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Appeals court rules EPA has 60 days to ban chlorpyrifos

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The EPA has 60 days to revoke all tolerances and cancel all registrations for the widely-used pesticide chlorpyrifos. 

On Thursday, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the EPA had no justification for its 2017 order to maintain a tolerance for the pesticide, citing research that shows its residue on food causes neurodevelopmental damage to children.

The panel further held that the EPA cannot refuse to act because of possible contradiction in the future by evidence and that the EPA was in direct contravention of the FFDCA and FIFRA.

Last year the EPA declined to ban the pesticide from Dow, citing scientific uncertainty and the massive benefits it has to modern food production. The chemical is widely used on citrus trees, strawberries, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Following the EPA’s decision last year, Dow released a statement regarding the safety of the product:

Chlorpyrifos is, in fact, one of the most widely used and thoroughly studied pest control products in the world, supported by more than 4,000 studies examining chlorpyrifos in terms of health, safety, and the environment. It is approved not only for use in the U.S., but nearly 100 countries. In its preparation of biological evaluations of chlorpyrifos and the other compounds under the Endangered Species Act, EPA did not apply its own standards of data quality, nor did it follow its own procedures. As a result, Dow and other companies submitted concerns and scientific requests through various proper channels. Dow stands by the safety of chlorpyrifos and believes that comprehensive regulatory review of all available data will continue to support the safety of the registered uses of this product.

The EPA plans to review the decision and could ask a larger panel of the 9th Circuit to review or appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tags: Agriculture News, Farming, Farm Safety
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