Monday, July 1, 2013
Farm Bill Bad for Oceans
The Farm Bill seems unlikely legislation to raise concerns over ocean health but thanks to the pesticide industry, the bill is bad for oceans. Although the latest version was recently voted down by the US House of Representatives, the bill is still hanging around looking to do damage.
The pesticide industry has spent millions of dollars to use the proposed legislation to avoid important Clean Water Act and Environmental Protection Agency regulations. This is the same industry that brought us DDT and Atrazine.
Buried in the bill are two rules that allow pesticides to be sprayed on water and near fisheries without any oversight, according to a recent story on Philly.com.
One provision prevents the EPA from restricting pesticide use near fisheries until there is a new study of the science that supports the rules. This is the "more research" blockade -- where industry ties up the government with research requests while their chemicals soak nature.
"In 2011, Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Association, which was a party to the original lawsuit, testified before Congress that pesticide restrictions are needed to maintain the health of local salmon. 'EPA-regulated pesticides are now found nearly everywhere in west coast rivers and are killing salmon, destroying salmon jobs, and endangering public health,' he said," according to Philly.com.
CropLife, a pro pesticide organization, reported spending nearly $5 million on lobbying in 2011-2012, according to a search on Influence Explorer, as well as distributing nearly $250,000 in campaign contributions to members of Congress, according to Philly.com.
The next iteration of the Farm Bill needs to keep our government -- much as it is flawed -- empowered to protect our health and the health of our valuable natural resources.
Take action and sign Beyond Pesticides petition to keep our waters clean.
Check out other petitions related to pesticides and their impact on people and nature.
Contact your representatives and let them know the bill is bad for people and oceans.
Posted by Mike Misner at 3:35 PM