No Letting Up on Pesticide Disasters

No Letting Up on Pesticide Disasters


by William Olkowski, PhD.

If you read about the genetic engineering disaster its clear that FDA, USDA, and EPA have grossly failed to protect the public from predatory pesticide companies like Monsanto (owned by the Pharmaceutical giant Phizer).  Congress is no help.  The only thing for a thinking/reading person is to buy organic, which can also be risky from cheaters, but in comparison is vastly better than any regulatory agency.  I lay this whole pattern first at Reagan’s door with his anti-regulatory blabber.  He started this trend.

We don’t need less regulation but more and better.  The better got left out of the Reagan thought and now we have the same bullshit being plopped on our heads by the recent Repulsicans.

Calling them names will not do, of course.  Boycotts and consumer approaches may do what the demonstrations and regulators have failed to accomplish: cut their income.  But this is easier said than done.  The type of effort needed means a basic approach of vast reach.  The first step is to find out which companies produce what.

Check out a partial list of companies owned by the Media Giant Time Warner, as an easy example:

“A list of the properties controlled by AOL Time Warner takes ten typed pages listing 292 separate companies and subsidiaries. Of these, twenty-two are joint ventures with other major corporations involved in varying degrees with media operations. These partners include 3Com, eBay, Hewlett-Packard, Citigroup, Ticketmaster, American Express, Homestore, Sony, Viva, Bertelsmann, Polygram, and

. Some of the more familiar fully owned properties of Time Warner include Book-of-the-Month Club; Little, Brown publishers; HBO, with its seven channels; CNN; seven specialized and foreign-language channels; Road Runner; Warner Brothers Studios; Weight Watchers; Popular Science; and fifty-two different record labels.”

– Ben Bagdikan, The New Media Monopoly


What does this mean?

I think we need a massive boycott of all products and services provided by the offending corporations.  I will pledge not buying from Amazon, which is possible, for example.  Powell Books is an alternative.

After all, if these companies don’t believe in social responsibility, only money, so that’s where they need to feel the pinch.  I will continue to move toward a more comprehensive listing of these giants.


Now its DuPont’s turn with over 30,000 claims for tree deaths associated with it new pesticide: “Imprelis”(1).  It was conditionally registered by EPA, with the promise that further information about safety would be submitted before too long.  That means the product could be used while waiting for further safety data.

Unbelievable!!  What a farce.  While Europe moves toward a registration system where the pesticide companies must prove “no harm” before registration we are assuming no harm, then allowing registration, finding disasters as a consequence and then halting sales.  It’s really a system of public use testing.  This pattern is long term.

We need a new Toxic Substances Control Act, to provide for government corroboration of industry submitted data and proof of no harm, before registration.  Any pesticide which shows up in human tissue samples should be banned outright, for example.  The idea of no harm from low doses is fallacious.  One of the key registration criteria should be no physiological exposures.  If a pesticide is excreted in urine or feces it should be banned as this means gut, blood, kidney and urinary tract exposures.  Proving harm from such exposures is too risky and assuming any sort of safety level has proven false, the endocrine disruptors shoot down that idea.


(1) California and New York both denied registration for “Imprelis” based on evidence that the product fails to bind with soil and leeches into groundwater — a red flag that it might pose a risk to non-target plants. Both states asked for additional studies from DuPont before they would grant registration. EPA, however, granted “conditional registration,” which allows the product onto the market without safety testing, on the condition that additional studies will be submitted in the future.

DuPont is currently in the process of settling the individual claims. According to the New York Times, DuPont estimates that claims could reach a total of $575 million, though anything over $100 million would be handled by the company’s insurance. Plaintiffs have complained publicly that DuPont is stalling settlements(2).  But this is chicken feed for a company which earns in profits a billion per year.


The Right to Know concept applied to Monsanto (Yes on Proposition 37, CA) and all the other genetically engineered products is the right compromise for now, but we should also know when we are ingesting poisons.  For example: when buying sweet corn, the producer should be required to pass along a label saying: this product may contain xxx pesticide.

That should do the trick that regulators have failed to do again and again.


(2) More information on DuPont from Wikipedia.

Current activities

Pre-tax U.S. Profit by Year, inUS$Millions[8]





















DuPont describes itself as a global science company that employs more than 60,000 people worldwide and has a diverse array of product offerings.[9] In 2005, the Company ranked 66th in the Fortune 500 on the strength of nearly $28 billion in revenues and $1.8 billion in profits.[10]

DuPont businesses are organized into the following five categories, known as marketing “platforms”: Electronic and Communication Technologies, Performance Materials, Coatings and Color Technologies, Safety and Protection, and Agriculture and Nutrition.

The agriculture division, Dupont Pioneer makes and sells hybrid seed and genetically modified seed, some of which goes on to become genetically modified food. Genes engineered into their products include the LibertyLink® gene, which provides resistance to Pioneer’s Ignite®/Liberty® herbicides; the Herculex® I Insect Protection gene which provides protection against various insects; the Herculex® RW insect protection trait which provides protection against other insects; the YieldGard® Corn Borer gene, which provides resistance to another set of insects; and the Roundup Ready® Corn 2 trait that provides crop resistance against glyphosate herbicides.[11] In 2010 Dupont Pioneer received approval to start marketing Plenish soybeans, which contains “the highest oleic acid content of any commercial soybean product, at more than 75%. Plenish provides a product with no trans fat, 20% less saturated fat than regular soybean oil, and more stabile oil with greater flexibility in food and industrial applications.”[12] Plenish is genetically engineered to “block the formation of enzymes that continue the cascade downstream from oleic acid (that produces saturated fats), resulting in an accumulation of the desirable monounsaturated acid.”[13]

In 2004 the company sold its textiles business, which included some of its best-known brands such as Lycra (Spandex), Dacronpolyester, Orlon acrylic, Antron nylon and Thermolite, to Koch Industries. DuPont also manufactures Surlyn, which is used for the covers of golf balls, and, more recently, the body panels of the Club Car Precedent golf cart.

As of 2011, DuPont is the largest producer of titanium dioxide in the world, primarily provided as a white pigment used in the paper industry.[14]

Dupont was listed No. 4 on the Mother Jones Top 20 polluters of 2010; dumping over 5,000,000 pounds of toxic chemicals into New Jersey/Delaware waterways.[15]

DuPont has its R&D facilities located in China, Japan, Taiwan, India, Germanyand Switzerlandwith an average investment of $1.3 billion annually in a diverse range of technologies for many markets including agriculture, genetic traits, biofuels, automotive, construction, electronics, chemicals and industrial materials. DuPont employs more than 5,000 scientists and engineers around the world.[16]

On January 9, 2011, DuPont announced that it had reached a definitive agreement to buy Danish company Danisco for US$6.3 billion.[17] On May 16, 2011, DuPont announced that its tender offer for Danisco had been successful and that it would proceed to redeem the remaining shares and delist the company.[18]