Judge Says EPA Not Require To Disclose Extremely Dangerous ‘Inert’ Ingredients In Pesticides

Inert ingredients
Source: NaturalNews.com
David Gutierrez
June 29, 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not required to force pesticide companies to disclose “inert” ingredients in their products, even when those products are known to be toxic, carcinogenic or otherwise dangerous, a federal judge recently – and reluctantly – ruled.

The Center for Environmental Health, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Beyond Pesticides had sued the EPA, claiming that it was violating its responsibilities as mandated by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

The EPA requires pesticide labels to state the names and percentages of “active ingredients,” the ingredients believed to be responsible for pesticides’ toxic effects. But the agency does not require companies to disclose “inactive” or “inert” ingredients, except to avoid “unreasonable risk to humans or the environment.”

Not actually ‘inert’

The plaintiffs submitted a list of 370 separate “inert” pesticide ingredients that are classified by pesticide manufacturers or the EPA itself as known or suspected of causing cancer, reproductive harm or neurological disorders. They also submitted another 96 ingredients that the EPA has classified as “high priority for testing.”

“What we’re challenging is EPA’s inaction despite a body of evidence,” plaintiffs’ attorney Yana Garcia told Courthouse News when the lawsuit was filed. “Chemicals listed as inert are not inert. Consumers think the inert ingredients are water or other benign substances used to mix the chemicals, but many are carcinogenic and others have acute impacts and still others have impacts that are currently unknown.”

Many of the ingredients on the plaintiffs’ list have been shown to enhance the absorption or inhalation rates of active ingredients, make pesticides more difficult to remove from clothing, and even make active ingredients more likely to pass through protective clothing, such as gloves.

Concealing the presence of chemicals known to be hazardous denies pesticide users the ability to make informed choices, the plaintiffs argued. It also makes it harder for doctors to effectively treat people who have been exposed to pesticides.

The presence of these chemicals doesn’t just affect those who use pesticides, either.

“We are also concerned about pesticide drift, and the effects on bees and other pollinators,” Garcia said.

Flawed law forces judge’s hand

The issue dates back to 1984, when the EPA first began drafting a rule about labeling hazardous ingredients in pesticides. But in 1987, the agency tossed that draft rule out and replaced it with a three tiered list. Only ingredients on the first, most hazardous list, were required to be listed. Notably, none of the ingredients on that list are used in pesticides anymore.

But the list has seen no additions since 1989. So in 2006, the plaintiffs, along with the attorneys general of 14 states, asked the EPA to start drafting a new disclosure rule. The agency took no action, and was later sued over the issue.

“[The EPA] reinitiated rulemaking in 2009 but didn’t complete it, so we filed another lawsuit,” Garcia said. “At that time the EPA reversed course and claimed that people don’t read the labels and don’t care what is in pesticides, so why bother labeling?”

Other absurd arguments made by the EPA – and its lawyers from the Department of Justice – in defense of its position, are that the EPA needs to take into account other “policy considerations outside” FIFRA, and that FIFRA requires the EPA to protect pesticide makers’ trade secrets.

“It remains clear that FIFRA doesn’t let trade secrets trump health. But the EPA is kind of hiding behind this provision in the statute to shirk its responsibility to protect people and the environment [from pesticides],” Garcia said.

When asked by the judge why the EPA’s policy is better for the environment than simply labeling the hazardous ingredients, Department of Justice attorney Debra Carfora said, “I wouldn’t say it’s better. I would say this is a very complex issue.”

U.S. District Judge William Orrick said that he found the plaintiffs’ arguments very convincing from a policy perspective, but that unfortunately FIFRA gives the EPA very wide discretion. Thus, Orrick found himself with no choice but to uphold the legality of the EPA’s decisions.

“The EPA is given discretion unless I can find that mandatory duty,” Orrick said.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

EPA Bases Glyphosate Safety On Monsanto Data Before Mysteriously Yanking Documents From Website, Saying Review Incomplete

Source: NaturalNews.com
Julie Wilson
May 4, 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently assessing the toxicity of the widely used herbicide, glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. The agency reviews each registered pesticide every 15 years to determine its safety and whether or not it’s still in compliance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

Though the EPA says it has not officially completed its review of glyphosate, the agency published what appeared to be the results of the assessment to its website Friday, which claimed to find that glyphosate is not carcinogenic to humans, contradicting earlier reports from the World Health Organization stating that the weedkiller is a “probable carcinogen.”

