EWG News Roundup (8/2): Rich Farmers Get Bailed Out by Trump, Steps To Combat the PFAS Contamination Crisis and More

EWG News Roundup (8/2): Rich Farmers Get Bailed Out by Trump, Steps To Combat the PFAS Contamination Crisis and More

This week EWG released the details of the latest round of farm bailout payments that have come as a result of President Trump’s trade war with China. The data, obtained by EWG from the Department of Agriculture through a public records request, found that these dollars have flowed overwhelmingly to the largest and most successful farmers.

EWG also laid out how policymakers in Washington should combat the nationwide drinking water crisis caused by toxic fluorinated chemicals, also known as PFAS. It’s clear that Congress must send the message that it’s time to report, reduce and remediate toxic PFAS pollution.

And on Friday, EU scientists concluded that there was no safe level for the application of chlorpyrifos, a brain-damaging pesticide. This comes just weeks after President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency refused to ban the dangerous pesticide.

“The EU is doing what the science demands: putting public health ahead of the narrow interests of the pesticide industry,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “Tragically for American kids and their parents, the Trump administration is kowtowing to chemical agribusiness and allowing a dangerous pesticide to be sprayed on foods children eat every day.”

Here’s some news you can use going into the weekend.

Trump Farm Bailout

Reuters: Bulk of Trump's U.S. farm aid goes to biggest and wealthiest farmers: advocacy group

Highlighting an uneven distribution of the bailout, which was designed to help offset effects of the U.S.-China trade war, the Environmental Working Group said the top 1% of aid recipients received an average of more than $180,000 while the bottom 80% were paid less than $5,000 in aid. Reprinted byReuters UKNew York TimesYahoo!Yahoo! NewsPortland Press HeraldSt. Louis Post-DispatchBusiness InsiderKDAL-AM (Duluth MN); and 54 other media outlets. 

Washington Post: Energy 202 newsletter

“These programs are designed to give the most subsidy money to the biggest farms, we don’t dispute that,” Anne Schechinger, EWG senior analyst told [The Post’s] Laura [Reiley]. Reprinted by USA News Hub

Washington Post: Finance 202 newsletter

“Eighty-two farming operations received more than $500,000 each through April under the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Market Facilitation Program, according to the Environmental Working Group, which analyzed records it obtained through the Freedom of Information Act covering $8.4 billion in payments.”

Washington Post: ‘Midwest’ is not synonymous with ‘rural and white’

The Midwest is more than happy to accept free stuff from the government, as Agriculture Department data compiled by the Environmental Working Group makes clear.

Washington Post: Trump’s $16 billion farm bailout will make rich farmers richer, report says

In a year of trade tariffs, natural disasters and weather problems, and depressed commodity prices, Anne Schechinger, EWG senior analyst, says that some of these farmers could be quadruple-dipping from federal aid programs. Reprinted by Chicago TribunePittsburgh Post-Gazette

Washington Post: 9 in 10 counties that voted for Trump have received subsidies to fight the trade war

New data obtained by the Environmental Working Groupunder a Freedom of Information Act request, though, show the extent to which those subsidies overlap with Trump’s base of political support. Reprinted by Centre Daily Times (State College PA).

Bloomberg: Majority of Trump’s Trade Aid Went to Biggest Farms, Study Finds

Eighty-two farming operations received more than $500,000 in payments through April under the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Market Facilitation Program, according to the Environmental Working Group, which analyzed payment records it obtained through the Freedom of Information Act covering $8.4 billion in payments. Reprinted by Bloomberg Business News NetworkSF GateYahoo! NewsHouston Chronicle; and 27 other media outlets.

Bloomberg Government: What to Know in Washington: Biden Wears Target in Second Debate

Eighty-two farming operations received more than $500,000 in payments through April under the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Market Facilitation Program, according to the Environmental Working Group, which analyzed payment records it obtained through the Freedom of Information Act covering $8.4 billion in payments. 

FiveThirtyEight: Significant Digits For Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019

Ten percent of the recipients have received more than half the money, according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by Follow News.

The Hill: On The Money: Fed poised to give Trump boost with rate cut | Parties unable to reach deal in Trump tax return lawsuit | New York opens investigation into Capital One data breach

More than half of farm bailout payments meant to alleviate the effects of the U.S.'s ongoing trade war with China went to bigger, wealthier farms, according to a study from the Environmental Working Group.

The Hill: Study: More than half of Trump farm aid went to biggest farms

More than half of farm bailout payments meant to alleviate the effects of the U.S.'s ongoing trade war with China went to bigger, wealthier farms, according to a study from the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by MSNMSN MoneyAlter Net

Huff Post: Largest Farms Grab Lion’s Share Of Trump Trade War Aid, Report Finds

More than half of the farm bailouts went to just one-tenth of the recipients in the program, according to a study by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by Yahoo! News New ZealandYahoo! News Australia.

