Ag groups formally object to chlorpyrifos ban

More than 80 ag groups are formally objecting to the EPA’s ban on the insecticide chlorpyrifos.  

The group, which includes the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, specialty crop organizations, and others, is concerned with several areas of the EPA’s decision including the process that was used and the lack of scientific basis.

The group says EPA failed to conduct required reviews which could lead to well over $100 million in additional costs for the food and ag sector.

EPA’s rule to revoke tolerances also affects growers who have few or no pest management alternatives including cherries.

Kyle Harris with the Cherry Marketing Institute tells Brownfield the chemical is the only effective management solution for growers to protect trees from trunk borers.

“It’s very crucial for the cherry industry, predominately here in Michigan, Wisconsin, and the Midwest where we have borer issues because there is nothing else,” he explains.  “Without this product to protect us, we could look at losing trees.”

They’re asking the agency to postpone implementation until objections can be formally considered and addressed.

EPA says chlorpyrifos has been found to inhibit an enzyme, which leads to neurotoxicity, and has also been associated with potential neurological effects in children.

Harris says findings contradict EPA’s interim decision in December 2020 which found the chemical “highly effective” and approved nonfood uses that were unaffected by the ban.

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