The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Environmental Working Group submitted a letter this week to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt condemning the Agency’s decision not to restrict use on the pesticide chlorpyrifos.
As this Hygeia’s Blog describes, this decision went against the EPA’s own scientists, who had previously concluded that chlorpyrifos was linked to neurological and developmental impacts in farmworkers and children (see a bibliography of peer-reviewed papers on the human and environmental toxicity of chlorpyrifos here).
Pediatrician’s agree, stating in the letter that they are “deeply alarmed” by the decision that specifically referenced the need for further study on the effects of the pesticide on children. They feel that “the risk to infant and children’s health and development is unambiguous” and request the EPA reverse their decision.
Then there was the news that broke this week that EPA Adminstrator Scott Pruit met with the CEO of Dow Chemical before the chlorpyrifos decision. Meeting schedules obtained through a Freedom of Information request show that Pruitt and Dow CEO Andre Liveris met for 30 minutes on March 9, twenty days before the ban was announced.
This Los Angeles Times story adds that an EPA spokesman was asked directly whether Pruitt met with any Dow representatives before the decision, to which he replied that they had no meetings on this topic.
Associated Press, “EPA chief met with Dow Chemical CEO before deciding not to ban toxic pesticide,” Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2017.
Cama, Timothy, “Pediatricians’ group ‘deeply alarmed’ at EPA’s pesticide decision,” The Hill, published online June 27, 2017.