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Ban on Chlorpyrifos the Subject of Litigation


According to an August 8th article in The Hill six states including California and New York have filed lawsuits opposing the July 2019 decision by the EPA not to ban chlorpyrifos. A complementary lawsuit was also filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by EarthJustice and a group of ten other environmental activist organizations. Chlorpyrifos, marketed as Lorsban™ is applied to corn and cranberries as an effective insecticide. Studies have demonstrated that exposure to chlorpyrifos leads to learning and memory deficits and is neurotoxic especially to children.

Quoted in The Hill article, Tracy Gregoire, Project Coordinator at the Learning Disabilities Association of America stated “A chlorpyrifos ban is long overdue given the overwhelming evidence that this pesticide harms brain development in children”. She added “We are hopeful the courts will side with children who are now being exposed to irreparable, yet preventable harm”.

EPA banned chlorpyrifos for household use in 2001 but has allowed application to continue on farms. The EPA intends reviewing the safety of chlorpyrifos through 2022. The compound is banned outright in the E.U. based on scientific evidence.

The Attorney General OF California commented “The EPA is egregiously sacrificing our children’s health by refusing to make a determination on this dangerous pesticide”. Chlorpyrifos is banned in Hawaii. Other states including California and New York are considering restrictive legislation.

A spokesman for a Latino farm worker’s group based in Oregon stated “A nerve agent pesticide that poisons workers and damages children’s developing brains has no place near our fruits and vegetables”. Ramon Ramirez stated “We look forward to seeing the courts do what EPA refuses to do, to protect workers and children with a ban on chlorpyrifos”.