F.R. Duplantier reporting Behind The Headlines
Week of:
July 9, 2000
Stop Banning Safe, Effective Pesticides

F.R. Duplantier

by: F.R. Duplantier

Instead of worrying so much about protecting the environment from people, we should concentrate on protecting people from the environment!

"What do the following diseases have in common?" asks Alan Caruba of the National Anxiety Center. "Malaria, encephalitis, dengue fever, bubonic plague, salmonellosis, yellow fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, lyme disease, tularemia, diarrhea, dysentery, gastroenteritis, and typhoid fever. They are all transmitted by insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and cockroaches," Caruba answers. "Today," he reports, "they are responsible for killing millions of people around the world every year."

That first question leads to a second one, which Caruba also asks and answers in a recent installment of Warning Signs, a commentary posted weekly on his anxietycenter.com website: "Why is the Environmental Protection Agency not only failing to protect Americans against these insect- and rodent-borne diseases, but deliberately leaving people vulnerable by taking away every one of the major pesticides needed to eradicate the vast populations of these pests? The answer," he charges, "is that those who decide these matters in the EPA adhere to the genocidal agenda of the environmental movement that sees the elimination of human beings as the best way to protect the earth."

Caruba sees no other explanation for the EPA's "latest assault on one of the most effective pesticides in use for the past thirty years, chlorpyrifos, better known as Dursban. In banning Dursban," he remarks, "they will be removing a pesticide at work in more than 800 products used to exterminate the billions of cockroaches, ants, spiders, fleas, flies, termites, and other insects that pose a threat to human health and property. The loss of its agricultural equivalent, Lorsban," he adds, "will leave millions of acres of food crops vulnerable to attack by countless insect species."

Caruba insists that the EPA decision has "nothing to do with science. After three decades of use," he comments, "it is clear to everyone that, applied according to the instructions on the label, Dursban poses no threat to human beings. It does just the opposite. It protects them. It protects them today in ways the EPA is determined to eliminate." Caruba considers the ominous implications of the EPA's decision to ban an effective weapon in the never-ending battle against infestation: "If you do not kill pest insect species," he asserts, "they will kill you."

Though expressing his hope that Dow AgroSciences, the manufacturer of chlorpyrifos, "prevails against the EPA's intention to ban its product," Caruba acknowledges "one disturbing element spoken about within the pest control industry." He cites "the suspicion among some top ranked pest management professionals that Dow AgroSciences may, in fact, welcome the ban." Caruba says these industry experts "believe the company may have another, more expensive pesticide waiting to be introduced and that, first, Dursban must be banned so as not to compete against it." Such suspicions, he emphasizes, are "based on watching the leading pesticide suppliers to the industry repeatedly fail to mount a vigorous defense of their products." Caruba discerns "a curious confluence of the corporate bottom line and the desire of Greens to eliminate all pesticides."

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