Via America’s Lawyer: Roundup is far from the only herbicide that’s caused concern among medical professionals. Paraquat has been around since the 90’s and has been called the deadliest weedkiller on the planet after being directly linked to Parkinson’s disease and a litany of other deadly ailments. Attorney Alex Taylor joins Mike Papantonio to describe how regulators have whitewashed the dangers of Paraquat over the course of decades. Plus, Environmentalists cheer the official end of the Keystone XL Pipeline as TransCanada finally pulls the plug on the hotly-debated project. Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discuss more.
*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.
Mike Papantonio: Roundup is far from the only weed killer that’s caused a stir among medical professionals, another popular herbicide called Paraquat has been called the deadliest weed killer on the planet. Yet, it’s still being sold on the shelves. I have Alex Taylor who’s after these folks to try to hold them responsible for what they’ve done, Alex, I mean the headline, three drops of Paraquat will kill you. Okay. Inhalation will cause Parkinson’s disease. Talk about it.
Alex Taylor: Absolutely. And that’s, that’s no joke. If you were to take just a couple of drops, put them in your mouth and then spit them right back out.
Mike Papantonio: You’re dead.
Alex Taylor: That would be enough exposure to kill you.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah.
Alex Taylor: What they’ve learned over the last several years is that even if you wear full PPE while you’re using this, which is what you’re required to do by the EPA, you actually have to have a license to do it.
Mike Papantonio: Protection, full body protection.
Alex Taylor: Yeah. Think of all those videos you saw when COVID started happening, it looks just like that. If you wear all of that protection, but you use this on a daily basis in your work, you have more than double the risk of getting Parkinson’s.
Mike Papantonio: Okay. If you’re an applicator, you’re working on a golf course, all right, you’re using this stuff all the time. You’re seeing films where applicators aren’t wearing the full, the full outfit. So you’re assuming, well, it can’t be that bad. Well, you got to read the warning. Well, really? This is a guy, he’s been in this business forever, the warnings, you know, are this big and the threat is massive. The potential to cause Parkinson’s disease is over the top. What are the health issues? Just, is it just Parkinson’s disease? Which is, I don’t mean that, I mean, what an awful disease. But is it only Parkinson’s disease?
Alex Taylor: Oh no. The, if you have long-term exposure to this, it can cause potential lung damage, kidney damage, liver damage. I mean, this drug is toxic to every part of the body. Anywhere you get it, there is a serious risk. Obviously Parkinson’s is probably the scariest because of the long-term health benefits. I mean, you’re talking about, you know, long-term, you may end up in a wheelchair, you may end up with dementia. The long-term health risks are, you know, just terrible of the long-term exposure.
Mike Papantonio: Okay. Easy question here. I know the answer because I’ve dealt with corporations like this for so long. How long did these folks that make Paraquat know about the dangers and didn’t tell anybody?
Alex Taylor: At least going back to the 1990s and possibly even further back than that. They’ve always known about the toxicity, but as early as 1990, they were aware that they could change the formulation to make this chemical safer, make it less toxic. There was a whistleblower that released a lot of documents about this that basically shows that they knew about it. There were options to make it safer and they didn’t because they were afraid it was gonna affect their bottom line.
Mike Papantonio: Okay. So there’s no, there’s not even an age issue. A lot of times Parkinson’s develops later in life. We’re seeing people that are 40 years old that are developing Parkinson’s disease. The only reason they’re doing that, there’s nothing hereditary. There’s no other exposure. The only thing causing the Parkinson’s disease, which will kill them a slow ugly death.
Alex Taylor: Absolutely.
Mike Papantonio: The only thing, the only relationship is Paraquat. Now, the company that sells this has seen that play out time and time again, over the years. Scientific data said, yes, Paraquat causes Parkinson’s disease. But still we can buy it in the United States. Other countries you can, the country where it’s produced has taken it off the market. It’s banned.
Alex Taylor: Yeah. It’s banned in the EU since 2007. It’s even banned in China and Brazil now. I mean, there’s, there’s hardly any country that doesn’t ban this, except the EPA still hasn’t gotten around to it.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. And the EPA, of course, as we’ve talked about before on this show, this is kind of your specialty is going after these corporations for this kind of conduct, the EPA is completely owned and operated by the chemical industry. I mean, that, that’s, that’s the big problem. We want to believe something different. But if you look at the history on this, there was, when we see the documents, the documents are going to show well below the 90s. I mean, we’re talking about 70s and maybe even earlier, this connection that they saw neurological disease related to this, to this herbicide and they, they could draw no other conclusion. It’s, it’s related, right?
Alex Taylor: Absolutely. I mean, the science has been around for decades and decades that this drug or this chemical, once it gets into your system, it oxidizes just about every part of your body, including parts of your brain, where the neurons deposit dopamine, which is what leads to this Parkinson’s disease.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. And you’re one of the specialist handling it. Good luck with it, okay. It’s going to be a big fight as you know.
Alex Taylor: You bet, thanks Pap.
Mike Papantonio: Thank you for joining me.
Mike Papantonio: And finally tonight, some good news. The Keystone XL Pipeline is officially dead after TransCanada pulled their application for the project last week. Farron Cousins joins me again to talk about this. Hallelujah. You know, what, look what it took to do it, it took efforts, I mean, what’s so interesting about this story is it just, it wasn’t just environmental activists that did it. I mean, you had farmers, you had landowners, you had climate activists, you had ranchers, you had indigenous communities that all said, this is a bad idea.
Farron Cousins: It literally took everyone available to kill this project, which spanned four different presidential administrations, Bush, Obama, Trump, and this year with Biden. And it took every single person coming together to finally put an end to this. And I have to tell you, you know, I’ve been doing articles about the Keystone XL and the dangers associated with it since the early days of the proposal for the pipeline. The first TV segment I ever did was talking about the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Mike Papantonio: I remember.
Farron Cousins: So this is a project obviously near and dear to me now that it’s, it’s dead and gone. I certainly didn’t contribute nearly as much as anybody else. But telling the truth about it constantly, you know, helped some.
Mike Papantonio: Well, I mean, at the end of the day, there was, it was a revocation of federal permits.
Farron Cousins: Right.
Mike Papantonio: I mean, Canada said, okay, we can’t overcome that. They fought it as long as they could. I don’t care how militant the activists were. I don’t care how bad they looked, how bad the PR was for them in this country. They lived through it and I think the end of the story was it had to be, it had to be regulators saying, look, we have to help too. We have to do something meaningful too. And finally, every now and then you get regulators or you get, to do the right thing. And that happened here, huh?
Farron Cousins: Yeah, it did. And, and that’s exceptionally rare to do and Biden also responding to public pressure, you know, put the brakes on the pipeline earlier this year, one of his first acts, I think, within his first week of the administration. So he’s been instrumental in this, the regulators stepping up were, but it’s those really the people that were on the field out there every day, you know, covering this issue. Those are the ones, you know, that really got this in the news to begin with, because if they hadn’t started this, we wouldn’t even know the thing existed and I promise you, it would already be in operation today.
Mike Papantonio: Kept it on the front page, didn’t they?
Farron Cousins: Yep, they did.
Mike Papantonio: Farron, thank you for joining me.
Farron Cousins: Thank you.
Mike Papantonio: I