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Pesticide Makers Seek To Protect Poisons By Silencing Scientists

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Pesticide Makers Seek To Protect Poisons By Silencing Scientists

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Reprinted with permission from DCReport.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt overruled his own scientists to prevent an agriculture ban of a DowDuPont pesticide that causes brain damage in children, and now pesticide manufacturers have their sights set on undermining federal protections for endangered animals like the whooping crane.

A draft bill being shopped around by the pesticide industry would bar expert wildlife scientists from assessing what harm pesticides can do to about 1,800 endangered species unless the makers of those pesticides ask for their input, according to the Center for Biological Diversity and other conservation groups.

“If Pruitt won’t protect our children and farmworkers from the overuse of highly poisonous insecticides, then he certainly can’t be trusted to protect our endangered species from them,” said Peter Jenkins, counsel for the Center for Food Safety. “Beautiful species like Palos Verde Blue butterflies, rusty patched bumble bees and even our majestic whooping cranes may all disappear if we are forced to trust Mr. Pruitt—but this bill removes all the checks on him.”

ACTION BOX/What You Can Do About It

Tell Pruitt your thoughts via his Facebook and Twitter sites. His email is Pruitt.scott@Epa.gov. His phone number is 202-564-4700.

Write him at USEPA Headquarters / William Jefferson Clinton Building / 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW / Mail Code: 1101A / Washington, D.C. 20460.

The Center for Food Safety can be reached at office@centerforfoodsafety.org or at 202-547-9359.

Under current law, the Environmental Protection Agency must consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to minimize harm to endangered species from pesticides that are approved by the EPA.

EPA spokesman Robert Daguillard was unable to provide a response Monday to questions from DCReport.org.

DowDuPont has close ties to the Trump administration. Dow Chemical, which merged with DuPont in August, contributed $1 million to help pay for Trump’s inauguration, and DowDuPont  Executive Chairman Andrew Liveris led a White House manufacturing working group that has been disbanded.

A Dow spokesman did not respond Monday to questions from DCReport.org.

In January, just before former President Barack Obama left office, the EPA released its first nationwide biological evaluation of three commonly used pesticides–chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon. The report said the three, which are all organophosphates, were harmful to almost all our country’s endangered species, including whooping cranes, gray wolves, Miami blue butterflies and killer whales.

Organophosphates work by targeting the neuronal pathways in insects and pests, much the way that a nerve gas would attack humans. Organophosphates are also harmful to mammals, including humans.

In April, lawyers representing Dow Chemical and two other pesticide manufacturers sent letters to Pruitt and the heads of two other Cabinet agencies asking them “to set aside” the findings of the government studies which the pesticide companies say are flawed.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the National Marine Fisheries Service, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke,who oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service, also received letters. The two other companies were FMC Corp., which sells malathion, and diazinon maker Makhteshim Agan of North America Inc., which does business under the name Adama.

FMC Corp. said withdrawing the government studies would allow time for the “best available” scientific data to be compiled.

 

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth November 22, 2017

    Ever since Scott Pruitt made his Darth Vader–like entry into the EPA there’s been nothing but alarm bells going off. Every deregulation he imposes is a blow against humanity and the environment. Scott is becoming a veritable incarnation of that which is evil by way of his polytheistic tendencies to worship Money alongside God. This sort of idolatry was clearly pointed out in a story in Exodus, and has annually been depicted on the big movie screens and on TV. One would think that by now Scott would have gotten the clear message of the dangers of idolatry.

    Unfortunately, Scott and the rest of the GOP have undergone a decidedly poisonous transformation, twisting the core of his humanity. Anyone who would so callously dismiss the safety of his own grandchildren and the rest of his family by advocating on behalf of introducing more and more toxins in the ecosystem is no longer a human being but an incarnation of a minion of “Satan”. This applies to the rest of the GOP which rubber stamps the destruction of the environment.

    And yes—I did email him my thoughts on the subject in unmistakable terms. Let’s see if he has the courage to read my message, and also the moral rectitude to make the changes to his character which I proposed clearly enough that even a child would understand.

    Reply
    1. FireBaron November 22, 2017

      Aaron, he probably won’t read it, and if he does, he will dismiss you as a liberal whack environmentalist alarmist. In his world view, no matter what catastrophes or calamities any of these companies do, as long as they claim to be helping America, he will never stand in their way. They can pollute water systems, cause the demise of non-GMO crops, contaminate ground water, etc. And he will find people to testify that these events had nothing to do with the excessive use of the products he should be trying to protect us from.

      Reply
      1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth November 22, 2017

        He may think of me as he wishes, it won’t change the fact that he is a death machine and an idolator who worships money. And that fact won’t change regardless of what he may think of me. I will have planted a thought in his subconscious.

        Reply
  2. Richard Prescott November 22, 2017

    I have but two words about this…
    Agent Orange.
    Every Viet Nam vet knows, and some of their families wish they didn’t. My former neighbor was a chopper pilot then for 2 tours, and had dropped AO. He died of a rare stomach abdominal cancer.
    This is what Pruitt “the poisoner” is allowing once again. Can he be equated with some Nazi generals who used poisons. Yes.

    Reply

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