By Christina Sarich, Natural Society, June 1, 2015
With bill S.697, the chemical industry is about to be given free reign to write their own safety standards. Unless, they are willing to drink their own glyphosate to prove it is “completely safe” as one Patrick Moore recently refused to do, then it hardly makes sense for them to decide if their own products meet safety requirements for the public.
Congress hasn’t passed a chemical control bill since 1976, with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). But this was even ‘broken from the start,” according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
The TSCA grandfathered in thousands of chemicals that were already on the market at the time, even though most of them were extremely hazardous to human health. That act didn’t even allow the EPA to ban asbestos, which is a known cause of cancer.
This new bill would essentially give companies like Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, and Syngenta the authority to call their own toxic chemicals ‘safe’ when regulatory bodies elsewhere have called them carcinogenic, and even deadly.
Since the 1970’s, tens of thousands of chemicals have been created and are sold on the market with little or no real regulation. More than 80,000 of them are in our food, our clothing, and even in new building materials used to build homes.
If anything, it is time for reform of the original bill, but instead, congress is looking to give chemical giants like Dow and Monsanto more ammunition to poison the planet.
S.697 is the brainchild of a chemical industry that has spent $190 million lobbying for its passage. Here are examples of just some of the money trail supporting this bill:
- Democratic Sponsor Tom Udall’s (D-N.M.) campaign received $49,050 from the Chemical industry in the 2014 cycle, plus $23,500 from lobbyists employed by the American Chemistry Council.
- Republican sponsor David Vitter’s (R-La.) campaign received $20,600 in the 2014 cycle, and $14,300 from American Chemistry Council lobbyists.
- American Chemistry Council has other ‘donations.’
If you want Congress to veto this bill, act quickly. It’s up for a vote very soon. It’s being called the ‘Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act,’ but it does absolutely nothing to keep us safe from chemicals used by this enormous industry.