andrew schneider investigates

June 11, 2009

Health risks from silver nanoparticles a growing threat to consumers and workers.

Silver nanoparticles, untested for safety, are being used in a growing number of children’s toys, babies’ bottles, cosmetics, dishwashers, underwear and hundreds of other items.
A report issued today says that consumers and workers who make the products may be at risk.

Silver nano particles   Photo ACA

Silver nano particles Photo ACA

The report, authored by Friends of the Earth and Health Care Without Harm Europe, details what they call “the growing public health threat posed by nano-silver particles in consumer products.”

“What we’ve learned is alarming,” said Ian Illuminato, one of the report’s authors.

“Major corporations are putting nano-silver into a wide variety of consumer products with virtually no oversight, and there are potentially serious health consequences as a result. The workers who manufacture these products, the families that use them, and the environment are all at risk.”

Human consumption of silver is not new and medical historians have traced its health benefits back

Ian Illuminato, Friends of the Earth

Ian Illuminato, Friends of the Earth

more than a century. At that time, the literature reports, people had ready access to beneficial silver in their diet because it was plentiful in surface and ground waters.

“What we’re concerned about is when the silver is scaled to nano size because evidence shows that it is far more potent. That potency – the impact on human health – is what is we don’t yet know,” Illuminato told me.

His concern is shared by other scientists who also worry that nanosilver doesn’t distinguish between good and bad bacteria. It kills all bacteria, even the good bacteria that humans and animals need to survive.

“We are playing with fire, especially at a time when anti-bacterial resistance is an ever increasing medical problem globally,” said report co-author Dr. Rye Senjen, of Australia.

“Do we really need to coat cups, bowls and cutting boards, personal care products, children’s toys and infant products in nano-silver for ‘hygienic’ reasons?” he asked.

The  Korean manufacturer Samsung made the first clothes washer with a nanosilver-coated drum and said it would kill over 600 different bacteria.

Nanoparticles are one billionth of a meter in size or, as one scientist told me at a nano-in-food conference this week in California, “Slice a human hair lengthwise into a 100 slivers and a single one of those is what we’re dealing with. We are manipulating single molecules and atoms.”

Andrew Maynard

Andrew Maynard

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, one of the best known centers for nanotech policy research, presented testimony before Congress last year and cautioned that hundreds of products with nano particles are on the market, with three to five new ones added every week.

Andrew Maynard, the lead scientist for the Project, told me in an telephone interview from the Regulating Nanotechnology in Food and Consumer Products conference in Brussels yesterday, that the report raises some uncertainties that must be addressed.

“There is no indication that silver at the nano scale goes wild in the body. However, it is known that silver becomes more toxic at the nano level,” Maynard explained, adding, “That does not mean it always does more damage.

“More research must be done.”

A coalition of consumer protection, public health and environmental groups filed a petition with the Environmental Protection Agency demanding the agency halt the sale of consumer products containing silver nanoparticles

The petition called for the EPA to:

* Determine the potential human health and environmental hazards from nanosilver with nano-specific toxicity data requirements, testing and risk assessments.

* Clarify that nano-silver is a pesticide and thus must undergo the rigorous and extensive testing process involved in registering a pesticide. Moreover, products with nano-silver must carry a pesticide label.

* Take immediate action to prohibit the sale of nano-silver products as illegal pesticide products with unapproved health benefit claims.

The authors of the report say that EPA is not “doing near enough” to address the hazard.

“This report should be a kick in the pants to EPA to start fining companies that use nanosilver without going through the registration process,” Dr. Jennifer Sass, senior scientist and nano specialist for the Natural Resources Defense Council, who is also speaking at the Brussel’s meeting told me in an email.

EPA says it is ready to take action if asked.

“The EPA is prepared to address the nanosilver issue but nobody has applied to the EPA with a product. It hasn’t happened,” said Dale Kemery, an agency spokesman.

Nanoized silver is not the only metal that worries regulators and the public health community. Carbon nanotubes, nano zerovalent iron, cerium oxide and others are on some government hot lists.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control has ordered all manufacturers who manufacture, import, sell or use nano material with those metals to supply the department with extensive information on their source, use, transport, and disposal.

According to the EPA and FDA, they have no plans  to collect similar information.

