Who can find the most anxiety-provoking news story of the day?
How about this story about the end of US regulation of the carcinogenic chemical atrazine? This isn't a story of the day...actually the linked stories are all pretty old, but as far as I can see, the regulation hasn't been restored, although the EU has by now banned the use of atrazine entirely. In fact, according to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the EPA is making .illegal deals with pesticide companies. Back in February, when I was a little preoccupied with other things, it seems that the NRDC sued the EPA and found that:
"The EPA's secret, backroom deals with pesticide makers are clearly against the law, and they're a threat to our health," said NRDC attorney Aaron Colangelo. "EPA is required to make independent decisions on pesticide safety, instead of negotiating deals with the chemical industry."
According to government records obtained by NRDC through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, EPA officials met secretly more than 40 times with representatives from atrazine's main manufacturer, Syngenta, while the agency was evaluating the weed-killer's toxicity. Ultimately the agency agreed to allow atrazine to stay on the market even though the chemical has contaminated drinking water sources across the country. (See EPA Won't Restrict Toxic Herbicide Atrazine, Despite Health Threat.) The EPA also has been involved in private negotiations with the chemical company Amvac over the status of the insecticide DDVP (dichlorvos), which it sells under a number of trade names, including "No-Pest Strips." These negotiations violate EPA's regulations and federal law, specifically the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Freedom of Information Act, according to NRDC's lawsuit.