“The Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act says what we all know to be true: that nerve agents have no place on our food, in our workplaces, and in our communities.”
Democrats in the House and Senate on Tuesday introduced sweeping legislation that would ban some of the most toxic pesticides currently in use in the United States and institute stronger protections for farmworkers and communities that have been exposed to damaging chemicals by the agriculture industry.
“It is long past time for the United States Congress to turn attention to this issue and put the health and safety of our families above the profits of large corporations.”
—Sen. Tom Udall
The Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticide Act of 2020, sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), was applauded by environmentalists as a “bold and much-needed” step in the right direction.
“The pesticide industry and chemical agriculture have for far too long been able to abuse legal loopholes allowing for the use of toxic pesticides that have not been adequately tested to make sure they are safe for people and the environment,” said Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group. “The Udall-Neguse plan will rein in this largely unchecked explosion of pesticide use by agriculture and give the EPA much stronger authority to protect the public.”
According to a summary of the bill released by Neguse’s office, the legislation would ban:
- Organophosphate insecticides, which are designed to target the neurological system and have been linked to neurodevelopmental damage in children;
- Neonicotinoid insecticides, which have contributed to pollinator collapse around the world; and
- Paraquat, which is one of the most acutely toxic herbicides in the world.
If passed, the bill would end the use of chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate pesticide linked to brain damage in children. Last July, as Common Dreams reported, President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency rejected a petition by environmental and public health groups to ban chlorpyrifos despite evidence of the pesticide’s neurotoxic effects.
“Our nation’s pesticide laws have not kept up to keep us safe,” Udall said in a statement. “The United States sprays a total of over a billion pounds of pesticides each year on the food we feed to our children, exposing them to dangerous chemicals linked to brain damage and diseases like Parkinson’s.”
“It is long past time for the United States Congress to turn attention to this issue,” Udall added, “and put the health and safety of our families above the profits of large corporations.”
Today we are introducing the Protect America’s Children From Toxic Pesticides Act, #PACTPA. This is a bill to protect our children, farmworkers, communities and wildlife from dangerous chemicals. Proud to lead the way on the first real reform to our pesticide laws in 25 years. pic.twitter.com/dSOwGoOK48
— Tom Udall (@SenatorTomUdall) August 4, 2020
Daniel Savery, senior legislative representative at Earthjustice, said in a statement that the Udall-Neguse bill “says what we all know to be true: that nerve agents have no place on our food, in our workplaces, and in our communities.”
“Earthjustice is grateful for the leadership of Senator Udall and Representative Neguse,” said Savery, “and we stand with our farmworker partners in support of this bill.”
Morning Joe destroys your Facebook friends’ excuses for voting for Trump
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said most of the people he grew up hate President Donald Trump, but they're voting for him anyway.
The "Morning Joe" host said they share many of his concerns about the president and his fitness for office, but he said they always offer excuses for holding their nose and voting to give him four more years.
"It's good talking to them and just saying, so why are you voting for this man?" Scarborough said. "'Well, he's a terrible guy, he's a horrible example for my kids, I'd never invite him over to the house, he's despicable -- I hate him, I just hate him,' but and then, fill in the blank, AOC or Nancy Pelosi or Bernie Sanders or regulations or tax cuts or 401(k)s, and I say, so, well, we have right now a president of the United States who is demanding that his attorney general arrest the former vice president of the United States, his chief political competitor. This is something that happens or happened in the former Soviet Union, this is something that happens still in Russia."
Trump ‘is hemorrhaging support’ and is flailing badly to win it back: reporter
President Donald Trump is trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden in the polls, and one veteran journalist said that he seems clueless about how to stop the bleeding.
Journalist Alex Wagner, the host of Showtime's "The Circus," told CNN on Wednesday that President Donald Trump's flailing attacks on Dr. Anthony Fauci and "60 Minutes'" Lesley Stahl are not part of some grand strategy to stage a comeback in the 2020 presidential election.
"The idea that President Trump has somehow hatched a multi-pronged plan to make a closing argument in the last remaining days of the election is a fallacy," she said. "He is hemorrhaging support among suburban women and seniors, and what is he doing? Taking on a fight with the elder statesmen of the most venerable news brand in America. She is an older woman at precisely the time he needs to be getting women and seniors."
Progressives unite for last-ditch effort to delay Amy Coney Barrett vote — by impeaching Bill Barr
Progressive activists are urging House Democrats to essentially kill two birds with one stone by impeaching Attorney General Bill Barr -- which would delay the confirmation vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
"Attorney General Barr has acted to subvert the laws that he, as our nation's chief federal law enforcement official, is duty-bound to uphold," more than 20 progressive groups signed in a joint letter.
"Attorney General Barr has made a career out of undermining our democracy and it is pellucidly clear that he has been ramping up efforts to undermine the upcoming elections and invalidate the votes of millions of Americans," the groups wrote.