Note: I wrote this blog post before all the drama with the Comey firing! Goodness! The plot thickens! Since my MOCs are already on the right side of history on that particular topic, here’s something else to do to resist.
I’m getting tired of corporate greed.
Although I’m not universally frightened of chemicals in general, pesticides that cause neurological damage make me nervous. And I recently read an interesting article about shareholder activism for the public good (or rather, the unfortunate lack thereof…) How do all of these pieces fit together? Read on… As you’ve likely noticed, I like lists, so this post is organized in numbered steps. And it is long. You are forewarned.
- Chlorpyrifos is a neurotoxic pesticide in a class of chemicals called organophosphates. The chemical is derived from a nerve gas and it attacks the nervous system of every species, including humans — especially children. Back in 2007, the National Resources Defense Council submitted a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency, asking that this chemical be, essentially, banned from use on food crops.
- The EPA has been studying this chemical since then, readying a response to the petition. For TEN YEARS. After a series of studies and assessments, and tons of input from scientists, chemical producers, food industry, and environmental folks, the EPA was close to readying their decision in November of 2016. The EPA signaled their intention to “revoke all tolerances” for the chemical – which means, in laypersons terms, to ban its use as a pesticide on food crops.
- Dow Chemical donated $1 million to Trump’s Inauguration event. Dow Chemical’s president and CEO, Andrew Liveris, is the head of Trump’s “American Business Council.” Dow Chemical makes chlorpyrifos. Dow Chemical has publicly called upon the federal Administration to ignore the studies and the science, and deny the original petition altogether.
- A few weeks ago, EPA chief Scott Pruitt announced that the agency would do just that… The EPA is denying the original petition, and will not ban chlorpyrifos. Dow Chemical will now be allowed to carry on as usual, brewing up millions of gallons of this toxic substance in their toxic cauldrons, even though it’s pretty darn clear that this chemical is linked to brain damage in animals, children, and farmworkers.
So. How best to respond to this blatant corporate greed? Well, here’s the thinking process I went through. (In list form, again… )
So now to get to the point… how to respond?
1) If you invest money in Vanguard, write a letter to CEO Bill McNabb. Here’s a link to a Word document of the letter I wrote, so you can just modify and print it yourself. dow.chemical.letter.sample I’ll also put a photo of it at the bottom of this post.
General Mills, PO Box 1113, Minneapolis MN 55440
KraftHeinz, 3 Lakes Dr, Northfield IL 60093
Nestle USA, 800 Brand Ave, Glendale CA 91203