The debate, to some extent, centers on semantics. Pesticides kill bugs and other things and their use is controlled by the government.

The Nanotechnology Industries Association and other trade groups insist that nanosilver is antimicrobial – it goes after germs – and is not a pesticide.


May 14, 2009

Pesticide is too dangerous for use in the U.S., but apparently it’s just fine to use in other countries.

Carbofuran, an extremely dangerous pesticide that will be banned in the U.S., can still be sold and used overseas.

This raises concerns among food safety experts that farm workers and their families in Latin America and Asia can continue being exposed to the neurotoxin, and it may still end up on food exported to this country.

FMC Corp., the manufacturer of the pesticide, told the Charleston (WV) Gazette’s top gun reporter Ken Ward that the ban imposed Monday by the EPA “won’t affect production of the pesticide at the Institute’s chemical plant because most of the product is shipped overseas.”

Food safety activists denounce what they call a double standard for safety.

“The continued export of a pesticide determined too hazardous to be used in the US (shows a) hideous disrespect for millions of people and the environment around the world,” Margaret Reeves, a senior scientist at Pesticide Action Network North America, told me today.

“There is simply no reason to continue its use and many reasons to ban its use altogether.”


Senior Scientist Jen Sass

It was three years ago, after years of bickering among EPA pesticide experts, public health activists and the chemical manufacturers that the agency finally said publicly that the use of the pesticide must be ended.

EPA said it was beyond dispute that significant dietary, environmental and farm worker risks existed from exposure to carbofuran.

Dr. Jennifer Sass, chief scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said that initial word from EPA was that although uses of the pesticide in the U.S. would be cancelled, it would still be allowed as a contaminant on imported coffee, sugarcane, rice and bananas.

This, Sass said, would have meant that the manufacturer could still sell carbofuran in other countries that grow these foods for U.S. markets, thus putting at much greater risk those foreign workers, their families and their environment.

But apparently the restrictions issued by EPA on Monday also slash the amount of carbofuran residue limits (tolerances) permitted on all food imports.
“EPA’s decision will prevent all food contamination, including imports,” Sass said on her well-read blog.

However, the company is not going to sit quietly and allow this to happen.

FMC Corporation strongly disagrees with the EPA’s announcement to revoke all U.S. food tolerances for carbofuran, and the company plans to file objections to the agency’s actions and seek an administrative hearing, said Dr. Michael Morelli, Director of Global Regulatory Affairs for the company, on FMC’s website.

“President Obama has committed EPA to regulate on the basis of sound science, and FMC is confident that a fair hearing based on sound scientific principles will prove carbofuran’s safety to the satisfaction of all,” Morelli said.

If you care about the technical language, here is a link to EPA’s cancellation notice.

April 2, 2009

Here is another wonderful example of better living through nanotechnology. Maybe.

Filed under: Food Safety,Nanotechnology,Pesticides — Andrew Schneider @ 14:26

It sounds great on the surface as many ideas do.

Scientists at Cornell University think they’ve solved a widespread public health problem that endangers the health of farm workers and people who live near farms – the drifting of pesticides from the crops where they’re applied to the air that people breathe.

The researchers are encapsulating pesticides in biodegradable nanofibers.
The research team – Chunhui Xiang and Prof. Margaret Frey, an associate professor of fiber science in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology – say using the techniques will keep the pesticides intact until needed and minimize loss to drift or being washed away from the plants they are intended to protect.

Margaret Frey, an associate professor of fiber science in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology and Chunhui Xiang, led the research.  File photo by Cornell University

Margaret Frey, an associate professor of fiber science in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology and Chunhui Xiang, led the research. File photo by Cornell University

“Our technology will decrease the amount of pesticides applied, which is good for the environment,” said Xiang.

The researchers say the new technology also extends how long the pesticides remain effective and improves the safety of applications.

“The chemical is protected, so it won’t degrade from being exposed to air and water,” Frey said. “It also keeps the chemical where it needs to be and allows it to time-release.”

The nano delivery system is created by electrospinning solutions of cellulose, the pesticide and PLA – a polymer derived from cornstarch.

To find out if pesticides delivered this way could really work, another group working with Prof. Michael Hoffmann planted squares of pesticide-loaded fabrics with pole bean seeds in greenhouses on campus.

