EPA’s efforts to ban chlorpyrifos on food crops stalled despite brain damage risks to kids

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epa-ban-overturned(NaturalHealth365)  It would seem that the almighty dollar is more important than the health and well-being of our children.  At least, that is what seems to be the case according to a merry-go-round of legal action regarding the pesticide chlorpyrifos.  In the interesting twist, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is fighting to maintain a ban that the agency placed on the chemical, forbidding its use on food crops and crops used for animal feed.

However, several grower groups and a chlorpyrifos registrant challenged the rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  On November 2, 2023, the court ruled to vacate the EPA’s ban, putting the issue back in the EPA’s hands.

EPA’s chlorpyrifos dilemma: Regulatory limbo leaves crop safety in question

The EPA has been tasked with revisiting the chlorpyrifos issue to establish tolerances and conduct further research.  However, the court has not set a deadline for this process or provided instructions to the EPA on potential actions concerning the use of chlorpyrifos on crops for human or animal consumption.

This means that growers can use registered chlorpyrifos products and apply them to all crops.  However, some states may have other restrictions.

The EPA is not innocent of all this, though.  According to a report by Sharon Lerner in ProPublica, the agency has consistently interfered with efforts to identify the insecticide as a neurotoxin and reduce exposure globally.

The argument against chlorpyrifos, according to doctors and scientists

The scientific and medical communities have maintained a very strong and outspoken stance against chlorpyrifos, citing numerous studies that linked the insecticide to significant health and developmental risks for developing fetuses, infants, children, and even pregnant women.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued numerous warnings, supported by the more than 66,000 pediatricians, pediatric specialists, and pediatric surgeons it represents.  Scientists have linked prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos to reduced IQ, attention disorders, low birth weight, delayed motor development, and loss of working memory.  The body of evidence is extensive, and it continues to grow with each condemning report and study.

The Endocrine Society has also provided what it calls “ample evidence that chlorpyrifos has extensive effects on neurological and endocrine systems with demonstrated evidence of harm to humans and wildlife.

There are compelling studies that link chlorpyrifos to acute pesticide poisoning with symptoms that include respiratory paralysis, seizures, and even death.  There is a significant amount of scientific research that shows it is very dangerous to the developing brains of young children and infants.  It is largely considered to be a neurotoxin.

The European Food Safety Authority banned chlorpyrifos sales in January 2020, citing that no exposure level is safe.  Several states, including Hawaii and California, have banned the chemical from farming use.  This isn’t just one person or one group making these claims.  Many voices are calling for action to protect the health of children.

How to avoid chlorpyrifos

The best way to avoid chlorpyrifos and other insecticides is to eat organic fruits and vegetables and wash all produce well.  If you can peel foods, do so.  It will reduce your exposure, if you’re eating conventionally grown produce.

Of course, nothing beats growing your own food. Even people who live in apartments can grow fresh (healthy) food.  For example, sprouts and herbs are a great place to start and they will help you to protect your health.  Living in this toxic world, we certainly need to get serious about protecting our health and the health of our families.  Start today.

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