How Our Government Has Merged With Corporations
Continued from previous page
In the same corrupt way, the EPA has been licensing toxic and cancer-causing farm chemicals that, essentially, poison our food and drinking water while causing harm and death to wildlife. These chemicals came out of the cauldron of WWII. Many are neurotoxins and many hurt our immune system, damaging the female animal more than the male. Some of these toxins castrate the male animal, including man. They also change the sex of animals, stopping their reproduction. And many of these pesticides injure or kill wildlife at extremely low amounts, contributing to a massive extinction of species, which is unprecedented in history.
According to the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit conservation organization in San Francisco, pesticides are a "significant threat" to both endangered species and biological diversity. On January 19, 2011, the Center sued the EPA for its failure to protect endangered species: The wave of extinction decimating plants and animals, according to the Center, is the worst since the dinosaurs disappeared 65 million years ago. Species become extinct at a rate of 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural rate.
Pesticides are also pushing honeybees to the brink of extinction. Honeybees give us honey and pollinate one-third of our crops. And according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, pesticides kill on average 72 million birds every year.
The EPA's acts cause much destruction. Yet, in some measure, they fall within the context of the law. Indeed, the tragedy of a government department, EPA, "protecting public health and the environment" is that, in reality, a department with such an honorable and necessary mission is really protecting the profits of corporations, not public heath and the environment. Pesticides' vast impacts are nearly invisible because Americans have been brainwashed to consider pesticides as "normal" for farming as apple pie. The EPA does what Congress and the business of America has enshrined into law. For example, it legalizes America's unhealthy and hazardous food.
I call the food Americans eat "unhealthy and hazardous" because, unless it is certified organic, it is contaminated by legal and illegal poison residues. Just because the EPA approves so much poison in the food, that approval does nothing to lessen the toxic effects of the poison residues. According to EPA data from the 1970s, these residues change the nutrition of food and pose immediate or long-term health threats to those growing and consuming it. EPA researchers pointed out in the 1970s that farmers die from cancer at twice the rate of those living in the cities. That farmer death rate must be much higher now.
The EPA pushes these unethical policies because America's chemical and agribusiness corporations make huge profits from selling farmers and householders pesticides and fertilizers. For example, manufacturers of pesticides earn around $40 billion per year. In addition, the US Department of Agriculture and the country's 65 agricultural universities have made possible the near extinction of small family farmers for the sake of large farmers and giant agribusiness corporations. Such a massive crime leaves our academic mandarins undisturbed. I taught at one of those "land-grant universities," the University of Maryland, during 2003-2004. With the exception of a couple of my colleagues, the other "resource science" professors even refused to use words like "family farmer" or "sustainable agriculture." Agribusiness is their calling.
This undoing of rural America, and the inevitable ditching of public health and democracy did not happen overnight. Rather, after WWII, the Pentagon decided that, for national security purposes, the US had to side with the large farmers and business corporations large enough to support an empire.
Just like other government departments, the EPA also serves this empire, embracing the agenda of corporate America.