EPA’s Scandalous Policies vs. States’ Responsibility
By: Cassandra Anderson
The EPA pesticide and herbicide approval program requires industry manufacturer applicants to fund the studies that are submitted. This means that if companies like Monsanto or Dow Chemical have a new product, they are required under EPA rules to pay for all of the safety testing when they apply for approval of a new weed or bug killer.
In the absence of independent testing and oversight, there appears to be a wide open door for potential fraud as manufacturer applicants could cherry pick their studies and simply use ones that show favorable results.
Templates were devised by to make industry manufacturer applicants’ study data uniform in a 2002 NAFTA deal struck between the EPA and Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PRMA). Templates are used so that the EPA and PRMA can approve of applicants’ poisons more quickly and with fewer resources. The agencies hope to review approved pesticides only every 15 years.
You can find the profile of these testing templates on the EPA website.
States Carry the Primary Responsibility
On the EPA’s website, they say that after a pesticide is registered (approved) by the EPA, states may have more strict laws regarding poisons and it is up to the manufacturer to comply with state laws in order to register their product in the state.
And here’s the kicker: the EPA says, “Ultimately, states have the primary responsibility (called primacy) for pesticides used within state border”. This can be interpreted to mean that the EPA has absolved itself of accountability and that the states are liable (responsible) for regulating pesticides for safety.
This clause makes it clear that state power supersedes the federal EPA’s rubber stamp approval process for pesticides and herbicides. States should ensure the safety of citizens from harmful chemicals.
EPA’s Scandalous Abuse of Taxpayer Money
The EPA employs more than 17,000 people and has enjoyed a budget of around $7.5 billion in years prior to the implementation of Obama’s Stimulus bill that enhanced executive agencies’ scope and power. The EPA’s budget ballooned above $10 billion in 2010 and 2011. What did taxpayers get for the extra billions spent? Not much when it comes to protecting the very people who fund the EPA.
Here’s an example:
Don Huber has warned that glyphosate herbicide (the most common brand is Monsanto’s Roundup Ready product) can cause infertility and miscarriages in farm animals, in addition to disease in plants. A Spanish study found that glyphosate is polluting groundwater. And numerous other studies point to extremely negative effects from glyphosate.
But the EPA is dragging its feet in taking action in banning glyphosate herbicide and are only conducting a study to be completed by 2015. The worst part about the EPA’s “study” is that it will rely heavily on industry manufacturer data instead of doing any independent research. In fact, chemical poison giants like Monsanto, Dow Chemical, Syngenta and BASF formed a 19-member task force to generate the data that the EPA is seeking.
It appears that the EPA’s approval process is skewed to favor industry. The EPA is slow to respond when industry products cause harm.
This is a big deal because the next generation of GMOs that already has preliminary approval from the USDA, will be sprayed with Dow Chemical’s 2,4-D herbicide (half of the recipe of Agent Orange that is contaminated with dioxin).
The EPA approved 2,4-D herbicide years ago and it is commonly used on lawns and golf courses. The EPA says that dioxin, at its current levels, does not pose a serious health risk. However, if 2,4-D products become popular, and American farms are doused in the poison, we can look forward to increased levels. The EPA says on its own website that current levels of dioxin are “uncomfortably” close to levels that will cause problems. Dioxin causes cancer, birth defects, organ damage and many other diseases.
EPA approval does not preempt more stringent state laws and is supported by court decisions.