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Letter: Companys ties to administration, EPA should come under close scrutiny
A sign is posted on a roadside fence outside a Dow Chemicals plant in Freeport, Texas. A coalition of five states is seeking to join a legal challenge to the Trump administration’s decision to keep a widely used pesticide on the market, despite studies showing it can harm children's brains. - photo by Pat Sullivan

Recently, the Times published an Associated Press report on an Environmental Protection Agency decision to deny a petition to ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide produced by Dow Chemical, from being sprayed on food. This action was taken despite an internal EPA review concluding that ingestion of even minuscule amounts of that chemical can “interfere with the brain development of fetuses and infants” and despite urging by the American Academy of Pediatrics to take chlorpyrifos off the market due to the “unambiguous” risk it presents to infant and children’s health.

The report further stated that Dow CEO Andrew Liveris has “close ties” to the current administration; that he heads a White House manufacturing working group; that DOW wrote a $1 million check to help underwrite President Donald Trump’s inaugural festivities; that the AP reported in April that DOW was lobbying the Administration to “set aside” the findings of federal scientists; and that the Administrator of EPA “met privately” with Liveris shortly before reversing the Agency’s decision to ban chlorpyrifos.

EPA has stated that they have had “no meetings with Dow” on the subject of the chlorpyrifos decision. Does anyone with any awareness at all actually believe that? In what universe is a decision like this acceptable on any ethical, moral, scientific, health-based, political or religious grounds?

Have we become so inured, so accustomed and so numb to the daily barrage of insults that we are subjected to that we no longer react to them? We’re talking about irrefutable harm to infants and children here. This transcends politics, or should. Where is the outrage?

Richard D. Green

Regional events