive assessments and
answers to questions about ozone depletion - fairly technical
iin nature but the Executuve summary is somewhat readable.
Should the United States take a leading role in banning the production and use of methyl bromide because it is an ozone depleting chemical? (As of 2005 the production of methyl bromide in the U.S. has been largely banned according to the treaty, however there are still many exceptions for the use in this country and others around the world. So perhaps the question could be repharsed to say banning ALL uses, including the exceptions.)
The instructor will divide the students into "YES" and "NO" groups for the purposes of debate.
|Option # 1 NO: Students ID 1 - 7||Option # 1 NO: Students ID 14 - 20|
|Option # 2 YES: Students ID 8 - 13||Option # 2 YES: Students ID 21 - 30|
General Information on Ozone Depletion
Sites that support the continued use of Methyl Bromide
Essay Explaining the use of methylbromide in growing strawberries - Dave Peck, Manzanita Farms
- growing strawberries (look in particular at B. Soil Preparation
Bromide Does Not Stick Around -