The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, has decided against banning the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos on fruits and vegetables, despite research data in recent years has linked the pesticide to nervous system and brain problems, including lowered brain function in some children exposed to it before birth.
“We need to provide regulatory certainty to the thousands of American farms that rely on chlorpyrifos, while still protecting human health and the environment,” Pruitt said in his statement. “By reversing the previous administration’s steps to ban one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, we are returning to using sound science in decision-making — rather than predetermined results.”
The United States Department of Agriculture has announced that is supports Pruitt’s decision.
There has been backlash however. Environmental and health originations claim the pesticide could be dangerous. The American Farm Bureau Federation commented on the EPA’s actions, telling the agency, “EPA’s proposal appears to be a retreat from its statutory obligation that, when evaluating pesticides for registration, it balances the risk of those active ingredients against their benefits to farmers specifically, and to the public generally, when they do not pose an unreasonable risk to health or the environment.”
NRDC senior scientist Miriam Rotkin-Ellman “The Trump administration is putting the needs of chemical corporations before children’s health… Parents shouldn’t have to worry that a dangerous chemical might be lurking in the fruits and veggies they feed their kids.”