Pesticide delivered from the fabric effectively controlled white flies on the bean plants, he said.

“It’s the tip of the iceberg,” Frey said.

And that’s precisely what’s concerning many who worry about the safety of food and leads to obvious questions being raised:

*  Will the nonmaterial enter the flesh of the food it’s protecting?

*  Can it be washed off?

*  Can the residue of the pesticides be accurately measured?

“I wish I knew more about it,” says Dr, Charles Benbrook, chief scientist for The Organic Center, a food public advocacy group.

He says that progress in delaying the delivery of a pesticide will cut both ways,

“It will extend the time while the active ingredient is around, but it will also lower the dose available at any point in time, which means the total amount of pesticide delivered will need to be increased,” said Benbrook who was the director of the National Academies of Science’ agricultural board.

“The concept of delayed-release delivery of pesticides is seductive on many levels, but likely will pose new challenges and lead to a new generation of unintended consequences,” Benbrook added.

February 19, 2009

Toxic crusader still scorned by small town politicians

If there were a poster child for the overused saying that “no good deeds go unpunished,” it would be Patty Martin.

Chuck Allen, a reporter for the Quincy Valley Post Register, wrote a story today about the Quincy City Council unanimously tdefeating the appointment of former mayor Martin as the city recreation director.

You’ve got to read Allen’s story to see why this is so absurd.

Regrading the vote, Martin told the reporter that, “I’m sorry I’m such a threat. It wasn’t about whether or not I could do the job. It’s about making sure a person who stood up to do the right thing and against something that was illegal doesn’t have a voice.”

It was a decade ago that Martin, then the mayor of Quincy, Washington, a 2-square-mile town about 160 miles east of Seattle, took on the agri-chemical industry.
She was worried about the harm to consumers and farm workers that might come from the very common practice of using industrial waste as fertilizer on the potatoes, apples, wheat, corn and vegetables produced on the hundreds of thousand of irrigated areas in the Quincy Valley.

She and some concerned farmers found that there was illegal dumping of hazardous waste, which, because of bizarre EPA rules magically became “safe” when it was called fertilizer.

Many local farmers hated her. Major agricultural chemical companies expressed evil wishes about her well being. Her enemies included global corporations feared her crusade would somehow get the attention of the outside world and USDA and EPA might crack down on the dangerous practice.

Restraint and subtly were unheard of in the assaults on her and her farmers.

Duff Wilson, one of the nation’s best investigative reporters, worked for the Seattle Times when he learned of the mayor’s battle. For months he chased the story and did a fantastic job of documenting the toxic dangers and corporate and government shenanigans surrounding this public health atrocity. He was a finalist for Pulitzer Prize for public servive for his work.

Wilson’s 2001 book, Fateful Harvest, gets to the heart of an environmental crime that continues today, albeit somewhat better hidden.

I covered hearings and public meetings where policy makers in EPA headquarters used Martin’s findings and Wilson’s work to try to halt the toxic waste shell game. However, the Bush White House, buckled to the agri-chemcial lobby and ordered the OMB to stifle the new regulations.

Today, Wilson, who is doing his reporting magic for the New York Times, told me that Martin “helped expose and reform” the dangerous practice.

“As a result of her calling this to public attention when she was mayor of Quincy eight years ago, many states reformed their fertilizer rules and set limits on these so-called toxic tag-alongs in fertilizer,” Wilson wrote me in an email.

“It’s sad for me to see that (she) continues to suffer retaliation in her hometown for trying to make fertilizer, farming and food safer.”

For more of the story on what Martin did and Wilson wrote, check out this link and ask how much of this is still happening.

August 18, 2008

Toxic paranoia: 300 compounds in coffee?

We do a lot of griping and finger-pointing when it comes to pesticides used in food production. It’s obvious that we don’t want to feed our kids anything doused with the best that Monsanto, Dow, Bayer and other corporations in the “better living through chemistry” club crank out. But neither do most of the farmers I know and I’ve talked to many since I begun this blog.

Among the most devoted, cautious parents of ankle-grabbers that I know, few serve a total organic-only menu, and that was even before the towering gas prices jacked up almost all food � organic and otherwise. Imagine red peppers at $3.50 each, and that’s conventional grown.

