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House Democrats Condemn Easing Pesticide Regulations to Combat Zika

Liberal Democrats in the House rejected a bill that would end a redundant Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permit requirement to spray federally approved pesticides into bodies of water to combat the mosquito that carries the Zika virus.

Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) argued on the House floor in support of his Zika Vector Control Act (formerly the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act). He said the additional EPA permit requirement for pesticide spraying under the Clean Water Act is redundant since the pesticides are already approved under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

“Protecting communities from Zika and other mosquito borne diseases has become difficult thanks to a burdensome and duplicative federal regulation that requires more time and money spent on compliance rather than protecting the health and safety of the American people,” Gibbs said, reports CNSNews.com.

“Despite what the fear mongers suggest, all this expense comes with no additional environmental protection,” he said, adding:

[C]ompliance costs and fears of expensive litigation associated with the requirements are forcing states, counties, mosquito control districts and other pest control programs to reduce their operations and redirect resources in order to comply with the regulatory requirements.

House Democrats condemned the measure. The bill failed 262-159, with at least one member – Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) – comparing it to giving an allowance for the spraying of Agent Orange, an herbicide used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.

McDermott said:

This does nothing about Zika. It doesn’t do anything with the research that the president has asked the money for. What it does simply is turn the applicators and the pesticide manufacturers loose on this country again. I’ve been here long enough to remember all the problems with the bird eggs that had soft shells, and the birds were dying, and we couldn’t have all these animals dying all over the place because of DDT and all the things that happened with that kind of application freely in the society.

However, as Breitbart News reported, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) says that during the 1950s and 1960s, Brazil successfully eliminated the mosquito carrying the Zika virus through the use of DDT.

Dr. Anthony Fauci explained at a news conference that Brazil was able to stop the spread of Zika through “a very aggressive attempt” to eradicate the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the virus.

Fauci said:

Now, years ago in the fifties and the sixties, Brazil itself made a very aggressive attempt to eliminate the Aedes aegypti mosquito. They did it successfully but they did it in a way that would be almost non-feasible today—very heavy use of DDT, very aggressive use going into homes, essentially, spraying in homes, cleaning up areas, things that I think the general public would not be amenable to accepting.

“The mosquito that is the predominant mosquito that spreads Zika is called Aedes aegypti,” which “is a very difficult mosquito to control and eliminate,” he added. “It will require a very aggressive, concerted effort.”

Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, told Breitbart News recently that, in fact, the government should wipe the virus out completely by lifting the ban on DDT.

“DDT was the most effective public health weapon of all time,” she explained, adding:

The ban on DDT was basically the decision of one man, William Ruckelshaus [the first head of the EPA], going against a mountain of evidence on safety and enormous health benefits. It was said that, “If they can ban DDT, they can ban anything.” And that’s how the EPA power grab started. Millions of African babies have died and are still dying of malaria because if it.

“Substitute pesticides are far more toxic and expensive,” Orient adds. “People are advised to use insect repellents such as DEET — which is absorbed through the skin, and safety in pregnancy is not established.”

Pioneer Energy president, Dr. Robert Zubrin, recently echoed the same idea at National Review: “The most effective pesticide is DDT. If the Zika catastrophe is to be prevented in time, we need to use it.”

He continued:

Rachel Carson … in her 1962 book, Silent Spring, made an eloquent case that DDT was endangering bird populations. This was false. In fact, by eliminating their insect parasites and infection agents, DDT was helping bird numbers to grow significantly. No matter. Using Carson’s book and even more wild writing by Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich (who in a 1969 Ramparts article predicted that pesticides would cause all life in the Earth’s oceans to die by 1979), a massive propaganda campaign was launched to ban DDT.

Orient further wrote at Heartland Institute about the Zika “scare”:

CDC is in high gear, with politically correct advice on Zika. Meanwhile, cases of dengue in Mexico have topped 10,000. Dengue is caused by a related but far more serious virus, carried by the same Aedes aegypti mosquito. And 78,000 people in Africa die every year of another relative, yellow fever. The vector was coming under good control decades ago, but is re-emerging now. Asking “why” should be the main response to Zika.

Instead the advice seems to be: “Don’t travel, don’t have a baby, don’t let a mosquito bite you, stop climate change” – and give the authorities billions of dollars for a crash vaccine development program.

While Orient says Zika – like German measles or rubella – can cause microcephaly, she asserts, “MOST microcephaly is NOT caused by Zika. About 7 of 10,000 babies born in the U.S. have microcephaly – no thanks to Zika. Most (more than 90 percent) of the Brazilian babies recently confirmed to have microcephaly tested negative for Zika.”

The CDC says the mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus will move into much of the United States this summer. Currently, the agency says 157 pregnant women in the United States have tested positive for the Zika virus. The agency is recommending Americans “use an outdoor flying insect spray where mosquitoes rest” as a means to control the mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus. Inside the home, CDC suggests keeping doors and windows closed and using an indoor flying insect fogger or spray such as those containing Tetramethrin or Imidacloprid.

The urgency about the spread of the Zika virus among the Obama administration and its leftwing supporters has indeed been called into question, especially since abortion advocates have attached fears of the virus and its link, in some cases, to birth defects, to the need for more access to abortion in countries that have refused to legalize the procedure.

The CDC has recently stated that the Zika virus “can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus, and infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe brain defects.”

Planned Parenthood and its colleagues in the fetal tissue business have latched onto the message that Zika is an urgent crisis and have contrived a message to meet its own agenda.

“Zika has made a long-standing public health crisis impossible to ignore and demonstrates the critical need of government support for sexual and reproductive health care,” Chloe Cooney, director of global advocacy for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said. “The ability to decide if and when to have children is basic health care, but it’s a basic human right as well, and yet it’s not realized for so many women across the region, which this outbreak is making so crystal clear.”

A special House panel investigating the fetal tissue practices of Planned Parenthood is also scrutinizing StemExpress, the primary biomedical company that has engaged with the abortion business in the transfer of the body parts of aborted babies. The Washington Post reports that StemExpress named Zika as one of the reasons it requires fetal tissue procurement.

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