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Chemical Industry

A Climate Wake-Up Call For The Chemical Industry

In 2017, the Trump administration sided with industry lobbyists and rescinded safety rules governing thousands of chemical plants across America. Five years later — after multiple chemical plant explosions in the Houston area — government investigators are telling lawmakers that a lack of federal regulation is heightening the risk of chemical disasters during climate change-related extreme weather events at thousands of facilities nationwide. President Joe Biden’s administration is considering issuing a new rule regulating such facilities — but not until next summer. Chemical companies and industry groups have already sicced their lobbyists on the EPA to stop the new rules, arguing that, despite all evidence to the contrary, their members are well-prepared for disasters and will only be made more vulnerable by new regulations.

Hawaiians Protest Chemical Poisons Sprayed In Their Communities

For the past three years, a growing coalition of activists and civic leaders on Kaua'i has been battling Syngenta and three other agrichemical companies - BASF, DuPont Pioneer and Dow AgroSciences - over toxic pesticides the companies spray as they field test and produce genetically engineered seeds, which are also known as genetically modified organisms or GMOs. The four companies spray thousands of gallons of pesticides labeled "restricted use" by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at their farms and test plots on Kaua'i each year. At least five of the 22 restricted-use pesticide formulas used on the island contain chemicals that have been banned in Switzerland due to environmental and human health concerns, but are perfectly legal in the United States as long as they are applied by licensed workers.

Coalition Sues EPA Over Herbicide Approval

San Francisco, CA – A coalition of farmers and environmental groups filed a lawsuit to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today on behalf of six Midwest states where a toxic herbicide cocktail called Dow’s Enlist Duo, a blend of glyphosate and 2,4-D, was approved on October 15 for use on genetically engineered (GE) crops. Approved for use on GE corn and soybeans that were engineered to withstand repeated applications of the herbicide, the creation of 2,4-D-resistant crops and EPA’s approval of Enlist Duo is the result of an overuse of glyphosate, an ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. The misuse resulted in an infestation of glyphosate-resistant super weeds which can now be legally combatted with the more potent 2,4-D.

Leaked TTIP Documents Reveal Powerful Chemical Industry Wins

Corporate interests may be winning in U.S.-EU trade negotiations, endangering public health and the environment, a new cache of documents (pdf) leaked on Tuesday show. Backed by powerful industry advisers and bolstered by U.S. allies who have already made significant concessions to move negotiations along, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal is poised to derail European regulations around the use and transport of chemicals—regulations which are significantly stronger than those in the U.S. The deal would also limit public access to information on toxic and hazardous substances.
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