EPA to block pesticides tied to neurological harm in children

2021-08-18

The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it is banning a common pesticide, widely used since 1965 on fruits and vegetables, from use on food crops because it has been linked to neurological damage in children.

The Environmental Protection Agency said this week it would publish a regulation to block the use of chlorpyrifos on food. One of the most widely used pesticides, chlorpyrifos is commonly applied to corn, soybeans, apples, broccoli, asparagus and other produce.

The new rule, which will take effect in six months, follows an order in April by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that directed the E.P.A. to halt the agricultural use of the chemical unless it could demonstrate its safety.

Labor and environmental advocacy groups estimate that the decision will eliminate more than 90 percent of chlorpyrifos use in the country.

In an unusual move, the new chlorpyrifos policy will not be put in place via the standard regulatory process, under which the E.P.A. first publishes a draft rule, then takes public comment before publishing a final rule. Rather, in compliance with the court order, which noted that the science linking chlorpyrifos to brain damage is over a decade old, the rule will be published in final form, without a draft or public comment period.

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~sNew York Times, 18 August 2021

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/18/climate/pesticides-epa-chlorpyrifos.html