Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Democratic Bill Banning Toxic Pesticides Applauded as 'Much-Needed' Step to Protect Kids and Planet

Politics
Democratic Bill Banning Toxic Pesticides Applauded as 'Much-Needed' Step to Protect Kids and Planet

Democrats in the House and Senate have introduced legislation to ban some of the most toxic pesticides currently in use in the U.S. D-Keine / E+ / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Democrats in the House and Senate on Tuesday introduced sweeping legislation that would ban some of the most toxic pesticides currently in use in the U.S. and institute stronger protections for farmworkers and communities that have been exposed to damaging chemicals by the agriculture industry.



The Protect America's Children from Toxic Pesticide Act of 2020, sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), was applauded by environmentalists as a "bold and much-needed" step in the right direction.

"The pesticide industry and chemical agriculture have for far too long been able to abuse legal loopholes allowing for the use of toxic pesticides that have not been adequately tested to make sure they are safe for people and the environment," said Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group. "The Udall-Neguse plan will rein in this largely unchecked explosion of pesticide use by agriculture and give the EPA much stronger authority to protect the public."

According to a summary of the bill released by Neguse's office, the legislation would ban:

  • Organophosphate insecticides, which are designed to target the neurological system and have been linked to neurodevelopmental damage in children;
  • Neonicotinoid insecticides, which have contributed to pollinator collapse around the world; and
  • Paraquat, which is one of the most acutely toxic herbicides in the world.

If passed, the bill would end the use of chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate pesticide linked to brain damage in children. Last July, as Common Dreams reported, President Donald Trump's Environmental Protection Agency rejected a petition by environmental and public health groups to ban chlorpyrifos despite evidence of the pesticide's neurotoxic effects.

"Our nation's pesticide laws have not kept up to keep us safe," Udall said in a statement. "The United States sprays a total of over a billion pounds of pesticides each year on the food we feed to our children, exposing them to dangerous chemicals linked to brain damage and diseases like Parkinson's."

"It is long past time for the United States Congress to turn attention to this issue," Udall added, "and put the health and safety of our families above the profits of large corporations."

Daniel Savery, senior legislative representative at Earthjustice, said in a statement that the the Udall-Neguse bill "says what we all know to be true: that nerve agents have no place on our food, in our workplaces, and in our communities."

"Earthjustice is grateful for the leadership of Senator Udall and Representative Neguse," said Savery, "and we stand with our farmworker partners in support of this bill."

Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.

Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth on April 2, 2012 in Western Australia. James D. Morgan / Getty Images News

By Dana M Bergstrom, Euan Ritchie, Lesley Hughes and Michael Depledge

In 1992, 1,700 scientists warned that human beings and the natural world were "on a collision course." Seventeen years later, scientists described planetary boundaries within which humans and other life could have a "safe space to operate." These are environmental thresholds, such as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and changes in land use.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A 3-hour special film by EarthxTV calls for protection of the Amazon and its indigenous populations. EarthxTV.org

To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.

Read More Show Less

Trending

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivers a video speech at the high-level meeting of the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland on Feb. 22, 2021. Xinhua / Zhang Cheng via Getty Images

By Anke Rasper

"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report, released Friday, looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs. The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less
New Delhi's smog is particularly thick, increasing the risk of vehicle accidents. SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP via Getty Images

India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?

Read More Show Less
A bridge over the Delaware river connects New Hope, Pennsylvania with Lambertville, New Jersey. Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

In a historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted Thursday to ban hydraulic fracking in the region. The ban was supported by all four basin states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — putting a permanent end to hydraulic fracking for natural gas along the 13,539-square-mile basin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Read More Show Less