ECOWATCH: “Trump’s EPA Won’t Ban Brain-Damaging Pesticide”

“Siding with pesticide corporations over the health and well-being of kids is the new normal at the EPA. Today’s decision underscores the sad truth that as long as the Trump administration is in charge, this EPA will favor the interests of the chemical lobby over children’s safety.”

Ken Cook – President, Environmental Working Group

 

President Donald Trump‘s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not ban the agricultural use of chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide that the EPA’s own scientists have linked to brain damage in children.

The decision, announced Thursday, was a response to a petition from public health and environmental groups who had pushed for a ban. The agency ruled that “critical questions remained regarding the significance of the data” on the pesticide’s health effects.

The ruling is the latest in a series of Trump EPA decisions that weaken chemical safety rules. In April, it opted against a full ban on asbestos in favor of restrictions that critics say could usher in new uses. Also this year, it issued restrictions on a paint-stripping chemical that were weaker than a ban proposed during the Obama years. Finally, just last week, it widely expanded the use of the pesticide sulfoxaflor, which its own scientists have shown can harm bees.

“Siding with pesticide corporations over the health and well-being of kids is the new normal at the EPA,” Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement. “Today’s decision underscores the sad truth that as long as the Trump administration is in charge, this EPA will favor the interests of the chemical lobby over children’s safety.”

The EPA’s decision came after a federal court ordered the agency to make a final call on the ban by mid-July. Chlorpyrifos has been banned for home use since 2000, but farmers have continued to spray it on crops like apples, strawberries, broccoli and corn. The Obama administration had initiated a ban on agricultural uses of the pesticide, but Trump’s EPA reversed it, setting off a legal battle with environmental advocates. In the absence of federal action, states have moved against the pesticide on their own. Hawaii became the first state to ban chlorpyrifos in 2018, and California announced it would ban the chemical in May. New York is also moving towards a ban.

Research has linked chlorpyrifos exposure to lower IQ, memory loss, breathing problems and increased risk of autism in babies born to mothers who lived near farms where it was sprayed.

“What we have with chlorpyrifos is multiple academic research projects that have shown that actual children who actually live in California are being harmed by this chemical,” said Center for Environmental Health senior scientist Caroline Cox. “It’s pretty rare that you have that kind of evidence for any toxic chemical.”

So how was the EPA able to decide that the science wasn’t conclusive? The ruling was a direct consequence of former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt‘s decision to limit the kinds of studies that regulators could use to make decisions.

Under Mr. Pruitt, the agency proposed a rule saying it could not consider scientific researchunless the raw data behind it was made public, saying the issue was a matter of transparency. Scientists argued that studies measuring human exposure to pesticides and other chemicals often rely on confidential health information and argued the E.P.A.’s real motivation was to restrict the ability to develop regulations.

In opting not to ban chlorpyrifos, the E.P.A. rejected a major study conducted by Columbia University on its effects on children in New York City. The E.P.A. said because it was unable to obtain the raw data and replicate that study, which linked the insecticide to developmental delays, it could not independently verify the conclusions.

The 12 groups who brought the petition against the EPA vowed to keep fighting.

“We will continue to fight until chlorpyrifos is banned and children and farmworkers are safe from this dangerous chemical,” they said in a joint statement reported by Earthjustice, the legal organization that represented the groups.

Former senior EPA attorney Kevin Minoli thought that federal courts would ultimately rule in favor of a ban.

“To me, this starts the clock on the use of chlorpyrifos on food crops in the US.”

 

~via EcoWatch.com

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ARJUN WALIA: “The Trump Administration Just Lifted The Ban On Bee-Killing Pesticides & GMOs”

“Is Donald Trump’s administration really Donald Trump‘s administration? Was the Obama administration really the Obama administration? Was the Bush administration really the Bush administration? The answer by now should be an obvious ‘no’, as so many examples abound where corporate dominance influences and controls the political will of their puppets.”

~Arjun Walia

 

In Brief

The Facts:

The Trump administration has rescinded an Obama-era ban on the use of pesticides linked to declining bee populations and the cultivation of genetically modified crops in dozens of national wildlife refuges where farming is permitted.

Reflect On:

After so many years of evidence and activism, why was this really overturned? What’s the corporate relationship with government, and how does that influence policy?

Is Donald Trump’s administration really Donald Trump‘s administration? Was the Obama administration really the Obama administration? Was the Bush administration really the Bush administration? The answer by now should be an obvious ‘no’, as so many examples abound where corporate dominance influences and controls the political will of their puppets. Yes, this includes Donald Trump, even though he’s not an insider the same way the Bushes, the Clintons and Obama were.

