The Environmental Protection Agency accused The New York Times Saturday of misrepresenting the agency’s ruling on a pesticide environmentalist believe causes various health problems.
TheNYT reported “false facts” about EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s decision in March not to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, according to a press statement the EPA released. The agency claims TheNYT withheld information from an Aug. 18 article showing an appeals court upheld the EPA’s ruling.
Eric Lipton and Roni Rabin of TheNYT made the “drastic” decision to omit “words from the EPA’s one-sentence statement in response to their story that reminded Americans that the USDA had scientific concerns about banning this pesticide,” the EPA statement adds.
“Taking emails out of context doesn’t change the fact that we continue to examine the science surrounding chlorpyrifos, while taking into account USDA’s scientific concerns with methodology used by the previous administration,” EPA spokesman Amy Graham wrote.
TheNYT article included the first portion of the email, but redacted relevant portions referring to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) belief that the former administration relied on faulty science to determine the pesticide’s future.
The EPA also stated the outlet refused to include a portion of their statement that noted that the Obama Administration’s USDA, three days before President Donald Trump took office, strongly opposed banning chlorpyrifos. Activists argue the pesticide hurts the IQ and physical development of agricultural workers and their children.
Republican congressmen have recently scrutinized academics they believe are shelving data indicating that certain pesticides are not cancerous.
House Republican Trey Gowdy, for instance, noted in a letter earlier this month to the National Institute of Health (NIH) that NCI scientist Aaron Blair was the researcher who reviewed a separate study showing no evidence glyphosate causes cancer. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) eventually concluded in 2015 that the herbicide probably was a carcinogen.
His letter asked NIH for evidence laying out Blair’s decision to keep this separate study out of the IARC assessment. The conclusion had an impact on Monsanto, a large agribusiness that produces the weed killer Roundup, which contains glyphosate.
Monsanto is fending off waves of lawsuits from people who claim they’re suffering from cancer because of their contact with the herbicide – many of the plaintiffs have used IARC’s findings to bolster their claims.
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