Israel is one of the world's largest consumers of Methyl Bromide – one of the chemicals proven to be most harmful to the ozone layer, a report by the Knesset's Internal Affairs and Environment Committee revealed recently. Methyl Bromide is a toxic compound used to disinfect and prepare agricultural land. It has been banned by the Montreal Protocol – an international environmental treaty aimed at protecting the Ozone layer. Despite being a part of the treaty, however, Israel has yet to set new agricultural guidelines for the use of the chemical in agriculture. The United State is currently the biggest user of Methyl Bromide, utilizing some 3,000 tons of it every year, whereas Israel uses "just" 600 tons of it but Israel has a higher use rate per-person – 10 times the amount used in the US. These rates are said to be the product of Israel's need to prepare and re-prepare what little agricultural land it has rather often. The land, noted the committee, has to be disinfected between crops, in order to avoid any cross contamination. The process is carried out though with the chemical being pumped on to a tented stretch of land, but it appears that vast amounts of it evaporate despite the protective measure. Environment Minister Gideon Ezra has asked the committee to approve new regulations for the use of Methyl Bromide, in accordance with the Montreal Protocol's executive committee's guidelines. The executive committee allowed Israel to use 600 tons of Methyl Bromide in 2008, a slight decrease from the original 700-ton request. MK Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor-Meimad), head of the Knesset's Internal Affairs and Environment Committee told Ynet he was surprised to learn that the Montreal Protocol's executive committee has yet to set global standards for the reduction of use of Methyl Bromide, adding he intends to appeal to the executive committee to push the setting of such quotas, as well as a timetable for the goals to be reached. "If the committee doesn't set a timetable all of the international community's effort to reduce the use of Methyl Bromide would have been in vain, and the hole in the Ozone will just keep growing," said Pines.