EPA bans the use of chlorpyrifos on food crops

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The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Wednesday, August 18, that it will ban the use of chlorpyrifos on food crops grown in the United States.

As part of the ruling, the EPA is revoking all food tolerances for the chemical. The agency will also issue a notice of intent to revoke registered food uses of chlorpyrifos associated with revoked tolerances, citing fears it could harm farm workers and children.

“Farmers and ranchers care deeply about the quality of our crops. Nothing is more important than producing healthy and nutritious food. We must therefore be guided by the most reliable determinant of safety, which is science. This administration has repeatedly committed to respecting science, but the EPA’s decision on chlorpyrifos departs from that commitment and removes an important tool for managing pests and insects, ”said Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “We urge EPA officials not to make pesticide decisions outside of the regular registration review process already underway. The integrity of the registration review process and the commitment to use sound science must be a priority in a decision of this scope.

The final rule is effective 60 days after it is posted in the Federal Register.

The pesticide has been challenged several times, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled earlier this year that the EPA had to revoke or change food tolerances to comply with a federal law on food. Food Safety.

This was the last step in a process that began in 2007 when the Pesticide Action Network North America and the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a petition to revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances.

The EPA rejected the petition in 2017 under the leadership of then-administrator Scott Pruitt. Additional objections and legal challenges in 2019 were also dismissed.

The Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) submitted comments in favor of chlorpyrifos during these petitions.

“Texas is a diverse state and our members grow hundreds of different row crops, fruits and vegetables and other specialty crops,” said Jay Bragg, TFB’s associate director of commodities and regulatory activities. “It is essential that they have access to a wide range of safe, effective and affordable pest control products. “

Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphorus, is the main ingredient in products like Lorsban and Dursban. It has been used in the United States since 1965 to help control a variety of pests on alfalfa, citrus fruits, soybeans, peaches, pecans, walnuts, fruit and vegetable crops, as well as seed production. grasses in Texas.

The pesticide is also used in greenhouses, on golf courses and on non-structural wood treatments.

More information on chlorpyrifos and the final tolerance rule can be found at the EPA website.


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