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Arysta LifeScience, the manufacturer of methyl iodide, a toxic fumigant used in soil preparation for strawberries, carrots and other vegetable crops, has just announced that it is suspending all sales of the known carcinogen in the U.S.

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It's no surprise that the Central Valley is a medically underserved community, where recruiting doctors is a tough task. Many of the doctors working here have attended medical school overseas. In fact, if you crunch the numbers, Kern County comes in fourth among California's 58 counties for having the most foreign-trained doctors.

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The U.S. EPA has opened a public comment period on methyl iodide, a highly toxic fumigant used in soil preparation before the planting of strawberries, carrots, and other vegetable crops. There are many points of view on this issue worth exploring. Here are just a few.

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Dr. Katherine A. Flores is director of the Latino Center for Medical Education and Research Center, a unit of the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program. The center is intended to address the serious shortage of Latino physicians and other health care professionals in the area by guiding individuals to become health care professionals who ultimately return to the San Joaquin Valley and provide culturally competent health care services to the medically underserved.

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Dr. Bonnie Bade is a medical anthropologist whose work focuses on farm worker health, health care, California agriculture and farm labor, transnational migration, and ethnomedicine and ethnobotany among peoples of both indigenous Oaxaca and indigenous Southern California. Dr. Bade has worked with Mixtec communities in California, the San Diego/Tijuana border region, the San Joaquin Valley, and Oaxaca for over 15 years. Dr. Bade earned her Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of California, Riverside in 1994.

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Barbara A. Garcia is director of health at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. She previously served as deputy director starting in 1999, when she became responsible for the department's community programs, which are comprised of over 2,000 civil-service employees and 150 community-based organizations delivering primary care, behavioral health, maternal and child health, prevention and health promotion, housing and urban health, indigent health, adolescent health and women's health services.

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The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors to serve as thought leaders in one of the most innovative and rewarding arenas in journalism today – “engaged reporting” that puts the community at the center of the reporting process. Learn more about the positions and apply to join our team.

Nowhere was the massive COVID wave of winter 2021 more devastating than in America’s nursing homes, where 71,000 residents died in the surge. In this webinar, we’ll hear from the lead reporter in the USA Today series "Dying for Care," who will show how an original data analysis and an exhaustive reporting effort revealed a pattern of unnecessary deaths that compounded the pandemic’s brutal toll. Sign-up here!

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