Michigan-based Dow Chemical tries to kill pesticides risk study

  • Michigan-based Dow Chemical tries to kill pesticides risk study

Michigan-based Dow Chemical tries to kill pesticides risk study

The studies in question pertain to a family of widely used pesticides that are harmful to about 1,800 threatened or endangered species, the AP reported.

Late a year ago, and based in part on research conducted at Columbia University, E.P.A. scientists concluded that exposure to the chemical that has been in use since 1965 was potentially causing significant health consequences. Historically, groups like the Environmental Protection Agency would want to avoid killing frogs, fish, birds, mammals, and plants, which is why the regulator and two others that it works with to enforce the Endangered Species Act are reportedly "close to issuing findings expected to result in new limits on how and where the highly toxic pesticides can be used", the AP reports.

The government scientists found that chlorpyrifos is "likely to adversely affect" 1,778 of the 1,835 animals and plants in its study.

Dow's chairman and CEO, Andrew Liveris, is a friend and close adviser of President Trump, and his company donated $1 million to Trump's inauguration.

Two months later, Trump's head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, announced that he would not follow the recommendation of the agency's own scientists to ban the use of chlorpyrifos, an insecticide that has been linked to severe health consequences, particularly in children and farmworkers.

Dow AgroSciences, the unit of the company responsible for pesticides, told AP that the federal government did not use the best available science in its reviews.

Chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion are a group of pesticides that are a big money-maker for Dow Chemical, with the company selling approximately 5 million pounds of chlorpyrifos in the US each year, according to the Associated Press.

Dow's director of public affairs Rachelle Schikorra told the AP that any suggestion that the company is trying to influence the new administration's regulatory decisions is "completely off the mark".

On the contrary, Dow Chemical has released an official statement disputing the supposed adverse effects of chlorpyrifos. The EPA risk study came up with similar results when testing both malathion and diazinon. "These letters, and the detailed scientific analyses that support them, demonstrate that commitment".

Chlorpyrifos is an agricultural pesticide used for decades on citrus fruits, apples and other crops. The toxin is still approved for use by farmers who spray it on fruits and vegetables.

Dow, which spent more than $13.6 million on lobbying in 2016, has long wielded substantial political power in the nation's capital.

It has also allegedly signed a $1 million check to help fund U.S. President Trump's inaugural celebrations.

"Dow actively participates in policymaking and political processes, including political contributions to candidates, parties and causes, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws", Schikorra said.