Lawyers representing Dow Chemical and two other pesticide manufacturers sent letters to three of Trump’s Cabinet agencies asking them “to set aside” the results of EPA studies that found their pesticides to be harmful to endangered species and developing children. In Monsanto fashion, Dow released their own data that shows that their products are safe. According to the Associated Press, Dow spent more than $13.6 million on lobbying in 2016 and encouraged the signing of an executive order which suppresses government regulation of their chemicals.
The Associated Press reports that scientists have complied more than 10,000 pages of data stating the dangers that pesticides pose to living organisms. Recently, the EPA found that the pesticide chlorpyrifos is “likely to adversely affect” 1,778 of the 1,835 animals and plants studied including critically endangered species of frogs, fish, birds and mammals. Pesticides malathion and diazinon had similar results.
Dow Chemical, who sells chlorpyrifos stated that the studies were not reliable and asked the Trump administration to withdraw the EPA’s assessment. Dow Chemical then released their own data claiming that their chemicals are safe.
Many worry there is a conflict of interest between Dow Chemical and the Trump administration. Dow gave 1 million dollars towards Trump’s inaugural party, and Dow Chemical chairman and CEO, Andrew Liveris, works as an advisor to Trump as head of the White House manufacturing working group. AP reports that Liveris was present with and thanked by Trump while Trump signed an executive order to cut government regulation of pesticides in February.
Pesticides are made to kill. It is well known that they kill more than just insects. The AP report states that organophosphorus pesticide was used as a chemical weapon by Nazi Germany, but since the 1960s, Dow has been selling about 5 million pounds annually in the United States for food applications.
Pesticide use cannot be contained. It is found in drinking water, and a 2012 study from UC Berkeley found the pesticide chlorpyrifos in 87 percent of umbilical-cord blood samples tested. In 2005, the Bush administration banned residential use of diazinon because it is dangerous to children and hazardous to human health. The chemical is still sold to farmers for agricultural use.
This is just another example of politicians caring more for corporate interests than the best interests of the American people. Chemical companies are putting money into buying politicians rather than clean, environmental practices and the development of products that do not harm human health. Trump’s support of chemical and oil companies make it appear that he is hell bent on furthering the destruction of the environment.