Senator Donnelly's Industry Fueled Amendment Directs EPA to Allow Hazardous Pesticide in Food

We are told that Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is introducing an amendment (SA 1122) to the Farm Bill, which will be voted on early this week, that will reverse our efforts to take the hazardous fumigant sulfuryl fluoride out of our food supply. Sulfuryl fluoride is a dangerous chemical which has been linked to cancer as well as neurological, developmental, and reproductive damages. It seems clear that Dow AgroSciences, the chemical's manufacturer, is pushing this amendment.

We are on the verge of getting this hazardous material banned because even EPA, which has agreed to phase out the chemical, recognizes that public exposure exceeds acceptable standards. In the European Union, the chemical has been banned from any food contact.

This amendment will undercut alternatives. Sulfuryl fluoride is not necessary for the safe storage and handling of our food supply, so there is no need to block the currently mandated phase out. Moreover,  the chemical is a potent greenhouse gas, with the ability to trap 4,000 to 5,000 times the infrared radiation as carbon dioxide.

There are many viable alternatives to sulfuryl fluoride and methyl bromide fumigation (the other product of choice in the industry), including temperature manipulation (heating and cooling), atmospheric controls (low oxygen and fumigation with carbon dioxide), biological controls (pheromones, viruses and nematodes), and less toxic chemical controls (diatomaceous earth). Neither fumigant is permitted in organic food production and handling.

Please, write your Senator below and tell him or her to let EPA protect our safety, take this hazardous pesticide out of food production, and shift to safe practices. We do not have to trade our health for those who want to use hazardous pesticides in food production.

For additional infromation on this issue, see Beyond Pesticides' Daily News Blog article on the issue: http://www.beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/?p=738

If you have the time, a phone call makes a huge difference. You can call Senator Donnelly's office at (202-224-4814). Thank you!

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