EPA denies objections to rule revoking all chlorpyrifos tolerances
The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday denied objections to its rule revoking all tolerances of the pesticide chlorpyrifos.
“Today’s action shows how EPA continues to put the health and safety of the public first, particularly that of children and farmworkers” said EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff.
“After more than a decade of studying a large body of science, EPA is taking the next step towards the cancellation of the use of chlorpyrifos on food.”
EPA noted that in August 2021 it had issued a final rule revoking all tolerances — which establish an amount of a pesticide that is allowed on food — for chlorpyrifos, which was used for a large variety of agricultural uses, including soybeans, fruit and nut trees, broccoli, cauliflower, and other row crops. It has been found to inhibit an enzyme, which leads to neurotoxicity, and has also been associated with potential neurodevelopmental effects in children, EPA said.
EPA also noted it issued the final rule in response to the Ninth Circuit Court’s order directing the agency to issue a final rule in response to Pesticide Action Network North America and Natural Resources Defense Council’s 2007 petition. This petition requested that EPA revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances because they were not safe.
After issuing the final rule and consistent with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, EPA provided an opportunity for anyone to file an objection to any aspect of it and request a hearing on those objections.
“Under today’s action and after careful consideration, EPA is denying all objections, hearing requests, and requests to stay the final rule filed during the period for submitting responses to the final rule,” EPA said.
Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said, “Today the EPA has told the industry that it stands by its correct decision to ban uses of chlorpyrifos. Thankfully, as a result, current and future generations of children will no longer be exposed to this dangerous pesticide.”
“Banning chlorpyrifos is a good first start, but it’s nowhere near the end. There are many other pesticides currently on the market with government approval that are manifestly unsafe and should be immediately banned or severely restricted,” Cook added.
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