Politico: Morning Agriculture: Conaway to retire from Congress

“Like the first round of taxpayer-funded largesse, we expect the second iteration of this boondoggle to line the pockets of the already-wealthy,” EWG spokesperson Sarah Graddy said in a statement.

Pacific Standard: The Trump Administration Will Pay Farmers $16 Billion for Its Trade War

According to the non-profit Environmental Working Group, $38 million of last year's $12 billion in trade relief went to people who do not work on farms

Raw Story: Trump shafted family farmers to give trade war bailouts to huge corporate farms instead: report

But Trump’s policy is even more disastrous than it looks on paper, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by Lunatic Outpost.

Salon: Trump trade-war bailout flows to richest farmers; poor, black farmers left to struggle

The Department of Agriculture has doled out about $8.4 billion of last year’s farmer bailout funds, with more than half going to the top 10 percent of aid recipients, according to a report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) published Tuesday. 

WNAX-AM: WG Releases Study on MFP Payments, Majority Going to Big Farms

The Environmental Working Group has released a study on the first two rounds of the USDA’s Market Facilitation Program payments. 

KCCI-TV (Des Moines): Iowa farmers can apply for $16B in tariff aid starting today

Last year, according to the Environmental Working Group, some states benefited over others. Using the Freedom of Information Act they discovered farmers in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas received much more in 2018.

New California PFAS Law

Desert Sun (Palm Springs CA): California may be first to force water suppliers to notify customers of myriad toxic 'forever chemicals'

Twenty-Nine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, the city of Adelanto and other communities are among 50 sites, largely in southern California, that have reported the chemicals in water supplies, according to Environmental Working Group (EWG). 

Gizmodo: California Is First State Where Utilities Must Tell Customers if Their Water Is Contaminated by Dangerous Chemicals

There are 48 other states dealing with PFAS issues as well, according to data from the Environmental Working Group.

Napa Valley Register: Napa’s water quality scores high, amid struggles in other California regions

That foam has seeped into groundwater and wells surrounding military installations and commercial airports, and has been found in drinking water sources at more than 712 locations in 49 states, according to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization.

Sacramento Bee: Water systems must notify Californians about these cancer-linked chemicals under new law

That foam has seeped into groundwater and wells surrounding military installations and commercial airports, and has been found in drinking water sources at more than 712 locations in 49 states, according to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization. Reprinted by Napa Valley RegisterFresno BeeModesto Bee (CA); Daily Republic (Solano County CA).

Pentagon PFAS Task Force

Inside EPA: Following Criticism, New Pentagon Chief Seeks To Reset PFAS Response (subscription)

“The military is one of the primary sources of PFAS contamination in drinking water, so it is now up to the secretary to keep this commitment and end the Pentagon’s years-long foot dragging and its repeated efforts to weaken federal cleanup standards,” Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), said July 24 in response to the task-force announcement.

Algae Blooms

Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg VA): People aren't the only swimmers in Lake Anna—algae blooms are cause for concern

“No federal agency publicly tracks algae blooms, so we are trying to fill the gap,” Environmental Working Group senior economist Anne Weir Schechinger said in the report. Reprinted by Richmond Times-DispatchCulpeper Star-Exponent (VA).

Bottled Water

Mercola: Multiple bottled water brands tainted with arsenic and PFAS

According to the Environmental Working Group,15 while most drinking water gets a passing grade from regulatory agencies, the EPA has not added a new contaminant for regulation in more than 20 years. Reprinted by Healthglu

Carbon Tax Bill

Roll Call: Bipartisan bills push carbon tax, as GOP pollster offers Democrats help on climate 

“The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science,” he wrote in that 2003 memo, obtained by the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy outfit.

Chlorpyrifos

OpEd News: EPA Refuses To Ban A Neurotoxin To Which We Have All Been Exposed

Environmental Working Group vice president for communications, Alex Formuzis, added: "USDA and the agro-chemical industry should not be the groups that get to decide the fate of a highly toxic pesticide that can harm kids' brains and put farmworkers and their families at risk."

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

New York Magazine: Which ‘Clean’ Mascaras Work (and Won’t Slide Down Your Face by 5 p.m.)?

“People often worry less about mascara than, say, a full-body moisturizer, which offers the body much more [chemical] exposure,” says the Environmental Working Group’s director of Healthy Living Science, Nneka Leiba.

