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Attack of the Killer Weeds: Killer Weeds Home

December 14, 1999

This report was released in December, 1999

Pesticide Hypocrisy on Capitol Hill

killer weed graphic When Weeds Attack! Some "emergency" pesticide exemptions have been granted for 7 consecutive years. That's some emergency!

It's a little-known government program, but it could have a major effect on your kids' health.

The "Section 18" program, named after an obscure provision of federal pesticide law, allows farmers to bypass health and safety laws in cases of an emergency pest outbreak. In recent years, Congress and the EPA have turned this program into major loophole, allowing millions of acres of crops -- including foods heavily consumed by kids -- to be sprayed with poorly tested pesticides. EPA has played fast and loose with the definition of a pest "emergency."

pesticide lobby controls politicians graphic For 53 members of congress, sound science is nothing more than a sound bite.

Now, 225 members of congress have cosponsored legislation to open the Section 18 program to even more abuses and further delay children's health protections. These representatives say they're for "sound science" -- yet 53 of these cosponsors have directly pressured EPA to grant Section 18 exemptions, which by definition are for pesticides that lack scientific health and safety testing. Not surprisingly, many of these hypocrites have taken re-election money from pesticide and agribusiness companies that support broadening Section 18 exemptions.