EPA’s New Head of Pesticide Approval Raises Concerns
Long-time chemical industry shill Jim Jones has been named acting head of the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP), which has the responsibility for regulation of pesticides. He replaces Steve Owens, the current OCSPP director, who announced he will leave the position at year end.
Jones, who has been at the EPA for 30 years, has steadfastly defended the agency against assertions from its own scientists that it’s not doing enough to protect the public from pesticide toxicity.
“I feel very comfortable for the American public that we will have assured the safety of pesticides for infants and children, for senior citizens, for the American public at large,” he recently told Marketplace.
His acting appointment would only become permanent with approval of the U.S. Senate and many political strategists believe the Obama administration may wait until after next year’s election before bringing a potentially contentious fight forward.
That’s ashame, though. The President, if he were forward thinking, could score many high-profile points with the business community by getting rid of someone like Jones, who has clearly operated with blinders on for far too long.