Trump’s Pes­ti­cide War on Kids

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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.

And yet:

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.

CC

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