Monday, November 02, 2015

EPA proposes ban on insecticide widely used in agriculture

The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed a ban on an insecticide that has been linked to autism and other developmental delays, Tiffany Stecker reports for Environment & Energy News. The proposed rule "would revoke chlorpyrifos tolerances on food, restricting the use of the chemical on edible crops. The insecticide could still be used on golf courses not located near sensitive watersheds and possibly in certain insect baits," said Patti Goldman, an attorney with the environmental nonprofit Earthjustice, which represented environmental groups that filed a lawsuit against EPA.

EPA banned chlorpyrifos for residential use 15 years ago, Daniel Enoch reports for Agri-Pulse. "The agency noted that it was under an Oct. 31 deadline, set by a federal appeals court in August, to respond to allegations about the pesticide alleged in a 2007 activist petition. The groups that brought the original lawsuit—the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Pesticide Action Network—contend that chlorpyrifos causes brain damage to children and poisons field workers."

EPA said that, based on its current analysis, “there do not appear to be risks from exposure to chlorpyrifos from food, but, when that exposure is combined with estimated exposure from drinking water in certain watersheds, EPA cannot conclude that the risk from the potential aggregate exposure meets the FFDCA safety standard," Enoch writes. In a statement, Dow AgroSciences said it "disagrees with EPA's proposal and remains confident that all U.S. tolerance issues relating to the continued use of chlorpyrifos can be readily resolved with a more refined analysis of data."

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