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The Trump administration is being asked by Dow Chemicals to “set aside” findings of scientists that show a group of largely used pesticides that are harmful and threaten thousands of species to the point of endangerment. The studies completed and compiled by these scientists identify three pesticides Chlorpyrifos, Diazinon and Malathion.
Chlorpyrifos is an agricultural pesticide that has been used for decades on crops such as citrus fruit to kill insects by attacking their nervous system and also has been linked to brain damage in infants and kids and nervous system damage in adults. Dow sells a significant amount to the United States annually.
Diazinon is also an agricultural pesticide that is used by farmers and applied to crops such as fruit and vegetables, again to kill insects who destroy their crops. Diazinon was banned in 2005 by the Bush administration for residential use because it poses a human health risk,
Malathion is a pesticide that is used to control insects in an agricultural setting and around people’s home. Malathion is also used in public health to control mosquitoes and fruit flies as well as in some shampoos for treating lice.
The CEO of Dow is an adviser to President Trump and a financial contributor to the Trump administration. Dow attorneys along with two other chemical companies sent letters in April to three cabinet agencies stating that the findings presented by the scientists are flawed. The three cabinet agencies mentioned have some responsibility for enforcing the Endangered Species Act and are expected to issue some regulations soon that would place new limits on how and where pesticides can be used.
Pesticides are a necessary evil. They have numerous benefits such as crop protection, preservation of food and materials and prevention of vector-borne-diseases such as malaria which kills up to 1 million children per year.
Pesticides are toxic by designed and are designed to kill, repel, reduce insects, weeds, rodents and other organisms that threaten public health. However, I do understand the growing concern of these pesticides having an adverse effect on plants, animals and even humans and am encouraged that there is much conversation and research taking place to uncover and discover ways to protect all forms of life, food sources and the environment.
As the saying goes, if we can put a man on the moon, we can certainly come up with a way to protect crops, public health, species from endangerment and the environment than spreading chemicals that are created to harm them.