Proposal Follows Urging From Dow, $11 Million in Campaign Spending
April 13, 2018 - WASHINGTON— Echoing a suggestion by Dow Chemical, Section 9111 of the Farm Bill released yesterday by House Republicans would allow the Environmental Protection Agency to approve pesticides without ever analyzing whether they’d harm hundreds of endangered species across the country, including salmon and California condors.
If approved, the bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) would be one of the most significant and damaging changes to the Endangered Species Act in the past 40 years.
“Without question, this will accelerate extinctions for some of our most vulnerable species,” said Lori Ann Burd, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s environmental health program. “Companies like Dow that have dumped millions into congressional campaigns are now calling all the shots in D.C. on dangerous pesticides.”
The bill essentially codifies a request by Dow Chemical for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to ignore pesticides’ harms to endangered species and eviscerate all meaningful protections for fish, animals and plants under the Endangered Species Act.
In January 2017 Dow Chemical donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration. Over the past six years, the company has donated $11 million to congressional campaigns and political action committees and spent an additional $75 million lobbying Congress.
In 2017 alone the pesticide industry spent more than $34 million on congressional lobbying.
Earlier this year the National Marine Fisheries Service released a “biological opinion” study showing the widely used insecticides chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon harm virtually all endangered species. The Fisheries Service concluded that protected salmon, steelhead and sturgeon, as well as Southern Resident killer whales, are likely to be driven extinct by these pesticides in the near future.
“Protected salmon and sturgeon on both our coasts are being wiped out at an alarming rate because of the uncontrolled use of these pesticides,” said Burd. “But instead of listening to expert biologists, Republicans want to give the pesticide industry a free pass to kill these iconic species.”
Rep. Conaway, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, has received $117,000 in campaign contributions from CropLife America and the pesticide industry since 2012. Over that period those same companies contributed nearly $1 million ($960,500) to the other committee members.
“The pesticide industry has quite literally bought the House Agriculture Committee,” said Burd. “And to cash in on their investment, they’re launching this dangerous, unprecedented attack on endangered species.”
Contributions from pesticide industry to members of House Agriculture Committee, 2012-present
Contributions are from CropLife America, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Bayer, Monsanto, Syngenta and BASF.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places
Source: Center for Biological Diversity