Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Update on Farm Bill Amendment allowing sulfuryl fluoride on food supply

June 4, 2013

Dear Kenneth M:

Only a U.S. Senator can stop the Amendment to the Farm Bill that will allow sulfuryl fluoride to be used as a food fumigant.

This is the Amendment in all its deviousness.

SEC. 122__. Exclusion of Fluoride from Aggregate Exposure

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall exclude naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water and fluoride in dental health products from any determination required under section 408(b)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 346a(b)(2)) regarding the aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue of sulfuryl fluoride.

If we don’t get a Senator's support and this Amendment goes to the vote we will lose big time and very high fluoride residue levels on food will be legal. We are asking for you to call your Senators today and request them to stop the Amendment. You probably will say, “Me, I haven’t a clue what to do!” But voicing your opinion is incredibly easy to do, and we need anyone reading this to do whatever they can. When you call you will likely speak with a legislative staffer. Tell them that you are a constituent, and that you oppose Senator Donnelly's amendment (#1122 regarding "Exclusion of fluoride from aggregate exposure) for any or all of the following reasons:

• Sulfuryl fluoride is a highly neurotoxic substance and Americans don’t need another substance, especially on their food, that is known to damage the brain. All of Dow’s animal experiments with sulfuryl fluoride reported significantly rare and serious brain damage in every species tested.

• EPA pesticides division made the right decision to protect the American public when they proposed to phase-out sulfuryl fluoride as a food fumigant in January 2011. This Amendment punishes EPA for doing the job Congress mandated them to do in the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA).

• Congress passed FQPA in 1996. This Act gave stronger protections to children from pesticide risks. One of these protections was the necessity to evaluate “aggregate exposure” to a pesticidal substance. And EPA found that children were being overexposed to fluoride. For example, CDC has reported that 41% of children ages 12-15 have some form of dental fluorosis which is a biomarker for fluoride overexposure.

• This Amendment is devious because it eliminates important exposure pathways. If the Amendment passes, infants and children will be put in harm’s way. More than 37 studies have been published reporting an association between fluoride exposure and lowered IQ. Black and Hispanic American children already suffer significantly higher rates of the more severe forms of dental fluorosis, a biomarker for fluoride overexposure.

• Sulfuryl fluoride is a potent greenhouse gas.

• There has been no transparency in putting this Amendment forward. This Amendment needs to be stopped and if necessary a hearing should be held at a future date.

• Three advocacy groups worked together for many years to get EPA to do the right thing to protect the health of Americans on this issue. They submitted substantive objections in a timely manner over 8 years. They responded to every request from EPA, including mediation efforts. These groups are: the Fluoride Action Network, Beyond Pesticides and the Environmental Working Group.

There is still time to prevent this from happening, but we need to act as quickly as the industry lobbyists are pushing to fast track it through. We need your help:

1.) Send a letter to your Senator.

2.) Call your Senator. Phone calls are more influential then emails, and Senate staff does take note of constituent positions on issues.

3.) Please forword this bulletin to friends and family via email and share on Facebook and other social media sites.

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