On August 4, the Office of NYS Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, submitted comments to the US Environmental Protection Agency in support of the revocation of the use of Dow AgroSciences food fumigant sulfuryl fluoride (ProFume®).
Three groups (Fluoride Action Network, Environmental Working Group, Beyond Pesticides) petitioned EPA in June 2006 to revoke all food tolerances of Dow’s sulfuryl fluoride. The petition was submitted to EPA by the groups’ attorney Perry Wallace of the international law firm Zelle, Hofmann, Voebel, Mason and Gette.
EPA solicited comments to the groups’ petition in the July 5, 2006, Federal Register.
Spitzer’s office responded in support of the groups’ petition stating: “… EPA’s decision to establish food residue tolerances for sulfuryl fluoride suffers from a number of serious legal, scientific and logical flaws… The tolerances fail to meet the requirements or intent of the FQPA [Food Quality Protection Act] to establish tolerances that protect the health of infants and children.”
Other shortcomings of EPA’s assessment noted by Spitzer’s office:
— Failure to adequately assess aggregate and cumulative exposures to fluoride.
— Failure to set protective tolerances.
— Lack of monitoring data to adequately characterize fluoride levels in food and feed
Other comments to EPA in support of the groups petition include:
— 4,700 people signed online letter organized by Fluoride Action Network.
— Environmental Working Group submitted letters from 3,517 people
— Statement from Union representing professionals at EPA’s Washington DC office
— Online letters organized by Beyond Pesticides, Organic Consumers’ Association, and Pesticide Action Network.
According to Dr. Paul Connett, Director of FAN, “Our children are already getting too much fluoride in their water: they don’t need any more in their food. The EPA created ‘safe’ dosages of fluoride residues for infants which are ten times higher than for adults. This is preposterous. The law requires them to do the very opposite.”
Connett added, “Sulfuryl fluoride is an alternative fumigant to methyl bromide, which creates holes in the ozone layer. The problem with sulfuryl fluoride is that it creates holes in the brain. Neither should be acceptable in a civilized society.”