ByJohnathan Hettinger/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
The Trump administration in recent days took steps toward continuing to allow the use of two popular pesticides linked to developmental issues in children. In both cases, the agency weakened its metrics for assessing human health protections. On Sept. 18, the EPA approved the continued use of atrazine, the second most commonly sprayed herbicide in the United States. Atrazine, whose main manufacturer is Syngenta, is banned in more than 35 countries, including the European Union, because of its links to human health, which include reproductive issues, an increased chance of birth defects, a loss of fertility in men and a potential to cause cancer.
BySky Chadde, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, Kyle Bagenstose and Rachel Axon USA TODAY |
Even as thousands of their employees fell ill with COVID-19, meatpacking executives pressured federal regulators to help keep their plants open, according to a trove of emails obtained by USA TODAY and The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.
September 10, 2020
U.S. Department of Labor Cites Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp. For Failing to Protect Employees from Coronavirus
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp. in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for failing to protect employees from exposure to the coronavirus. OSHA proposed a penalty of $13,494, the maximum allowed by law. Based on a coronavirus-related inspection, OSHA cited the company for one violation of the general duty clause for failing to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that can cause death or serious harm.
BySky Chadde, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, and Christine Herman, Illinois Newsroom |
At least eight migrant workers who were infected with COVID-19 waited several days before isolating because the company they worked for, Bayer, declined to pay for expedited tests, Champaign County health officials said.
ByJohnathan Hettinger, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
A lawsuit filed this week by the National Black Farmers Association seeks to stop agribusiness giant Bayer from selling Roundup, its popular herbicide that has been linked to cancer in recent years. The lawsuit, filed in St. Louis, alleges that Black farmers are forced by the agricultural system to spray Roundup and therefore are at risk of developing cancer. The lawsuit argues that Monsanto, which was bought by Bayer in 2018, knowingly failed and continues to fail to adequately warn farmers about the dangers of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup. Glyphosate is considered a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.