(July 23, 2019) It is now official: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an industry-captured entity. It does not “work” for the people of this country for whom it was created, by President Richard Nixon in 1970. (Say what you will about Mr. Nixon; in creating the EPA, he was on the right side of history.) The proof is in the pudding; and it is, by any estimation, a very nasty toxic pudding that we are eating today. The EPA’s final ruling last week refutes established science as the agency refuses to ban a harmful pesticide, chlorpyrifos. The move proves once for all that this agency works for corporate profits at the expense of us all.
Chlorpyrifos Poison Green-lighted by EPA
Despite the EPA’s own scientists reporting for years that chlorpyrifos has not been proven safe at any exposure level, that even the tiniest increments of this poison (developed from nerve gas meant to kill people) can cause childhood development injuries, including autism, ADHD, lowered IQ and behavioral problems, that chlorpyrifos in any dose is dangerous for babies in the womb and for young children, the agency last week voted to allow this poison to remain on the market.
The kicker, the dark punch line in this travesty, is that the EPA’s own scientists have repeatedly determined that chlorpyrifos pesticide – which is sprayed to some degree on nearly every food not organically grown, and wafted hither and yon into the lungs of us all – harms the developing brains of children and also harms us all in various ways. Pesticide-related death or disease – like the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma suffered by more than 12,000 people now suing Monsanto for sickening them with its cancer cocktail Roundup – is the new normal, slow pesticide death by a thousand cuts. Pesticides like chlorpyrifos add to the body’s already toxic burden. They either shorten one’s life or they lower the quality of life for most of us who eat the food and drink the water the pesticide has poisoned.
Chlorpyfiros is Everywhere
Make no mistake, chlorpyrifos is everywhere. Farmers use it on a wide variety of crops, including corn, soybeans, fruits, nut trees, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, broccoli, cauliflower. This poison is used on most fruits and vegetables eaten in the U.S.. And even if you are eating only organic food (and who can do that?), you are still paying the freight for rising health care costs that affect most of the people made sick by avoidable poisons like Roundup and chlorpyrifos. And your tax dollars will continue to pay more for the special education needs of those children stunted by the EPA’s green-lighted poison.
Health is Wealth
Most people in our country imagine themselves healthy if they don’t have a grapefruit-sized tumor growing out of their neck. Most can’t connect the dots running from our broken “healthcare” system to our poisoned food and water and the tax monies we all pay. Most are so polluted with various toxins, most carry such a heavy toxic burden in their overloaded bodies that they can’t even imagine what it’s like to be clear-eyed and healthy in mind, spirit, and body. This enormous blindness where real health as wealth is concerned is one of the great ongoing tragedies of our time. And now the U.S. EPA has just moved to affirm our degraded toxic state of spiritual, mental, and physical degradation as the new normal.
How long has the EPA known of Chlorpyrifos Dangers?
EPA scientists have known of chlorpyrifos’ dangers for more than 20 years. The EPA banned chrlorpyrifos for most home uses back in the year 2000, citing risks to children.
So what has changed to make the agency “feel” the chemical is safer for kids now than it was in 2000? As John Lennon said, money doesn’t talk, it screams. The new EPA is all ears when it comes to money. This is Donald Trump’s EPA, and the man with the gold-plated toilet has always been most helpful to those who can show him the money.
Mr. Trump’s first EPA head, Scott Pruitt, resigned in disgrace amid a series of ethics scandals after he was caught using our tax dollars for private plane trips, double secret probation phone booths, and other extravagant amenities that only government-connected crooks or obscenely wealthy career politicians can afford to waste our tax money on.
EPA rejects own Scientists Findings
On the heels of Mr. Pruitt’s disgrace comes this latest EPA move backwards in one of the most troubling environmental deregulation moves of Mr. Trump’s presidency. Under pressure from a court-ordered deadline, the EPA last week reaffirmed its unconscionable 2017 decision to reject a proposal from the EPA’s own scientists to ban chlorpyrifos.
Tom Philpott reported for Mother Jones in 2017:
“[C]hlorpyrifos is a nasty piece of work. It’s an organophosphate, a class of bug killers that work by ‘interrupting the electrochemical processes that nerves use to communicate with muscles and other nerves,’ as the Pesticide Encyclopedia puts it. Chlorpyrifos is also an endocrine disrupter, meaning it can cause ‘adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects,’ according to the National Institutes of Health.
Major studies from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the University of California-Davis, and Columbia University have found strong evidence that low doses of chlorpyrifos inhibit kids’ brain development. Exposure is especially insidious in the womb, with effects ranging from lower IQ to higher rates of autism. See the NIH – Pub Med Article.
Cozy Regulator Regulated Relationships
Mr. Philpott also elucidates the cozy relationship between President Donald Trump and Dow Chemical, which markets chlorpyrifos:
“Dow AgroSciences’ parent company, Dow Chemical, (has) contributed $1 million to the president’s inaugural committee, the Center for Public Integrity notes. In December 2018, Dow Chemical Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris attended a post-election Trump rally in the company’s home state of Michigan. (Dow) used the occasion to announce plans to create 100 new jobs and bring back another 100 more from foreign subsidiaries. Around the same time, Trump named Liveris chair of the American Manufacturing Council, declaring the chemical executive would “find ways to bring industry back to America.” (Dow has another reason beside chlorpyrifos’ fate to get chummy with Trump: its pending mega-merger with erstwhile rival DuPont, which still has to clear Trump’s Department of Justice.)
Since the 2017 chlorpyrifos decision, the administration has approved the Dow-Dupont merger and named several former Dow executives to high posts within the US Dept. of Agriculture.
Meanwhile, Hawaii, California, and New York have all announced plans to phase out chlorpyrifos use in farm fields.
A Poisoned Future
It all adds up to a poisoned future for America’s children, not to mention the rest of us not wealthy enough, cash-wise, to purchase the political favors of a U.S. president.