How ridiculous is the new level imposed on a popular weedkiller for America's most important crop? It is equivalent to government saying you should not be exposed to the sun for more than one second every 10 years or you will get skin cancer.
They did it by exploiting loopholes in regulatory agencies available since 1984, the Chevron Deference ruling which found that a regulatory body could create a regulation that acted as a law without needing Congress if it was needed to fulfill their mandate. As seen in instances like the Biden CDC trying to tell landlords no evictions could be done during the COVID-19 pandemic, this White House has been extremely aggressive about pushing Chevron Deference to the boundaries of reason.
All a president has to do is broaden the mandate of any agency and he no longer needs Congress. Thankfully, the courts have put a halt to his more egregious efforts. This may be another.
You're eating food grown using pesticides if you bought it
Whether you buy conventional or organic food, it is grown using fertilizers to optimize nutrition and then pesticides to keep weeds and insects from ruining crops.
Seriously, if someone at Whole Foods claims their food has no pesticides, they are lying or clueless. I grew up on a farm and my family could not afford pesticides, and the land you need to use is double. It's a lot of picking weeds by hand and using a hoe. No commercial farmer is doing it.
To keep us and the environment safe, every 15 years the EPA requires that companies apply for permission to keep selling weedkillers and other pesticides. EPA looks at new data since the last registration and recommends changes if needed. In between registrations, if a study comes out and it warrants an immediate look, they create a Scientific Advisory Panel.
One popular weedkiller, named atrazine, is popular in the 65 million acre corn, sugarcane, and sorghum agriculture segment. Corn is America's most popular crop. We use it in everything from automobiles to soda. Atrazine first went on the market in 1958 and is still effective today, so it is still popular. In 2013, EPA began a new scientific review so it could be re-registered and created a more conservative parts per billion (ppb) level that could be allowed in rivers and streams. The previous standard had been 18ppb and after six years of study across two administrations scientists in EPA lowered it to 15ppb.
This was reasonable to farmers and scientists. Farmers want to use only enough to get good yields but with margins tight, not waste money or damage their greatest asset, their land. The Triazine Network even praised the EPA's Preliminary Interim Decision.
What happened later was startling.
To overturn government scientists in this case, they stretched the ability of agencies to act as lawmakers so far it may end up at the Supreme Court, which would be a way to finally overturn that bad 1984 law and get sanity back into what long ago became regulatory abuse. An allied environmental group had filed a lawsuit and the Biden administration went to the court and asked to be forced to impose a new standard so low that it is an effective ban on the product.
That's right, they asked the court to force them to undo 6 years of science work by EPA. They asked that the court tell EPA to drop the level from the 15ppb set by scientists, already a 16 percent drop from the previous registration, down to a basically impossible 3.4ppb.
Rivers and frogs will be no safer, they were already safe, but food will get much more expensive.
As I note in the Examiner article, food costs are already up because supply chain issues have caused the price of generic glufosinate (Liberty) and glyphosate (Roundup) to shoot up 300 percent. EPA restricted dicamba in Iowa so corn farmers can't use that.
Americans are about to pay about $6 billion more annually, on top of the runaway inflation that wishful thinking and cluelessness about economics has already brought. And there will be more soil erosion happening and more tillage needed. Environmentalists claim they care about the environment but they are making nature worse off by putting their desire for financial settlements ahead of science. The Biden administration claims to care about science but that is clearly only when it suits their agenda.
- The Biden Administration Should Eliminate EPA's Strange New Unscientific Approach To Pesticide Evaluations
- The Biden Administration Is Blaming Trump For EPA Siding With Environmentalists Against Agricultural Science
- EPA Ends Atrazine Homeopathy, And Trial Lawyers Are Upset
- Sulfoxaflor: EPA Just Gave Them A Fantastic Endorsement For Environmental Health
- Atrazine And The Forever War On Science