The Environmental Protection Agency under the Trump administration has announced that farms can continue to use a common agricultural pesticide, despite documented health risks.
Environmental groups tried to make the case that the chemical, chlorpyrifos, is unsafe. But the EPA says it’s not convinced. The Idaho Farm Bureau Federation supports this decision. The chemical is the main ingredient in the most common insecticide used in Idaho called Lorsban. It’s used on plants like sugar beets, wheat and corn. And farmers say it’s an important pest-management tool.
In 2015, the EPA had announced chlorpyrifos would be banned. That decision was overturned in 2017, and was upheld this week.
That’s despite several scientific studies, partially funded by the EPA, that link chlorpyrifos to health issues in children who live near agricultural fields. Those include developmental problems, respiratory conditions and lower IQs.
The EPA says it will release a review of the chemical’s usage by 2022.
Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen
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