The nerve gas sprayed on our fruit

The New York Times

The Week - - News - Ni­cholas Kristof

The fruit and veg­eta­bles eaten by Amer­i­can fam­i­lies may be con­tam­i­nated with a nerve gas orig­i­nally de­vel­oped by Nazi Ger­many, says Ni­cholas Kristof. It’s a pes­ti­cide called chlor­pyri­fos, made by Dow Chem­i­cal, and stud­ies have found that it da­m­ages the brain, re­duces IQ, and has been linked to lung can­cer and Parkin­son’s dis­ease. The En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency (EPA) banned chlor­pyri­fos – or as I pre­fer to call it, “Dow’s Nerve Gas Pes­ti­cide” – for in­door res­i­den­tial use 17 years ago, and was fi­nally pre­par­ing to ban it for agri­cul­tural and out­door use this year. But, af­ter Dow do­nated $1m to Pres­i­dent Trump’s in­au­gu­ra­tion com­mit­tee, the EPA re­versed course. So chlor­pyri­fos will keep get­ting sprayed on the food Amer­i­cans eat and on golf cour­ses, so it trick­les into the wa­ter they drink. Toxic chem­i­cals can al­ready be found in nearly all of our bod­ies, and could be play­ing a role in the grow­ing epi­demic of low­ered sperm counts and in­fer­til­ity, de­vel­op­men­tal dis­or­ders, can­cer and other se­ri­ous mal­adies. While ev­ery­one is “di­verted by the daily White House fire­works”, this ad­min­is­tra­tion “is hand­ing the keys of our reg­u­la­tory ap­pa­ra­tus” to the Amer­i­can Chem­istry Coun­cil and other in­dus­try groups. It will be a last­ing and toxic le­gacy.

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