What does the P stand for in EPA?

(Originally posted August 3, 2006)

If any of you caught my comment on Erin’s question about organics, you may have been holding your breath for my full blog post on the latest collision between science and special interest money. And you may have guessed it…yes, yes, it’s true. Our health and the health of our children and unborn babies has been sold out again.

The Environmental Protection Agency was charged ten years ago by the Food Quality Protection Act to find out if these more than 200 chemicals we were using on fruit, vegetables and grains in countless combinations and sequences had any effect on the health of people, especially children and pregnant women. Deadline: August 3, 2006. I bet some of you thought they had to be tested before they were used! Ahhhh, I guess it’s not only that crazy alternative medicine stuff that is “unregulated.”

The official position of the EPA, now that it is ten years later, is that their work is done here, nothing to see, please go about your business feeding your family our marvelous bounty.

Now, I know I may have a, shall we say, mild distrust of the chemical industrial complex. But, I am not a lone voice saying…huh?

There is a shocking and beautifully written letter (pdf) from the local presidents of EPA unions representing scientists and risk managers that say that approving some of these chemicals, including neurotoxins banned in several European countries, would “betray the public trust by violating the intention of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) to protect the Nation’s infants, children, and susceptible population”. The letter implores the EPA to use “sound science” and insists there is “compelling information that these neurotoxic pesticides damage the developing nervous system of fetuses, infants and children (an effect known as “developmental neurotoxicity”).

There are some tinfoil hat inspiring studies on pesticides found in umbilical cord samples and children’s bloodstreams. Proudmama, one of my favorite new posters, mentions one of them on that thread, and she links to a good Consumer Reports articleon the subject.

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