(December 30, 2019) – We know that “Trump unleashes brain damaging pesticide” sounds “over the top.” It’s also true. We know that a popular pesticide – chlorpyrifos – damages brains. We know that for a fact. We know that it causes birth injuries that last forever. It causes mental retardation. We also know the EPA banned it for home use way back in the year 2000. We know that even the industry-captured EPA has admitted that there is no safe level of exposure for chlorpyrifos. We also know an Obama-era mandate was put in place to completely remove this poison from the market even for “industrial” farming, for golf courses, and for any other private or public spaces. So what happened? The Trump administration reversed the ban on this nerve gas pesticide. Why?
Why Poison Us All?
It is one thing for President Trump to undo anything the Obama administration did simply because “Obama did it.” We can all understand personal animosity and ideological hatreds to the point of total blindness. We might find such behavior unreasonable, senseless, or even just plain stupid; but we can at least understand it, if only in some low intuitive way. Nevertheless, we have to ask what, in the name of all that is holy and reasonable (or hell, just reasonable), can have occurred to make President Trump undo what is only sensible? Why would anyone with a pulse knowingly expose every living thing, including himself, to a poison derived from a nerve gas created by Nazi Germany?
Chlorpyrifos’ Nazi Origins
This is a fact: Chlorpyrifos is derived from the same class of chemicals as a nerve gas designed to kill, or at least disable, people, actual human beings. The Nazis – with direct assistance from IG Farben Bayer – developed their nerve gas to attack and damage the central nervous system to the point of death. To that unlovely end, chlorpyrifos also happens to damage or kill all manner of birds, bees, and other wildlife. (Can you remember all the birdsong we used to hear almost anywhere in this country? Can we please turn off our little “personal” devices for just one second, sometime, the next time we’re outside, say, and notice if any birds are singing nearby? Are there any canaries left alive in this coal mine we call “our” country?)
Chlorpyrifos and Mental Retardation
Chlorpyfiros is especially horrific for children whose mothers were exposed to it while pregnant. Hundreds of chlorpyrifos pesticide lawsuits have been filed in California for children who were born mentally retarded because they were developing in their mother’s womb when she was exposed to chlorpyrifos. Those children will always be damaged. They had no chance from the start, because the EPA, despite knowing the horrors of chlorpyrifos, succumbed to industry and political pressure (Read: money) to let it remain on the market for chemical company profits.
Dow Chemical’s $1 Million Gift to Trump
The money trail for President Trump’s executive decision to allow chlorpyrifos to remain on the market by overturning its planned ban is astonishingly easy to follow. Dow Chemical gave President-elect Trump $1 million for his inauguration. President Trump, Dow executives, and shareholders must imagine that they breathe different air, drink different water, eat different food than the rest of us do. Because chlorpyrifos is now found everywhere, in everything. And just because you don’t have a grapefruit-sized tumor growing from your neck doesn’t mean that chlorpyrifos and/or thousands of other lesser known dangerous pesticides – released without meaningful safety reviews by the EPA – are not affecting you or your children in some insidious way.
Chlorpyrifos: Mental Retardation, Lung Cancer, Parkinson”s
It is indisputable that chlorpyrifos belongs to a class of chemicals developed as a nerve gas made by Nazi Germany. It is indisputable that chlorpyrifos is now found in food, air and drinking water. Indisputable that human and animal studies show it damages the brain, reduces human IQ’s, causes mental retardation and tremors in children. It has also been linked to lung cancer and Parkinson’s disease in adults.
President Trump’s poisoning public discourse with his two favorite types of tweets – angry and angrier – may not prove to be his greatest contribution. His greatest legacy may come from helping Dow and other chemical companies — like Bayer/Monsanto, which his EPA has vowed to support – lower the IQ’s of most human beings, give more people the gift of cancer, and destroy the developing brains of children.