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Yes, it is really true. The United States Food and Drug Administration approved the use of propylene oxide as a fumigant for raw almonds – beginning on September 1, 2007. This was in response to just two incidents of contamination by Salmonella in commercial orchards, one incident occurring in Canada, and one incident in the United States.
Almost all raw almonds are now treated prior to sale. Propylene oxide is now one of the major methods used. The most common treatments used are oil roasting, dry roasting, blanching, steam, and propylene oxide. 
Propylene oxide (PPO) is not exactly a nice chemical. It was used as a racing fuel additive before being banned by both the National Hot Rod and American Motorcycle Racing Associations. 
The chemical is listed as reasonably expected to be a human carcinogen in addition to being “very hazardous in case of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation”.  It is also listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as Group 2B: possibly carcinogenic to humans. 
It’s unknown how salmonella can get into almonds but it is very rare. It is also known to affect other nuts.
Do you think that a carcinogenic chemical being used is an overall improvement to almonds? Salmonella is bad, but isn’t this worse? PPO is highly volatile and it is stated that it is possible for PPO residue to remain in almonds if they are improperly treated, however so far testing has shown almonds are compliant with residue level.
It is interesting to note that the Almond Board of California states that almonds which are treated in accordance with the PPO treatment parameters described in the study can be labeled as “pasteurized.” 
I’d call that a redefinition of the term. You may still wish to opt for brands which use steam – and Eat Local Grown has a list of these.
Here’s the excellent full report from Eat Local Grown:
Further reading: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53133.html
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