GOP lawmaker blasts EPA over polluters’ weed-killing plan

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) on Thursday blasted the Environmental Protection Agency for trying to pass a law aimed at helping farmers and ranchers to avoid weed killers that can cause cancer, heart disease and other health problems.

The bill, which is set to be debated at the House Natural Resources Committee, would allow farmers and other small business owners to choose the pesticide they want to spray, a move DesJarlois said is “not an acceptable solution to a very complex problem.”

The Republican lawmaker pointed to a study published in the journal Science that showed that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, can be linked to cancers and other diseases in laboratory animals.

“The problem is, the EPA is telling us, ‘You can’t use the pesticide because you’re going to harm animals,’ and the problem is we know glyphosate is not safe for humans,” DesJarlos said on Fox News Thursday.

Scientists have found glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen.

In a statement to Fox News, DesJarlas’ office pointed to the fact that the EPA has proposed legislation that would require all new pesticides to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration before they can be sold in the U.S. Farmers and rancher groups have opposed the EPA’s proposal, saying it is not enough.

DesJarlaos also said the bill would allow “a company like Monsanto to sue farmers, ranchers and small business people for refusing to spray their crops with glyphosate.”

He also said that the bill “would be the death knell for the Environmental Defense Fund, the Center for Biological Diversity and others that have spent decades fighting Monsanto for their health and safety.”

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has said the agency will not seek to regulate glyphosate because it is an important part of the U and U.N. food programs, according to the Associated Press.

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