The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has banned the future use of a pesticide that appears to harm the health of children and farm workers after facing a large number of lawsuits.
Sprayed on apples, strawberries, citrus, corn, alfalfa, grapes, cotton, almonds, walnuts, and broccoli since 1965, the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos has been linked to intellectual deterioration, loss of working memory and reduced IQ in children, as well as damage to prenatal development of babies’ brains. It also impacts health agricultural workers.
On 2020, California, a major agricultural state, banned chlorpyrifos, but the EPA ruled that there was insufficient evidence to do the same at the federal level, until legal challenges resulted in a court judge ruling that EPA had the responsibility to present evidence irrefutable that the pesticide did not cause harm. In children.
Since it was unable to do so, as of August 20, the agency prohibited producers from using chlorpyrifos.
Environmentally-focused organization Earthjustice says it will continue its quest to ban all organophosphate pesticides on farms, even if they are used in non-food applications. One reason is that the toxin spray is airborne and can drift to unwanted targets.
For now, “chlorpyrifos will finally disappear from our fruits and vegetables” said Patti Goldman, attorney for Earthjustice. “Children will no longer eat food contaminated with a pesticide that causes intellectual learning disabilities,”
In 2017, more than half of the 10.4 million pounds of organophosphate pesticides sprayed on American soils were chlorpyrifos, meaning the ban will lead to the eventual decontamination of half of the total chemical load – a huge victory for millions. .
– Featured Image: Lite-Trac, CC License
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