EPA Bans Chlorpyrifos

by Colter Brown

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revoked all tolerances and filed their intent to cancel all registrations for food uses of chlorpyrifos.

In April, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the EPA to “issue a final rule in which the agency either modifies the chlorpyrifos tolerances with a supporting safety determination or revokes the tolerances and modifies or cancels food-use registrations of chlorpyrifos.” The EPA announcement yesterday reflects their decision to do the latter.

“Chlorpyrifos is a widely used insecticide in the Midwest and in North Dakota,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “Although the 9th Circuit court decision may have incorrectly assessed the scientific evidence, it is just as unfortunate that the current administration and EPA chose to ban chlorpyrifos altogether instead of simply issuing rules permitting the continued safe application of this critical pesticide.”

Chlorpyrifos is in common products such as Lorsban, Dursban, Cobalt and has many uses in agriculture from row crops, seed, grain, hay and fly tags for cattle.

Farm Bureau President Zippy Duval responded to the announcement saying, “Farmers and ranchers care deeply about the quality of our crops – nothing is more important than producing safe, nutritious food. So, we must be guided by the most reliable determinant of safety, which is science. This administration has repeatedly made commitments to abide by science, yet the EPA decision on chlorpyrifos strays from that commitment and takes away an important tool to manage pests and insects. We urge EPA officials not to make determinations on pesticides outside of the regular registration review process already underway.

Agricultural Retailers Association President and CEO Daren Coppock stated, “ARA is extremely disappointed in the decision to revoke all tolerances for chlorpyrifos. This product has been an essential tool for growers who need to control insect pests so they can deliver the quality produce consumers expect to grocery shelves. By issuing this mandate, and EPA not fighting it, anti-pesticide activists have executed an end run around the statute that is supposed to govern these decisions.”



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