EG Vallianatos, PhD

Poison Spring: Environmental Protection Agency Compromised

DATE AIRED: October 5, 2018

Episode Description

Dr. Vallianatos will discuss his book Poison Spring which documents in detail the EPA’s corruption and misuses of science and public trust. In its half-century of existence, the EPA has repeatedly reinforced the chemical industrial complex by endorsing deadly chemicals, botching field investigations and turning a blind eye to toxic disasters and swallowing the claims of the industry. Come to find out from an EPA insider about how the EPA has allowed our lands and waters to be poisoned with more toxic chemicals than ever. He relates how the EPA continually side with agribusiness over the health of the citizens. He discusses how pesticide studies relied on a laboratory that was known to be inadequate without the ability to perform the studies on which agribusiness based the safety of their products


  • FDA scientists warned against GMO foods, yet the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA pushed GMO foods saying there was no debate (cf., interview with Stephen Druker)
  • Putting aspartame into the food supply was approved by the FDA even though the FDA knew it caused cancer (cf interview with John Kamin)
  • The US Federal Communications Center (FCC) passed a law in 1996 that the placement of a cell tower cannot be stopped for health reasons
  • There is a revolving door between industry and heading the government agencies that regulate them
    • Taylor head of FDA
    • Tom Wheeler. FCC
    • Head of CDC to Merck in charge of vaccines

Dr. Villianatos worked for the EPA for 25 years.  He observed the following:

  • There was an underlying message that the EPA needed to support the agribusiness interests regardless of what the industry wanted
  • The EPA continually gave the agribusiness industry permission to make toxic pesticides which goes into the US food supply
  • He observe consistent corruption particularly with scientific studies
  • He believes that the US is doing the bidding of the chemical industry who have learned their lessons from the tobacco industry.
    • The tobacco industry used to have double books. One for the government and one for themselves
    • Similarly, the tobacco industry showed carelessness and a disregard for public health
  • The Republicans and the democrats are in agreement that the boss of the food industry will be agribusiness
    • The democrats used gentler language,
    • But the Presidential appointees make the decision
  • EPA policy is determined by the White House
  • Whistleblowers are labeled as nonteam players, careers fade
    • Monsanto has had GMO researchers discredited, burglarized and fired.
    • Monsanto wants to control the world’s food supply then will control the world
      • GMO seeds cannot be used for the next generation of crops
    • Glyphosate made 6 billion euros last year for Monsanto 

These chemicals adversely affect the health of humans and other animals

  • These chemicals damage us and the DNA of future generations
    • This undermines society and future generations
  • Farmers died of cancer twice the rate of anyone else in the 1970s
  • For example, a town in Oregon sent a letter to the EPS about miscarriages related to the amount of dioxin in the creeks.
    • The EPA did nothing, but eventually, Monsanto was sued for lying to the EPS about dioxin in waste, lying to workers and was fined $16 million dollars in punitive damages
  • DDT was found to cause cancer and to kill fish and animals

Effects on the Honeybees

  • An organophosphate neurotoxin, parathion, confused the honeybees and could not find their way back to hives
    • Bees carry this chemical around and carry it into their hives
    • This chemical gets into the honey that we eat
      • This causes central nervous system and brain changes in humans
      • He suggests that the toxins that get into our food supply may be partially responsible for the violence seen in society.
      • The EPA was told about this and was asked to stop using this chemical
      • The EPA ignored these requests and approved this neurotoxin for more widespread use
    • A new neurotoxin was developed neonicotinoids   This is equally toxic to the honeybees
      • It blocks central nervous system receptors in insects
      • Its effects are cumulative
      • Disrupts honeybees
      • The tiniest grain of neonicotinoids is lethal to birds
      • Honeybees have been essential for a long period because they pollinate fruits and vegetables
      • In human beings, it promoting cancer and other diseases

Global Warming

  • He believes that large scale agribusiness has become factory farming and is destroying the planet by increasing global warming
    • Contributes to 20 -40 % of gases that contribute to global warming

How this affects the world

  • Almost any decision the US makes about agribusiness seems to be adopted by other countries
  • The chemical industry controls the regulatory system of the US agrichemicals and push to have similar regulations in the rest of the world.
  • Europeans are becoming subsidiaries of these corporations like in the US
  • There are more US lobbyists in Europe than US
  • Lobbyists are approaching each member of UK parliament to adopt the same food policies in US
  • UK TV program, The American Embassy showed the US diplomats trying to get the British to import chlorinated chicken
  • A UK doctor told Dr. Villianotos that the UK food agency in the UK is a subsidiary of Monsanto and Syngenta

