Late last week the Senate ended debate on the Farm Bill with a cloture vote in an effort to advance the legislation without additional controversial amendments. At this time Senator Donnelly’s sulfuryl fluoride amendment is not on the Farm Bill. However, this afternoon the Senate is reconvening to hold a final floor vote on the legislation. More than 200 floor amendments are still being considered, including Sen. Donnelly’s.
Senators are being lobbied to pass the sulfuryl fluoride amendment, and they need to hear from you! If this Amendment gets on the giant 2013 Farm Bill, then it will certainly become law and very high fluoride residue levels on food will be legal. We are asking for you to call or fax you Senators today and request that they work to stop the Amendment.
Calling your Senator is your right, and is incredibly easy to do. When you call you will likely speak with a legislative staffer who handles constituent calls every day. Tell them that you are a constituent, and that you oppose Senator Donnelly’s amendment #1122 regarding “Exclusion of fluoride from aggregate exposure, for any or all of the following reasons:
• Sulfuryl fluoride is a highly neurotoxic substance and Americans don’t need another substance, especially on their food, that is known to damage the brain. All of Dow’s animal experiments with sulfuryl fluoride reported rare and serious brain damage in every species tested.
• EPA pesticides division made the right decision to protect the American public when they proposed to phase-out sulfuryl fluoride as a food fumigant in January 2011. This Amendment punishes EPA for doing the job Congress mandated them to do in the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA).
• Congress passed FQPA in 1996. This Act gave stronger protections to children from pesticide risks. One of these protections was the necessity to evaluate “aggregate exposure” to a pesticidal substance. And EPA found that children were being overexposed to fluoride. For example, CDC has reported that 41% of children ages 12-15 have some form of dental fluorosis which is a biomarker for fluoride overexposure.
• This Amendment is devious because it eliminates important exposure pathways. If the Amendment passes, infants and children will be put in harm’s way. More than 37 studies have been published reporting an association between fluoride exposure and lowered IQ. Black and Mexican American children already suffer significantly higher rates of the more severe forms of dental fluorosis, a biomarker for fluoride overexposure.
• Sulfuryl fluoride is a potent greenhouse gas.
• There has been no transparency in putting this Amendment forward. This Amendment needs to be stopped and if necessary a hearing should be held at a future date.
• Three advocacy groups worked together for many years to get EPA to do the right thing to protect the health of Americans on this issue. They submitted substantive objections in a timely manner over 8 years. They responded to every request from EPA, including mediation efforts. These groups are: the Fluoride Action Network, Beyond Pesticides and the Environmental Working Group.