EPA needs to monitor pesticides better

Apparently, the US has been asleep at the helm for years when we should have been much more closely monitoring the alarming and increasing use of herbicides and pesticides in our crops, fields and yards. Atrazine, a chemical widely banned across Europe since 2004, is finally coming under the scrutiny of our own government, and it’s about time.

The Huffington Post tell us,

Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the U.S. An estimated 76 million pounds of the chemical are sprayed on corn and other fields in the U.S. each year, sometimes ending up in rivers, streams, and drinking water supplies. It has been the focus of intense scientific debate over its potential to cause cancer, birth defects, and hormonal and reproductive problems. As the Huffington Post Investigative Fund reported in a series of articles last fall, the EPA failed to warn the public that the weed-killer had been found at levels above federal safety limits in drinking water in at least four states. Some water utilities are suing Syngenta to have it pay their costs of filtering the chemical. read more

Environmental vigilance pays – money

In the race to compete in a global economic recovery, the U.S. may have a secret weapon against rivals like China and even economies closer to ours, such as Canada. China may be graduating more engineers and scientists; Canada may have a better health care system; but the U.S. has an unlikely secret weapon that has put American companies and workers in a position to race ahead of the pack for years to come — the Environmental Protection Agency.

While some in Congress, and any number of business leaders, have moaned about environmental regulations, especially the EPA’s nascent efforts to curb carbon emissions, the truth is that thoughtful protection of the environment saves money and lives, which makes America more competitive. By sharp contrast, the Washington D.C. based International Fund for China’s Environment estimates that China must spend at least 2 percent of its GDP annually — over $100 billion — to clean up decades of pollution which now threaten food production, public health, and worker productivity. Without this investment, China will lose far more. read more