Pesticide Industry Dominates Regulation: "Poisoned Politics"

"Worker and consumer safety advocates are vastly outgunned by lobbyists for pesticide manufacturers."

"In a small regulatory office in Sacramento, California, in 2007, a handful of farmworkers and scientists gathered to explain to state officials why chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide, should be considered a toxicant under Proposition 65, a state law that prohibits businesses from discharging substances known to cause birth defects and reproductive harm into the drinking water.

Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate insecticide, was first developed as a cousin to the nerve agents stockpiled during World War II. The chemical has been banned for household use for more than a decade, and studies have shown that infants born to mothers with high levels of chlorpyrifos in their bodies have significantly higher rates of neurodevelopmental disorders, problems with in utero development, brain impairments, low birth weights and endocrine disruption.

Workers who handle produce, though less at risk, are also endangered by exposure to chlorpyrifos, a chemical sprayed to kill worms and other pests. Many have been found to experience headaches, seizures and bouts of vomiting."

Lee Fang reports for The Nation/The Investigative Fund March 13, 2014.

Friday, March 14, 2014