Secretary Tom Vilsak
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
Dear Secretary Vilsak,
We are calling on you as newly appointed Secretary of Agriculture to take action and restore regulation critical to the health and safety of our country and our nation.
In the 1970s, this country came together to pass landmark environmental legislation in the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and to establish the Environmental Protection Agency leading to dramatic improvements in water and air quality, positive health outcomes, and the prevention of extinction of endangered and threatened species.
However, since the Trump Administration took office, there have been 82 unique environmental drastic changes or rollbacks to these policies that demand immediate redressal and reversal. The rollbacks ranged from less stringent clean water policies and emissions standards to wasteful and dangerous natural resource management - a systematic dismantling of vital protections for our nation’s environment.
In particular, the administration refused to ban the pesticide Chlorpyrifos, a proven highly dangerous neurotoxin known to cause developmental delays in children from prenatal exposure. A recent study calculated the annual costs to the U.S. population as a result of chlorpyrifos-induced IQ losses to be around $45 billion.
The leading producer of the pesticide donated $1 million to the Trump inauguration fund, illustrating how corporate interests will continually undermine the health and safety of the American people without firm policy action.
The pesticide must be banned immediately. Chlorpyrifos kills a wide array of insects on crops such as soybeans, fruit and nut trees, cotton, and alfalfa, making it effective for many different crops across the country. Most pesticides only target one or few insects, so many farmers are reluctant to cease use of Chlorpyrifos as such a versatile pesticide, despite its high toxicity. The alternative solution must come from federal direction. Considering it is used in nearly every facet of the agricultural industry - cotton & apparel production, animal production, and food manufacturing - its pervasiveness and overreliance poses a grave danger to our nation’s vitality.
We at Another Tomorrow demand immediate, decisive, and ambitious policy action. We must address the complete disregard for environmental safety by the Trump Administration. The former administration’s misaligned internal interests and ineptitude for providing structural environmental justice resulted in drastic policy changes. Recognizing the critical impact federal policy can have is imperative to reversing these rollbacks in favor of health and safety for the American people.
As Secretary of Agriculture, you have the power to eradicate Chlorpyrifos and make direct investment into research and development of safe alternatives. Bring the Chlorpyrifos ban to the top of EPA docket once again.
City & State