I have long planned to write about pesticides and the economics of food. Well, Scotland on Sunday beat me to it. Nevertheless, here’s a couple of points that I do want to make.

Toxic paranoia: Scientist says 300 compounds in coffee aroma, including some that cause cancer in animals.

Imported produce � fruits and vegetables � are cheaper than our domestic crops. In part, this is due to far lower labor costs, which is obvious to most. What may not be as evident is that it is cheaper to grow almost anything if you’re free to use any pesticide and as much of it as you’d like.

Remember, our warm and cuddly chemical corporation sell chemicals that have been banned in the U.S. and EU as too toxic to food and too dangerous to farm workers, everyplace else on the globe that their army of high pressure salesmen work. (Yes, I said salesmen, because I’m told that most of them are.)

In an attempt to avert a whole bunch of hostile email, allow me to acknowledge that there are some overseas growers who are as careful and caring as the best U.S. farmer. However, many will dump on any chemical they can on their crops to kill weeds, black spots, nasty bugs and all the other agricultural blights that plague farmers around the globe.


August 5, 2008

Draft pesticide guide. Will it survive?

A coalition of health and hazardous-materials agencies from King County, Seattle and 38 neighboring communities have done an admirable and rapid job in redesigning a controversial wallet-size shopper’s guide to pesticide-safe produce.

Last month, I reported that the coalition � the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program � pulled the popular card from its Web site and the printed material it distributes around the county.

Agri-business and farmer’s groups had pressured the agency to dump the card that listed the fruits and vegetables containing the highest and lowest amount of pesticide residue. They also objected that the back of the card discussed hazardous household products.

The most vocal group, Washington Friends of Farms and Forests, insisted the card � which was based on data from the USDA � endangered the survival of local farmers, but didn’t really explain why.

Nevertheless, the coalition’s new boss, Jay Watson, pulled the card, saying, “The design of the card is flawed” and “The information was oversimplified. It doesn’t address the scientific uncertainly (of pesticides).”

Watson sent the draft of the new card to several academics, toxicologists, organic food specialists and agricultural experts and he asked for all their recommendation by tomorrow so the card can be approved and reissued quickly.

Also, the back of the card is now a guide to the purchasing and safe handling of produce.
I was able to contact five of the “reviewers.” Most said they were impress and thought the new, more inclusive listing was an improvement. A couple liked it, but still suggested additional, but minor changes.

From my perspective, one of the most relevant changes is that, unlike the earlier card, this one includes imported food products which often have much higher level of pesticides than domestically grown crops.

The rankings on the new card are not based on USDA data but rather, the EPA dietary risk index that weighs many more factors. The index was created when Congress order the EPA to determine the amount of pesticides that children were consuming in their diet. This Inspector General report offers more information on EPA’s efforts.

I was not able to contact the three reviewers from the state Agriculture Department or the ag associations, so it will be interesting to see what the final card will look like.

July 30, 2008

Top EPA boss asked to resign

The Environmental Protection Agency’s first administrator to have come up through the ranks has been invited to avoid the likely January rush of fleeing agency heads. Stephen Johnson has been asked to resign now.

The invitation came yesterday from four senior senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee who charged that Johnson had given misleading testimony before Congress; refused to cooperate with congressional oversight; and based agency decision-making on political considerations rather than scientific evidence or the rule of law.

In English, that means that Johnson took his marching orders from the White House rather than the often-ignored army of environmental and health scientists who occupy the agency’s HQ, labs and regional offices.

The Democratic senators sent a lengthy letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey asking that the Justice Department investigate whether Johnson lied under oath while testifying for the committee.

EPA’s Stephen Johnson

The committee members contend that there are contradictions between Johnson’s testimony and the testimony of others regarding the circumstances surrounding EPA’s denial of California’s request for a waiver under the Clean Air Act so it could set strong standards for global warming emissions from vehicles.

Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer said the committee had lost all confidence in Johnson’s ability to carry out EPA’s mission in accordance with the law. Insisting that Johnson has become a “secretive and dangerous ally of polluters” Boxer, from California, called on him to immediately resign his position.

According to the Associated Press, Johnson plans to keep his job. EPA spokesman Tim Lyons said that the administrator’s statements and testimonies before Congress have been truthful and that he will not step down.

