The warm weather is finally here — and America is in full-blown Zika panic mode.
Everywhere we turn, we’re hearing how one mosquito bite could unleash some of the most heartbreaking birth defects we’ve ever seen.
But even if there are no moms-to-be in your life, there’s a very important reason we all need to follow Zika closely.
Because some of the wealthiest chemical companies around are using the Zika scare to try and gut years’ worth of pesticide regulations.
And by the time they’re done, they could be putting millions of us at risk for autism, cancer, and even death.
Last week the House passed a bill called the Zika Control Act.
That sounds legitimate enough. But critics who’ve been following what this bill is really about have given it another name — the Pesticide Trojan Horse Act.
You see, this legislation didn’t just spring up once Zika-infected mosquitoes hit American shores.
In fact, it’s been around the block a few times before, only under different names. A few years ago it was called the “West Nile” bill. Another time the “Fire Suppression Act.”
At the beginning of May it was called the “Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act.”
But then some brainiac got the idea of putting the Zika name in it. And that’s almost as golden as a pass to the front of the line at Disneyland!
The bill would do away with a special permit the EPA requires before pesticides can be sprayed on or near lakes and streams.
It would also mean that these chemicals could be released directly into water, either deliberately or by accident, without having to tell the EPA (or the rest of us) a word about it.
And this phony “Zika” bill comes at a time when experts are telling us that 90 percent of urban streams have been poisoned with pesticides to the point that it’s not safe to eat any of the fish from those waters.
At the beginning of May, I told you about research from the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center that found a shocking connection between pesticide spraying and the gigantic increase in autism.
Right now, the numbers are saying that an astronomical one in 68 children will be diagnosed with autism. One in 68!
And some of these same pesticides that chemical companies want to spray and dump into our waterways have been linked to everything from diabetes to cancer.
There’s no doubt that our overuse of toxic pesticides is the cause of health disasters we’re only just beginning to discover.
The last thing we need to do now is to loosen up the sparse laws we have that offer a tiny bit of protection to us and our children.
That’s why it’s urgent that you contact your Senators today and demand that they vote against this so-called Zika Control Act. You can tell them that you know exactly who this bill will be protecting.
And it’s not babies.
“House passes Zika bill that won’t fight the virus but may put more pesticides in your water” Natasha Geiling, May 25, 2016, Climate Progress, thinkprogress.org