Chlorpyrifos Pesticide Tax
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We, the students of Oakland Technical High School, ask that there be a 50% tax of the pesticide using the chemical, chlorpyrifos, in California. We support this act because we believe that these particular pesticides with chemical toxins in them are harmful to the health of the public people of California and the rest of the environment. By raising the cost people pay to use them, we hope to reduce the utilization of these pesticides in California.
Presently, pesticides are being used more in farms because over the past decade, it has became a norm, but this action has negative effects. For instance, the contamination of our drinking water, air pollution, pollinators being harmed, immunity in pests, and a possible creation of a indescribable disease. An economic effect of the pesticide problem is a decrease in the price of pesticides. This leads to easier access and excessive and usage of pesticides.
The chlorpyrifos pesticides are problematic to the public. Because of this pesticide, there are side effects like harmful diseases and damage to the environment. According to the Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1999 and 2002, it states that there were traces of chlorpyrifos in the food of 93 percent of U.S. residents. This shows that chlorpyrifos is a commonly used pesticide even though it is dangerous. It is damaging the developing brains of adolescents by causing many neurological problems, such as reduced IQ levels, the generation of memory loss, and attention deficit disorders.
Currently, The United States Department of Agriculture spends about $2.5 billion dollars annually, subsidizing the farming business. The farmers use the money from the subsidies to buy pesticides, so essentially, people are providing funding for poisoning themselves. There are many less toxic alternatives which can get rid of pests on crops as well. Some include, rotenone, pyrethrum, azadirachtin, and ryania.
Creating tax addresses the problem by making harmful toxins less of a norm in agriculture. This may lead to less usage and harder access of pesticides. Humans, animals, and plants, are in danger of being affected by these toxins. For example, when it rains, the water washes the pesticides applied on plants, off into large reservoirs of water, polluting them and making them impure. This is a bad thing because most of the drinking water we put into our bodies and consume are contaminated with the pesticides.
Another example of a negative effect of pesticides, in general, is Colony Collapse Disorder, also known as CCD. Colony Collapse Disorder is when beehives are vacant, while only the queen and the eggs remains in it. When worker bees collect nectar, they are also collecting the neonicotinoid pesticide, which causes them to get lost on their way back to the hive. Bees play a large role in our lives by providing for about 90% of plants and 30% of crops for humans. They pollinate plants to help them grow. Unfortunately, pesticides are causing bees to become an endangered species. Plants with pesticides that bees suck nectar from are messing with their neurological health. Bees are dying because they are unable to arrive safely to their habitats. The decline in the bee population is due to the effects of systemic pesticides.
We believe that if there was a tax on the chlorpyrifos pesticide, we could create a large impact, and lower the risks of environmental damage. Asking for a 50% tax on chlorpyrifos in California is all we want for change. Come join us and make a difference in our land before anymore lives get hurt.
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