Miao Lovett, Li


Li Miao Lovett is an award-winning writer telling stories of cultural and environmental change.

Students, Teachers Push to Halt Methyl Iodide Use in California Farms

By Li Miao Lovett
New America Media

Sal Lua remembers the reactions he and his fellow Brown Berets encountered when they first spoke out against methyl iodide at the Watsonville City Council meeting last December. “They were surprised that someone this young would go to the City Council,” he said.

The council later passed a resolution against the fumigant, but the students’ elation was short-lived. The next day, methyl iodide was approved for use by California’s State Department of Pesticide Regulation, which overrode the findings of the agency’s own scientists. While many Brown Berets, a Chicano activist group dating back to the 1960s, lost their enthusiasm upon graduating from high school, activists like Lua and his teachers continue the David vs. Goliath battle to reverse the approval.