Chlorpyrifos, manufactured by DowDuPont, is a neurotoxic organophosphate pesticide that’s been linked to severe birth defects, brain damage and mental disorders in children.
Yet despite these known risks, and despite new evidence suggesting that Dow knew for decades how toxic chlorpyrifos is to children, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still allows chlorpyrifos to be sprayed on more than 50 fruits, vegetables and nuts, including strawberries, almonds, oranges, broccoli and apples.
If the EPA won’t do its job, it’s time for Congress to act.
We thought we’d finally won the battle against this pesticide when toward the end of the Obama administration, the EPA finally proposed a ban on chlorpyrifos.
But Trump’s EPA director, Scott Pruitt (who since resigned after multiple scandals), overturned the ban.
Then, in August 2018, a federal appeals court ordered the EPA to prohibit the use of chlorpyrifos within 60 days.
You’d think that would have been the end of it. But on September 24, in an effort to stall once again, the EPA asked the court to rehear the case.
While the EPA does nothing to stop the use of a pesticide the agency itself has determined is unsafe for children and farmworkers, chlorpyrifos continues to be used widely on dozens of crops.
It’s time for Congress to ban this dangerous pesticide. But that won’t happen unless we get enough cosponsors for the Ban Toxic Pesticides Act.