Johnson has 27 years with the agency and before becoming the EPA’s 11th administrator in 2005, he headed the agency’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. It wasn’t long before the glee and excitement that many felt at having one of their own heading the agency dissipated as an increasing number of scientific decisions were tainted by political desires.

“Administrator Johnson has done the bidding of the Bush administration and its political allies without hesitation or question,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a former U.S. attorney and attorney general for Rhode Island.

“He has acted, consistently and routinely, without regard for the law or the determinations of the courts; he has damaged the mission, the morale, and the integrity of his great department; and he has betrayed his solemn duty to Americans who depend on him to protect their health and environment.”

On Dec. 19, 2007, Johnson denied a request by California for a waiver of the Clean Air Act that would permit the states to set tough standards on global warming pollution from motor vehicles. He testified that the decision was “mine and mine alone.”

However, last week, Johnson’s former No. 1 person — Jason Burnett — testified under oath that the administrator intended to grant California the waiver but bowed to White House orders not to do so.

Johnson has angered many congressional Democrats and more than a few Republicans because he has repeatedly refused to appear before committees seeking answers on agency action or lack thereof.

July 25, 2008

Imported produce getting a free ride?

Filed under: FDA,Food labeling,Food Safety,Pesticides,Risks to children,Sustainable food — Andrew Schneider @ 16:00

On the 19th, we ran in the PI a story in the P-I on a hazmat coalition involving King Country and three dozen other political entities that removed from its Web site and handout materials a wallet-sized shopping guide to
which fruits and vegetables contained the most and least pesticides.

The story explained that agri-business groups had urged the county to get rid of the guide. Washington Friends of Farms and Forests said failure to do so would end the very existence of local farmers.

And, as happens every time I write about pesticide residue in our food, my mailbox became clogged with opinions and suggestions from four continents. Really, four.

Some requests are anatomically impossible to comply with. Others are easy to address. For example, here is the link to the guide that the county says it’s rewriting. The data on which the card was based came from USDA analysis of more than 50,000 samples of food.

One thing that I could have stressed when talking about the card was that in most cases, even when residue from five or six different pesticides was found, the total amount of chemical present was usually infinitesimal.

Some of the mail came from people who said they were family farmers “already hanging on by their fingernails.”

I called a few of them to chat and their stories were similar: “Cards like this force people to buy organic.” Or, “we can’t compete with imported food because their labor costs are a fraction of ours and they can, and do, use all the pesticides they need.” Both true.

I also spoke to consumers who said they want to “buy local” because they trust American farmers, but they find that much of the non-organic food on the shelves come from many other countries. A thought repeated by several.

About six of the “farmers” with whom I chatted said they belonged to Ag groups like the “Friends of Farmers” mentioned above. When I asked them why their associations didn’t buy billboards or raise hell about imported food and the lack of government inspection, or why, at least they didn’t demand action from their congressional reps, to whom their groups or umbrella political action campaigns always donate, they replied “good question.”

Interestingly, two of the famers — one from Yakama and the other from Montana — both reminded me that people from the chemical companies that make pesticides sit on the boards of their associations and contribute a good bit of money to keep the groups going.

They also raised the obvious fact that the U.S. chemical companies sell pesticides that are banned in this country all over they world. Thus, looking too hard at what’s comiing back on imported produce would probably not get their support.

Nevertheless, I think I’ll look a bit closer at who’s watching the imports and I’m open to suggestions on where to look.

July 24, 2008

EPA can’t win on pesticide actions

In the chaotic and weird world of regulating agricultural chemicals, EPA gets praised for banning one pesticide and sued for not banning another, all on the same day.

This morning, a lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco against the EPA to stop the continued use of a pesticide called endosulfan, which has already been banned by the European Union and 20 other countries, according to Kathryn Gilje, director of the Pesticide Action Network.

The suit, which was brought by a coalition of farm worker, public health and environmental groups demands that the EPA ban endosulfan, which is a DDT-like organochlorine. The groups charge that endosulfan is persistent in the environment and poisons humans and wildlife both in agricultural areas and in regions far from where it was applied.

