Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

10 Times as Much of This Toxic Pesticide Could End Up on Your Tomatoes and Celery Under a New EPA Proposal

ProPublica: “When you bite into a piece of celery, there’s a fair chance that it will be coated with a thin film of a toxic pesticide called acephate. The bug killer — also used on tomatoes, cranberries, Brussels sprouts and other fruits and vegetables — belongs to a class of compounds linked to autism, hyperactivity and reduced scores on intelligence tests in children. But rather than banning the pesticide, as the European Union did more than 20 years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed easing restrictions on acephate. The federal agency’s assessment lays out a plan that would allow 10 times more acephate on food than is acceptable under the current limits. The proposal was based in large part on the results of a new battery of tests that are performed on disembodied cells rather than whole lab animals. After exposing groups of cells to the pesticide, the agency found “little to no evidence” that acephate and a chemical created when it breaks down in the body harm the developing brain, according to an August 2023 EPA document. The EPA is moving ahead with the proposal despite multiple studies linking acephate to developmental problems in children and lab rats, and despite warnings from several scientific groups against using the new tests on cells to relax regulations, interviews and records reviewed by ProPublica show. To create the new tests designed to measure the impact of chemicals on the growing brain, the EPA worked with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which comprises some of the world’s wealthiest democratic countries and conducts research on economic, social and scientific issues. The OECD has warned against using the tests to conclude a chemical does not interfere with the brain’s development…”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.