The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced it will be canceling all tolerances of chlorpyrifos, effectively banning all food uses of the toxic, brain-damaging pesticide in the U.S. In April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered EPA to get rid of all agricultural uses of chlorpyrifos or retain only those uses that it can find safe for workers and children.
Bill Freese, science director, Center of Food Safety (CFS), said that CFS welcomes EPA's long overdue decision to cancel the neurotoxic insecticide. He also said that since farm workers, pregnant people, and young children are especially vulnerable to harm from exposure to chlorpyrifos, a cancellation of this dangerous product was the only choice.
CPS says that EPA has long been aware of chlorpyrifos' toxicity, and that EPA under the Obama Administration proposed a ban on the pesticide in 2015, but the Trump Administration's EPA reneged on the proposed ban in 2017. In 2019, faced with another court-mandated decline, the Trump EPA refused to ban chlorpyrifos and subsequently released a proposed interim registration on the pesticide in 2020, effectively continuing its registration in the U.S.
Long-term studies have conclusively shown that children exposed to chlorpyrifos in the womb suffer from higher rates of a range of developmental disorders, including reduced IQ, memory deficits, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. A ban on the pesticide is widely supported by the medical science community.