Environmental groups (and humans) were recently shocked by the approval of this dangerous pesticide for use on our food crops for another 15 years. Here’s why you should be concerned…
How well will the current administration protect our environment? We are just beginning to see which direction our country’s (and planet’s) health will be heading – and it’s not good…
In recent news, a pesticide labeled as dangerous by several different groups (including the Environmental Protection Agency) has recently been re-approved for use for another 15 years by new EPA head, Scott Pruitt.
That’s right – he ignored the recommendation of his own agency, and approved the agricultural use of chlorpyrifos until 2022.
But why should you care, anyway?
Here is a bit more info on this dangerous pesticide, and the shocking recent decision to allow its continued use in growing your food:
Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide… Organophosphates have been banned in household situations since 2000, but continue to be permitted in agricultural use, where they’re extremely widely used in a spray format on crops like almonds, fruit trees, and corn.
In July of 2016, the EPA, in response to a few other studies alleging chlorpyrifos’s danger (like this one from Columbia), performed its own health assessment on chlorpyrifos, and declared that the ways the pesticide is normally used are not safe…
So Why is Chlorpyrifos So Bad?
Chlorpyrifos goes under a few brand names, most commonly Dursban and Lorsban, and is manufactured by Dow Chemical. (The company is very keen to keep farmers using the pesticide.) Evidence from the EPA points to a litany of serious issues with chlorpyrifos. In children, it’s been associated with higher levels of autism and inattention disorders, intelligence deficits, low birth weight, decreased motor skills, and more. Children may be exposed to this in a variety of ways: drifting residue from crop spraying, direct contact on farms, seeping into local waterways, etc. Studies indicate that in places where chlorpyrifos is used, especially the agricultural regions of California, children display higher rates of chlorpyrifos in their systems than the EPA considers safe—and these aren’t children working in the fields; these are just kids who live in California’s Central Valley…
There are environmental effects, too. Chlorpyrifos is known to be toxic to aquatic animals, like shrimp. Additionally,evidence indicates that it’s toxic to bees as well, though research is ongoing into specifically how the residue of the pesticide affects them.
But late last night (Wednesday, March 29), Pruitt decided to reject this finding—yes, his own agency’s research—and declined to ban the insecticide, claiming the research is “unreliable.” … The next review date for chlorpyrifos is set for October of 2022.