The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves the use of pesticide products for food, lawns, and additional uses. Over the past six years, about 100 such products have been approved for use despite the fact that they “contain mixtures that make them more poisonous and increase the dangers to imperiled pollinators and rare plants.” A July 2016 report by the Center for Biological Diversity, Toxic Concoctions: How the EPA Ignores the Dangers of Pesticide Cocktails, highlights the EPA’s inadequate use of the available information provided by four major agrochemical companies (Bayer, Dow, Monstano, and Syngenta) to the U.S. Patent and Trademark office regarding such synergistic actions. It was only in late 2015 that the EPA became aware that patent applications contain valuable information regarding synergistic pesticides, information that is not necessarily provided to the agency tasked with approving and regulating pesticides.
The author of the report, Nathan Donley, says, “It’s alarming to see just how common it’s been for the EPA to ignore how these chemical mixtures might endanger the health of our environment. It’s pretty clear that chemical companies knew about these potential dangers, but the EPA never bothered to demand this information from them or dig a little deeper to find it for themselves.”
Stay tuned for an October 2016 webinar hosted by Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth regarding opportunities to reduce pesticide use through the development of an Integrated Pest Management program in healthcare settings.
[Source: Center for Biological Diversity]