This is proof that so much can be conveyed through perceptions alone. Just three weeks before the EPA declined to pursue a ban on the insecticide chlorpyrifos, agency chief Scott Pruitt and Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris were seen talking at a conference.
That’s all it takes, and people will surely jump to their own conclusions about what transpired. This, despite an EPA spokeswoman telling The Associated Press, “They did not discuss chlorpyrifos. During the same trip he [Pruitt] also met with the Canadian minister of natural resources, and CEOs and executives from other companies attending the trade show.”
Chlorpyrifos, which has been used for decades to help farmers defend their crops against a wide array of pests, had been on the discussion table for more than year. The EPA’s decision at the end of March came just a couple of days before a deadline to act that was put in place by a three-judge panel.
Pruitt and Liveris were both featured speakers at an energy industry conference March 9 in Houston, so it makes sense that they would have interacted at some point. Pruitt also reportedly attended a group meeting that included two other Dow executives, and the EPA’s spokeswoman said that chlorpyrifos again was not brought up.
In April, activist organizations filed suit against the EPA over the chlorpyrifos decision, claiming that there are health risks associated with the product.
Dow has been critical of the way The Associated Press, which first reported the meeting between Pruitt and Liveris, has covered the issue in the past.