Friday, June 13, 2014

Pollution Politics: PW Talks with E.G. Vallianatos

Pollution Politics: PW Talks with E.G. Vallianatos:

Former EPA analyst Vallianatos exposes the agency’s failure to safeguard the environment and public health in Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA.
How has the EPA’s mission of protecting public health and the environment been compromised?
The chemical industry has been a powerhouse in its own right. Its production of pesticides gave it additional wealth and power because pesticides have been made essential for food production. Even before the EPA came into being, this agrichemical-agribusiness colossus wielded lots of influence in both American farming and the environment. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush nearly dismantled the EPA and Democratic presidents pretend environmentalism is good while doing the bidding of the pesticides industry.
How can toxic chemicals enter the market without proper testing yet still meet EPA standards?
Most chemicals enter the market without testing. Industry reports to EPA with rudimentary information about the chemicals they put up for sale, permitting the companies to advertise their products of “meeting EPA standards.” The relatively few chemicals tested before EPA approval like pesticides are questionable because the EPA allows the companies themselves or private labs to test for human safety and ecological effects. The record of private testing cannot give us confidence for the integrity of such a process.

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