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The Safety of Inert Components in Pesticides Questioned

Evidence is mounting in regard to the toxicity of pesticides to our health, especially among farmers we rely on for our food. Fourteen states (including California, New York and Illinois) asked the EPA earlier this week to require all ingredients -- both active and inactive -- be listed on the product labels of pesticides.

Currently, the EPA merely requires pesticide manufacturers list active ingredients that eradicate weeds and insects. State representatives, on the other hand, want the EPA to mandate a listing of all inactive and inert chemicals be listed too which can encompass as much as 99 percent of a given pesticide. Makes sense, considering the agency already requires prescription drugs, foods and cosmetics to list inert substances.

The request comes at an end of the EPA's decade-long review of 237 pesticide ingredients. One pesticide -- lindane (still used to treat head lice and scabies) -- will get the boot when its current license ends.

Some EPA staff scientists worry nothing will change -- think the sorry state of affairs going on at the corrupted and compromised FDA -- as the agency bends to pressure from big business interests.

While all the political wrangling is going on, please take responsibility for your own health by following some simple steps that can reduce your exposure to pesticides.

Forbes.com August 2, 2006

Boston Globe August 1, 2006

Los Angeles Times August 2, 2006 Registration Required

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