Pesticide Studies

  • A 11/2/2010 EPA memo admitted that a Bayer study supporting clothianidin was flawed
  • The corruption starts when a chemical is brought to a lab for testing as the lab (IBT) was faking data
  • In 1979, he learned from his colleague, Adrian Gross, discovered that the largest industrial bio lab, IBT, was faking data and were faking numbers for pesticide studies
  • These falsified studies went on for 25 years.
    • The researchers discarded sick animals and substituted healthy animals
    • They got bad substances approved such as trichlorcarbanolide
      • Antibacterial in all soaps, softeners, detergents, rinse additives for the 50’s s and 60s
      • Got a lot more toxic substances in our food such as ethylene dibromide’
      • Sen Ted Kennedy launched investigation that concluded regulation in US is fundamentally deficient
    • He believes that this is crime and fraud of massive proportions
    • 40 % of the chemicals (including pharmaceuticals) in the country
      • They did not ban these chemicals that were approved through fraud
      • The US Government went against this laboratory and left the chemical industry alone
      • Some of the chemical companies had their own representatives at the laboratory to supervise the chemical studies.
      • The companies repeated the tests but in the meantime, the chemical stayed in the food supply for an additional 2 to four years.
    • The industry convinced the government to shut down laboratories so that fewer accidents would be discovered or investigated
    • EPA had a data audit team but its staff was cut to two people

Dr. Villianotos’ Theory on how this situation Occurred

  • He felt this situation started after WWII
    • They used chlorine and other gases as chemical warfare weapons
  • THE US Government started to think like an empire
  • They wanted food to come from a few people who get government financial assistance
    • The US Government subsidized these large produces and cut funding given to family farmers who as a result became extinct.
    • These agribusiness farmers use helicopters to spray massive amount of pesticides so they don’t need to hire workers
  • The tragic part of this is that since the Dept of Agriculture was founded by President Lincoln he created it as a peoples’ department to help the small farmer
  • As a result:
    • The agricultural universities have become the tool of agribusiness
      • The US Government funds the land grant universities, but they become the brain of agribusiness
      • The US is funding the people who are creating the pesticides that are poisoning us
      • Some universities have sold their agricultural departments to business such as the University of California, Berkeley]
      • Have become the brain of agribusiness
      • Cornell taught its students about GMO but did not support any opposing views
    • Large-scale farming was promoted as the answer to the world’s food supply
      • They were talking about the green revolution to feed the world
      • Instead they were peddling insecticides, not feeding anyone. They were contributing to the decline of the small-scale farmer
      • He believes that farmers with 5 acres can farm as effectively/ productively as a farm with 5000 acres because they put their whole life into the land



  • Small amounts of parathion
    • 5 parts per billion kills invertebrates
    • 1 part per billion fatal to oysters
    • 17 parts per billion kill striped bass
    • 1985m parathion . 500 times considered safe level for infants
    • Have time released parathion inactivated on surface flower for days
      • Bees carry back invisible spheres of asphyxiating gas back to hive.
    • Responsible for crib deaths
      • Parathion is monstrously toxic in presence minute amounts of botulinum toxin


  • Malathion hypersensitivity was widespread in Charleston causing immunological problems
  • In Soko, Japan farmers got sick from the malathion and parathion.
  • EPA had a special study on malathion for south Carolina where they were spraying for mosquitoes
  • Malathione can cause lung congestion, skin diseases, migraines, headaches, gastroenteritis, GI bleeding, cardiovascular disorders
  • The US Army noted in 1976 that malathion disrupted rats’ behavior even in very low doses and went through the blood brain barrier


  • Poison the central nervous system which can cause brain damage

Active ingredients

  • The chemical that does harm
  • They wrap this chemical in other inert chemicals
  • The inert chemicals can be more toxic than the “active ingredient
  • These toxins can potentiate, mix and create more toxicities
  • Is a system to confuse the customer


  • Designed to increase deadly effects of active ingredients
  • These work by fooling the microsomal enzymes of the liver which would normally turn toxic compounds into harmless molecules
  • Knocks out liver’s lifesaving powers
  • Inert synergists destroy pests natural defenses against active poisons.
  • Piperonyl buoxide
    • Safrole and dihyrosafrol involved in manufacture of this synergist
    • When mixed with freons (fluorocarbons used as propellants causes cancer in animals
    • These chemical show up in supermarket bag contaminating food.
    • EPA aborted regulating effort under industry pressure.
    • David Pimentel (Cornell)
      • 300K poisonings per year
      • World wide 26 million poisonings per year
    • They blame farmers

The reason Dr Villianatos wrote his book

  • He is repulsed that chemical weapons enter our food supply
  • His book tells what is going on within the US Government
  • He wrote his book so people can see how the EPA and agribusiness work as one
  • He wrote his book hoping people would wake the fact that there is almost a gangster power play between the industry and the government.
  • His book points out that the chemicals the US has been using since the 1970’s are extremely toxic and damage

His Recommendations

  • He believes all these toxic chemicals should be banned
  • No  senior manager can work for the business they regulated for ten years after leaving government service
  • People need to start eating organic
    • Start by educating children and physicians
    • People can volunteer for organic organizations that are trying to do something about these issues
      • Eg Moms Across America were active when they found glyphosate in breast milk
    • Get back to sustainable farming without toxic chemicals
    • Medical community has to be involved
      • If pediatricians say no more neurotoxins because it affects the children.
      • Abolish land grant universities if they continue to do the bidding of agribusiness
    • Get honest people in government
      • The EPA will not change until the managers have respect for human rights
    • People can  demand that the land grant universities drop out of agribusiness and focus on the small farmers
      • Science should study how to help the small farmers

Final Comments

  • US Congress corrupted by greed
  • Alexander Hamilton said a government bought and sold is worthless