EPA Reverses Plan to Ban Toxic Pesticide after Meeting Dow Chemical CEO

It appeared that the EPA was finally moving to ban the brain-damaging insecticide known as chlorpyrifos earlier this year, but at the eleventh hour, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt decided to reverse the ban. While the decision took place earlier this spring, recent news shows that his decision came after a meeting with Dow Chemical’s CEO Andrew Liveris.

The flip-flop decision after a meeting with the company that manufactures the toxic insecticide suggests corporate favoritism and possible interference rather than concern with environmental and health safety, or even scientific fact. There was a lengthy, almost two-decade history of research proving the dangers of chlorpyrifos to pregnant women and children.

It’s not like Pruitt can claim insufficient research as much as the Trump Administration may like to chalk up independent scientific research to “alternative facts.” A current search on PubMed reveals that more than 4000 studies have been conducted on chlorpyrifos and its safety. The chemical has been linked to impaired motor functions in infants, other neurodevelopmental defects, liver and lung toxicity, reduced cognitive ability and other damage to health. Dow Chemical states on its website: “We combine science, understanding, and creativity to re-imagine what is vital to human progress.” Does the company think brain, neurological, lung and liver damage is vital to human progress? I do not.

The chemical industry’s own safety data sheets describe symptoms of excessive exposure to chlorpyrifos as “headaches, nausea, vomiting, weakness, blurred vision, tightness in chest, labored breathing, and nervousness” among others. Yet the industry and now the EPA expect us to believe it is safe to eat on our food?

The Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), Pesticide Action Network and Earthjustice initiated a lawsuit against the EPA mere days after Pruitt’s decision to reverse the ban on chlorpyrifos.

Only days ago, Liveris received the 2017 Global Leadership Award from the US-India Business Council, an ill-conceived selection to receive the award, in my opinion, unless the criteria for the award were to wreak havoc on the environment and human health and manipulate corporate interests at the government level, both of which Liveris appears to be doing.

Perhaps the organization currently named the “Environmental Protection Agency” should consider a switch to “Corporate Protection Agency” or better yet “Dow Protection Agency” to better reflect its current work? Yes, the DPA seems like a better fit since it is more concerned with Dow’s bottom line than the health of over 325 million Americans. In the past, pesticide giant Monsanto has received most of the bad press and ill repute among environmental and health advocates but perhaps it is time for us to focus some attention on Dow Chemical.

As if the decision wasn’t bad enough: because Pruitt made the decision “final” it is unlikely that the EPA will consider reviewing any request to review the insecticide’s safety until at least 2022, giving Dow Chemical a minimum of five additional years in which to sell its product. Considering that American farmers alone spray approximately 5 million pounds of the insecticide every year on crops like apples, broccoli, oranges and walnuts, that will likely spell hefty profits for Dow.

Like other pesticides, chlorpyrifos was developed as a family of nerve agents for use in World War II, but once the war was over, chemical manufacturers sought new applications for the chemicals.

Based on a report by the California Department of Public Health, more than 430 schools in California’s Central Valley are within one-quarter mile from farms that spray toxic pesticides.

Dow Chemical and DowAgroSciences manufacture a wide variety of products including: insecticides, pesticides, fumigants and even Omega 9 fatty acids.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Boost Your Brain Power in 60 Seconds: The 4-Week Plan for a Sharper Mind, Better Memory, and Healthier Brain. The above statements are the opinion of the author.

51 comments

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Past Member 3 months ago

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Melania P
Melania P1 years ago

Are we surprised?? Idiots!!

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S1 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jerome S
Jerome S1 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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Angela K
Angela K1 years ago

Thanks for sharing

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heather g
heather g1 years ago

How do they live with themselves?

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David C
David C1 years ago

How does Pruitt face his children ????

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Danuta W
Danuta W1 years ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

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