Back in January, Dow Chemical gave $1 million toward the inauguration ceremony for President Donald Trump. Months later, it seems this donation has become more of an investment — especially since Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency is passing rules favorable to the chemical giant.
EPA head Scott Pruitt announced late in March that his agency won’t ban the use of chlorpyrifos, an insecticide that can cause several detrimental health effects, including (but not limited to) vomiting, abdominal muscle cramps, blurred or darkened vision and in some extreme cases even paralysis, according to the National Pesticide Information Center. The chemical may also be harmful to thousands of endangered or otherwise threatened species.
The EPA banned the use of chlorpyrifos in 2005 for residential purposes, and sought to ban its use in agriculture in 2015 under the Obama administration. The ban came in response to the possibility that the insecticide may also lead to problems with fetal development if pregnant women are exposed to the chemical agent.
In spite of these possibilities, Pruitt and the EPA decided that no ban was needed on the chemical. “We are returning to using sound science in decision-making,” Pruitt explained.
Dow Chemical had lobbied Trump hard to reverse the Obama administration’s move toward banning the chemical, particularly because they market it to farmers across the nation.
It seems their lobbying efforts, as well as their $1 million donation to Trump’s inaugural celebration, have paid off, with potentially grave consequences for humans and other animals exposed to the toxin.