Fluoride Action Network

Sulfuryl fluoride: fighting to keep the phase-out

FAN Bulletin | July 23, 2013

Dear Supporter,

Just when we thought that Dow AgroSciences had been thwarted in its efforts to use the Farm Bill to overturn the EPA’s ruling that the neurotoxic food fumigant sulfuryl fluoride should be phased out, it is back again with more dirty politicking. This time it is using the 2014 House Appropriations Bill to do its dirty work.

Background: In January 2011, in a momentous decision, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Division of Pesticides bravely thwarted Dow and accepted all of FAN’s (as well as EWG’s and Beyond Pesticides’s) objections to the use of this fumigant on food.

We successfully argued that according to an act designed to provide more protections to children’s health from pesticies (the 1996 Food Quality and Protection Act), the estimated exposure to a new pesticide combined with any background exposure should not exceed a safe reference dose. The trouble for Dow is that sulfuryl fluoride breaks down to fluoride and millions of American kids are already exceeding the designated safe reference dose for fluoride without any additions from sulfuryl fluoride.

Dow has allies in Congress willing to do its bidding – and in this case willing to undermine a good Act passed in 1996 to protect children’s health.  At the bottom of this email you can read the tortuous language added to the 2014 House Appropriations Bill. Translated into English, this is what it says:

Dow AgroSciences is not happy that its food fumigant sulfuryl fluoride is on the chopping block. To please Dow, we have decided on the following: Science and the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) of 1996 be dammed. It is Dow’s profits that need our protection not our children!

The legislation is currently being heard by the House Committee on Appropriations’ subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.  Please contact your Represenatives in Congress today and ask them to remove Section 449 on Sulfuryl Fluoride from the House Appropriations bill for these three reasons:

  • To keep intact the integrity of the Food Quality & Protection Act of 1996,
  • To protect our children from more exposure to toxic fluoride and
  • To ban undue influence from companies like Dow on government agencies that actually do their job to protect the public

1.) Send a letter to your Representative and to committee members.

2.) Call your Represenative.  Phone calls are more influential than emails, and Senate staff does take note of constituent positions on issues.

3.) Please forward this bulletin to friends and family via email and share on Facebook and other social media sites.  You can share this bulletin by clicking on the link below entitled “view it in your browser”, then cutting and pasting the URL into a social media post.


SEC. 449. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the Environmental Protection Agency to prepare and finalize an order under section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 346a) that in any way removes, withdraws, revokes, or stays tolerances for the pesticide chemical sulfuryl fluoride if that final order takes into consideration aggregate or cumulative exposure to other substances related to sulfuryl fluoride or its metabolites or degradates pursuant to sections 408(b)(2)(A), 408(b)(2)(C), 408(b)(2)(D)(v), and 408(b)(2)(D)(vi) of such Act (21 U.S.C. 346a (b)(2)(A), 346a(b)(2)(C), 346a(b)(2)(D)(v), and 346a(b)(2)(D)(vi)). Dow


Stuart Cooper

FAN, Campaign Manager
See all FAN Bulletins