With the Roundup pesticide scare just behind us, could there be a sequel?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has come back to approve the widespread use of another toxic chemical called cyantraniliprole, a powerful insecticide that is harmful to many of our most threatened plants and wildlife.
Worse yet, it’s not entirely clear how cyantraniliprole will impact humans, either- remember, the public had first been told that Roundup was safe before scientists realized it actually increases a person’s risk of lymphoma.
Since cyantraniliprole is a type of systemic insecticide, it frequently douses seeds and gets gathered in our precious food crops. The EPA has also approved it for other applications, like on citrus and berries. Also, it will likely be used on ornamental plants and even as pest treatments for house lawns.
“The Endangered Species Act and just basic, common-sense requires EPA to seek input from our expert wildlife biologists before it blindly unleashes new pesticides across the American landscape,” explains Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “EPA’s failure to look before it leaps has once again put imperiled wildlife across the country in harm’s way.”
And EPA has already authorized widespread uses of the new pesticide in agricultural and urban areas without enacting measures to help protect endangered species- even though it stated in its post-study assessment that cyantraniliprole is “highly or very highly toxic” to many endangered species. Because of these discoveries, the agency’s professionals suggest broad measures to help keep cyantraniliprole from affecting at-risk wildlife habitat.
“EPA’s unlawful and irresponsible approval ignored its own scientists’ warnings that strong protective measures are needed because this pesticide can drift into wildlife habitat,” indicates George Kimbrell, Senior Attorney for the Center for Food Safety. “The agency also failed to include measures to protect water quality from pesticide run-off despite the urging of local water management authorities.”
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