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 →

On your dinner plate and in your body: the most dangerous pesticide you’ve never heard of

updated 17/6 klokken 07.26

Harvest of melons in the province of Murcia in Spain. Photo Marcos García Rey

Scientists say there is no acceptable dose to avoid brain damage. Its use is banned in several European countries. Yet its residues are found in fruit baskets, on dinner plates, and in human urine samples from all over Europe. Now producers are pushing for a renewed EU-approval – perhaps in vain. Continue Reading →

One study only paved way for chlorpyrifos

Chlorpyrifos has been used in EU despite the manufacturer’s study on developmental neurotoxicity is criticized for being invalid. Photo Marcos García Rey. The EU-approval of the pesticide chlorpyrifos was based on one single study concerning possible damages on the developing brain, commissioned by the producer Dow in 1998. Dow has been asked to provide a new study on developmental neurotoxicity, but rejected to comply. A spokesperson for EFSA (European Food Safety Agency) says to Le Monde:

“We can confirm that during the evaluation of chlorpyrifos in 2013 the only one available study on developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) was from 1998 and had several limitations (e.g. lack of findings in the positive control, exposure period from gestational day 6 to lactation day 11 (instead of 21), lower number of individuals for neuropathology (6 instead of 10) and for learning and memory (8 instead of 10), etc.).”

Spain is acting as the Rapporteur Member State for the UE in the renewal procedure which will end in January 2020. Continue Reading →

National tests show we eat insect poison

Updated 07.26 on 17/6 2019. European citizens continue to eat and drink the insect poison believed by scientists to cause damage to children’s brains. Data for the year 2016 from all member states sent to the food safety agency EFSA shows that out of 76,200 samples 3,371 contained chlorpyrifos and 839 chlorpyrifos-metyl. In total they accounted for 5,5 percent of all the samples. !function(){“use strict”;window.addEventListener(“message”,function(a){if(void 0!==a.data[“datawrapper-height”])for(var e in a.data[“datawrapper-height”]){var t=document.getElementById(“datawrapper-chart-“+e)||document.querySelector(“iframe[src*='”+e+”‘]”);t&&(t.style.height=a.data[“datawrapper-height”][e]+”px”)}})}();

The NGO Pesticide Action Network Europe has analyzed the same data and narrowed the analysis to only look at randomly sampled unprocessed plant based food products in EU. 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 →

EU-commissioner says MEPs should open up

Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager says the Parliament ought to disclose the working conditions and salaries for assistants hired by MEPs, as she comments on an on-going transparency case. In the case brought to the European Court of Justice in 2015, 29 journalists have challenged the European Parliaments refusal to disclose reimbursements paid to its 751 elected members. The Parliament’s administration, backed by its legal service, claims a disclosure of how the money is used would infringe the MEP’s privacy.  The journalists argue that elected politicians’ use of taxpayer’s money cannot be shielded behind privacy rules. On top of salaries, reimbursements for travel costs, and daily allowances for attending meetings, each MEP receives up to 21 379 euros for hiring staff, and 4 320 euro in ”general allowances” per month. Each MEPs thus disposes over all in all some 36 000 euros on a monthly basis. Continue Reading →

US blocks antibiotic measures in TTIP

EU attempts to regulate against antimicrobial resistance are opposed by the US in the TTIP-negotiations. American and interests and ”stakeholders” threaten proposed EU-legislation

 

The EU wants to reduce farmer’s use of antibiotics in animal feed. The US does not want any such measures written into a TTIP- agreement. »That’s how we understand it, although we haven’t been told right out and we haven’t got access to any negotiating texts to prove it,« says Zoltán Massay-Kosubek from European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), an umbrella organisation for health related interest groups in Brussels. EPHA takes regularly part in TTIP Advisory Group, a forum set up by the Commission to promote the understanding of TTIP among interest groups. Continue Reading →