All Women’s Talk: 7 Fabulous Nontoxic Foundations for Flawless Skin

All of these foundations are mineral based and deemed safe by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that strives to educate consumers about the safety of common everyday products. 

Better Homes & Gardens: Here's Why Experts Say You Should Switch to a Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Though the Environmental Working Group's Cosmetics Database says sulfates are safe in small quantities, they can have some not-so-nice side effects like dehydrating strands and stripping color.

One Green Planet: 10 Cruelty-Free Vegan Facial Serums

A trusted and fun-loving brand, this Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum harnesses the healing powers of vitamin C in an all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free, and GMO-free formula. Mad Hippie prides itself on scoring a safety rating of 1 by the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep.

Poosh: Kourt's Friend Allie Rizzo on ALL THINGS MOTHERHOOD

I would check what was Environmental Working Group (EWG) approved and go from there. It’s easy and safe, and there are so many affordable organic options now. 

Vogue: Inside Onda Beauty, Naomi Watts’s ultra-chic beauty hub

To have a home on the Onda shelves, formulas must limit toxins and earn a low-hazard ranking score of one from Environmental Working Group (an organisation that ranks products based on factors such as eliminating toxic ingredients). 

Dirty Dozen Endocrine Disruptors

Longevity: Endocrine Disruptors: Avoid These 8 To Protect Your Hormones

According to a study conducted by the Environmental Working Group, traces of 287 chemicals were found in the umbilical cord blood of the 10 American babies it tested. Reprinted by MSN India.

Ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard

Pajamas Media: In Iowa, 'Green' Democrats Dancing Around the Ethanol Issue      

But Scott Farber, a vice president at the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based research and advocacy organization, said Democratic candidates cannot simultaneously support the Green New Deal and the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, the 2005 federal law that requires ethanol and other biofuels to be blended the nation’s fuel pool. Reprinted by Before It’s NewsEnvironment Guru.

Glyphosate

Market Watch: Beech-Nut baby food and Twinings Tea contain traces of a chemical linked to cancer — should you be worried?

In June, the Environmental Working Group found glyphosate in popular breakfast cereals — including Cheerios, which is owned by General Mills, and Quaker Oats oatmeal, which is owned by PepsiCo PEP, -0.80% — the third time in the past year the advocacy group has publicized the issue of glyphosate in food. Reprinted by FNTalk.

Mercola: Judge cuts award to Roundup victim

According to the Environmental Working Group: "Over the past 25 years, the EPA has increased the amount of glyphosate residue allowed on oats 300-fold. …” Reprinted by Healthglu

Healthy Cleaning

Mind Body Green Lifestyle: The Weird Reason Your Dish Detergent May Be Messing With Your Gut

For some options, check out the Environmental Working Group's Guide to Healthy Cleaning, which ranks dishwashing detergents and dish soaps from A to F, based on the safety of their ingredients. 

Healthy Living App

Insider Louisville (KY): Louisville native Soozie Eastman explores alarming level of toxins in documentary ‘Overload: America’s Toxic Love Story’

When I tried to see if I could impact my exposure to everyday toxins, I used the Environmental Working Group’s phone app called Healthy Living to help guide my purchases.

Potassium Bromate

Eat This, Not That!

Banned in the United Kingdom and Canada, potassium bromate is still lurking in some U.S. foods such as pizza, wraps, rolls, bread crumbs, and bagel chips, according to a 2015 analysis by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG). Reprinted by MSN Malaysia

2019 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Best Reviews: When to buy organic

Every year, the EWG or the Environmental Working Group — an environmental advocacy organization — releases a list of the most popular 48 fruits and vegetables that they either vet for being “clean,” or caution against non-organic consumption for being “dirty” with pesticides. Reprinted by Chicago TribuneDaily News (New York NY); Daily Press (Newport News VA)Hartford Courant (CT).

Easy Health Options: Choosing the right wine for your healthier lifestyle

In fact, grapes come in at number six on the Environmental Working Group’s 2019 “Dirty Dozen” list of foods highest in pesticides.

Goop: Everything You Need to Know about Natural, Organic, and Biodynamic Wines

We know that grapes are always in the EWG’s Dirty Dozen; they are one of the fruits that are the most sprayed with pesticides.

Runner’s World: Apples Contain Over 100 Million Bacteria. Here’s Why That’s a Good Thing

And you may want to go organic, too—besides the bacterial differences seen in this study, conventional apples are always on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list, which includes produce with the most pesticides.  

Space Coast Daily: DR. ARVIND DHOPLE: Be Wary of Pesticides in Your Produce, Even After it is Washed or Peeled

The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce reported that analysis of tests by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture found that nearly 70 percent conventionally grown fruits and vegetables contain up to 230 different pesticides or their breakdown products.

