Thursday, October 16, 2008

The following is an appeal from the United Farm Workers to sign their petition against the use of the agricultural pesticide endosulfan. There are safer alternatives to this highly toxic chemical, as the story below explains.
Tell EPA to protect our food from the toxic pesticide endosulfan:
Public Comment period ends on Monday,
so please take action TODAY!
In February 2008, thousands of UFW supporters joined us and signed a petition asking the EPA to ban Endosulfan--an antiquated and dangerous pesticide. We’ve got their attention, but we need your help to make sure they actually take action to protect the public.

The EPA opened a new public comment period regarding this deadly pesticide. The UFW is again working with a coalition of our environmental friends to turn in a joint petition on Monday to show the EPA how concerned we are. Please TAKE ACTION today by signing this petition and demanding that the EPA ensures that no residues of endosulfan are found in food sold in the U.S.

Endosulfan is one of the most commonly detected residues in our national food supply. It persists in the environment and travels on wind and water currents to areas far from its use. It is acutely toxic and easily absorbed by the human body. Low levels of exposure in the womb have been linked to autism, male reproductive harm and other birth defects. The lethal chemical has been linked to dozens of accidental deaths. It is an organochlorine--which means it persists in our environment long after it has killed the target pests--thus leaving a deadly legacy for people and wildlife.

When we are successful in banning this poison, we will protect both farmworkers and consumers.

The European Union and several other countries have already banned endosulfan as less dangerous alternatives are available. It’s time the U.S. does its part to protect communities and the environment from this toxic pollutant.

It is vital that we get as many signatures as possible. Please sign the petition today and then immediately forward this petition to as many friends as possible.
Thank you!
Full Petition Text:
I am calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revoke all remaining tolerances for the organochlorine pesticide endosulfan.
Endosulfan is a suspected endocrine disruptor and low dose exposure while in the womb has been linked to autism, male reproductive harm, and birth defects. Endosulfan bioaccumulates in human bodies and is transferred from mother to fetus. Human exposure to endosulfan through food and water is common. It is one of the most commonly detected residues in the 5,000 most widely consumed foods in the U.S. Revoking all tolerances for endosulfan will protect current and future generations from exposure to this pesticide. Not only will this ensure that domestic food supplies are protected, but also that imported food will be free of this toxic pesticide.
Endosulfan is a persistent organic pollutant that can contaminate ecosystems far from where it is used. Studies have shown high levels of endosulfan in U.S. freshwater fish and from all samples taken from the Great Lakes in the U.S. and Canada. The EPA's own analysis has shown widespread endosulfan contamination of drinking water in the U.S.
Colder regions, especially the Arctic, act as a sink for endosulfan and the chemical has been found in Alaskan air, lake water, seawater, fish, snow and plants. Levels of endosulfan in these places are increasing rather than diminishing. A study evaluating concentrations of endosulfan in Arctic seawater found the highest concentrations in the western Arctic, specifically in the Bering and Chukchi Sea. Given the inherent persistent and bioaccumulative properties of endosulfan and its presence in Arctic air, water, and biota, continued use of endosulfan poses too great a hazard to the health of northern Indigenous peoples who are reliant on traditional diets of fish and marine mammals.
It is imperative that EPA take action to protect these vulnerable communities.
The U.S. can do without endosulfan. Viable alternatives--including non-chemical pest control methods--are readily available. The European Union and over 20 other nations, including Cambodia, the Philippines, and Tonga, have already acted to ban or severely restrict endosulfan uses. A legally binding international treaty, the Stockholm Convention, is currently evaluating endosulfan for possible addition to the Convention's list of persistent organic pollutants, which could lead to a near-global ban. The U.S. must act now to catch up with the rest of the world and protect the health of people and the environment by revoking all endosulfan tolerances.
Please go to THIS LINK to sign the petition above.


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mollymew said...

Thanks Nate,
There's still a lot of work to do on it. Future editing will involve not just expansion but a one by one sweep to eliminate dead links and the splitting of various categories into subunits to make navigation easier.
Stay with Molly as she shoots teh rapids of Link River.