The EPA Renews Paraquat's Licence For Fifteen More Years, Adding More Restrictions
Renewing farmer's licenses to spray paraquat is a slap in the face to environmentalists hoping the new administration would ban the deadly defoliant
Tuesday, August 10, 2021 - In a ruling that is sure to infuriate environmental and human health watchdog groups, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has renewed Syngenta's license to sell and farmers' license to use paraquat in the United States. The license grants permission to use the defoliant on a wide variety of crops than before. Paraquat's license lasts for the next 15 years. Agriculture.com reports that the agency grants the use of paraquat on a larger number of crops than before. Interestingly, the EPA will require farmers to leave unplanted and unsprayed a 50 to 75-foot buffer zone to protect surrounding neighborhoods from paraquat vapor drifting onto nearby communities. Lawsuits filed against Syngenta and Chevron are by people that live, work, and play near farms that spray paraquat where residents have been forced to breathe the air that is polluted with paraquat fumes. Paraquat Parkinson's disease attorneys are working with farmers and others that have developed Parkinson's disease to register their claim against the manufacturer of the deadly defoliant. Medical researchers have made a connection between repeatedly inhaling low-level doses of paraquat over many years with developing Parkinson's disease, a deadly, irreversible neurological disorder.
Environmentalists and human health advocates were hoping that the new administration in Washington DC would address paraquat dangers, and exert influence on the EPA to act decisively to ban paraquat outright in the United States. Doing so would take the lead from more than fifty other countries like China, the European Union, and Switzerland have already banned using the weedkiller. One article published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) claimed that "No presidential administration was as damaging to children's health as Donald Trump's." The Trump administration took the decidedly pro-business position of supporting the use of paraquat by the farming industry to maximize corporate profits. Trump had a policy that two regulations must be eliminated for every one regulation added. People took for granted that the more liberal, greener Biden administration would reverse much of the environmental-protecting regulations that Trump had dismantled. Instead, more paraquat will be sprayed on more crops under the Biden administration than under any other.
The EWG will be perturbed that the current paraquat license renewal expands the use of paraquat to "dry down cotton before harvest," one of the most heavily detested methods of using the deadly defoliant. Paraquat is considered a super weedkiller that farmers rely on when weeds have mutated to become glyphosate-resistant. A high percentage of all paraquat that is sprayed is done so to kill or "dry" cotton and oats immediately before harvest. Other restrictions that the new paraquat license will require are "limited pilots to spraying 350 acres a day with paraquat except when it is being used to dry down cotton before harvest; required enclosed tractor cabs if a farmworker is treating more than 80 acres a day; banned the use of paraquat in backpack sprayers; and said workers cannot enter a field until 48 hours after paraquat is applied," according to agriculture.com."
Lawyers for Paraquat Lawsuits
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