Hey folks, quick question Does anyone know if wood chips imported into the US are sprayed. It is considered an organic. I'm working on a Jerk Recipe and do not want to substitute wood. But wont use sprayed wood either. Also do you think I can get away with adding allspice to a water pan or should I order the pimento leaves as well as the wood? Thanks Quarantine Treatments Quarantine treatments allow importation of products while mitigating the pest risk. Importation of agricultural products from other countries gives the American consumer an opportunity to have a wider choice of fruits and vegetables. USDA APHIS assesses the risk of importations based on commodity and pest status. Quarantine treatments are specific to the pest of concern and commodity. USDA APHIS determines type(s) of treatments when a pest of quarantine significance is prevalent in the country and/or for those which are difficult to inspect. Treatments can be chemical or non-chemical. There are various approved chemical treatments: fumigants, dips and spray. The fumigants include methyl bromide, phosphine and sulfuryl fluoride. Non chemical treatments include cold treatment, hot water immersion, vapor heat treatment, steam sterilization and irradiation. Wood Packaging Materials In a final rule published in the Federal Register on September 16, 2004, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) amended its regulations with the goal of decreasing the risk of introducing plant pests into the United States. USDA has adopted the international standard for wood packaging material (WPM) that was approved by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) on March 15, 2002. The IPPC standard calls for most WPM to be either heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide in accordance with the guidelines and marked with an approved international mark certifying that treatment. The final rule, which became effective on September 16, 2005, affects all persons using wood packaging material in connection with importing goods into the United States. Click on the above link to learn about the import requirements for WPM. from the EPA What is methyl bromide? How is it used? Methyl bromide is a broad spectrum pesticide used in the control of pest insects, nematodes, weeds, pathogens, and rodents. In the U.S., methyl bromide is used in agriculture, primarily for soil fumigation, as well as for commodity and quarantine treatment, and structural fumigation. The chemical name (IUPAC, CAS) for methyl bromide is bromomethane, and it is classified as an alkyl bromide. It is a colorless and odorless gas at normal temperatures and pressures, but the liquefied gas can be handled as a liquid (14.4 lb/gal) under moderate pressure. The specific gravity at 0ºC and 760 mm Hg is 1.732, with a vapor density of ~3.27, boiling point of 3.6ºC (38.5ºF), vapor pressure at 20ºC of 1400 mm/Hg (at 40ºC it is 2600 mm/Hg), and the viscosity is 0.22 centistokes at 0ºC. Methyl bromide is readily soluble in lower alcohols, ethers, esters, ketones, halogenated hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, and carbon disulfide. Methyl Bromide is manufactured from naturally occurring bromide salts which are either contained in underground brine deposits, or in highly concentrated above ground sources like the Dead Sea. Ocean water does contain bromine salts, but at such low concentrations that it is very energy intensive to use as a source in the manufacture of methyl bromide. Methyl bromide is often produced as a by-product of other bromide manufacturing processes. When used as a soil fumigant, methyl bromide gas is usually injected into the soil at a depth of 12 to 24 inches before a crop is planted. This will effectively sterilize the soil, killing the vast majority of soil organisms. Immediately after the methyl bromide is injected, the soil is covered with plastic tarps, which slow the movement of methyl bromide from the soil to the atmosphere. Additional methyl bromide is emitted to the atmosphere at the end of the fumigation when the tarps are removed. When an entire field is fumigated, the tarps are removed 24 to 72 hours later, as can be the case in strawberry production in California. However, with row (or bed) fumigation, as is the case with tomato production in Florida, the tarps are left on for the entire growing season, some 60 to 120 days. About 50 to 95% of the methyl bromide injected in to the soil can eventually enter the atmosphere. In the United States, strawberries and tomatoes are the crops which use the most methyl bromide. Other crops which use this pesticide as a soil fumigant include peppers, grapes, and nut and vine crops. When used as a commodity treatment, methyl bromide gas is injected into a chamber or under a tarp containing the commodities. A high proportion of the methyl bromide used for a typical commodity treatment eventually enters the atmosphere. Commodities which use this material as part of a post-harvest pest control regime include grapes, raisins, cherries, nuts, and imported materials. Some commodities are treated multiple times during both storage and shipment. Commodities may be treated with methyl bromide as part of a quarantine or phytosanitary requirement of an importing country. A structural pest control treatment with methyl bromide gas involves the fumigation of buildings for termites, warehouses and food processing facilities for insects and rodents, and ships (as well as other transportation vehicles) for various pests. Methyl bromide is a toxic material. Exposure to this chemical will affect not only the target pests it is used against, but non-target organisms as well. Because methyl bromide dissipates so rapidly to the atmosphere, it is most dangerous at the actual fumigation site itself. Human exposure to high concentrations of methyl bromide can result in central nervous system and respiratory system failure, as well as specific and severe deleterious actions on the lungs, eyes, and skin. Additional information on the health effects of methyl bromide exposure is available from EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning & Standards, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , and the California Department of Health Services .