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Re: Wash. Post/EPA termed soft on Pesticide Risks



Nina,
    FQPA is a complex job and not one that should be rushed. The environmental
groups quit the panel so that they could, in all likelihood, prepare to file a
lawsuit this August.
    By quitting this particular government committee, the environmental and
consumer groups have lost their voice. Even if they were upset with the slowness
of the panel, the answer is not to quit, but to push harder from within the
group.
    I know from your previous postings that you believe everyone should be
organic, but for those people, particularly farmers, who have not chosen to be
organic just yet, rushing tolerance reassessment can be frightening. In some
cases, a farmer may face losing his only chemical for a particular pest. I'm sure
this doesn't matter to you, since you're not the farmer, but it does matter to
most of my constituents.

NinaLynn@aol.com wrote:

> Regarding the role of government regulators!
>
> - Nina Moliver
>
> <<  7 Groups Quit Food Panel
>  >
>  > EPA Termed Soft On Pesticide Risks
>  > By William Claiborne
>  >
>  > Washington Post Staff Writer
>  > Wednesday, April 28, 1999; Page A23
>  >
>  > All of the environmental, consumer and public interest members of the
>  > federal government's food quality advisory panel resigned in protest
>  > yesterday, accusing the Clinton administration of allowing the agriculture
>  > and chemical industries to "hijack" a 1996 law aimed at protecting
>  > children
>  > from toxic pesticides.
>  >
>  > Seven groups, including representatives of farm workers exposed to
>  > pesticides, said the Environmental Protection Agency will fail to fully
>  > meet an August deadline for reassessing the maximum allowable levels of
>  > the
>  > pesticides that pose the greatest risk to children, farm workers and the
>  > environment. They said the EPA has "dithered in endless, fruitless debate
>  > instead of developing a plan for banning or limiting the use of
>  > agricultural chemicals that can cause cancer, neurological damage and
>  > reproductive defects."
>  >
>  > "It is pointless to say we can stay on the committee when this agency
>  > can't
>  > do anything about toxic chemicals that have been around since World War
>  > II," said Marion Moses, president of the Pesticide Education Center, one
>  > of
>  > the seven groups that left the EPA's Tolerance Reassessment Advisory
>  > Committee (TRAC).
>  >
>  > Edward Groth, technical policy director of Consumers Union, said commonly
>  > sold food products with high residues of toxic pesticides include apples,
>  > peaches and pears. He did not recommend avoiding all at-risk foods, but
>  > urged consumers to use caution in their consumption of such commodities.
>  >
>  > Besides the Pesticide Education Center and Consumers Union, the groups
>  > that
>  > resigned are the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Farmworker Justice
>  > Fund, the National Campaign for Pesticide Policy Reform, the World
>  > Wildlife
>  > Fund and the CATA/Farmworker Organizing Committee.
>  >
>  > The resignations leave the advisory committee with 45 members representing
>  > industry groups, chemical companies and state regulatory agencies.
>  >
>  > The advisory panel was created at the direction of Vice President Gore a
>  > year ago in the face of an escalating lobbying campaign by the agriculture
>  > and chemical industries, which had complained that the EPA was too
>  > zealously implementing the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act. President
>  > Clinton had touted the measure as the "peace of mind act" because of the
>  > safeguards it was intended to put in place to protect children from toxic
>  > pesticides.
>  >
>  > The vice president said he included the public interest groups on the
>  > panel
>  > to make the regulatory process more accountable.
>  >
>  > However, Erik Olson, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense
>  > Council, told yesterday's news conference: "This administration has failed
>  > to respond to public pressure and instead has yielded to industry
>  > pressure." He said not one pesticide has been removed from the market
>  > during the group's tenure.
>  >
>  > EPA Acting Deputy Administrator Peter D. Robertson said the administration
>  > is still committed to implementing pesticide safety decisions.
>  >
>  > "We, too, wish that this process could be faster. But we are on schedule
>  > for assessing risks and taking risk-reduction actions beginning in August,
>  > as the law prescribes," he said.
>  >
>  > Chris Klose, spokesman for the American Crop Protection Association, an
>  > industry group, said the food quality law is complicated, and that the
>  > members who resigned are "more interested in political science than sound
>  > science that protects the nation's food supply."
>  >
>  >
>  > Major Pesticides
>  >
>  > Following are examples of widely used pesticides that interest groups want
>  > limited or banned.
>  >
>  > Chlorpyrifos
>  >
>  > Found in: Apples, peaches, grapes, oranges, tomatoes.
>  >
>  > Health concerns: Long-term effects may include cancer, reduced growth and
>  > development, birth defects and neurological problems.
>  >
>  > Azinphos methyl
>  >
>  > Found in: Apples, pears, peaches, grapes, tomatoes.
>  >
>  > Health concerns: No test for the chemical's toxicity has been submitted to
>  > the EPA, but concerns about possible effects from long-term, low-dose
>  > exposure center around neurobehavioral effects.
>  >
>  > Methyl parathion
>  >
>  > Found in: Apples, pears, peaches, green beans.
>  >
>  > Health concerns: Concerns about long-term health effects generally are the
>  > same as for the other named pesticides, and chiefly include
>  > neurobehavioral
>  > effects for which the EPA does not require testing.
>  >
>  > SOURCES:Consumers Union, Natural Resources Defense Council
>  >  >>
>
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