Shortly before he overrode his agency’s scientific conclusions about the dangers of Dow Chemical’s chlorpyrifos, a pesticide widely used in agriculture, Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, met privately with the CEO of the company. Despite EPA’s recommendation to ban all use of the chemical in our food supply, Pruitt denied scientific reasoning and approved the continued use of the toxin. Chlorpyrifos is part of the organophosphate (OPs) class of pesticides which were originally developed by the German military as neurotoxins in World War II. As a former toxicological pathologist commented, “Pruitt’s refusal to follow through on banning chlorpyrifos amounts to intentional poisoning of the population and the environment.”
Millions of pounds of organophosphates are applied every year across our country and are acutely toxic to birds, bees, mammals, and aquatic organisms. The agency’s scientists determined that ingestion of even minute quantities of chlorpyrifos can interfere with brain development in fetuses and infants. It also affects many species, including bees which experience learning and memory problems after ingesting small doses of the chemical, further threatening their survival as well as ours. The EPA this year released its final Biological Evaluations of Three Chemicals’ Impacts on Endangered Species, which reveals that chlorpyrifos likely has damaging effects on 97 percent of all species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Perhaps that’s the reason Pruitt’s agency pressured the top scientist on the Board of Scientific Counselors to change her Congressional testimony about the abrupt firing of almost 90% of the scientists on the Board. It’s unpleasant to have to face facts when there’s money to be made by the ruling oligarchy–damn the planet and all its inhabitants! Do they have a secret compound somewhere in never-never land where they’ll be able to escape the devastation and misery their rulings have wrought and wallow in their money? It’s all very puzzling and alarming to us lowly humans.
So look beyond the feigned moral outrage of the White House occupant regarding Syrian chemical attacks on it’s citizens, and know that our own country is dousing its citizenry every year with millions of pounds of chemical-warfare-based substances. By hiring someone like Scott Pruitt to head (and decimate) the EPA, our “Commander-in-Chief” shows us all quite clearly he’s an empty (and evil) suit.
For a note of hope, ready Sen. Udall’s letter to Pruitt. Are there any more brave legislators willing to speak out for us and our planet? If not, why not??