October 26, 2018
Environmental crusades to ban pesticides often exaggerate chemical risks with little, if any, consideration of how bans undermine food production. And there is a reason for that: a balanced approach undermines the greens’ radical agenda. Just recently, some activists have gone as far as to ask a federal court to basically ignore an amicus brief filed by farm groups. It details the damage that a court-ordered pesticide ban could cause.
October 3, 2018
Recent accusations that a popular weed killer harms honeybees have become headline news in a wide range of sources including CBS News, The Guardian, and Popular Science. Yet the solitary study they all cite doesn’t hold much water.
September 19, 2018
Yesterday, Congress passed an appropriations bill that kept funding intact for the United Nations body known as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The House version of the bill originally included a provision that would have placed strings on U.S. funding for IARC. That language was stripped out at the last minute, unfortunately, so now the funding has been retained in the next fiscal year’s appropriations for the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education.
August 24, 2018
The Trump administration has initiated several steps to streamline the federal permitting process for major projects, including resource extraction and infrastructure. In particular, it has focused on the need to fix the problems surrounding the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which can add years of delays and tens of millions of dollars to the cost of job-creating projects and serves to kill some worthy projects outright.
August 22, 2018
An urgent fundraising appeal from The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) “Global Policy Lead[er]” warns of congressional and administration efforts to change—and from the perspective of many—improve implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). As a recent Competitive Enterprise Institute analysis demonstrates, the overall costs of the federal ESA program are easily in the tens and more likely hundreds of billions of dollars, begging the question, are we getting what we pay for? Campaigners for the current law like TNC skip over such information and make nice-sounding claims like: “the Endangered Species Act is one of our nation’s most effective environmental laws. 99% of the species it's protected have been saved from extinction!”
August 21, 2018
The latest Environmental Working Group (EWG) “study” sounds an alarm regarding the chemical known as glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the herbicide known as “Roundup.” EWG claims that Cheerios, Quaker Oats and other cereals contain dangerous levels of glyphosate. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has also jumped into the fray.
May 25, 2018
Our friends over at Reason TV have a new video asking the attention-grabbing headline “Will coffee give you cancer?” As it turns out, no (unless you’re drinking several thousand cups of coffee a day). But the news earlier this year that the state of California was going to require every coffee shop in the state to post signs warning customers about a cancer risk is, itself, a serious issue.
May 16, 2018
In an April 24 blog post, I detailed why a recent National Academies of Sciences review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Risk Information System—a research program that conducts chemical risk assessments—should be disregarded. Basically, NAS did nothing more than pat EPA on the back for having finally implemented some of NAS’s recommended procedural reforms that the agency should have put in place nearly a decade ago.
March 27, 2018
Obama administration holdovers at the Environmental Protection Agency are doing their best undermine efforts to drain EPA’s bureaucratic swamp. And thus far, unfortunately, they’re succeeding. A recent example is Congress’s failure to cut, or even reduce, funding of one of EPA’s controversial research programs known as the Integrated Risk Information System, or IRIS.
March 9, 2018
As European Union risk assessments purportedly “confirm” that pesticides threaten honeybees and lawmakers quickly clamor for pesticide bans, the stark reality is that so far in this process, political concerns have been trumping science. In fact, politics has prevented scientists from considering the bigger picture, and, as a result, both bees and the world’s food supply will suffer.