The Environmental Protection Agency has rejected a proposed ban on a pesticide linked to child brain damage. According to The Guardian, the EPA dismissed research against chlorpyrifos and said it would continue to support its use. Chlorpyrifos has long been used as a pesticide on major crops such as almonds, cotton, grapes, and citrus.
During Obama’s presidency, he moved to restrict use of chlorpyrifos in response to startling research against the pesticide. Under Trump, the EPA has rejected the conclusions of its own experts.
“By allowing chlorpyrifos to stay in our fruits and vegetables, Trump’s EPA is breaking the law and neglecting the overwhelming scientific evidence that this pesticide harms children’s brains,” Patti Goldman, an attorney with Earthjustice, said in a statement.
California has passed its on state-level ban on chlorpyrifos.
Research has found that women who lived near farms that used the pesticide had a higher chance of giving birth to a child with autism, and low to moderate levels of exposure to the pesticide were linked to lower IQs, memory issues, and reduced breathing capacity.
“What we have with chlorpyrifos is multiple academic research projects that have shown that actual children who actually live in California are being harmed by this chemical,” said Caroline Cox, a senior scientist at the Center for Environmental Health. “It’s pretty rare that you have that kind of evidence for any toxic chemical.”
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