Advocates and Public Pressure Snuffs Out Toxic Chemical Chlorpyrifos
CHICAGO – According to published news reports, Corteva Inc. will end production of the highly toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos by the end of this year. The company, formerly part of Dow Chemical, has been under increasing scrutiny from environmental and public health advocates for decades and NRDC has been in court over the toxic agricultural chemical repeatedly.
Following is a statement from Dr. Jennifer Sass, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
“This is a victory for our kids, farmworkers and rural communities nationwide. After years of pressure and increasing public concern, the end of chlorpyrifos is finally in sight. The science, policy and public pushback all aligned around this chemical being too dangerous for use on our food and in our fields, making today’s announcement an eventual forgone conclusion. We will be watching the manufacturer’s statements to ensure that the sunset of chlorpyrifos is as quick and as complete as possible. Ridding the American marketplace of this pesticide is a huge step, but it cannot be allowed to continue to threaten the health of kids in other global markets.”
Adapted from World War II-era nerve gases, chlorpyrifos was banned from use in household products, like roach sprays, nearly two decades ago but is still widely used on many U.S. food crops, including children’s favorites like apples, oranges and strawberries.
NRDC has been fighting for more than two decades to get chlorpyrifos out of our food supply, and first petitioned EPA to ban it in 2007 with the Pesticide Action Network. EPA was finally on track to ban it at the end of 2016. Shortly after taking office, however, the Trump administration reversed course and continues to fight to keep it on the market.
EPA’s own assessment of the chemical’s risks shows that exposure to low levels of the pesticide in early life can lead to increased risk of learning disabilities, including reductions in IQ, developmental delay and ADHD. This assessment is based on dozens of scientific studies including from Dow Chemical, the nation’s largest manufacturer of chlorpyrifos.
Dow Chemical has close ties to the President. Among other things, the company reportedly donated $1 million for Trump’s inauguration and its CEO previously played a chief advisory role to the president, heading up his now defunct “American Manufacturing Council.”
Today’s action in California follows extensive scientific and regulatory review from the California EPA.
For more information, go to: https://www.nrdc.org/chlorpyrifos.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.