Dow Chemical bluntly asked the Trump administration to “set aside” research showing three of the organophosphate pesticides it manufactures pose threats to endangered species in letters obtained and published by the Associated Press on Thursday (April 20).
The company, along with chemical manufacturers Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc. (also known as Adama) and FMC Corporation, requested the government to “direct that any effort to prepare biological opinions based on them be set aside,” according to one letter, sent to US Department of Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross.
The research in question was conducted by federal scientists, who concluded that three common organophosphate pesticides—chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion—posed a threat to almost 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species, or nearly every species the scientists studied, according to the AP. The scientists’ “biological assessment,” 10,000 pages compiling nearly four years of research, is under consideration by the three federal agencies responsible for enforcing the Endangered Species Act; the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of the Interior are expected to put out new regulations for the chemicals soon.
One of the pesticides, chlorpyrifos, has also previously been found to cause brain damage in children. Despite the conclusions of his agency’s own scientists, Scott Pruitt, the administrator for the US Environmental Protection Agency which sets limits of toxins that affect human health, chose not to ban chlorpyrifos in a blockbuster decision that made headlines last month. . .