Dow Chemical, a known ally of U.S. President Trump, is now asking the White House for a favor — a huge one at that.
'Set Aside' Pesticide Study
Along with a couple of chemical manufacturers, lawyers of Dow Chemical are pulling strings to shut down and shelf a study about a major class of pesticides that can kill almost 1,800 critically endangered or threatened species.
In a letter sent to three Cabinet secretaries — Sec. of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Sec. of Interior Ryan Zinke, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt — the chemical companies described the findings of EPA's federal scientists as fundamentally flawed and lacking in transparency necessary for evaluation.
They also urged the Trump administration to "set aside" the results that could potentially be a catalyst for large-scale restrictions in the use of the pesticides.
The Associated Press has obtained a copy of these letters.
What Dow Chemical Wants To Happen
Basically what Dow wants is to scrap four years and over 10,000 pages worth of research by federal scientists who have found that three pesticides — chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion — pose a risk to nearly every endangered species they studied.
Based on EPA's latest biological evaluation of chlorpyrifos, the pesticide is "likely to adversely affect" 1,778 of the 1,835 animals and plants, including critically endangered or threatened species of frogs, fish, birds, and mammals. The same results were documented for malathion and diazinon.
In this scenario, endangered species are the canary in the coal mine since most of them live in lakes and streams that serve as sources for human drinking water, Brett Hartl, a government scientist, explained.
Dow Chemical: Chlorpyrifos Is Safe
On the contrary, Dow Chemical has released an official statement disputing the supposed adverse effects of chlorpyrifos.
"Chlorpyrifos is authorized for use not only in the U.S., but nearly 100 nations, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy and Japan. Dow AgroSciences remains confident that authorized uses of chlorpyrifos products offer wide margins of protection for human health and safety..."
Dow Chemical's Ties To The Trump Administration
Dow Chemical has long secured strong connections to the current administration.
Its chairman and CEO, Andrew Liveris, was appointed by the POTUS himself to lead the American Manufacturing Council, which is a private sector group that advises the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and which Trump has "tasked with finding ways to bring industry back to America."
It has also allegedly signed a $1 million check to help fund U.S. President Trump's inaugural celebrations.