Multiple lawsuits filed in California on Monday are seeking class-action damages from Dow Chemical and its successor, Corteva, over a pesticide that it is used to treat a variety of popular crops.
A worker applies pesticide by hand
Cortvea Chlorpyrifos Pesticide Lawsuit
Chlorpyrifos, the pesticide in question, is approved for use on over 80 crops, which include oranges, berries, grapes, soybeans, and various kinds of nut. Last year the pesticide was banned for sale in California and spraying was banned this year. Other states are now moving to ban it too, including New York.
A recent study showed that soybean oil, the most widely consumed oil in the US, caused serious gene damage to mice, leading to weight gain and neurological problems. Could part of the problem be pesticide residue?
The lead attorney for the lawsuits alleges that decades of use in the Central Valley agricultural area have caused serious contamination in its communities, with levels of the chemical detectable in residents’ homes. Perhaps as many as 100,000 people may need to dispose of their personal belongings as a result of contamination. Around 61 million lbs of the pesticide were applied between 1974 and 2017 in the four countries (Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare) covered by the lawsuits.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about endocrine-disrupting chemicals in 2021: what they are, what they do and how to limit your exposure to them. This is essential reading for all who care about their health.
“We have found it in the houses, we have found it in carpet, in upholstered furniture, we found it in a teddy bear and we found it on the walls and surfaces,” the attorney said. “Then a little child picks up a teddy bear and holds on to it.” This contamination, he added, will ‘not [go] away on its own’, but will need to be cleaned up properly.
Aside from Dow-related companies, various farming companies are named which the plaintiffs claim applied the chemical near their homes. In each case, the plaintiffs are parents suing on behalf of children who suffer from severe neurological injuries that the lawsuits blame on their exposure to the chemical while they were in the womb or when they were very young.
Aside from contamination from nearby spraying, the lawsuits say family members or others in frequent contact with the child worked in the fields or packing plants and became contaminated with the chemical, which was then passed on to the child.
Corteva, created after the merger of Dow Chemical and Dupont, was the world’s largest manufacturer of chlorpyrifos until last year, when it stopped manufacturing the chemical.
Although Dow has always stood by the safety of chlorpyrifos – see this 2017 statement, for instance – and claims that it decided to cease production due to falling profits, research has clearly linked the chemical to brain damage in children. Chlorpyrifos was banned for household use in the USA in 2001, but continued to be used in agriculture.
A 2017 study in the Journal of Neurochemistry said the following:
“The epidemiological studies reviewed herein have reported statistically significant correlations between prenatal exposures to CPF [chlorpyrifos] and postnatal neurological complications, particularly cognitive deficits that are also associated with disruption of the structural integrity of the brain…. Various preclinical research groups throughout the world have consistently demonstrated that CPF is a developmental neurotoxicant. The developmental CPF neurotoxicity, which is well supported by studies using different animal models, routes of exposure, vehicles, and testing methods, is generally characterized by cognitive deficits and disruption of the structural integrity of the brain.”
Other studies have linked the chemical to lowered IQ and cognitive development, autism and other neurological disorders, stunting, lung cancer and Parkinson’s diseases. A list of these studies and various quotations from them can be accessed here.
In 2019 the European Union decided that no safe level of exposure can be set for chlorpyrifos, a decision that was strongly rebuffed by Corteva. The EU moved to ban chlorpyrifos soon after.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has long recognised the potential damage caused by chlorpyrifos, but has yet to decide whether or not to ban it. The delay has been met with some incredulity by critics who claim that the damage caused by the chemical is clearly evidenced. In April, The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the EPA to make a decision.
The lawsuits are not unlike the enormous lawsuits being launched against Monsanto, which we reported on last week in an article on the highly toxic herbicide.
In her new book, Toxic Legacy: How the Weedkiller Glyphosate is Destroying Our Health and the Environment, Stephanie Seneff describes the terrible ongoing effects of decades of massive use of Glyphosate in the US. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the most commonly used herbicide in the world. Nearly 300 million lbs of it are sprayed on farms and food every year.
One of the most eye-catching claims Seneff makes – and one that’s been much-discussed on Twitter in recent weeks – is that biodiesel made from crops sprayed with Glyphosate aerosolises the weedkiller, which is then inhaled. This damages the lungs, and this damage may be playing a role – yes, really – in exacerbating the Coronavirus pandemic. Recently, she discussed these claims as a guest on the Wise Traditions podcast, from the Weston Price Foundation.
Thousands of consumers have filed Roundup cancer claims alleging they developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, b-cell lymphoma, leukemia and other forms of cancer after using the weed killer.
The first non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma lawsuit came before a jury in 2018 and resulted in a landmark $289 million verdict against Monsanto. The award has been reduced twice, but the plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson, and his family should receive $20 million.
In 2020, Bayer agreed to a $10.9 billion dollar Roundup settlement, and has since put aside a further $2 billion for future lawsuits. Clearly, the claims are not going to keep coming.
A number of studies have linked Glyphosate exposure to increased risks of forms of cancer like Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), in Europe and the United States. A 2019 study from the University of Washington, for instance, concluded that high exposure to Glyphosate increased a person’s risk of NHL by 41%.
The risks from chemicals in food and water are still routinely ignored, despite mounting evidence for their serious and sometimes even fatal effects. More than 90% of Americans have pesticides or pesticide-byproducts in their bodies.
Scientists at the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit advocacy group, has been producing regular analyses of pesticide levels in US produce. About 70% of all US produce contains traces of pesticides, the EWG reports in its latest shoppers’ guide to the “ dirty dozen,” the fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide load.
The worst of the dirty dozen in 2019 was strawberries, for the fourth year in a row, with an average of nearly eight pesticides per sample, followed by spinach and kale. Spinach had more pesticides by weight than any other crop.
Here at Herculean Strength we’re committed to helping you fight against the toxic chemical freight of modernity and reclaim your health. To this end, we recommend you begin with our one-stop primer on endocrine-disruptors, a ubiquitous class of chemical that’s disrupting the hormonal balance of humans and animals with disastrous consequences.