Too little, too late: EPA moves to ban nerve agent from food use

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toxic-nerve-agents-on-your-favorite-foods(NaturalHealth365)  Brace yourself: some of your favorite foods might be laced with nerve agents.  Yes, you read that right.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finally pushing to ban these toxic substances after more than fifty years of widespread use.

The EPA’s target?  Acephate – a nerve agent tied to alarming health issues like reduced IQs, autism, and ADHD in children.  But there’s a disturbing twist: the proposed ban wouldn’t stop the pesticide from being sprayed on seed orchards and tree farms.  This means the threat isn’t entirely eradicated.  Keep reading for the truth about your food and next steps to help protect yourself.

Shocking truth:  Toxic nerve agents lurking in your favorite foods and drinking water

Health professionals are applauding the ban on nerve agents in food, but there’s growing alarm that the proposal falls woefully short.  The focus is on acephate, a potent chemical killer of bugs.

Shockingly, acephate residues have been detected in supposedly nutritious foods like tomatoes, green beans, and celery.  Even more alarming, it’s contaminating our drinking water supply.

The EPA pledges to halt the use of acephate on food where coating produce could harm human health, with a particular focus on its presence in drinking water. Acephate, an organophosphate nerve agent, is widely used by American farmers to fight pests.

This chemical has been linked to serious health problems, especially in children, including autism, ADHD, reduced cognitive development, and even cancer.  What the mainstream media in the United States won’t tell you is that acephate was banned in Europe years ago.

Previously, the EPA controversially proposed increasing acephate levels in food by removing safety margins designed to protect children from pesticide residues.  The latest proposal implies that current scientific methods offer little support for maintaining these protections.

The EPA’s own analysis reveals that the current use of acephate poses dietary risks incompatible with today’s safety standards.  Additionally, acephate is highly toxic to honey bees, a crucial pollinator for our food supply.

EPA’s acephate ban falls short: Limited use to persist

Despite the proposed ban, the EPA will not entirely eliminate acephate.  The agency has confirmed that acephate use will continue in specific applications, including seed orchards, tree farms, and forests.  Additionally, this nerve agent will still be used on non-food items.

There remains a possibility that the EPA might modify aspects of the proposal following a public review period.  The agency has expressed a desire for public input on alternative proposals that might allow the registered use of acephate under certain conditions.  This leaves room for adjustments that could still permit the chemical’s use in some areas.

EPA faces backlash over partial acephate ban: Cotton industry and environmental advocates on edge

The proposed acephate ban is expected to face significant opposition from industry stakeholders, particularly cotton growers who heavily rely on this pesticide.  The EPA has opened a two-month public comment period for the proposed ban, raising concerns among environmental and public health advocates about potential concessions.

Even a complete ban on acephate for food use would not entirely eliminate its presence in food and water.  Despite the EPA canceling acephate use on green beans in 2011, subsequent USDA testing still found traces of the chemical on green bean samples.

The EPA suggests reevaluating acephate use after a period of analysis and discussion.  It has set new tolerance levels for acephate residues on a limited number of crops, including legumes and Brussels sprouts.  Additionally, the agency permits limited residues of methamidophos, an acephate metabolite and one of the most toxic organophosphate pesticides.

Agricultural pesticide experts warn that the tolerance for methamidophos is significantly higher than levels deemed safe for children.  Ideally, the EPA would impose a comprehensive ban on all organophosphates to safeguard public health and the environment.

Strategies to avoid exposure to acephate

Don’t sit on the sidelines expecting regulatory agencies to shield you from harmful chemicals like acephate.  The reality is that the EPA’s actions often reflect corporate influence and a complete ban on organophosphates is unlikely.

Take charge of your health by adopting these proactive measures to minimize your exposure:

  1. Choose organic produce:  Opt for organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible.  Organic farming standards prohibit the use of synthetic pesticides like acephate, significantly reducing your exposure.
  2. Check food labels:  Be diligent about reading food labels.  Look for certifications that indicate organic or pesticide-free produce.  Labels from reputable organizations can guide you toward safer choices.
  3. Shop at farmers’ markets:  Local farmers’ markets often feature organic produce.  Buying directly from farmers allows you to inquire about their farming practices and ensure your food is free from harmful pesticides.
  4. Thoroughly wash produce:  Always wash your fruits and vegetables under running water before consumption.  While washing cannot remove all pesticide residues, it can reduce their presence on the surface of produce.

By taking these steps, you can actively protect yourself and your family from the dangers of acephate and other toxic pesticides.  Empower yourself to make healthier choices and reduce your reliance on regulatory agencies.

Sources for this article include:

Earthjustice.org
Childrenshealthdefense.org
Propublica.org

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