In a surprising and strange twist, the EPA quickly pulled the assessment results, which were labeled “FINAL,” from its website, saying the documents were “inadvertently” published and that it had not yet finished its review.

Though disappointed in the premature ruling, activists are hopeful the EPA will complete a thorough and fair review and make good on its promise to have its data peer-reviewed before reaching a final decision regarding the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, Alexis Baden-Mayer, Political Director for the Organic Consumers Association told Natural News.

Monsanto celebrates renewal of glyphosate license

Despite the EPA’s statement that their cancer review on glyphosate is incomplete, Monsanto quickly began celebrating the news, confirming the agency did in fact rule the widely used weed killer is not cancerous to humans.

The EPA’s document was “clearly labeled and signed as the final report of EPA’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee,” said Monsanto.

Documents deleted by the EPA include summaries of three meetings in 2015 between agency officials and Monsanto; “preliminary ecological risk assessments of glyphosate on milkweed;” “a report discussing possible label amendments to two of Monsanto’s Roundup products when used on oilseeds, fruit and other crops; and a six-slide Monsanto presentation to the EPA officials,” according to Reuters.

“EPA has not completed our cancer review,” the agency told Reuters. “We will look at the work of other governments as well as work by (the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’) Agricultural Health Study as we move to make a decision on glyphosate.”

More proof regulatory agencies serve industry, not the people

But the damage was already done, as the documents reveal once again that the agency used industry-funded research to determine the “safety” of glyphosate. “All they’re doing is reviewing studies that are funded by the industry,” said Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist at Natural Resources Defense Council.

“EPA’s determination that glyphosate is non-carcinogenic is disappointing, but not terribly surprising—industry has been manipulating this process for years,” said Nathan Donley, a scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). “The analysis done by the World Health Organization is more open and transparent and remains the gold standard.”

As reported by Common Dreams, the documents EPA deleted from its site include the following statement:

The epidemiological evidence at this time does not support a causal relationship between glyphosate exposure and solid tumors. There is also no evidence to support a causal relationship between glyphosate exposure and the following non-solid tumors: leukemia, multiple myeloma, or Hodgkin lymphoma.

Co-formulants more dangerous than glyphosate

The analysis cited data from “private biochemical firms like Inveresk Research International, Nufarm, and Arysta Life Sciences,” according to Common Dreams.

The Center for Biological Diversity highlights the fact that the EPA’s assessment focused only on glyphosate as a singular ingredient, ignoring its co-formulants, or other ingredients used to increase the chemical’s effectiveness that could potentially be more toxic than the primary ingredient.

Little is understood about the health effects of co-formulant chemicals. However, French researcher Gilles-Eric Seralini showed that glyphosate’s co-formulants are often endocrine disruptors and are 1,000 more toxic than glyphosate alone.

Activists rally outside White House, demand an end to glyphosate use

On Wednesday, May 4 at 11:30 a.m. EST, citizens, activists, and scientists will spring into action and rally outside the White House demanding the EPA revoke the license for glyphosate.

Following the rally, a large coalition of national organizers will march over to the EPA headquarters located at 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW at 1:00 p.m. EST to deliver 400,000 petitions demanding the government immediately halt the use of glyphosate on American’s farmland, parks, and schools.

The event was organized by Moms Across America and Care2, and has received assistance from the Organic Consumers Association, Beyond Pesticides, Friends of the Earth, SumOfUs, CREDO Action, and Food Democracy Now.

“The EPA is simply ignoring hundreds of scientific studies showing harm. The fact is that plenty of science shows that the contamination of glyphosate in our wine, beer, tap water, urine, breast milk, cotton products, cereal and breakfast foods is a major contributing factor to America’s skyrocketing illnesses,” said Zen Honeycutt, with Moms Against America[PDF].

Continue Reading At: NaturalNews.com