The EPA’s own scientists found that ingesting even small amounts of the pesticide chlorpyrifos can interfere with brain development in fetuses and infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics urged that the chemical not be made for sale. Traces of it are already found in drinking water, and 87% of blood samples from umbilical cords had detectable levels. Dow (the manufacturer of this chemical) seemed to even acknowledge a risk when it stopped selling it for home use in 2000. The EPA had been pushing for a ban on this chemical, but after the EPA head (Scott Pruitt) met with Dow Chemical’s CEO, that position has been reversed, and the EPA has denied a petition to ban the chemical from being sprayed on food.
EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said that, the “EPA has concluded that the science addressing chlorpyrifos remains unresolved.” UNRESOLVED. To put that another way, they’re saying the science doesn’t show whether or not the chemical is safe…so they choose to APPROVE it for use on food? Wouldn’t you want to RESOLVE that science completely before subjecting people to this?!
The power of corporations over the American government seems to know no limits. Dow spent $13.6 million on lobbying in 2016, gave $1 million to help with Trump’s inauguration celebration, and the Dow CEO was even photographed at Trump’s side at one of his infamous oval office signings.
Sadly, but not surprisingly, President Trump has announced his decision to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Accord. It’s not clear exactly when this can happen…if it’ll actually take the years that some people say (he said he’ll stick to the withdrawal process laid out in the agreement, which could take up to four years, but do you really believe what he says?). He says he wants to ‘renegotiate’ the agreement, something that the leaders of France, Germany, and Italy said was not possible (in a joint statement today). It doesn’t matter though…it sends a message to the world that the US will no longer be a global leader. Other countries will rise up to take that place and will prosper from that.
The latest WikiLeaks data dump is all over the news today. This time, they’ve released documents detailing the techniques the CIA uses to spy on people. if it’s true, it’s pretty amazing how deep they’ve burrowed into our digital lives. It covers pretty much anything you can think of…from old-school viruses and malware, to hacking of smart TVs and even cars. Pretty much any electronic device that has a microphone, they can probably tap into and listen in.
This is the sort of thing that people used to dismiss as crazy conspiracy theories. Times have changed, huh?!
Say hello to Boston Dynamics‘ latest robotic creation, Handle. A bipedal, wheeled ‘bot with some impressive stats…the ability to negotiate most terrain (including stairs), jump four feet, travel up to 9mph, and go around 15 miles between charges. This thing could finish a half-marathon in a very fast time…that’s pretty impressive.