On March 29, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied a petition that sought to ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide crucial to U.S. agriculture. Instead, EPA will focus its attention on updating and revising its human health assessment for chlorpyrifos under the standard procedures of the ongoing registration review process. The assessment is scheduled for completion on October 1, 2022, in order to support future decision-making.
“We need to provide regulatory certainty to the thousands of American farms that rely on chlorpyrifos, while still protecting human health and the environment,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in an EPA press release announcing the decision. “By reversing the previous Administration’s steps to ban one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, we are returning to using sound science in decision-making – rather than predetermined results.”
The petition, which was filed in September 2007 by the Pesticide Action Network North America and the Natural Resources Defense Council, called for the EPA to revoke all tolerances for the pesticide chlorpyrifos and cancel all chlorpyrifos registrations. Losing this pesticide would have had a detrimental impact on grower operations.
Since 1965, chlorpyrifos has played a key role in pest management efforts. It is a critical tool for growers of over 50 different types of crops in the United States and is one of the most widely used active ingredients in insecticides in the world. EPA’s decision is good news for agriculture because it was based on applicable regulatory procedures and sound science—something that Western Growers continually advocates for.
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