Dear Mr. Sinegal,
I am writing to urge Costco to protect our children and the global environment by halting any sales of fruits and vegetables produced with the potent ozone layer-destroying chemical, methyl bromide.
Methyl bromide is the most powerful ozone-depleting chemical that is still in widespread use. The international community, under the Montreal Protocol treaty, agreed to phase out its agricultural use in the developed world by 2005 and alternatives are readily available. However, laggards in certain sectors of the fruit and vegetable industry are exploiting a treaty loophole to continue to use excessive quantities of this toxic chemical.
You must act now. The ozone layer over the northern hemisphere thinned to its lowest level in recorded history this year and the ozone hole over Antarctica is currently approaching the largest size ever recorded. The Mayo Clinic recently concluded that the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers in young adults has increased significantly in the last three decades specifically citing ozone depletion as a factor in the increase. In the United States, the rate of skin cancer is increasing every year and the incidence of melanoma in children has more than doubled over the last twenty years.
Costco can play a leading role in protecting human health and the planet by ensuring that they sell only ozone layer-safe fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, melons, and cucumbers, grown without methyl bromide.
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