Pesticide Maker's Letter to Trump Administration: 'Set Aside' Studies

Companies say risk assessments are flawed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 20, 2017 3:20 AM CDT
Pesticide Makers Push Government to 'Set Aside' Risk Study
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks to employees of the EPA in Washington last month.   (Susan Walsh)

Dow Chemical is pushing the Trump administration to scrap the findings of federal scientists who point to a family of widely used pesticides as harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species. Lawyers representing Dow and two other makers of organophosphates sent letters last week to the heads of three Cabinet agencies. The companies asked them "to set aside" the results of government studies that the companies contend are fundamentally flawed. The letters, dated April 13, were obtained by the AP. Dow hired its own scientists to produce a rebuttal to the government studies showing the risks posed to endangered species.

Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris is a close adviser to President Trump, and the company wrote a $1 million check to help underwrite his inaugural festivities. Environmental advocates weren't surprised the companies might seek to forestall new regulations that might hurt their profits, but they said that criticism of the government's scientists was unfounded. Rachelle Schikorra, Dow Chemical's director of public affairs, said the company "actively participates in policymaking and political processes" but that it's "off the mark" to suggest its Trump donation was intended to help influence regulatory decisions. (Environmentalists are suing over a recent decision to reverse a ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos.)

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