Banning Toxic Pesticides

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A toxic pesticide well known for years to alter children’s brains is finally banned from use in the U.S, begging the question, “what took so long?”

The insecticide in question is called chlorpyrifos and is used throughout agriculture on crops including soybeans, almond trees, grapes, broccoli and cauliflower. Chlorpyrifos has been in use in the U.S. since the 1960s, and more than 5 million pounds of it were used on U.S. farmland in 2017.

The EPA proposed ending its use in 2015, but the Trump administration later dropped the plan under pressure from pesticide maker Dow Chemical.

“Rather than ban the pesticide or reduce the tolerances to levels that the EPA could find were reasonably certain to cause no harm, the EPA sought to evade through delay tactics its plain statutory duty,” Judge Jed S. Rakoff wrote in the Ninth Circuit’s 67-page ruling in April.

The new EPA regulation, once formally published, sets a six-month deadline for agricultural companies to stop using chlorpyrifos. So to be clear the ban isn’t finalized yet and companies have 6 more months to spray brain-altering chemicals on food.

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