If actions speak to the truth, the American Farm Bureau Federation cares more about cherries than children's health. In what is a truly shake-the-head, sad moment, the AFBF last month filed a petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency saying the Fed’s final ruling banning the pesticide chlorpyrifos was bungled — and should be reversed. This, despite the fact that courts essentially settled the issue.
Although President Joe Biden has promised to limit people’s exposure to “dangerous chemicals and pesticides,” his administration has defended several actions by the Trump administration that generally deregulated pesticides.
More than a decade ago, nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council petitioned the EPA to ban the use of a pesticide called tetrachlorvinphos in pet products like flea and tick collars. The organization cited studies showing that the chemical, a possible carcinogen, had been linked to brain and nerve damage in children.
After looking at the facts, anyone with half a brain would say the pesticide chlorpyrifos has no place in agriculture. The Environmental Protection Agency first registered the Dow Chemical and DuPont concoction way back in 1965 to kill bugs on a host of crops from corn and soybeans to fruit and nut trees, broccoli, cauliflower, cranberries and Brussels sprouts. And for good measure it was also heavily applied on golf courses.
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.
ByDave Dickey/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in August 2018 already ruled chilorpyrifos unsafe and ordered EPA to revoke food tolerances and take the pesticide off the market.
But that ruling was vacated in February after EPA requested a rehearing which ultimately ordered EPA in a writ of mandamus to issue within 90 days a full and fair decision on the petitioner's objections.
I fully expect the justices over at the Ninth Circuit will leave little tolerance for EPA's decision to continue to allow Corteva to market chlorpyrifos.
ByKaolin Sewell/The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
The U.S. Department of Justice is pushing a federal appeals court to reconsider their decision on the pesticide chlorpyrifos more than a month after a three-judge panel ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban it.