Truthout.org – Aug 11, 2018
A federal appeals court in California ruled on Thursday that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to ditch a proposed ban on a pesticide linked to brain damage in unborn babies and young children violated federal law.
The ruling generated embarrassing headlines for the Trump administration as it rolled out a number of attention-grabbing proposals that are also expected to face serious legal and legislative hurdles.
Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s disgraced former EPA chief, signed an order shortly after taking office in March 2017 that reversed steps by the Obama administration to ban the decades-old pesticide chlorpyrifos on farms. The insect-killing chemical was banned for household use in 2000, and advocates have petitioned to remove it from the food supply for more than a decade amid mounting evidence that chlorpyrifos can harm developing brains.
In a ruling that scolded the agency for ignoring its congressional mandate to protect the public from dangerous chemicals, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the EPA on Friday to finalize a ban on chlorpyrifos within 60 days. The court said there was “no justification” for Pruitt’s decision to reverse course on banning the pesticide because the EPA had scientific evidence showing that chlorpyrifos residue on food causes neurodevelopmental damage to children.
Why are Indian tea workers not benefiting from the global tea boom? July 3, 2018
Why are Indian tea workers not benefiting from the global tea boom? Many tea workers live in bitter poverty, while others profit from their labor. In Germany, consumers are prepared to pay high prices for top-quality tea. But tea plantation workers in Darjeeling and Assam are not benefiting from the global tea culture boom. They live in squalid conditions, with no access to clean drinking water or sanitation. Though they are exposed to highly toxic pesticides at work, they are not equipped with any kind of protective clothing. And yet some of the tea produced under such conditions is labeled as Fair Trade Certified. In response to the findings of this report, some manufacturers have seen their Fair Trade certifications suspended or withdrawn. The combination of pesticide use and grinding poverty on tea plantations is particularly harmful for workers’ children. Professor Anup Kumar from Assam Medical College and Hospital in Dibrugarh says the dismal living and working conditions affect children before they are even born. “Children on the tea plantations are poorly nourished, their growth and development is delayed, and child mortality is high.” Ultimately, the pesticides used in tea farming also end up in consumers’ tea cups. Researchers found up to eight different types of pesticides in Indian tea sold in German supermarkets. Many of these substances are so dangerous that they are banned in Germany.
Anti Media – June 3, 2018
The Trump Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are facing three new lawsuits regarding recently amended practices regarding the use of certain pesticides which have been linked to cancer.
A coalition of conservation and public health groups have filed suit against the Trump Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, accusing the federal government of foregoing an assessment of a pesticide known to have harmful health effects, as well as suspending training for pesticide handlers. The Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Environmental Health and Californians for Pesticide Reform filed suit against the EPA head, Scott Pruitt, accusing him of failing to protect endangered wildlife and the environment by abandoning a safety assessment of the pesticide malathion.
The lawsuit claims the EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have failed to complete their legal mandate to assess and limit the dangers of malathion. According to the World Health Organization, malathion is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
“Its deplorable that the Trump administration is putting human health and endangered wildlife at risk to please Dow,” said Jonathan Evans, environmental health legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Trump and Pruitt aren’t above the law and they have to take reasonable steps to limit the harms of this dangerous pesticide.”
The European Union has voted for a permanent ban on pesticides that are harmful to bees.
Campaigners call it a ‘tremendous victory’ for the environment, while pesticide company Bayer calls it a sad day for Europe and its farmers.
Fruit and vegetable crops are pollinated by bees and other insects, but modern farming techniques have been blamed for a steady decline in their numbers.
A new study conducted at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington (HealthData.org) and published in The Lancet medical journal finds that a shocking 20 percent of global deaths are caused by toxic foods, junk foods, processed foods and harmful food ingredients. In essence, the study reveals that the toxic food industry is now about as dangerous as Big Tobacco.
As covered in The Guardian:
The study, based at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, compiles data from every country in the world and makes informed estimates where there are gaps… Diet is the second highest risk factor for early death after smoking. The problem is often seen as the spread of western diets, taking over from traditional foods in the developing world.
In other words, all the toxic food ingredients, processed foods, junk foods and fast foods that we’ve been warning you about for years are now being recognized by the science establishment to be one of the leading killers of human beings across our planet. Many of these foods are saturated with glyphosate and pesticides, and an increasing number are also genetically engineered.
All of humanity currently risks exposure to toxic chemicals all over creation in a similar vein to the Mad Hatter of Alice in Wonderland fame. And, maybe, as
a result, goin’ kinda looney and getting horribly, dreadfully sick!
As soon as the Spring of 2018, the EPA will decide whether to risk the slaughter of birds and bees and pollinators that serve critical functions in crop production, as well as goosing-up the likelihood of chronic illnesses of citizens. The issue behind this flirtation with disease, sickness, pain, and death is regulation, or lack thereof, of chemical pesticides.
Meanwhile on a grand scale, and following decades of superfluity, the planet gurgles, drowning in a massive saturation of chemicals found far and wide, as high as Mt. Everest (arsenic and cadmium) as deep as PCB-infested squid in the Mariana Trench, glowing bright shiny toxicity.
This article discusses only a tiny smattering of chemical madness that haunts the world yet a subject of thousands of articles of research discussing potential dangers to health of which the public is dreadfully unaware.
Thus, the overriding thesis herein: Unwittingly, society is poisoning itself.