In case you somehow still think that our lawmakers’ first priority is to protect you, it’s time to think again.
I know, I know. You may call me a conspiracy theorist—and you wouldn’t always be wrong. But the term “conspiracy” implies a secret plot. And let’s just say that no one involved in this latest debacle is trying too hard to hide anything.
Lawmakers in several states are trying to ban chlorpyrifos—a widely used pesticide that kills insects immediately by attacking their nervous systems. And of course, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is fighting to keep it on the market.
The kids aren’t alright
Yes, you read that right. And yes, it’s completely and utterly outrageous.
First of all, why is the EPA fighting to keep any poison on the market? Oh that’s right…money. In this political environment, they likely have lobbyists stuffing officials’ pockets to make sure their special interests are well taken care of.
Because one look at the evidence here, and there’s no other explanation of the government’s resistance to this ban.
Dozens of studies have shown that chlorpyrifos exposure in the womb:
- Lowers birth weights and IQs
- Contributes to attention-deficit disorder (ADD)
- Leads to other developmental issues in children
And yet, since 2017, the EPA has ignored these warnings, and has rejected any proposed bans on the pesticide’s use on fruits and vegetables.
And get this: Almost two decades ago, the EPA pulled chlorpyrifos off the market for residential use. But golf courses and farms—including ones that grow citrus fruits, almonds, and grapes—are still allowed to use it.
In addition, President Obama actually proposed a total ban back in 2015 due to the grave health risks chlorpyrifos poses. But a mere two years later, Scott Pruitt—who helmed the EPA under the Trump administration—dropped the idea like a hot potato.
Further, the EPA’s most current official statement was: “Despite several years of study, the science addressing neurodevelopmental effects remains unresolved.”
So in typical fashion, the EPA is contradicting the findings of its own scientists. That is, the ones who haven’t also kowtowed to the chemical companies.
(And yes, there are some who have actually said that while the class of pesticides called organophosphates poses a definite risk to children in particular, chlorpyrifos specifically does not…despite being an organophosphate. Huh?!)
But really, what else would you expect? Who needs science when we have big corporations protecting our health???
The fight has only started
In response to this absurdity, states have wisely taken matters into their own hands. Hawaii passed a full ban just last year. And more recently, four more states—California, Oregon, New York, and Connecticut—are working to do the same.
(Since any ban bills are likely to go belly up in the Senate, we really need California’s efforts to succeed, as it’s by far our biggest agricultural state.)
But measures outside of California matter too. In fact, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)—who is running for president—has introduced a bill that would ban the pesticide from school lunches.
This is a smart move—and let me share the terrifying reason why…
Brief exposure to chlorpyrifos causes dizziness, nausea, and headaches at a minimum—and vomiting, tremors, and loss of coordination from more acute poisoning. But long-term exposure has proven even more dangerous and damaging. Especially in children.
In addition to all the risks I mentioned earlier, research has also shown that pregnant women residing near fields treated with these pesticides face a higher risk of birthing a child with autism. And not a single study has identified a safe level of exposure.
Thankfully, California has defied the Feds and their lobbyists and issued a ban on aerial spraying. And applications on the ground also face restrictions, with farmers unable to use chlorpyrifos—which they now deem a “toxic air contaminant”—within 150 feet of any residences, businesses, or schools.
This is a good start. But if it’s also the end, as usual, it’s our children who stand to suffer the most.
Thankfully, as I discussed in the April 2019 issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“Staying healthy in a polluted world”), you can safeguard yourself—and your children—against the harmful effects of pesticides and other pollutants.
“States Weigh Banning a Widely Used Pesticide Even Though EPA Won’t.” Medscape Medical News, May 02, 2019. (medscape.com/viewarticle/912477)