Statement from Center for Food Safety on California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) Taking Legal First Step Toward Cancelling Chlorpyrifos
San Francisco, CA—"We are pleased to see the California Department of Regulation (DPR) taking the first important step toward cancelling the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos, a pesticide known to harm children's brain development, including reducing IQ," stated Rebecca Spector, west coast director at Center for Food Safety (CFS). DPR's filing of the notices to cancel chlorpyrifos product registrations is the first legal step toward canceling the pesticide. This is especially important given the recent announcement by the Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow chlorpyrifos to remain on the market despite a proposed ban by the Obama administration's EPA in late 2015, which was not finalized by the time Trump came to power.
"We applaud the creation of the new working group on pesticide alternatives," Spector continued. "Hundreds of farmers in California have been farming without petro-chemically derived pesticides for decades, and there are many alternatives for pest management without the use of toxic chemicals that are harmful to people, wildlife, and the environment. We will engage the work group to ensure that it uses their collective expertise to recommend the least-toxic alternatives."
The scientific data on the health impacts of chlorpyrifos is clear. Leading scientific and medical authorities, such as the Academy of Pediatrics, the Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health, UC Berkeley's School of Public Health, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have all concluded that chlorpyrifos harms children's brain development. It reduces children's IQ, and puts children at risk of learning disabilities. Meanwhile, use of this toxic pesticide continues, and children continue to be exposed.
Because pregnant women and young children are especially vulnerable to harm from exposure to chlorpyrifos, in particular farm workers, a cancellation of this dangerous product is the only path forward." Spector continued. Harm from chlorpyrifos can occur when a mother is pregnant and/or when a child is exposed early in life to chlorpyrifos on food, in drinking water, or in the environment near where chlorpyrifos is applied.
Hawaii became the first state to ban the use of chlorpyrifos in 2018. Center for Food Safety provided legal and legislative support for the ban.