The Trump administration’s EPA chief met privately with the CEO of Dow Chemical shortly before reversing the agency’s push to ban a widely used pesticide that health studies proved causes brain damage in children. The pesticide also caused over 50 adult farm workers to become very ill recently.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt‘s schedule shows he met with Dow CEO Andrew Liveris for about half an hour March 9 during a conference held at a Houston hotel. Twenty days later, Pruitt announced his decision to deny a petition to ban Dow’s chlorpyrifos pesticide from being sprayed on food even though a review by his agency’s scientists concluded that ingesting even minuscule amounts of the chemical can interfere with the brain development of fetuses and infants, according to The LA Times.
When asked in April whether Pruitt had meet with Dow executives or lobbyists before his decision, EPA spokesman J.P. Freire felt the need to lie and said: “We have had no meetings with Dow on this topic.”
The EPA did not respond to questions about what was discussed at the secret meeting. They also chose not to respond to questions regarding other possible meetings between the EPA and Dow Chemical.
“Liveris has close ties to the Trump administration. He heads a White House manufacturing working group, and Dow wrote a $1-million check to help underwrite the president’s inaugural festivities,” said the Times.
Because the poison has been proven to cause brain damage, the American Academy of Pediatrics urged Pruitt to take chlorpyrifos off the market. The group representing more than 66,000 pediatricians and pediatric surgeons said Tuesday that it is “deeply alarmed” by Pruitt’s decision to allow the pesticide’s continued use.
“There is a wealth of science demonstrating the detrimental effects of chlorpyrifos exposure to developing fetuses, infants, children and pregnant women,” the academy said in a letter to Pruitt. “The risk to infant and children’s health and development is unambiguous.”
The Associated Press reported in April that Dow was lobbying the Trump administration to “set aside” the findings of federal scientists that organophosphate pesticides, including chlorpyrifos, are also harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species.
U.S. farmers spray more than 6 million pounds of chlorpyrifos each year on corn, almonds, bananas, cotton, citrus fruits, apples, cherries and other crops, making it one of the most widely used pesticides in the world.
Chlorpyrifos was first developed as a chemical weapon before World War II, and has been sold by Dow as a pesticide since the mid-1960s. Traces have been found in waterways, threatening fish, and experts say overuse of the pesticide could make targeted insects immune to it.
The chief of the EPA obviously does not care about the environment or about Americans. If he did, then he would not allow this brain damage causing pesticide to be sprayed on our “food”.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)