Ag groups object to EPA’s chlorpyrifos ruling
A group of more than 80 agricultural organizations have filed formal objections to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Aug. 30 rule to revoke all tolerances of the insecticide chlorpyrifos.
The coalition letter cited concerns with EPA’s revocation decision, including the processes EPA used and lack of scientific basis.
“EPA’s own scientific record on chlorpyrifos shows there are many safe, high-benefit uses of the chemistry that do not pose a dietary or environmental risk,” the American Soybean Association said in a news release. “Regardless, the agency is opting to revoke tolerances for these safe, low-risk uses.”
American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall called the EPA action shortsighted, saying, “Taking care of the land and our natural resources is a top priority for farmers, and this revocation rule actually makes it harder for us to do that.”
“EPA veered from its own scientific evidence in a decision that could be damaging to the land, to farmers and to our efforts to fight food insecurity.”
Kevin Scott, a soy grower from Valley Springs, S.D., and American Soybean Association president said, “Chlorpyrifos is a vital tool in the soybean grower’s toolbox, one which EPA has itself said poses no food or environmental risk of concern.”
“Without it, many farmers may have to increase the amount of alternative pesticides they apply, as there are no one-to-one replacements for several pests chlorpyrifos helps control,” Scott said. “EPA’s action — counterproductive to the agency’s intended mission is undermining the ability of growers to be good environmental stewards.”
Dan Younggren, a farmer from Hallock, Minn., and president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, said, “The use of chlorpyrifos is essential in our ability to control the sugar beet root maggot, thereby maximizing yields and ensuring stability of the U.S. food supply.”
“Alternative chemistries, which are not as effective, will require more frequent applications and will increase GHG emissions,” Younggren said. “And, having one less chemistry in our integrated pest management strategy could increase the likelihood of insecticide resistance. Without chlorpyrifos, we could experience significant yield losses of up to 45%, which would be economically devastating to our growers.”
The groups asked EPA to postpone implementing the rule until objections can be formally considered and addressed by the agency.
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