EWG's Guide to Sunscreens

The Wall Street Journal: Sunscreen Protects the Skin, but Does It Harm the Body?

In addition, sunscreens are now worn routinely by both children and adults, contributing to concerns about their safety, according to David Andrews, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research organization that rates sunscreens and other products. Reprinted by VIPortal.

Better Nutrition: Breaking New Ground

Earth Mama sunscreens are listed as a safe choice on the Environmental Working Group’s website (ewg.org), an organization known for its strict testing and research on sunscreens.

Cafe Mom: The Best Beauty Products to Buy on Amazon for Under $10

A full SPF 50, [Thinksport Kids Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+] is an excellent, coral reef-safe sunscreen. It's also super affordable and is top-rated by EWG.

Eco Parent: Thinking Beyond Safe Sunscreen for Better Sun Protection

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has pointed to the dangers of high SPF finding that sunscreen with greater than SPF 50 offers only marginally better sun protection and has a higher concentration of potentially toxic chemicals.

People: The Best Beauty Buys on Amazon This Month, Including Drew Barrymore’s Favorite Sunscreen

Below, see our picks for August, including Drew Barrymore’s new favorite sunscreen (it’s Environmental Working Group-approved!), and this Amazon favorite after sun lotion that will help soothe and moisturize skin after a day at the beach. Reprinted by Last Minute Stuff.

Town & Country: The 8 Best Organic and Natural Sunscreens That Will Have You Covered This Summer

This lotion [Mineral Sunscreen Unscented SPF 30] provides a powerful shield against UV rays, but without any problematic additives identified by the EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. 

WTVC-TV (Chattanooga ABC/Fox): Woman claims expired sunscreen caused her second-degree sunburns

A consumer advocacy organization, the Environmental Working Group, evaluated more than 1,300 products with SPF and found more than 60 percent don't offer adequate sun protection or they contain potentially harmful chemicals. Reprinted by WHAM-TV (Rochester ABC)KFXL-TV (Lincoln NE Fox)WJLA-TV (DC ABC)WSTM-TV (Syracuse NBC)WBFF-TV (Baltimore Fox)KBOI-TV (Boise ID CBS)KPTM-TV (Omaha NE Fox); and 4 other media outlets.

Tap Water Database

Nutrition Stripped: Top 6 Types of Water Filters

In fact, a 2009 analysis conducted by the Environmental Working Group found 316 contaminants in the water delivered to the public, 202 of which have no regulated safety standards.

PFAS in Drinking Water

Business Insider: A scientist who worked at a company that’s being sued over dumping ‘forever chemicals’ warns the toxins ‘stay in your blood and don’t leave’

In July 2019, the watchdog Environmental Working Group determined there were PFAS at more than 700 sites across 49 states in the US. Many of these sites included public water systems, military bases, and industrial plants. Reprinted by att.netBusiness Insider IndiaFinanzen (Netherlands)Pulse Business Insider (Nigeria)Insider

Men’s Health: 6 Ways to Protect Yourself From Unsafe Drinking Water

“It’s somewhat incredible that the agency has not set a single new drinking-water-contaminant regulation or legal limit in over two decades,” says David Andrews, Ph.D., a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington D. C. Reprinted by Pulse GhanaHealth Breaking News

Think Progress: Marianne Williamson made an important point about Flint’s water crisis

A May analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Northeastern University also found that Michigan is the state whose water is most impacted by “forever chemicals” — per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), toxins found in everyday items like nonstick pans which can increase the risk of cancer.

Yahoo! News: Looking back at Flint crisis, Harris rolls out 'water justice' program

One recent study by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group and Northeastern University, which compiled data from the Pentagon and water utility reports, found that approximately 19 million people across 43 states are exposed to contaminated drinking water.

Foster’s Daily Democrat: Time for Congress to take action on PFAS

The Environmental Working Group also estimates that 475 industrial facilities may be discharging PFAS directly into bodies of water.

WJLA-TV: Forever chemicals are in drinking water nationwide. So why aren't states taking action?

And [PFAS] end up in the water consumed by people nationwide, posing a health risk according to Alexis Temkin, a toxicologist with the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an advocacy group based in Washington, DC. Reprinted by KRCR-TV (Redding CA)

Umbilical Cord Blood Study

Keenan Eriksson Fitness: Generational Toxicity: How Your Parents Gave You Heavy Metals And How You Can Make This an Advantage

In a study performed in 2004 by the Environmental Working Group, umbilical cord blood was tested for chemicals in live birth babies in the U.S. Reprinted by Medium.