UN Rapporteur on pesticide-states: “They ignore the rights of the child”

“This is a clear example of how States around the world aren’t considering the rights of the child when they make decisions on chemicals,” says UN Rapporteur. A pesticide known to cause brain damages in children and fetus is up for re-approval in the EU.  If EU-states allow this to continue, it is a breach of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, UN Special Rapporteur on toxic waste says. “When you look at chlorpyrifos as a case study, it becomes crystal clear that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is being ignored by numerous EU member states when it comes to toxic pollution and contamination”, says Mr. Baskut Tuncak, UN Special Rapporteur on Toxic Waste. The Special Rapporteur refers to recent revelations by Danwatch and Investigative Reporting Denmark along with 7 other media showing how fruits and vegetables sold all over Europe are filled with a pesticide called, chlorpyrifos. Continue Reading →

Authorities in Poland don’t check farmers spread of chlorpyrifos

In Poland increased chlorpyriphos was detected for quite a long time due to a mistake made by the Ministry of Agricultare. In 2016, a regulation that amended the standards for the pesticide, wasn’t introduced until June, when all the farmers had already sprayed fruits and vegetables. The Ministry started to inform about the changing standards too late. According to the story in Newsweek, farmers do not follow legal acts on an ongoing basis. They are guided by common sense: the protection program and the content written on the labels of pesticides. Continue Reading →

Covering chlorpyrifos

The project on chlorpyrifos was first published 17th of June 2019 in EUObserver covering warnings from scientists because of its effect on humans, spread of the poison in food, the legal battle in EU and the fact that it was becoming banned in more and more countries. At the same time, market analysts predict the market to expand in the next five years. Chlorpyrifos might be banned in the EU from the beginning of next year. On the same day all the material was released on this website with the overview of the team-members. Le Monde, France, uncovered how only one study from Dow looked into the neurotoxicology of chlorpyrifos. Continue Reading →

Team-members in chlorpyrifos-investigation

Wojciech Ciesla, Poland, member of Investigate Europe team, writes for Newsweek weekly and Gazeta Wyborcza daily. He has worked in different positions for the Polish dailies, since 2009 he has been running journalistic Reporters Fund, since 2012 he has been an investigative reporter with the magazine Newsweek Polska. Wojciech has won several awards, among them the 2009 Grand Press Award for investigative reporting, in 2017 shortlisted for European Press Award. Kristof Clerix, Belgium, works as a reporter for the Belgian weekly news magazine Knack. He is specialized in security reporting and long term investigative projects. Continue Reading →

Barbara Demeneix: ”Detrimental effects on IQ”

Barbara Demeniex, Professor of Biology at the Laboratoire Evolution des Régulations endocriniennes (Centre national de la recherche scientifique – CNRS and Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle – MNHN) in Paris:

”The scientific evidence clearly shows that prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos has detrimental effects on IQ and brain cortex thickness. Chlorpyrifos is toxic for the central nervous system, i.e. neurotoxic, and it is an endocrine disruptor, notably of thyroid signalling. Chlorpyrifos can thus interfere with brain development.”

”In 2012, it was shown that brain cortex thickness is significantly reduced as a result of prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure. Recently, French researcher Vincent Laudet has demonstrated unequivocally that chlorpyrifos is a thyroid disrupting chemicals. One can wonder why it has not already been banned.”

”A partial answer comes from the fact that the agencies evaluating the risk were misled by the manufacturer’s dossier where brain endpoints were not correctly reported, underestimating the effects, as shown by a recent paper by Axel Mie and colleagues.”

”In 2015, we evaluated the cost of exposure to organophosphate pesticides – Chlorpyrifos being the most used in the EU. Continue Reading →

Axel Mie: ”That’s how it works; assessment is based on business funded research”

Axel Mie, associated professor Karolinska Institute, Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset Stockholm, Sweden. ”It’s obvious that many independent studies find effects in the development of the brain whereas business funded research finds no such effects. The present assessment of chlorpyrifos is to a large extent based on hundreds of studies finances and filed by Dow. That’s how it works. This is well known.”

”The authorities have to take all evidence into consideration, also academic studies. Continue Reading →

EU-system alerts consumers – after they have eaten

Oranges from Spain is some of the fruits in EU, where there is a really high risk they are contaminated with chlorpyrifos. These oranges are harvested in the Spanish province, Valencia. Photo: APIADS – Agrupación de defensa sanitaria apícola

Documents released to us indicate that the EU-wide reporting system called RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) gives European consumers a weak protection, if any. In April 2018 Austria notified 19 other countries of imported basmati rice from Pakistan that contained chlorpyrifos in a level deemed to pose a serious risk to human health. The rice was withdrawn from the market by importers in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. Continue Reading →

Exposed mothers gave birth to mentally retarded children

Pesticide application to a field of cereals in Tauste, Spanish province of Saragosse. (Photo: Marcos García Rey)

Children in California’s main agricultural region Central Valley were compared to their mothers’ exposure to chlorpyrifos and other pesticides. 2961 of the children had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) including autism and Asperger syndrome, 445 of them had known intellectual disabilities and were recorded as mentally retarded. Ten times as many children without such diagnosis were also included in the study. The mothers’ exposure to chlorpyrifos and other pesticides was assessed. Continue Reading →

Thomas Backhaus: ”One of the really nasty pesticides”

Thomas Backhaus Professor for Ecotoxicology and Environmental Sciences the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. ”You can say the compound is very good at doing its job – killing insects. Farmers don’t spray if it doesn’t work. Thus, the problem is how to develop a non-toxic poison; a challenge for any pesticide.”

”The fundamental discussion is that those who want to market a product have to prove it’s safe and academic research is not a good counterpart. There is no independent entity that runs or re-runs the experiments on  which all the conclusions are based. Continue Reading →

Ketil Hylland: “Chlorpyrifos is a nerve poison”

Professor Ketil Hylland at the Department of Biosciences at the University of Oslo (private photo):

“Chlorpyrifos is a nerve poison that affects the transmission of signals between nerve cells. Previously, the common belief was that the substance disappeared quickly from the environment and affected people to a small extent, but gradually one has understood how harmful it is.” Hylland has been working on pollutants and pollution in water for decades. He led the Environmental Toxication Committee, which produced a report to environmental minister Erik Solheim in 2010, and in the past year he has led experiments with chlorpyrifos on cod, a fish living in Norway’s salt water fjords.”We wanted to see how the drug affects both general health and behavior. We saw that chlorpyrifos clearly affected the nervous system of the cod. Continue Reading →