Powerful forces still impact the Trump administration, perhaps not to the extent that they would have for Hillary, who was nothing but a spokesperson for the corporatocracy. Goldman Sachs wrote many of her speeches, as outlined by Wikileaks, among many other things. Of course, the establishment tried to debunk Wikileaks, and blame Russia, but that’s another story. At the end of the day, they are all puppets in one way or another. Governments now sit functionally under the corporations, and the corporations sit under the financial sector, all the way up to the Bank of International Settlements.

If you follow the money, it’s not hard to see.

Puppet Administrations

We have yet to see a presidency that does not place corporate puppets or people of great power into office since, perhaps, John F. Kennedy. Administrations now brainwash and use propaganda and patriotism to create followers and to drive the masses to accept anything they propose. Roosevelt was clear in noting that political parties no longer exist to execute the will of the people:

 

“Political parties have become the tools of the corrupt interests which use them to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government, sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day. Unhampered by tradition, uncorrupted by power, undismayed by the magnitude of the task, the new party offers itself as the instrument of the people, to sweep away old abuses, to build a new and nobler government.”

–Roosevelt

 

Dozens of presidents and politicians have outed the secret government over the years. Today they refer to it as the Deep State.

This is why we can never really know what’s going on, and exactly why presidential candidates make promises they can never keep. Almost every other world leader of a country that is not in an alliance with the United States, as well as leaders who are, have continuously spoken out about this secret government. The latest examples would be President Bashar Al Assad in Syria, or Vladimir Putin, who said after a US president is elected, “men in dark suits” come in and give him instructions.

So, either a president can bow and support and follow the will of their masters, or he can oppose them. Who knows what tools the Deep State uses to push our “leaders” into their decision making? Today, especially when we speak of developed countries, there are indeed governments within governments

EPA Ban Lifted

This is why it’s no surprise that the EPA ban on deadly pesticides has been lifted. These pesticides are not only harmful to human beings, but have also been strongly linked to a major decline in the global bee population. Some could argue that that industry is pushing bee deaths, like they push the war on terror, in order to drive the population into acceptance of a heightened national security state, or perhaps, in this case, the acceptance of GMOs within protected areas, a true natural hazard. As Jenny Keating, federal lands policy analyst for the group Defenders of Wildlife says,

“Industrial agriculture has no place on refuges dedicated to wildlife conservation and protection of some of the most vital and vulnerable species.”

It’s always necessary to think deeply and critically about these things, given the amount of corruption that plagues politics, government and it’s organizations like the EPA. These pesticides should not be sprayed, and the science is clear on that. The science concerning GMOs, as well, is very concerning. In fact, hundreds of scientists have now told the world that the GMO & Cancer link is real. This is important to note, because the bans of the cultivation of genetically modified crops in dozens of national wildlife refuges, where farming is permitted, is also a part of this.

It’s also concerning because multiple lawsuits have shown the corruption behind these products, be it glyphosate, or engineered foods. A 1998 lawsuit actually forced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to divulge its files on genetically engineered foods. The files showed that scientists were lied to, brainwashed, as well as corrupted when it came to information and science. The lawyer published a book about it, called Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public. It has some great reviews by some of the leading scientists currently in the field.

It’s hard to believe that all the work that was done by activists to prohibit farmers on refuges from planting biotech crops, such as soybeans and corn, engineered to resist insect pests and weed-controlling herbicides, has been reversed. That being said, it’s clear that consciousness has shifted, the people don’t really want this stuff, so as we continue to move on into the future, you will see more health conscious people, less meat-eaters, fewer GMO eaters, more organic eaters, no matter how hard they make it for us.

As the Guardian Points out,

That policy also had barred the use on wildlife refuges of neonicotinoid pesticides, or neonics, in conjunction with GMO crops. Neonics are a class of insecticides tied by research to declining populations of wild bees and other pollinating insects around the world. Rather than continuing to impose a blanket ban on GMO crops and neonics on refuges, Fish and Wildlife Service deputy director Greg Sheehan said decisions about their use would be made on a case-by-case basis.

Despite the fact that we are making changes in our lives, the animals and the insects do not know, and we must speak for them, and be their voice, because they aren’t even given a choice.

