Pesticide maker tries to scrap risk study
The research in question was conducted by federal scientists, who concluded that three common organophosphate pesticides-chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion-posed a threat to almost 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species, or nearly every species the scientists studied, according to the AP.
Lawyers for Dow, whose CEO Andrew Liveris serves as an adviser to President Trump and which donated $1 million to underwrite inauguration festivities, and two other chemical companies sent letters on April 13 to three Cabinet agencies saying the findings are fundamentally flawed, the Associated Press reported.
Last month, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt tore up an Obama-era effort to ban the use of chlorpyrifos on food, which had been put in place after a study found that even small amounts of exposure to the pesticide could hamper children’s brain development.
The company, along with chemical manufacturers Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc.
An EPA spokesman said the agency would not prejudge any potential decisions regarding the pesticides.
Dow also reportedly has asked the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce departments to go back to court, to challenge a 2014 settlement that requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to release their own, draft biological opinions by May.
Dow and two other chemical companies are pushing to have a pesticide study by the EPA squashed.
Dow Chemical has devoted a significant sum of money to influencing policy and lawmakers - spending $13.6 million on lobbying in 2016 alone, according to the AP report.
About 1 million pounds of malathion, a neurotoxin used to control mosquitoes and fruit flies, is used each year. “As a result, Dow and other companies submitted concerns and scientific requests through various proper channels”. The toxin is still approved for use by farmers who spray it on fruits and vegetables.
As a result, traces of the chemical are commonly found in sources of drinking water.
Hartl said for decades the EPA refused to comply with its legal mandate to protect endangered species from the impacts of pesticides. The chemical giant gave $250,000 to both the Republican and Democratic party conventions a year ago, according to Federal Election Commission records, and its corporate PAC spent more than $1 million in the 2016 campaign cycle, according to OpenSecrets.
Andrew, I would like to thank you for initially getting the group together and for the fantastic job youve done, Trump said as he signed the order during an Oval Office ceremony.
Rachelle Schikorra, the director of public affairs for Dow Chemical, said any suggestion that the companys $1 million donation to Trumps inaugural committee was meant to help influence regulatory decisions is completely off the mark..
“Dow actively participates in policymaking and political processes, including political contributions to candidates, parties and causes, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws”, Schikorra said.
Associated Press reporters Jack Gillum in Washington and Sophia Tareen in East Chicago, Indiana, contributed to this story.
“Dow stands by the safety of chlorpyrifos and believes that comprehensive regulatory review of all available data will continue to support the safety of the registered uses of this product”. Make a donation to help us continue publishing insightful, independent journalism. Subscriptions start as low as 25¢ per day.