Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Editorial: Wash Your Food. EPA Reverses Itself on Dangers of Common Pesticide

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Editorial: Wash Your Food. EPA Reverses Itself on Dangers of Common Pesticide

Article excerpt

President Donald Trump told Fox Business News on April 13: "We've done an amazing job on regulations. We've freed it up. We freed up this country so much."

Last month, Trump's Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, freed up the country to continue using a pesticide called chlorpyrifos on everything from strawberries and almonds to Brussels sprouts and broccoli.

This despite a warning from the National Institutes of Health that chlorpyrifos can cause "adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune effects" in human beings. This despite scientific studies indicating that chlorpyrifos can interfere with fetal brain development, leading to higher rates of autism and lower intelligence.

The Trump administration fails to acknowledge that the government has a role in protecting Americans from unseen dangers in their food. That's weighed against economic facts: Chlorpyrifos kills insects that destroy crops, leading to bigger yields and cheaper food.

Protecting industry is likely to be more important than protecting consumers in an EPA run by Pruitt, the former attorney general of Oklahoma with a history of fighting the EPA. Trump recently sent him some help in the person of Nancy Beck, who was named the EPA's deputy assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention. This is the office that regulates toxic chemicals.

Beck's previous job: senior director of regulatory science policy for the American Chemical Council. In this job, she challenged scientific studies unfavorable to the chemical industry. …

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