The California Department of Pesticide Regulation passed restrictions that target chloropicrin, a pesticide injected into the ground before planting crops such as strawberries, tomatoes and almond orchards. In recent years, the chemical has caused hundreds of people to suffer from irritated eyes, coughing fits and headaches, state officials said.
Farmers in California, under the rule, are limited to applying the pesticide on up to 40 acres in one day. The new regulations extend standards required by the EPA.
Some farmers, including almond grower Daniel Bays, are concerned the new standards will have a negative impact in their production.
“Ultimately, it raises the price of the food in the grocery store because it’s just an added cost of doing business… The price in the store will have to come up to meet the price of production. The challenge to any almond grower or farmer of another crop, when the price to produce goes up, you have to raise the price in the store — and as a consumer, do you start looking for a different product to buy?”
Farmers across the state fear that fruit and vegetable costs will rise thus pushing them out of the California market.