EWG news roundup (6/24): Triple-dipping farm subsidies, 'neonic' pesticides may harm children’s health and more

This week, EWG released a new analysis detailing how Department of Agriculture taxpayer-funded farm support programs paid farmers $91.6 billion for crop price decreases and other challenges between 2018 and 2020, with similar program qualifications allowing some farmers to get paid up to three times for the same crop price drop.

“Over this three-year period, farmers reaped a bounty in taxpayer dollars, with multiple USDA programs compensating them for the same crop price drop,” said EWG Midwest Director Anne Schechinger, an agricultural economist, who wrote the analysis. “And now, in a blatant cash grab, farm groups are disingenuously calling on Congress for even more subsidies – after years of record-high payments.”

EWG applauded Congress for some important actions this week. First, a key House subcommittee approved $126 million in the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget for fiscal year 2023 to address the “forever chemicals” known as PFAS. Later in the week, the House Armed Services Committee included several provisions to tackle PFAS in its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2023.

This week, EWG also broke down neonicotinoids, or neonics, which are insecticides known to be toxic to bees and other pollinators, including hummingbirds and other nectar feeders. Recent studies show widely used neonics may also be toxic to humans and especially harmful for children.

Finally, EWG offered tips for staying safer in the sun and other ways to stay healthy during the upcoming Independence Day weekend.

Here’s some news you can use going into this weekend.

Triple dipping into taxpayer-funded farm support programs

Food & Environment Reporting Network: Farm payments doubled during subsidy flood, says EWG

The government paid a record $41.6 billion in a variety of subsidies to farmers in 2020, double the amount they received in 2018, when the Trump-era cash gusher began flowing, said the Environmental Working Group on Wednesday.

New DOD PFAS testing

Daily Mail: 'Dangerously high levels' of toxic forever chemicals have been found in drinking water of communities surrounding US military bases, new report reveals

Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyst Policy Analyst Jared Hayes told DailyMail.com in a phone interview: 'We were just going through the data in the past week or so... PFOA and PFOS are showing up in thousands parts per trillion on some bases.


Associated Press: Nuclear industry hopes to expand output with new reactors

The Environmental Working Group has said small reactors are going to be a “total financial debacle” because the cost of nuclear power never comes down, with costs and risks shifted to ratepayers.

EWG VERIFIED®: Cosmetics

Los Angeles Magazine Online: 37 Best Body Washes for Dry Skin in 2022

Here’s a pleasant pro: this body wash boasts EWG certification! The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit organization that looks into personal care products to verify whether they’re truly cruelty-free and chemical-free. With a clean lemon leaf scent, it’s a subtle unisex scent that works both for him and for her.


E&E News/Greenwire: PFAS subgroups could be subject to Superfund law

Melanie Benesh, a legislative attorney with the Environmental Working Group, noted that the possible rulemaking notice has been in the works for some time. The agency previewed the move when it released its sweeping road map last year laying out how it would be addressing PFAS.

Inside EPA: Senate Ban On PFAS In Food Wrapping May Snag Class-Action Defense

“The FDA has repeatedly failed to ban PFAS from food packaging, despite calls from the Environmental Working Group and others to act because of evidence linking PFAS to cancer and other health harms,” the environmental group said in a statement following the committee vote.

Environmental Health News: IN-DEPTH: What we know about PFAS in our food

PFAS can get into the food we eat in a number of ways, from leaching off of food packaging coatings to contamination on farms. In a recent analysis, the Environmental Working Group estimated that the common practice of spreading sewage sludge for fertilizer could have contaminated up to 20 million acres of U.S. croplands with the forever chemicals.

EWG Guide to Sunscreens

Elle: The 12 Best Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreens

Top safety from the EWG? Check. Vegan, cruelty-free, and dermatologist-approved? Check. Crafted by a world-class athlete? Check. Venus William’s EleVen sunscreen is the real deal, not to mention perfect for layering under your makeup as a serum or maybe as the top layer for a day of activities

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