 

~via Collective-Evolution.com

NIKKI WALSH: “The Truth About Organic and Non-Organic Fruits and Veggies”

While I disagree it’s “safe” to eat anything grown with pesticides (GMOs are another matter entirely)… I did laugh about the “rinse them under running water” part (since most tap water is pretty toxic too!)… You can follow the general safe/unsafe eating guidelines in this article. : D

Female Stall Holder At Farmers Fresh Food Market

If you say no to pesticides, 89 percent of Americans queried agree with you, a Consumer Reports survey shows. After polling 1,005 people, the report found that the topic of pesticides in food is important to most of us. We put together two lists: one of fruits and veggies that you should always eat organic, and the other with produce safe to buy and eat non-organic (or conventional).

When you buy organic, in general you will be exposed to a smaller amount of pesticides, which tend to be more naturally derived. These more natural pesticides break down easier in the environment (and we suspect in our bodies also). Therefore, buying organic is healthier for the environment, farm workers, wildlife, bees and all of us.

Charlotte Vallaeys, senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports, gives us a clearer understanding. “Eating fruits and vegetables is one of the most important things people can do for their health, and we always recommend certified organic produce as the best choice,” she says. “That’s because the use of pesticides in conventional agriculture can affect not only the people who eat the treated crops, but also farm workers, people living near farms, wildlife and pollinators.”

To further show the importance of eating organic, the results from a Swiss study on a family with young and older kids that went from eating non-organic conventional foods to eating organic foods for two weeks is amazing.

IVL Swiss Environmental Research Institute facilitated the study, titled Human Exposure to Pesticides from Food, and measured the concentration of pesticides in each family member’s urine sample. They found that after eating organic food for only two weeks, there was a significant drop in pesticide residue in the urine samples. Imagine if you always ate organic. We agree with the mom, who doesn’t like the pesticides in her kids’ bodies. 

Because of varying factors — such as where the produce is from, the measurements used and the country of origin — the organic/non-organic recommendations may differ. We compiled these general guides after consulting a Consumer Reports scientific study. But a good rule of thumb: When in doubt, go organic.

Always eat organic

Fruits:

  • Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerines
  • Grapes

Veggies:

  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Green beans
  • Hot peppers
  • Sweet bell peppers

Okay to eat non-organic

Fruits:

  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Pineapples
  • Watermelons

Veggies:

  • Avocados
  • Cabbage
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions

Also, consider the seasonality factor when buying produce — it’s always best to buy during the natural growing season instead of the off-season.

Here are a few suggestions in case you get to the grocery store and forgot your list. First, buy organic if possible. Second, if the fruit or vegetable has a peel that you don’t plan to eat, like a pineapple, buying conventional is okay. To a degree, a peel protects the insides from pesticides — like a layer of armor. Third, when there’s no natural covering, buy organic. Lastly, it’s healthier to eat conventional fruits and vegetables rather than not eating any fruits and vegetables at all. 

Now that you’ve got the proper fruit or vegetable, what’s next?

Do you need to clean fruit and veggies?

Absolutely. Wash all produce before eating, even if it’s organic.

What’s the best way to wash fruits and veggies?

Rinse them under running water, according to both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and scientists. Not only is washing fruits and veggies better under running water, mostly due to the abrasive effect, it also removes more bacteria and leftover pesticides than soaking does. If you want to take it one step further, you can use a vegetable scrubbing brush.

Next, blot the water with a clean towel or an earth-friendly paper towel to remove even more bacteria and pesticides.

This process may (or may not) be more than you’re doing, but once you incorporate these simple ideas into your produce prep, it will become a habit.

What about using fruit/vegetable wash?

Water works just as well (and saves you money).

Research from the University of Maine found that distilled water is equal or better than three different commercial fruit and vegetable washes. Other research supports this. But it makes sense to use a wash, right? You wash your hands with soap to get germs off, why not wash fruits and veggies with produce wash, too? Well, some studies show that just washing produce under cold running water is the same as or better than produce washes. You can keep using that vegetable wash, but it’s just an extra step.

After the produce is clean, is it better to peel before eating?

Yes, we recommend peeling when possible. But here are a few peels you can eat. And if you’re going to eat the peel, buy organic — it reduces the risk of pesticides.

So check out our quick lists, look for the fruits and veggies you buy, and then follow our guidelines. Always do a proper prep: Wash under clean running water and blot dry. Peel when possible, and eat the peels (if suitable) when you buy organic. Follow these few simple steps and you’ll feel healthier, too!

—Nikki Walsh

Nikki Walsh is a freelance writer and mom of two kids living in Southern California. She holds an MBA in marketing from University of California, Irvine and a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from UCSD. She has been practicing Kelee meditation for 19 years. When she is not writing she can be found out and about having fun with her kids.

 

 

http://www.TheAlternativeDaily.com