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Banned pesticide used on Australian strawberries

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About 70 percent of Australian strawberries are being grown on runners that have been fumigated with an environmentally damaging pesticide that has been banned around the world.

Since 1 January 2005, Australia has prohibited all uses of Methyl bromide, other than for certified quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS), approved feedstock applications, or approved under critical use exemptions, under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989.

Methyl bromide is an ozone depleting substance used in Australia as a fast acting fumigant in a wide range of situations. It was banned under the United Nations Montreal Protocol in 1989 because it depletes the ozone layer.

But a decade later, nine strawberry runner growers at Toolangi, in Victoria's Yarra Valley, are still using nearly 30 tonnes a year, ABC News reports.

They produce 100 million strawberry runners annually, which in turn generate about 70 percent of Australian strawberries.

Each year they apply to the UN for a critical use exemption from the ban, claiming the alternatives are financially crippling.

For the full report, visit ABC News.

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