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Natural Awakenings Central Florida / Orlando

EPA Bans Chlorpyrifos Pesticide on Food

No pesticide label


After a multiyear effort, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ruled that chlorpyrifos, a pesticide linked to neurological damage in children, including reduced IQ, loss of working memory and attention deficit disorders, can no longer be used on food. EPA Administrator Michael Regan cites the action as an overdue step to protect children and farmworkers from dangerous consequences of the pesticide. “EPA will follow the science and put health and safety first.” The ruling will take effect in February 2022.

Patti Goldman, an attorney for Earthjustice, says, “Chlorpyrifos will finally be out of our fruits and vegetables.” The pesticide has been sprayed on crops such as strawberries, apples, citrus, broccoli and corn since 1965. Up until 2000, it was used to kill ants, roaches and mosquitos. The Natural Resources Defense Council notes that it will still be allowed for other uses such as cattle ear tags.

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