“This dangerous and antiquated pesticide should have been off the market years ago,” said Karl Tupper, a staff scientist with Pesticide Action Network. “The fact that EPA is still allowing the use of a chemical this harmful shows just how broken our regulatory system is.”

Acute poisoning from endosulfan can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, and in extreme cases, unconsciousness and even death.

A 2007 study found that children exposed to endosulfan in the first trimester of pregnancy had a significantly greater risk for developing autism spectrum disorders. In addition, endosulfan has been found in food supplies, drinking water and in the tissues and breast milk of pregnant mothers, the suit states.

“Congress gave EPA the duty to protect the public from dangerous pesticides,” said Joshua Osborne-Klein, a Seattle-based attorney for Earthjustice who is representing the coalition. “EPA’s decision to keep endosulfan on the market despite the well-documented risks to children and wildlife is dangerous and illegal.”

Mae Wu, health attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, added: “When EPA doesn’t consider how a hazardous pesticide could impact the health of children, it is breaking the law. She called EPA’s approach to reviewing the safety of this chemical “flawed and dangerous – but also illegal.”

However, when it comes to another ag chemical, carbofuran, EPA has taken a surprisingly forceful and unusual action to protect children by revoking its license to be used.

The insecticide was initially approved by EPA to control pests in soil and on leaves in a variety of field, fruit, and vegetable crops – mostly corn, alfalfa, and potatoes – but now the agency has concluded that “that dietary, worker, and ecological risks are of concern for all uses of carbofuran. ”

“All products containing carbofuran generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on humans and the environment and do not meet safety standards,” the agency said in a statement. And added, “Due to considerable risks associated with carbofuran in food and drinking water, EPA is revoking the regulations that allow carbofuran residues in food. ”

Even though less than a million pounds of the chemical is applied in the U.S., the USDA opposed EPA’s action, saying the carbrfuran is “economically important.” Nevertheless, EPA stuck to its plans.

“Because dietary exposures to infants and children are of particular concern, the Agency is moving to revoke carbofuran tolerances first, before canceling carbofuran registrations,” said the EPA.

This is the first time in 20 years that the EPA has initiated regulatory action against a
registered pesticide,” said agency Spokesman Dale Kemery.

When a pesticide poses risks of unreasonable adverse effects and does not meet the agency’s food safety standard, EPA first tries to reach a voluntary agreement with the registrant, the manufacturer, to phase out or immediately terminate uses.

EPA had no indication that the manufacturer, FMC Corporation, would undertake a voluntary cancellation of carbofuran, explained Kemery.

“So we are moving ahead with tolerance revocation, an important step in the broader process of canceling all uses of carbofuran in the U.S.” he said.

EPA establishes tolerances for pesticides that may be found on foods, and can also revoke tolerances to better safeguard public health and the environment.

“EPA is finally doing the right thing with carbofuran, after years of people demanding that it be banned,” said Earthjustice’s Osborne-Klein. “EPA needs to do the same thing with endosulfan. Americans don’t want these poisons in our food, children, and environment.”

For far more details and background, check out Jen Sass’ blog at the NRDC.

May 19, 2008

Scientists urge EPA to ban endosulfan

The EU and 20 other countries have banned the use of the pesticide endosulfan, but the U.S. continues to permits its application on crops even though it is known to harm the hormone system, and low levels of exposure in the womb have been linked to male reproductive harm, other birth defects and possibly autism.

Today, more than 55 international scientists, medical doctors, nurses, other health professionals and Tribal governments and Indigenous groups in the Arctic sent a letter to the EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson urging him to phase out endosulfan.

Johnson is considered to be a man who never met a pesticide that he didn’t like by some of the scientists who worked with him before the White House made him the EPA boss. That allegation aside, public concern against endosulfan is well known in the agency. Petitions with more than 13,000 signatures urging the withdrawal of endosulfan’s registration were submitted earlier this year.

That registration is now under review by EPA, with the agency’s own analysis showing that farmers and workers applying endosulfan are exposed to unacceptably high levels of the pesticide, said Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“It is time to take this dangerous and antiquated pesticide off the market,” says Sass. “The scientific evidence clearly shows that the continued use of this chemical puts the health of exposed farm workers, communities and the environment at risk.”

Dr. Sass’ blog has more information and links to the letters sent to the EPA.

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