Nearly every state has approved methyl iodide to combat pests and soil-borne diseases. It's designed to replace another pesticide, methyl bromide. But critics, like Democratic Assemblyman Bill Monning, say methyl iodide causes cancer and birth defects.
Monning: "The question is, do you put human health or the environment at risk to maximize profit? We need to find that balance."
State regulators approved methyl iodide near the end of Governor Schwarzenegger's term. Now, Monning wants Governor Brown to ban it.
Rick Tomlinson with the California Strawberry Commission says that's a bad idea. He says the alternatives to pesticide treatment either aren't as effective - or aren't economically viable.
Wenger: "We remain committed to finding new technology to keep California the best place in the world to grow strawberries. Until that time, there is still a need for fumigants."