CHOIR OF CLOISTERED CANARIES is more than just the use of consonance alliteration. There is a critical “C” employed in the novel, and it is “Chlorpyrifos.”
What is “chlropyrifos?” Common commercial names are Brodan, Bolton insecticide, Chlorpyrifos-methyl, Cobalt, Detmol UA, Dowco 179, Dursban, Empire, Eradex, Hatchet, Lorsban, Nufos, Paqeant, Piridane, Scout, Stipend, Tricel, Warhawk, others. Identifiers. CAS Number. 2921-88-2. But what is it, really? But, but, but?
Chlropyrifos (aka chlorpyrifos-methyl) is as an insecticide, a kind of pesticide, that attacks the nervous system to eliminate insects and worms on a range of food crops. However, extensive scientific studies over years have concluded that it also attacks the nervous system of young children’s brains as those of farmworkers and animals.
In fact, the European Union recently voted in December 2019 to ban chlorpyrifos. Their scientific experts concluded that its use affects human health, in particular in relation to genotoxicity and developmental neurotoxicity. The World Health Organization banned it in 2000 for most household uses but still allows it to be applied to dozens of crops on over 40,000 farms. Due to economic trade-offs, it has been difficult to wean countries off the stuff. However, the allowable Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) of both EU food products and imports are being lowered to become effective in October 2020.
Instead of following the science, the Trump Administration is rejecting all scientific evidence of poisoning to humans, particularly, children’s brains, fetuses, and farmworkers. Accordingly, the anti-science Administration refuses to ban the use of this neurotoxin. As toxic as it is, there is no apparent mitigating the harm it causes. In September 2020, the U.S. Environmental Agency has released its risk assessment calling the toxic pesticide’s effects “unresolved” and allowing its continued use in a wide variety of agricultural products. A final decision on its use is pending. Meanwhile, will American food products be banned from entering the European Union?
(CHOIR OF CLOISTERED CANARIES mentions it in pp. xv, xvi, xvii, 79, 80, 83, 141, 281.)