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But this week, "FAN (Fluoride Action Network), had a stunning victory. This was a wonderful answer to those who believe that the little guy never wins. In a 9:30am conference call with Jonathan Fleuchaus, the general counsel of EPA's Pesticides program and 7 other EPA pesticide staff members, we were told that EPA was granting ALL our objections to the use of sulfuryl fluoride as a food fumigant. Mr. Fleuchas told us that it was was the first time in the history of EPA that such objections were granted. What this means is that EPA is going to end all uses of sulfuryl fluoride on food."
Pesticides: Despite repeated warnings that humans, particularly children, are currently receiving too much fluoride from their diets,fluoride pesticides continue to be added to the food supply under extremely lax regulations from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Currently, the main fluoride pesticide used in the US is cryolite (sodium aluminum fluoride). The EPA currently allows up to 7 ppm of fluoride on over 30 fruits and vegetables treated with cryolite. This 7 ppm fluoride tolerance applies to: apricots, beets, blackberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, citrus fruits, collards, cranberries, cucumbers, eggplants, grapes, kale, lettuce, melons, nectarines, peaches, peppers, plums, pumpkins, radishes, raspberries, squash, strawberries, tomatoes and turnip.
A 2 ppm standard has also been established for potatoes, which are second to grapes for total cryolite usage. The EPA's standard of 7 ppm for fluoride residues is over 5 times greater than the standard set by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1933. In 1933, the USDA established the maximum level for fluoride residues on fruits and vegetables at 1.2 ppm, which was the same standard the USDA established for arsenic. While arsenic pesticides have since been phased out of use in the US , fluoride pesticides remain. In fact, the current tolerance levels for fluoride pesticides could become even higher--if the US EPA, under intense pressure from Dow Chemical, approves sulfuryl fluoride as a replacement fumigant for methyl bromide.
If EPA approves sulfuryl fluoride (an indoor fumigant that has never before been used on food) as the replacement for methyl bromide, there will be a substantial increase in the fluoride contamination of the food supply.
In a recent petition (February 15, 2002) to the EPA, Dow Chemical asked for extremely high fluoride tolerances on a wide number of common foods, including, 98 ppm for wheat germ, 40 ppm for wheat bran, 31 ppm for rice bran, 30 ppm for a variety of nuts, 28 ppm for corn meal, 26 ppm for corn flour, 25 ppm for millet grain, 25 ppm for wild rice grain, 25 ppm for sorghum grain, 25 ppm for wheat grain, and 17 ppm for oat grain!