The world is already well aware of the many nasty effects of pesticides, but in missing its own risk assessment deadline in 2015 for atrazine, glyphosate, and imidacloprid, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sends a clear message to those concerned about biological diversity and human health. If the EPA isn’t doing the business of pushing biotech’s agenda, the agency isn’t interested in protecting life.
These 3 highly controversial pesticides have been the subject of much scrutiny in 2015. Make no mistake; the EPA knows that its own ‘official’ stance on the risks of these toxic chemicals will be detrimental to those who create them.
Lori Ann Burd, environmental health director at the Center for Biological Diversity, says:
“These risk assessments aren’t just bureaucratic boxes to be checked. Every day that the EPA delays completing these much-needed reviews is a day that people and wildlife in the United States remain at risk from some of the most toxic chemicals in use today.”
Here’s why the admittance of the EPA that these chemicals are toxic will have grave results for the biotech and industrial agricultural companies:
- Imidacloprid – This chemical concoction is one of the most widely used in the world. Over one million acres are treated with this neonicotinoid pesticide annually. Many countries have noticed their bee colonies dying off due to neonics. Once the US admits this pesticide is truly toxic, there will be no excuse for continuing its use.Though the EPA committed to completing a pollinator risk assessment for the potent insecticide in 2015, it has not released any such assessment. These chemicals have already been banned by numerous communities. The U.S. Geological Survey has found imidacloprid, which is also highly toxic to birds and aquatic invertebrates, completely infiltrated the water systems of much of the US.
- Glyphosate – The World Health Organization’s IARC already said that glyphosate, one of Monsanto’s best-selling chemicals is ‘probably carcinogenic,’ which caused a rash of bans and risk assessment requests in multiple countries. More than 300 million pounds are still saturating the U.S. each year, though. The EPA committed, but failed, to release risk assessments for glyphosate in the summer of 2015.
- Atrazine – Another failed promise surrounds the feminizing Atrazine chemicals developed largely by Syngenta. These chemicals turn male frogs sterile even with tiny doses. Up to 80 million pounds are used annually in the United States. Despite the substantial threats atrazine poses to people and wildlife, the EPA has missed its own deadline for evaluating the risk of this additional toxic pesticide.
“The EPA is dragging its feet in analyzing and telling the public about the full dangers of these pesticides,” Burd said. “The public has a right to know, and the longer we’re left in the dark, the greater the danger becomes.”
The EPA is also breaking the law under the Endangered Species Act. Due to a landmark settlement reached between the EPA and the Center for Biological Diversity in June, the agency was supposed to analyze the impacts of atrazine and glyphosate on 1,500 endangered plants and animals. This also still has not been completed – but hopefully it will.