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New report reveals EPA assesses toxicity of pesticides individually, while ignoring environmental impacts of chemical cocktails


(NaturalNews) It's no secret that agrochemical companies will beg, borrow and steal to protect their financial interests, and a new report shows that the EPA is essentially looking the other way while Big Ag resorts to clever means of getting its dangerous products approved.

The report from the Center for Biological Diversity, which is entitled Toxic Concoctions: How the EPA Ignores the Dangers of Pesticide Cocktails, shows that during the past six years, the EPA has approved almost a hundred pesticide products which contain certain combinations that heighten their toxicity and danger to pollinators.

The Center pored over patent applications that were made for pesticide products that contained at least two of the active ingredients that the EPA recently approved for Big Ag firms such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow and Bayer. They found that the EPA completely overlooks synergistic combinations during the approval process.

When chemicals are mixed in the environment, there may be no interaction, which means that it would appear as if the dangers of each one can simply be added together to determine the overall risk. However, in synergistic combinations, two or more chemicals that might have been relatively safe on their own become exponentially more harmful; in other words, the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. This means that the effects these chemicals can have on the environment and human health are actually a lot more severe than the estimates show.

The data are there but the EPA isn't paying attention

When submitting patent applications for pesticides, Big Ag companies often include data showing the synergistic toxicity to organisms being targeted. However, when the EPA carries out its approval process, it often claims it can't evaluate any possible synergistic effects due to a lack of data. The EPA says it only recently became aware that this data exists in the patents themselves, which means the pesticide companies are not being forthcoming in sharing the information with the EPA. Surprise, surprise.

The report found that almost 70 percent of the products approved by the EPA for those four firms had one or more patent applications showing synergy between its active ingredients. And 72 percent of these applications involved very popular pesticides such as glyphosate, dicamba, 2,4-D, atrazine and several neonicotinoids.

The report's author, Nathan Donley, Ph.D., says that the EPA's practice of only assessing toxicity of pesticides individually, rather than in scenarios where they are used alongside other chemicals, could potentially cause "widespread danger to people, waterways and wildlife."

The report calls on the EPA to take the patent data and other evidence into account and make dramatic changes to the way it approaches pesticide mixture assessments.

The report concludes: "The entire pesticide-approval process is designed to narrowly assess the toxicity of individual active ingredients one at a time; yet when most of these active ingredients are being routinely co-applied on agricultural fields across the country, the initial analyses that were done are no longer relevant to real-world exposure scenarios and are not an appropriate estimate of true risk."

It's time to take matters into our own hands

This is yet another example of why we can't rely on the very agencies that are supposed to protect us and the environment from this type of harm. Choosing organic food whenever possible can certainly help us avoid the dangers associated with pesticides, but these chemicals have a way of popping up where you least expect them. In his book Food Forensics, Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, tested groceries, supplements, spices and even protein powders for heavy metals and other toxins, and the results show that much more needs to be done to control the use of these chemicals.

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