Re: Strawberries in Florida

Strawberry production is not much different in Florida than in California.
Major methyl bromide use, plastic mulch culture, intense fungicide use,
larger overall pesticide use per acre than California.  (Strawberries have
the largest pesticide use per acre in Claifornia)  Consumer level residue
profile also dirty.

Some figures on Florida strawberry pesticide use:
97% of acres fumigated with methyl bromide.
87% of acres treated with paraquat (herbicide)
82% of acres treated with methomyl (carbamate insecticide)
99% of acres treated with captan (fungicide: prob. human carcinogen)

5,800 acres total:
5,000 pounds of herbicides annually
~50,000 pounds of insecticides
350,000 pounds of fungicides
1,100,000 of fumigants (methyl bromide)
Source: USDA NASS Agricultural Chemical Usage: Vegetables, 1994 Summary.
pub. 7/95

There is no pesticide use reporting system in Florida so it is impossible
to quantify or even estimate human exposure to these pesticides.  Most
Florida berries are grown in a small area near Plant City, FL between Tampa
and Orlando. See EWG's website for more info on strawberries
(http://www.ewg.org): "A Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce" and
methyl bromide reports.  Anyone want to write the Journal Constituion a
letter or an Op-Ed?

Happy Shortcake-
Kert Davies

Lance Howard wrote:
>Today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a story on strawberries,
>featuring a Roy Parke from Plant City, FL.  The article claims that Florida
>is the largest producer of strawberries in the US at this time of year
>(although it states that overall, CA produces the most).  The article is in
>the food section and presents strawberries as a wonderful, delicious,
>wholesome food.
>A while ago there was much discussion on this list about California
>strawberries, the heavy use of methyl bromide and its exposure to farm
>workers, residents of Watsonville, and other horror stories.
>Does anyone know if commercial strawberry production in FL is essentially
>different than in CA?
>Lance F. Howard
>Department of History and Geography
>Clemson University, Clemson SC 29634
>(864)656-5359 (office)
>(864)656-1015 (fax)

Kert Davies
1718 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 600
Washington, D.C.  20009
e-mail:  kert@ewg.org
EWG web page:  http://www.ewg.org
202-667-6982  fax 202-232-2592
Any opinions expressed are mine and not my employer's.