Tuesday, April 15, 2014

‘Poison Spring:’ decades of lax enforcement by the EPA

Many Americans are probably only remotely aware they might have been made vulnerable to a decades-long saturation of their environment by a showering of toxic chemicals on their food crops, with little apparent protection by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Former EPA staffer E.G. Vallianatos, with environmental writer McKay Jenkins, reveals the politics that have delivered us to this place.
Having spent most of his 25-year career (1979-2004) in the EPA’s Office of Pesticides Programs, Vallianatos saw firsthand not only the science that found toxicity in the pesticides Big Agriculture has been applying to crops, but how those discoveries played out within a highly politicized EPA over five presidential administrations.
Vallianatos (the book is written in his first-person voice) cites the case of Cate Jenkins, an EPA scientist who in the early 1990s blew the whistle on what she considered to be Monsanto’s fraudulent claim that exposure to dioxin — “the most toxic chemical ever known to man,” according to the EPA, and a substance Monsanto used in making a wood preservative — did not cause cancer in workers.
The EPA, according to Vallianatos, had relied on Monsanto’s own dioxin studies to determine dioxin’s danger to the community, and Jenkins claimed Monsanto had falsified its results by, among other things, excluding workers with cancer from its studies.
READ MORE: http://seattletimes.com/html/books/2023340701_poisonspringxml.html

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