Daily News Archive
From May 31, 2006
Revolt Against Bush Administration Pesticide Policy
According to PEER, EPA is in a rush to meet a self imposed August 3, 2006 deadline for issuing final tolerance approval for 20 organophosphate and carbamate pesticides. In a letter dated May 24, 2006, leaders of three federal and state unions, including the American Federation of Government Employees, the National Treasury Employees Union, and the Engineers and Scientists of California, which together represent over 9,000 scientists, risk managers and other specialists, sent a letter to EPA administrator Stephen Johnson to either adopt the maximum exposure protections possible for the agents or remove them from the market. Their request has to date received no answer.
Organophosphates are derived from World War II nerve agents and many are banned in England, Sweden and Denmark. In the 1990’s, EPA’s regulation of the pesticide was criticized by the National Academies of Science, and the Clinton administration took steps to phase-out many organophosphates. The Bush administration reversed course on recent organophosphate registration decisions, and its approach has been faulted by EPA’s own Scientific Advisory Panel and Office of the Inspector General. The scientists charge that the agency’s “risk assessments cannot state with confidence the degree to which any exposure of a fetus, infant, or child to a pesticide will or will not adversely affect their neurological development.”
The scientists also
In spite of the prevailing scientific uncertainty and controversy, as well as letters such as the one from PEER, EPA announced it is approving the highly toxic organophosphate dichlorvos, or DDVP, for household use in pet flea collars and no-pest strips.
“The fact that this letter had to be sent at all is an utter disgrace, but, even more disgraceful, is the likelihood that this warning will be disregarded by an agency that is supposed to be protecting public health and the environment,” laments Mr. Ruch.
TAKE ACTION: You can take action on this matter by writing a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson. The link will take you to a "Take Action" site on this issue, put up by the United Farm Workers