As if there were not enough pesticides in our food thanks to Monsanto and chemical companies, Donald Trump recently brushed shoulders with Dow Chemical executives and gave the company a “gift” that serves them, but puts thousands of children’s health at risk.
After countless hours of hard work on banning Dow’s neurotoxic pesticide chlorpyrifos or CPF Nerve Gas, linked to multiple horrific side effects, Trump just undid years of the progress with one stroke of his pen.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, who Trump appointed to lead the EPA, called the pesticide “crucial to the U.S. agriculture.”
He added that “by reversing the previous administration’s steps to ban one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, we are returning to using sound science in decision-making — rather than predetermined results.”
The evidence of the pesticide’s high toxicity, however, is not “predetermined” and has been strongly shown by studies time and time again.
Those who had the misfortune of working with this pesticide also know its adverse health effects all too well; many workers became sick with tremors, muscle cramps, twitching, and vomiting.
A lot of these workers petitioning the EPA are from California, as one fifth of all of the chlorpyrifos is being used on farms in that state. The rest of it is sprayed on corn and soybean crops in the Midwest; and on fruits, vegetables and nut trees in Washington state and the Southeast, reported Mother Jones. It is found on almost half of all U.S. apples and broccoli.
Chlorpyrifos was banned for residential use 17 years ago citing its risks to children’s health, and yet it is still used on our food today.
In October 2015, the EPA concluded that chlorpyrifos is unacceptably risky to human health, as its residues were found both on food and in drinking water. And by March 31, 2017, the government was to make a decision to finalize the pesticide’s ban. That’s when Trump stepped in, and greenlighted the toxin back onto our farms.
Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide, which means it “interrupts the electrochemical processes that nerves use to communicate with muscles and other nerves” according to the Pesticide Encyclopedia.
For children, that means risks of lower IQs, memory loss, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and even autism. Many studies have shown that even low doses of chlorpyrifos damages kids’ brain development.
Earthjustice, the U.S.’s largest nonprofit environmental law organization, and attorney Patti Goldman took it upon themselves to fight Trump administration’s decision to allow chlorpyrifos to stay unbanned.
“It is absolutely outrageous. The EPA has made findings for two and a half years now that this pesticide I unsafe, particularly unsafe for children,” Goldman said.
Trump's EPA is allowing a toxic pesticide onto your food. We're taking them to court to stop this madness.Learn more about this pesticide and our lawsuit: http://ejus.tc/2oiBZFI
Posted by Earthjustice on Friday, April 7, 2017
Earthjustice started a petition that is close to its 65,000 goal, and it needs your signatures.
The petitions states:
“Chlorpyrifos contaminates our food and water, and agricultural workers and families in rural communities are at the front lines of exposure to this neurotoxic chemical. Exposing children to chlorpyrifos results in reduced IQ, loss of working memory and attention deficit disorders. Workers poisoned by chlorpyrifos experience vomiting, muscle cramps and twitching, tremors and weakness. This neurotoxic pesticide was banned for residential use 17 years ago, so why would the EPA continue to allow it to be used on farms, where it can poison everything it touches?
Earthjustice will hold the EPA accountable. We’re back in court asking for an order directing the EPA to put a full ban in place. Join us in urging the government to keep this toxic pesticide out of our food, our water, our schools and yards, and our bodies.”