EPA bans brain-damaging pesticide chlorpyrifos on food
Commentary: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Wednesday that it will ban a common pesticide from use on food crops. The pesticide, known as chlorpyrifos, has been linked to brain damage in children. However, chlorpyrifos will still be permitted for nonfood uses such as golf courses, turf and in pest treatments. The new rule will take effect in six months.
The decision comes after a court ordered the EPA in April to revisit the agency’s earlier decision to allow the use of chlorpyrifos and to reconsider its safety on food. The EPA’s decision is the latest move by the Biden administration to roll back Trump-era policies.
Earlier this month, U.S. PIRG and its partner organizations delivered more than 27,000 member petition signatures to the EPA, calling on the agency to protect public health and ban chlorpyrifos.
Danielle Melgar, U.S. PIRG’s Zero Out Toxics advocate, released the following statement:
“This decision has been a long time coming. The EPA has known about the health risks associated with chlorpyrifos for years. Now, families can rest easier, knowing that their children won’t be exposed to this brain-damaging pesticide in their food.
“But if this pesticide is too dangerous to be used on our food, should we be spreading it on golf courses? Surely we have safer alternatives so we can do without using this dangerous pesticide anywhere Americans recreate.”