Cleaning Up Toxic Corruption

 

Chlorypyrifos was initially developed prior to World War II as a chemical weapon. Today the chemical is a widely used pesticide with 6 million pounds sprayed annually on crops like citrus, apples, and cherries.  

So toxic is Chlorypyrifos that when applying the pesticide to fields, workers must wear protective garments such as respirators. Workers are then blocked from entering the fields for up to 5 days after application due to chemical exposure risk.

At the end of last year, a scientific paper in the journal PLOS Medicine warned of the dangers the entire genre of organophosphate pesticides pose to children’s health and development. The authors found that exposure to these chemicals, even at low levels previously considered safe, can lead to cognitive problems, including reduced IQ, developmental delays and increased risk of learning disabilities in children.

Just as you might expect, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President Trump is currently ignoring the clear science behind the danger these pesticides place upon farm workers and consumers.Though the EPA originally proposed to ban Chlorpyrifos in 2016, the decision was subsequently reversed in 2017 with help of Trump’s corrupt corporate-backed stooge EPA director Scott Pruitt.

Despite the toxic stench of greed and corruption that is the Trump administration there is, at last, a breath of fresh air blowing from the horizon. Hawaii has become the first state in the U.S. to ban Chlorpyrifos, (effective 2022), and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, have both recently introduced bills banning Chlorpyrifos on a national level. Meanwhile, those with the means and access to purchase organic produce must choose to support the health of themselves, their children, agricultural workers, and the planet.