EPA proposes increased use of highly toxic pesticide on food, despite EU ban

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epa-pushes-highly-toxic-pesticide(NaturalHealth365)  In recent years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has strayed far from its mission of ‘protecting human health’ and the environment.  Established with the noble goal of safeguarding our natural resources and ensuring a healthier future for all, the EPA’s actions have increasingly become a mockery of this original purpose.  This federal agency, instead of serving as a vigilant guardian against environmental hazards, has repeatedly made decisions that seem to prioritize industry interests over public safety and ecological well-being.

A striking example of this deviation is the recent proposal by the EPA to use a pesticide that is ten times more toxic than other options.  This move is particularly troubling considering that the European Union has banned this pesticide due to its harmful effects.  The irony and apparent disregard for the very principles the EPA was founded upon are becoming impossible to ignore.  Rather than upholding its duty to protect the environment and the health of the vulnerable taxpaying public, the EPA appears to be doing quite the opposite.

EPA pushes for a pesticide tied to autism and lower cognitive performance

The EPA is currently advocating for the use of a pesticide known as acephate despite its alarming links to autism and lower cognitive performance.  If the EPA’s proposal goes through, it will ease restrictions on this pesticide, which is commonly used on crops such as:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cranberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery

This proposal is particularly troubling when considering that the European Union banned acephate decades ago primarily because of its potential to harm human health and the environment.  Studies demonstrated that acephate posed significant risks of acute toxicity, developmental neurotoxicity, and environmental persistence, leading to its prohibition under strict regulatory standards designed to protect public health and ecosystems.

Acephate is typically applied as a thin coating on the exterior of fruits and vegetables, posing significant risks to consumers.  It belongs to a class of compounds associated with various adverse health effects, including autism and hyperactivity.  Research indicates that individuals who consume foods treated with acephate tend to perform worse on intelligence tests compared to their peers.  Several studies have linked this pesticide to developmental issues in both children and lab rats.  Scientists believe these negative outcomes stem from acephate’s ability to disrupt the transmission of signals between nerve cells.

In light of these findings, the EPA’s push to reduce restrictions on acephate contradicts its mission to protect public health and the environment and raises serious concerns about the safety of the food we consume.

Is any level of acephate safe for human consumption?

The EPA’s proposal permits ten times more acephate use on food than currently allowed by federal limits.  This proposal is driven by recent test results conducted on disembodied cells.

According to EPA representatives, exposing cells to acephate revealed minimal, and in some cases, no evidence that the pesticide is harmful.  The agency’s spokesperson noted that acephate generates a chemical that some insist compromises brain development after breaking down within the body.

The EPA designed new acephate tests with the assistance of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to gauge the impact of chemicals on the brain.  However, the OECD has publicly acknowledged that the new tests are not reliable for determining whether a chemical alters the development of the human brain.

The EPA consulted with a panel of science advisors to assess the validity of the new testing methods.  The panel concluded that the tests’ inherent limitations do not accurately represent the mechanisms and processes that could compromise the development of the central nervous system.

Scientists unanimously agree that toxicants, including pesticides like acephate, have the potential to sabotage the development of children who are naturally sensitive to their environment and consumer products.  If the federal government were driven by rationality and logic, acephate would be banned.  The harsh reality is that upwards of 12 million pounds of the pesticide are used on crops every single year.

Strategies to avoid acephate and other harmful pesticides in your food

The EPA reports that acephate is used on 20% to 35% of all lettuce, cauliflower, celery, and peppers grown in the United States.  When shopping for groceries, be cautious of these and other vegetables listed above that may be treated with acephate.  Choose organic produce to ensure your food is free from any pesticide, allowing you to eat with confidence.

If your local supermarket doesn’t offer organic produce, seek out a nearby farmer’s market or health food store where you can find delicious, pesticide-free options.  Joining a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program can also provide you with fresh, organic produce directly from local farms.

For those with space at home, consider growing your own garden, ideally using raised beds (with cover) to keep animals insects away from your organic crops.  The raised beds give you the opportunity to maintain great quality soil for your crops.  These efforts will help to ensure the purity of your food and gives you the satisfaction of cultivating your own fresh foods.

When it comes to your health, take the reins – don’t count on government agencies to have your back.

Sources for this article include:

Childrenshealthdefense.org
EPA.gov

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