EPA Moves To Ban Potentially Dangerous Pesticide From Domestic And Imported Food

The EPA has announced that it intends to ban a pesticide, carbofuran, from both domestic and imported food because of the danger it poses to “general population” particularly small children. The pesticide isn’t commonly used in the United States but is popular in developing nations and is sprayed on “crops including rice, bananas, coffee and sugar cane,” according to the Washington Post.

“This is a product that we don’t believe meets our high standards for the general population, particularly for small children who are more sensitive,” said James Gulliford, EPA associate administrator for the office of prevention, pesticides and toxic substances. “While there is little exposure today [to the pesticide], we don’t think there’s a need, a reason for any exposure.”

While the pesticide is potentially dangerous for humans, it’s definitely dangerous for birds.

There is no question that carbofuran exacts a toll on wildlife: A 2006 EPA document examining the pesticide’s environmental effects found that if a flock of mallard ducks wandered into an alfalfa field within a week after the chemical was applied, 84 percent of the birds would die. The pesticide also kills bees, which have experienced an unexplained massive population collapse in recent years.


In Surprise Move, EPA Bans Carbofuran Residue on Food
[Washington Post]

Comments

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  1. eross says:

    Obviously, someone at EPA is ready to lose his/her job–I’m sure this will be retracted as soon as someone in the white House hears about it.

  2. Aeroracere says:

    Oh hey, what a surprise… it affects basically every staple crop. That won’t be terrible.

  3. ARP says:

    @eross: Yes, or perhaps they won’t open their email [Google it] with the conclusion that it’s dangerous.

    Why don’t we let the free market decide? Those who are stupid enough to buy these crops deserve the health problems they get. We should let the industry self-regulate and tell us if they think their product is dangerous. It’s worked so well with the FDA with drugs and our food supply.

  4. If they take out the pesticides, the same thing will happen as when they took the dolphin out of tuna. It will taste horrible.

  5. stinerman says:

    @ARP:

    That assumes there’s a free market. Free markets only work optimally when consumers have perfect information about all prices and products they are willing to buy. Perfect information is pretty hard to come by, which is why free markets don’t usually work as advertised.

    And then I can’t tell if you’re serious or not.

  6. TVarmy says:

    @ARP: These are commodity crops. They get mixed with the safe crops, show up in processed food, and make people who don’t have time to read about every health threat sick. Also, it hurts the environment as a whole when these chemicals wash into the water table. That hurts both the savvy and un-savvy.

  7. The_Gas_Man says:

    84% of the birds who come in contact with it die? Ouch. Sounds like this pesticide works a little too well.

  8. organicgardener says:

    Any chemical has an effect on the natural world. I don’t use pesticides nor do I want them on/in my food/water table. Chemicals have been found everywhere, even in deep-sea creatures, so you know they circulate in the environment and penetrate tissue. There are many alternative methods of pest and disease control that are non-chemical and perfectly effective. Why inundate the earth with chemicals???

  9. MorrisseyTheCat says:

    Mozzer no like pests in meh foods!