Trump’s Pesticide War on Kids
Three of the deadliest commercial pesticides on the planet may soon find a new way into the bodies of America’s children, if maker Dow Chemical gets its way.
Via lobbying, proper placement of the right puppets in the right position in government, and outright bribery, three of the deadliest commercial pesticides on the planet may soon find a new way into the bodies of America’s children. And Dow Chemical is directly involved in all three.
The pesticides involved are three widely-used organophosphate pesticides: chlorpyrifos, malathion, and diazinon, all manufactured for widespread poisoning of the planet courtesy of the duplicitous Dow. The puppets involved are the unelected Donald Trump, corrupt Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt. The lobbying is in the White House and within both houses of the U.S. Congress. The bribe comes from Dow Chemical directly, in the form of a $1 million “donation” to make the 2017 coronation of Trump as President as gaudy and wasteful as possible. All three of these had been scheduled to be banned from widespread use. The Environmental Protection Agency from the Obama administration – you know, the one which actually paid some attention to science and had concluded CO2 emissions from human actions were the dominant cause of climate change, among other things – had in spite of its climate change and fossil fuel actions not exactly been ‘on the ball’ in going over the pesticide, herbicide, and even Genetically-modified- Crop (GMO) industries. This was even despite its legally-required role of protecting endangered species from what pesticides are doing to them.
Keep in mind that a previous ban on chlorpyrifos (trade name Lorsban) for home use had already been in place for some time, because of the potential for neurological damage and reproductive system poisoning. That happened in 2001. The reason for the ban is that studies had shown significant motor and other development delays in children with high exposure to the pesticides. A Columbia research project showed that these same high-exposure children suffered damage to working memory and IQ. Other studies showed reduced birthweights, tremor in childhood when expectant mothers were exposed to the chemicals (because the pesticide acts as an enzyme which dismantles proper motor neuron communications), damage to intellectual development again related to prenatal exposure), damage to the human body’s sensory system during child development, and even structural changes in children’s brain when the mother had been exposed prior to birth.
The EPA also knew full well of the dangers of this particular chemical, itself having said on its website that:
“Based on current labeled uses, the revised analysis indicates that expected residues of chlorpyrifos on food crops exceed the safety standard under the Federal
Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). In addition, the majority of estimated drinking water exposure from currently registered uses, including water exposure from non-food uses, continues to exceed safe levels, even taking into account more refined drinking water exposure. This assessment also shows risks to workers who mix, load and apply chlorpyrifos pesticide products.”
The EPA website goes on to say that:
“In summary, the EPA’S assessment is that the CCCEH study, with supporting results from the other two U.S. cohort studies and the seven additional epidemiological studies reviewed in 2015, provides sufficient evidence that there are neurodevelopmental effects occurring at chlorpyrifos exposure levels below that required for ACHE inhibition.”
The full text of the studies referenced in these clauses can be downloaded here.
Further, after a lawsuit forced the EPA to finally live up to its obligations to analyze the impacts of pesticides, the EPA and its research teams, both internal and contracted, produced over 10,000 pages of scientific document on chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon. Those studies, concluded just as unelected Trump was coming on board in January, concluded that chlorpyrifos and malathion will cause harm to 97 percent of endangered species (not to mention people), and diazinon 79% of protected species. It concluded with a strong recommendation to ban the use of chlorpyrifos and the others for widespread use. Under pressure and paid politicking from Dow Chemical and its cronies, the EPA at the end of March 2017 reversed its decision.
The reason why, Dow’s lawyers say, is that the findings of all those scientists are fatally flawed.
“Those scientists” include experts at the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and even the corrupt EPA itself having spent four years on their own investigating these highly toxic poisons. It also included information such as the earlier studies cited and other parallel investigations. All of which concluded that the pesticides should be blocked for widespread use.
For the EPA, the focus of the studies – because that is one of its major charters – was very much on endangered and protected species. It was cited as doing a lot of harm to human beings too, and as larger quantities are being dumped every day to deal with Mother Nature’s relentless fighting back with evolutionary adaptations to the chemicals, the situation is getting even worse for people daily, as they ingest the pesticides either as absorbed into the sprayed crops or via contamination from runoffs on the crop fields.
The situation is so bad that Bret Hartl, Governmental Affairs Director at the non-profit Center for Biological Diversity, said, an estimated 5 million pounds of chlorpyrifos are used every year on widely-consumed crops like corn, peanuts, plums and wheat. 1 million pounds of the neurotoxin malathion, used to kill fruit flies and mosquitoes, is also dumped annually throughout the U.S. He reinforced this further by pointing out that, “Our government’s own scientists have already documented the grave danger these chemicals pose to people and endangered species.
The Bush Administration realized early that diazinon was a major human health risk, especially to children, and banned its use on a residential basis when used to kill ants and grub worms.
According to a University of California 2012 study, 87 percent of umbilical-cord blood samples across the U.S. tested positive for chlorpyrifos. Which means it is getting into all our bodies – and unborn fetuses in the most critical stages of human physical development.
Dow Chemical was so pleased with the potential of the incoming corrupt Trump administration to grant it
freedom to poison these children, that it donated $1 million to help pay for Trump’s inaugural festivities. Dow also spent over $1 million in other forms to support candidates in the 2016 election, according to online research organization Opensecrets.org.
For that spending, Dow has bought many candidates’ support in the Federal Government.
One of the most powerful of those now in place to do Dow’s bidding is newly minted corrupt EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
Pruitt in his previous role as equally-corrupt Oklahoma Attorney General, is on record for having sued the EPA, for simply carrying out what it is legally required to do, 14 times. His agency even did this with co-parties to 13 out of these cases being regulated industry companies and trade associations which were direct financial donors to Pruitt’s own political causes.
In those cases, Pruitt sued:
Four times to block actions from the Clean Power Plan, an initiative to slow the damage of climate change
Two times to allow increased mercury pollution limits above legal levels
To allow increases in Ozone pollution
To fight rules that govern cross-state air pollution
To minimize the power of the Clean Water Rule To fight methane emissions regulations
As Oklahoma’s AG, Pruitt even sued – unsuccessfully – to block the EPA’S regulatory authority over mercury and other pollution poisons, and related to the EPA’S authority to block pollutants that create smog.
With Pruitt now in power as the head of the EPA, what was already a corrupt organization before will have even more ability for Pruitt to achieve all his wildest regulatory agency dreams. This time, however, he will be able to do much of it without having to spend a single legal dollar defending it. He will just mandate those changes into effect.
For Dow, Pruitt’s rise to power could not have come at a better time. Their current legal challenge to call the previous four years of investigations into its chemicals, and the 10,000+ pages of studies “fatally flawed” has a new set of friends in the Executive Branch of the Government.
One can also expect Dow’s profits to soar when the decisions that will likely issue in their favor become public.
For Dow’s corporate management and stockholders, apparently poisoning the health of almost all endangered species, plus that of most adults, children and even unborn fetuses appears to be a minor cost to pay.
“Fatally flawed” studies, indeed. The only real fatalities are in all those who will eventually die or be permanently damaged neurologically as a result of ingesting way too much chlorpyrifos, malathion, and diazinon when those studies get set aside.
And the ultimate death above all of this is in the wholesale destruction of the willingness and accountability of the EPA and the U.S. government to protect its citizens in matters of this kind.
Photo by Greg Langley,