WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its withdrawal of all food uses of chlorpyrifos. This announcement follows the 9th Circuit Court’s May 2021 order to withdraw all uses of chlorpyrifos in food production that cannot be proven safe.
Kristin Schafer, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Executive Director, issued the following statement in response to EPA’s decision:
“Together with partners across the country, we’re celebrating this decision that protects the health of millions of children, farmworkers, and rural families — and is long overdue. Science documenting the harms of this neurotoxic chemical has been strong for decades. It took persistent organizing, advocacy in statehouses, and coordinated legal action to finally force EPA to do its job.
“Our understanding is that today’s action will also result in a ban of chlorpyrifos use on commodity crops grown for feed, and in the coming months, EPA will consider action on all remaining (non-food) uses of chlorpyrifos as well. We urge the agency to also quickly withdraw these uses, so we can join the 35 countries that have already fully banned this dangerous chemical.
“We’re hopeful that today’s decision signals a shift for this Administration, toward re-centering science and justice in decision-making about dangerous pesticides. For too long the pesticide industry’s interests have been prioritized over protecting children’s health or the health of those on the frontlines of industrial agriculture — farmworkers, farmers, and rural families. It’s time for this to change.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide, acaricide and miticide used primarily to control foliage and soil-borne insect pests.
In August 2021, EPA released a final rule revoking all “tolerances” for chlorpyrifos, which establish an amount of a pesticide that is allowed on food. Read a prepublication version of the final rule: Chlorpyrifos; Tolerance Revocations (pdf) . In addition, the agency will issue a Notice of Intent to Cancel under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act to cancel registered food uses of chlorpyrifos associated with the revoked tolerances.
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This action will also be incorporated into the ongoing registration review for chlorpyrifos. EPA is continuing to review the comments submitted on the chlorpyrifos proposed interim decision, draft revised human health risk assessment, and draft ecological risk assessment. These documents are available in the chlorpyrifos registration review docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0850 at www.regulations.gov.