Remember a few months ago, when we talked about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and their inexplicable efforts to keep the pesticide chlorpyrifos on the market… despite mountains of evidence linking it to serious health problems in children?
Well, I’m sad to say that they’ve only doubled down since then.
In fact, the EPA recently announced that they won’t ban the use of chlorpyrifos on U.S. fruit and vegetable farms—denying a petition drawn up by a dozen American environmental groups in the process.
Denying the facts
In case you need a refresher, allow me: Studies show that chlorpyrifos exposures can lead to low birth weight, lower IQ, attention problems, and other neurodevelopmental issues in babies and children.
Accordingly, Obama’s EPA banned use of this pesticide back in 2015, on grounds that it’s uncertain whether its presence in food and water would be harmful to the public or not. But Scott Pruitt, the first EPA director under Trump, tossed that decision in 2017.
And a legal battle ensued. Just this past spring, a federal appeals court gave the EPA until mid-July to make a final decision as to whether Pruitt’s decision should be overturned.
And, well… here we are.
The EPA submitted a denial order to the court, wherein the assistant administrator for chemicals pushed back against every objection raised by the petitioning environmental groups.
Ultimately, the agency rejected any suggestion that chlorpyrifos exposure causes health problems for children. And in a laughable but tragic counterpoint, they stated that chlorpyrifos is “currently the only cost-effective choice for control of certain insect pests.”
Let me repeat: cost-effective. And then ask yourself, what’s more cost-effective—sending billion-dollar companies back to the drawing board in search of a new chemical to unleash on the public, or the tremendous burden that chlorpyrifos has already put on American families and our health care system?
You can decide for yourself. But I know where I stand. And it’s way past time that the powers-that-be made a sincere effort to safeguard the public health, instead of just sticking their heads in the sand to appease corporate interests.
An American tragedy
Just to be clear, I’m not rehashing all of this to make a political statement. I’m simply pointing out that, under Obama, the EPA did exactly what you would want a regulatory agency to do—which is to take potentially harmful chemicals out of our water and food supply until we’re certain about the risks, one way or the other.
Because needless to say, we shouldn’t be taking any chances on our health—or on the health of our children. Especially as we’re already seeing record high instances of autism and other developmental disorders…
If the Trump administration had simply followed the advice of its scientists over its lobbyists, chlorpyrifos probably wouldn’t be in the food your kids and grandkids eat today. Instead, the time bomb just keeps ticking.
Every day without a ban poses a grave threat to children and farmworkers particularly, who are frequently eating, drinking and breathing a pesticide linked to neurological problems and poisonings.
Bottom line: This decision is going to have a devastating impact on the public health. And on the health of our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and quite possibly on the health of even more generations after that.
But it’s a real win for the petrochemical industry… and one that they hardly needed.
Big chemical companies fight against bans like this all the time. But on the (sadly rare) instances that they lose, they always manage to find something new (and usually, equally toxic) to offer in any banned product’s place.
So we owe it to our children to fight this battle with everything we’ve got. And it’s my hope that, despite this latest setback, Americans will continue to do exactly that.
P.S. In the September 2019 issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“The deadly ‘inheritance being passed down generation to generation”), I discuss ways you can safeguard yourself and your family against these toxic chemicals, and how you can make your voice be heard by local and state representatives. Because honestly, nothing will change if we just sit back and watch. Subscribers to my newsletter have access to my entire archive. So click here to learn more, or sign up today!
“Trump EPA allows use of controversial pesticide.” Reuters, 07/18/2019. (reuters.com/article/us-usa-epa-pesticide/trump-epa-allows-use-of-controversial-pesticide-idUSKCN1UD35D)