In Case You Missed It: 7 States are Challenging the EPA over its Refusal to Ban Chlorpyrifos

In Case You Missed It: 7 States are Challenging the EPA over its Refusal to Ban Chlorpyrifos

In case you missed it: Seven state attorneys general and several advocacy groups are challenging the EPA’s decision not to ban chlorpyrifos, a dangerous pesticide that has been linked to learning disabilities in children. The decision was made despite ample research proving the toxicity of the insecticide. [1]

Natural Society
Source: The New York Times – A label for Lorsban

In a news release, the Center for Biological Diversity said:

“There’s a good reason this dangerous toxin has been banned from indoor use for more than a decade and the EPA’s own scientists recommended ending its use on food. There is no question that this pesticide causes serious harm to people and wildlife so there should be no question that it should be banned, period.”

Back in March, EPA chief Scott Pruitt dismissed the agency’s own safety experts who, under the Obama administration, had recommended that chlorpyrifos (brand name Lorsban) be permanently banned from agricultural use nationwide because of its potential to harm farm workers.

In late 2016, EPA scientists concluded that chlorpyrifos was causing learning and memory declines and other health problems in farm workers and young children who came into contact with the pesticide. Chlorpyrifos is also linked to brain damage in children and fetuses. [1] [2]

Under the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, the EPA must guard infants and children from harm by pesticides in food, water, and exposure to indoor pesticides. [2]

Patti Goldman, managing attorney for the environmental group Earthjustice, said:

“EPA has repeatedly found chlorpyrifos unsafe, particularly for children, and strengthened that view every time it’s reviewed the science. Based on the science and the law, the only credible thing to do to protect public health is ban this toxic pesticide.”

Additionally, the agency’s own analysis showed that chlorpyrifos is a severe risk to 97% of America’s most threatened flora and fauna.

In the weeks following Pruitt’s refusal to ban chlorpyrifos, Dow Chemical, the maker of Lorsban, wrote Pruitt and the Trump administration asking them to withdraw all of these evaluations. [3]

Dow has a seat at the head of the table, since it has donated $11 million to congressional campaigns and PACs, and spent $75 million lobbying Congress.

Dow was 1 of 3 companies that donated $1 million to the Trump inauguration.

Chlorpyrifos has been banned for most household uses since 2000, but it continues to be applied about 40,000 farms, on approximately 50 types of crops.

The attorneys general of New York, California, Washington, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont formally requested in filing made public on June 6, 2017, that the EPA take immediate action to ban chlorpyrifos. The states argued in the filing that the agency’s refusal to ban this pesticide from food crops must be overturned. The attorneys general are calling on the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos on food within 60 days. [1] [2]

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a press release:

“The EPA’s first job is ensuring the health and safety of New Yorkers and all Americans — especially our children. Yet the Trump administration is jeopardizing our children’s health by allowing continued exposure to this toxic pesticide at levels it has not found to be safe.

If the Trump Administration won’t follow the law — and put our children’s well-being first — we will fight back.” [2]


[1] Natural Resources Defense Council

[2] Think Progress

[3] Center for Biological Diversity

The New York Times