We do it slowly, in subtle ways. And we do it, with knowledge of some of the best scientific institutions in the world. We do it for the love of money. Retired folks who are tired of the noise and pollution of the cities, may feel they have found paradise in rural America, but the dangers of paradise are real and likely to grow worse. Sending toddlers off to be with grandma and grandpa down on their little piece of tranquility during the summer months may no longer be so good.
The intent of a pesticide is to destroy the specific agricultural pests, without causing harm to the general animal population, which includes fish and bees. Of course, the agricultural pesticide must also be safe for the human population, which includes people who live near farms and farm workers.
There was strong evidence that the chemical, Chloropyrifos, was unsafe for agricultural use. The Administrator of the EPA, Scott Pruitt is making America great again, only if America can be considered the conglomeration of agricultural interests and agrichemical and fossil fuel companies.
I will say it again- it is a subtle threat. People don’t know what they are ingesting. If a car manufacturer produces a car with faulty air bags, then consumer can sue them. But only if they survive the accident! But, if there is slow buildup of harmful neurotoxins as a result of the air we breath or the fish we eat, it may be decades before the full effects are discovered. We are losing one of the most vital parts of our ecosystem, bees, which pollinators of plants. Without them, we can’t grow much- see below:
Organophosphates contain neurotoxins. The Obama administration proposed regulations on one particular pesticide, chlorpyrifos, which is particularly harmful to children living near farms as it can effect their brain development.
Pesticides must be approved for use by the EPA. Once approved, chemical companies invest millions of dollars to produce and market the chemicals worldwide. If there are health risks discovered after approval, then the chemical companies have the option of withdrawing the pesticide from the market, fearing they might be sued, or continue to produce the pesticide and live with the legal consequences.
NYT, March 20, 2017: E.P.A. Chief, Rejecting Agency’s Science, Chooses Not to Ban Insecticide