By Rich Kozlovich
Every so often we will get a notice that some bill or other is being promoted that will severely impact the use of pesticides. The School Environmental Protection Act is one such bill. It keeps getting introduced by Barbara Boxer or one of her co-conspirators every year or so, but these days it is always dead in the water. That demonstrates how bad this bill is. Because almost everything the activist foist on the public it starts out with….”It’s for the children”, and usually legislators just wither when they hear that. No legislative wants to vote against anything “that is for the children”.
When promoting a bill they usually have what are called ‘findings’ to justify the reason for any bill to be considered and acted upon. What is the reason for SEPA (H.R. 4159, at the time) to appear once again? They claim, among other things, that “childhood cancer is continuing to increase at the alarming rate of 1 percent per year; the overall incidence of childhood cancer has increased over the past 30 years, making cancer the leading cause of childhood death from disease.” This simply isn’t true!
As a member of the American Council on Science and Health (ASCH) I receive something called the Daily Dispatch which gives me a daily update on all of the science issues of our time; new and old, legitimate science and junk science.
I sent the link for H.R. 4159 to Jeff Stier and others at ASCH and pointed out the so-called “scientific” justification for the bill. I don’t know that sending it to them made any impact on their actions, but I am glad that they made the effort to include this in the Daily Dispatch the following day.
ACSH staffers were pleased, though not surprised, to learn that cancer rates in the U.S. continue to decline, according to a report from a group of cancer and health organizations including the National Cancer Institute.
“Every day 'environmental' activists refer to the cancer epidemic, claiming that cancer rates are going up,” says ACSH's Jeff Stier. “Once again, we see there that this simply is not the case. On the contrary, cancer rates continue to go down by about one percent each year across the board, thanks to improved screening and early detection. With colon cancer, for example, screening by colonoscopy actually decreases incidence of the disease.”
ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross adds, “I find it instructive that the New York Times dealt with this important story by putting an AP briefing on it on page A24. Imagine where they would have placed a story about rising cancer rates.”
Protecting children is not a negotiable item. That is why the activists use the tact, “it’s for the children”! Whenever you hear that that phrase it’s time to stop and listen very carefully, because an emotional trigger such as that must be viewed with a doubtful eye. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are wrong! However it can mean that they are strong on ideology and weak on facts, and in some cases it means they are lying. That is why you have to pay close attention and question everything.
If they can create the impression that pesticides are causing anything harmful in the nation’s children the public will not be “reasonable” they will not “understand” and they will not listen to the lengthy explanations that many times are necessary to overcome greenie sound bites. The public will demand that something must be done before it is too late. And the activists will make any outrageous claim necessary to make their demands become reality. Which to the anti-pesticide activists means to ban something in some way or another. That is what these bills attempt to do, but in a roundabout way.
Their goal is not to outright ban pesticides, but to regulate pesticides to the point that it becomes impossible to use them. They will not be “banned” on paper but that won’t matter. I often hear how DDT wasn’t banned entirely because there were emergency exemptions that would allow for its use. So what! The fact that DDT wasn’t banned on paper in its entirety doesn’t alter the fact that it was a de facto ban none the less. The end result is that activists see things as a long term goals; which is far different than what industry executives see, i.e., the next quarterly return. This gives corporate executives the false impression that they can deal with the activists.
In reality the activists have incrementally baby stepped their way to where they wished to go sixty years ago. Corporate bigwigs retire and new short term thinkers take their place, but the activists goals and concepts remain. The faces might change, but it really doesn’t matter….they are ideological and philosophical clones of their predecessors.
The anti-pesticide movement needs no individual or group of individuals because their philosophy is timeless. They are like a hydra growing new heads while the body remains the same. Whoever is there, in any time frame, will carry on with the same principles, philosophies and goals that were promoted by those who preceded them. It isn’t just one more issue occurring one more day. It is a crusade that will never stop and can only be defeated by absolute observance of the first rule of science.
“De Omnibus Dubitandum” – Doubt everything!
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