American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prioritize “sound science” in its pesticide decisions.
Duvall’s remarks came after EPA announced it will revoke all tolerances for chlorpyrifos. The agency continues its registration review for the remaining non-food uses of chlorpyrifos.
“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,” Duvall said. “We urge EPA officials not to make determinations on pesticides outside of the regular registration review process already underway. The integrity of the registration review process and commitment to using sound science must be prioritized in a decision of such far-reaching consequences.”
First registered in 1965, chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide used for a large variety of agricultural uses, including soybeans, fruit and nut trees, broccoli, cauliflower, and other row crops, as well as non-food uses.
In its announcement Wednesday, EPA Administrator Michael Regan said: “Today EPA is taking an overdue step to protect public health. Ending the use of chlorpyrifos on food will help to ensure children, farmworkers, and all people are protected from the potentially dangerous consequences of this pesticide. After the delays and denials of the prior administration, EPA will follow the science and put health and safety first.”
The steps the agency announced respond to the Ninth Circuit’s order directing EPA to issue a final rule in response to the 2007 petition filed by Pesticide Action Network North America and Natural Resources Defense Council. The petition requested that EPA revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances, or the maximum allowed residue levels in food, because those tolerances were not safe, in part due to the potential for neurodevelopmental effects in children.