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 The rice was withdrawn from the market by importers in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.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 →

Leonardo Trasande: ”Damage the brain of young children”

Leonardo Trasande, pediatrician, associate professor, director of the division of Environmental Pediatrics New York University School of Medicine, author of ”Sicker, Fatter, Poorer” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2019):

”One of the worst consequences is that the pesticides causes the loss of IQ points for our children. When you look at studies run by Columbia University, they show that the exposure to chemicals are linked to the decrease in IQ, tremors, and loss of cognitive potential. Chlorpyrifos is one of those chemicals affecting those measurable decreases.”

”The main argument to keep the massive use of pesticides is that it would be the only way to sustain the agricultural supply. However, this is not true. First of all, there are alternatives that seem to me much safer, and, in addition, there are studies now show that organic agriculture could not diminish the production values of food.”

”There is a place for regulation as regulators should work on avoiding the contact of chemicals and the population. Continue Reading →

The non-accountable MEPs

Out of 748 MEPs at the time of our investigation in 2017, only 53 were prepared to show documentation for actual spending (Photo: European Parliament)

A case lost by a group of journalists representing the 28 EU-member countries in the European Court of Justice last September will cast a shadow over upcoming European Parliament elections. In our view, we actually were among close to 500 million people who lost when the court decided that no EU citizen has a right to access documents about expenditures claimed by the members of the European parliament (MEPs). This is remarkable in light of the fact that many countries, or member states, already allow access to the expenses of their national parliamentarians. The documents we had asked for were proof of expenses held by MEPs in their role as legislators. In 2019, all members receive €4,513 each month for keeping offices in their home countries while not on duty in Brussels and Strasbourg. Continue Reading →

Does your MEP run a ghost office?

Is your member of the European Parliament a rent payer or a subsidy player? Last week the journalists of The MEPs Project revealed that one out of three MEPs across the EU does not maintain a national office or has declined to disclose its location. Citizens are now asking:

What is the address of my MEP’s national office, if any? How much of the tax-free 4342 Euro allowance per month does he or she pay in office rent? Did my MEP vote to hide or disclose how this money is spent? Continue Reading →

European Parliament under pressure

For the 750 members of the European Parliament, last Wednesday was not just another day at the office, as media outlets from Italy to Sweden put out the results of an unprecedented investigation.  

In a coordinated effort journalists from all member states had unearthed cases where MEPs used taxpayers’ money to pay rent to themselves or to their political party. They reported how MEPs from member states as different as the Netherlands or Bulgaria flatly denied disclosing what they spend in expenses. These reports put the EU institutions under pressure. The EU anti-fraud office OLAF immediately announced it would look into cases where MEPs pay rent to themselves. Continue Reading →

Citizens pay for EU ghost offices –  not used and not on the map

Each member of the European Parliament gets 4 342 euros every month, mainly to fund an office in their own country. But offices for 249 MEPs do not exist or seem nowhere to be found. So far 133 out of the 748 current parliamentarians told what they pay in office rent, an investigation shows. Each MEP receives a so-called General Expenditure Allowance (GEA), costing the EU around €40 million annually. It is intended to provide for national offices, but following research by journalists at ‘The MEPs Project,’ it seems the funds are potentially being misused. Continue Reading →