For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Lori Ann Burd, (971) 717-6405, laburd@biologicaldiversity.org

Unprecedented Farm Bill Provision Allows EPA to OK Pesticides Without Looking at Harm to Endangered Species

Proposal follows urging from Dow, $11 million in campaign spending.

WASHINGTON - Echoing a suggestion by Dow Chemical,  Section 9111 of the Farm Bill released today by House Republicans would allow the Environmental Protection Agency to approve pesticides without ever analyzing whether they’d harm hundreds of endangered species across the country, including salmon and California condors.

If approved, the bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) would be one of the most significant and damaging changes to the Endangered Species Act in the past 40 years.

“Without question, this will accelerate extinctions for some of our most vulnerable species,” said Lori Ann Burd, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s environmental health program. “Companies like Dow that have dumped millions into congressional campaigns are now calling all the shots in D.C. on dangerous pesticides.”

The bill essentially codifies a request by Dow Chemical for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to ignore pesticides’ harms to endangered species and eviscerate all meaningful protections for fish, animals and plants under the Endangered Species Act.

In January 2017 Dow Chemical donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration. Over the past six years, the company has donated $11 million to congressional campaigns and political action committees and spent an additional $75 million lobbying Congress.

In 2017 alone the pesticide industry spent more than $34 million on congressional lobbying.

Earlier this year the National Marine Fisheries Service released a “biological opinion” study showing the widely used insecticides chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon harm virtually all endangered species. The Fisheries Service concluded that protected salmon, steelhead and sturgeon, as well as Southern Resident killer whales, are likely to be driven extinct by these pesticides in the near future.

“Protected salmon and sturgeon on both our coasts are being wiped out at an alarming rate because of the uncontrolled use of these pesticides,” said Burd. “But instead of listening to expert biologists, Republicans want to give the pesticide industry a free pass to kill these iconic species.”

Rep. Conaway, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, has received $117,000 in campaign contributions from CropLife America and the pesticide industry since 2012. Over that period those same companies contributed nearly $1 million ($960,500) to the other committee members.

“The pesticide industry has quite literally bought the House Agriculture Committee,” said Burd. “And to cash in on their investment, they’re launching this dangerous, unprecedented attack on endangered species.”

Contributions from pesticide industry to members of House Agriculture Committee, 2012-present

Republican House Members

Pesticide Industry Contributions

Democratic House Members

Pesticide Industry Contributions

Conaway

 $117,000

Peterson

$110,500

Thompson

$18,000

Scott

$16,000

Goodlatte

$14,500

Costa

$33,000

Lucas

$94,000

Walz

$20,500

King

$14,000

Fudge

$45,500

Rogers

$1,000

McGovern

$1,000

Gibbs

$23,000

Vela

$1,000

Scott

$68,000

Lujan Grisham

$0

Crawford

$38,500

Kuster

$3,000

Desjarlais

$0

Nolan

$1,000

Hartzler

$20,500

Bustos

$19,500

Denham

$19,500

Maloney

$0

Lamalfa

$18,500

Plaskett

$5,500

Davis

$103,000

Adams

$1,000

Yoho

$18,000

Evans

$0

Allen

$0

Lawson

$0

Bost

$14,500

Panetta

$7,500

Rouzer

$44,500

O’Halleran

$1,000

Abraham

$19,500

Soto

$500

Kelly

$4,500

Blunt Rochester

$16,000

Comer

$4,500

 

 

Marshall

$4,500

 

 

Bacon

$2,000

 

 

Faso

$1,500

 

 

Dunn

$1,000

 

 

Arrington

$14,000

 

 

Total

$678,000

Total

$282,500

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