According to a recent CNN article, a federal judge recently stuck down the Bush administration’s request that the laws surrounding pesticide use be relaxed. Yes, they want MORE pesticides and more liberal use of them. I usually stop myself short when I’m tempted to say that the Bush admin hurts America, but this is clear cut. This request would have directly hurt the health of Americans, and the health of endangered species such as wild salmon.
It was the second time in recent years that U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour chastised federal agencies for failing to follow the Endangered Species Act in licensing pesticides for sale.
In 2001, environmental groups sued over the Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before allowing certain pesticides to be sold. Coughenour ordered the EPA to conduct the consultations in determining whether 55 of the pesticides were likely to harm salmon.
Instead, in 2004, the administration created a new rule allowing it to ignore the consultation requirement of the Endangered Species Act. Officials reasoned the EPA should decide on its own whether pesticides were likely to harm protected species.
The environmental groups sued again, and on Thursday, Coughenour threw out the new rule, saying the government could not simply ignore the act’s requirements.
“The administrative record is striking in its total lack of any evidence of technical or scientific support for the policy positions ultimately adopted,” Coughenour wrote.
He noted that in 2004 the EPA asked fisheries service scientists to support its findings that 28 pesticides were not likely to harm protected species.
Oh my. The FDA clearly has forgotten the most basic premises of the scientific method. Am I disappointed? Yes. Surprised? No.