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Pesticide industry lobbied $33M last year to influence legislative process, fighting vigorously to keep dangerous products on market


Pesticides
(NaturalNews) Love him or hate him, there's no denying that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has sparked a renewed national conversation about the problem of special interest corruption in Washington. And perhaps no entity is now more in the spotlight as a result of Trump's candid indictments than the chemical industry, which lobbies American politicians to the tune of tens of millions of dollars every single year, just to keep its dangerous and often unnecessary pesticides and herbicides on the market.

It's something we here at NaturalNews have been warning about for years: Agricultural chemicals, contrary to chemical industry claims, are harming our precious pollinators at an alarming rate. Neonicotinoids, for instance, a class of systemic insecticides that are already banned throughout much of Europe, have been scientifically shown to harm bees and other pollinators, and yet they remain commercially available to American farmers at the behest of a powerful and well-funded chemical cabal.

Further evidence of this special interest corruption is presented in a new report by Friends of the Earth (FoE) entitled Buzz Kill: How the Pesticide Industry is Clipping the Wings of Bee Protection Efforts Across the U.S. It reveals that large chemical companies like Dow, Bayer CropScience, DuPont, CropLife, Syngenta and Monsanto collectively spend upwards of $33 million annually lobbying for their products to remain on the market, even when science shows that these chemicals are killing bees and threatening our food supply.

In 2015, the Dow Chemical Company forked over nearly $11 million to fight federal and state efforts to curb agricultural chemical use, even when it threatens pollinators like honeybees, without which we would no longer be able to grow foods like almonds and citrus fruits. During the same year, Monsanto spent more than $4.3 million with the same goal in mind: to block any meaningful regulation from being enacted which would protect our pollinators.

"On the federal and state levels, the industry's pattern is to support studies, task forces and advisory committees which do not focus on pesticides, while vigorously opposing any legislation targeting research or regulations on neonicotinoids," the FoE reports explains, adding that the chemical industry is now actively thwarting all efforts at the federal level to rein in the out-of-control overuse of harmful crop chemicals.

"In states which explore pollinator protection laws, agrichemical corporations, farm bureaus and other agribusiness groups have lobbied intensively to ensure that reforms do not ban or limit neonicotinoids."

White House 'Pollinator Task Force' a diversion to protect chemical company interests, not pollinators

Unbeknownst to the general public at large, the chemical industry has been working overtime in the background to redirect the regulatory focus away from chemical companies and onto beekeepers, the very folks whose livelihoods are at stake from the constant threat of chemical destruction. The White House's "Pollinator Task Force," which was supposed to have addressed this chemical threat on behalf of bees, has instead gone after the victims of the problem rather than the problem itself.

"Years of work behind the scenes by industry advocates paid off big time," reported Pest Control Technology magazine back in May 2015, after the Obama administration released its honeybee health strategy, which intentionally left out neonicotinoids from the list of threats that honeybees face.

"Overall, we were pleased with the outcome," admitted Jim Fredericks, vice president of technical and regulatory affairs at the pro-chemical National Pest Management Association, concerning the direction the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would now take under the direction of the Obama administration.

As to how this castrated regulatory reform will affect the interests of the chemical industry at large, Fredericks added that it's, "not so much going to impact the structural pest management industry." In other words, it's just business as usual in the Administration of "Change," which has done nothing but further this chemical holocaust that's destroying our land, our pollinators and our food supply.

Sources for this article include:

Webiva-Downton.S3.Amazonaws.com[PDF]

CommonDreams.org

FoodForensics.com
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