Thu. Jun 13th, 2024


YOU made it happen.PHONE CALLS TO OUR SENATORS REALLY HELPED! The Senate amendment (#1122) that would have circumvented the proposed phase-out of the food fumigant sulfuryl fluoride did not make it into the Farm Bill.

For now, the great response by FAN supporters has been heard by Senators. According to one email we received from California: “I contacted Feinstein’s office and was told 1122 is dead because of all the calls they are getting”

Thank you to all who contacted your Senators and to Jay Feldman, director of Beyond Pesticides, who worked tirelessly on this. Without your efforts we probably would have lost the Senate battle.

We will keep you apprised of what is happening in the House as they will be discussing their version of the Farm Bill which includes language to “withdraw” EPA’s proposed phase-out of sulfuryl fluoride.

The Senate amendment was the first of Dow AgroSciences’ attempts to circumvent the laws protecting children from sulfuryl fluoride as a food fumigant (named ProFume). The EPA announced in 2011 that ProFume use would be phased out because it could lead to unsafe exposures of fluoride.  That announcement was in response to objections submitted by FAN and two other environmental groups, Beyond Pesticides and the Environmental Working Group.


The amendment would have altered how EPA calculated the health risks from sulfuryl fluoride pesticide residues on foods. Instead of including all sources of fluoride, as mandated by law, two major sources of fluoride exposure would have been arbitrarily omitted, to give the illusion on paper that children weren’t already getting too much fluoride. Removing major sources of fluoride from the health risk assessment would not reduce the actual fluoride exposure children receive, or the adverse health effects of those over-exposures.

According to a June 4th article in Inside EPA the amendment was crafted by individuals in the EPA and the Natural Resources Defense Council (one of America’s largest environmental groups). We assume it was the political appointees at EPA who want to placate Dow AgroSciences (maker of sulfuryl fluoride). For the NRDC it was the wrongly held belief that if sulfuryl fluoride is phased-out more methyl bromide, an ozone destroying fumigant, would be used. This didn’t happen in Europe where they, unlike the US, have stopped using methyl bromide for several years.


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